Charitylog User Guide Updated

The Charitylog user guide has been updated and is now available for you to view on the loop. Find out what is new and access the guide.

We have recently updated our existing Charitylog user guide (2015). Working with the assistance of Dizions and a number of brand partners, we have refreshed the document and uploaded it to the loop here. The key changes to the document include a longer introduction that provides extra information about the work organisations need to do when first setting up their Charitylog systems and the administrator work involved behind the scenes. Read on to find out more about the recent changes to the Charitylog user guide.

We felt this would be helpful for many of the new I&A managers and advisers who are quickly having to get to grips with a system that may be new to them, or for existing colleagues who are reviewing their set up. We have included current system screen shots to enable you to work through the steps required to get the most out of the available functionality, e.g. the steps required to set up templates.

We have also incorporated some very useful videos into the manual which are aligned with the Charitylog Wiki manual updates.

We hope you find the updated User Guide helpful.

#ItStillMatters Campaign – Supporting survivors of abuse

A new government campaign is raising awareness of support available for survivors of abuse. Their website is a useful resource to direct service users to. Find out more below.

A new government campaign, launched earlier this year, is raising awareness of support available for survivors of sexual violence and abuse and aims to help them take the first step in accessing support. The campaign website is a great resource to direct service users to, whether they’ve experienced something themselves, or are looking to support a friend or family member. Find out more below.

The central campaign message is that no matter when the abuse happened, whether it was over 30 years ago or last month, it still matters, it is not your fault, you can still get support and you are not alone.

The campaign website brings together a range of specialist organisations, at a national and local level, who understand and can offer confidential support. It also features survivors’ first-hand experiences, which are useful reading for those who are nervous about reaching out. Find out more here.

If you would like to use your social media channels to raise awareness of the campaign, please get in touch with charlotte.corsan@justice.gov.uk who can provide text, images, and videos, or you can adapt some of the key messaging below. The campaign hashtag is: #ItStillMatters.

Key messages and image for social media:
  • “Whenever it happened to you, it’s not too late to get support.”
  • “If you’ve experienced sexual violence or abuse, you can get confidential support from specialists who understand how hard it is to talk about.”
  • “You don’t need to face this alone. Visit gov.uk/sexualabusesupport to see the support on offer #ItStillMatters.”

You can also save the image below for use on social media:

Coming soon – I&A services online discussion groups

Age UK’s Quality & Transformation team are looking to organise a set of I&A services discussion groups. Find out all the details including how to get involved.

In the September edition of Inform & Advise, we offered all I&A managers and advisers the opportunity to discuss a range of topics in small groups. Many thanks to those who have expressed an interest in joining one or more of the proposed groups so far. We will assess numbers at the end of September and organise dates in October and November 2021. If you missed the piece in Inform and Advise and would like to know more or get involved, full details can be found below.

The aim is to pilot the discussion groups to see how valuable they are to local I&A staff and volunteers. If the discussion groups go well and demand for them continues, we will look at running them periodically throughout 2022.

The proposed discussion group topics are:

  • Reopening services safely after the pandemic
  • Remote supervision and support for I&A Teams
  • Overcoming the challenges of establishing an external Peer to Peer File Review Arrangement
  • Volunteering after the pandemic
  • Managing demand in your I&A services
  • Lessons learned from dealing with emergencies during the pandemic

The discussion groups will be facilitated by members of the Quality & Transformation team. They are not intended to be training sessions. Their purpose is to create a space for I&A service managers to share their experiences with other local partners. As I&A staff have all had to face the same or very similar challenges in adapting to a radically changed working environment and many are exploring how to work with clients going forward, this is a good opportunity to share views and ideas on what your work will look like in the future.

If you or members of your team are interested in attending any of the discussion groups please contact janice.davis@ageuk.org.uk.

Information & Advice Quality Programme – common areas identified for improvement

Age UK’s Quality & Transformation Team have identified some common areas for improvement across the advice sector. Find the most recent trends below.

Age UK’s Quality & Transformation Team regularly review areas of compliance with the I&A Quality benchmarks, so that we can share learning across the network. We have found that the most common areas identified for improvement are similar to those identified across the independent advice sector as a whole and are important elements of quality assurance. Read on to view the most recent trends.

Most common areas of non-compliance for Quality of Advice

  • Lack of sufficient relevant information gathered to give correct advice
  • Insufficient advice recorded or incomplete advice given e.g. no means-tested benefits check when disability benefits awarded
  • Limited use of Factsheets and Information Guides to back up advice given
What can be done to avoid these?

Training in case-recording and/or the key Age UK topic areas of benefits and community care can help ensure your clients are getting the correct advice – further details can be found on the loop here.

Most common areas of non-compliance for Service Management

  1. Data Protection / Client confidentiality e.g. lack of consent or secure storage of client data
  2. Not recording sufficient client details for information enquiries (leading to under- reporting of work, clients needing to repeat their story on returning)
  3. Lack of Technical Supervision of advisors (usually of the Manager), including regular file checking to ensure accurate advice is given
  4. Lack of planning for a sustainable service
What can be done to avoid these?
  1. Ensure you have evidence of the clients’ consent to process their data, including to store it, share it with third parties, and share it with Age UK for quality audit. Ensure you record and date consent on the client record.

Please Note: legitimate interests as a basis for processing the data should not be used for special category data (i.e. personal sensitive data e.g. health, politics, ethnicity, religion). The ICO sets a higher bar for the way this data is handled, as it could create a higher risk of, for instance, unlawful discrimination. Consent is the best way to treat this type of data, as it is most transparent and simple.

The GDPR Toolkit on the loop can be found here.

  1. Ensure all staff providing I&A are aware of your procedures for recording information enquiries. This helps ensure the client does not have to keep repeating their “story”, and ensures you are not under-recording your work and reach. Enquiries should not routinely be recorded as “Anonymous” – only if consent is not given, or for very simple enquiries.
  2. Ensure you have procedures for both regularly checking the accuracy of advice and that your case management procedures are being followed, as well as the more in depth file reviews (IFRs) carried out less frequently. Ensure these include the advice carried out by the Supervisor or Manager). This is even more important when staff are working remotely or from home.
  3. Ensure the current year 12 month plan and budget is regularly reviewed. A short outline plan for the following 2 years is needed – it does not need to be in detail but should include an outline plan for a sustainable service.

New promotional leaflet – Age UK Information & Advice: A lifeline for older people

A new leaflet has been produced to promote the collective provision of information and advice across the Age UK Network.

A new leaflet has been produced which aims to raise the profile of Age UK’s information and advice provision – our collective provision through the national service and local partners’ services. The main purpose of the leaflet is for Age UK’s Influencing Team, and the Fundraising Team, to send to politicians, civil servants, and corporate contacts, in order to make them more aware of the kinds of support we offer older people, and the scale of what we do. 

You can view the leaflet here.

We hope that the leaflet will help us secure more support for Age UK I&A provision, and more funding for it, especially through funded national programmes, which form such an important source of income for our combined local and national I&A provision. 

We did look at making a version that local partners could adapt for their own use, but it would require too many editable elements to make it work. However, partners may find the text useful in drawing up their own materials to promote their I&A provision. 

To feed back about the leaflet, contact john.edwards@ageuk.org.uk.

Sainsbury’s Data Philanthropy

Age UK have been successful in applying to Sainsbury’s for a place on their annual Data Philanthropy programme.  In this Sainsbury’s take data sets from charities and do intensive analysis on them to bring out findings, and also suggest ways forward.

Age UK is planning on using this opportunity to undertake an analysis of data from the Advice Line and data from the Information & Advice pages on Age UK’s website.  We would also like to include data from Partners to provide a full view of the Information & Advice provision across the network.  All findings will be shared fully with Partners participating.

The data we would want to use is listed below, and the template to be used can be found below.

  • Contact
    • ID
    • Gender
    • Age
    • Postcode
  • Case
    • ID
    • Date of Enquiry
    • Time
    • Enquiry Code (Level 1)
    • Enquiry Code (Level 2)
    • Enquiry Code (Level 3)

In order to take part please email localstatistics@ageuk.org.uk   You will be required to sign a data sharing agreement with Age UK, and once signed will receive a link to upload the data through the Box.

The deadline for Age UK receiving data is 12pm on 6th September.  We acknowledge this is a short turnaround, however this is due to the timelines for Sainsburys.

Piloting a Network I&A Dashboard

What is it?

The data we all collect on Information & Advice (I&A) service delivery across the network is valuable in demonstrating the impact Age UK has for older people.  At the moment, we collate statistics based on enquiry codes about the volume and type of enquiries each quarter.  While this provides valuable network wide intelligence, it does not tell the whole story and often undersells the impact the network as a whole has for older people.

Therefore, we are interested in running a pilot to examine the feasibility of establishing a “live” I&A Dashboard across the whole network.  This dashboard would pull together data from across I&A services, including the national Advice Line, to provide a network wide picture of our activity and impact.

What do we mean by live?

Our ultimate aim is to make the dashboard self-updating on a regular basis, removing the need for reporting work both locally and nationally.  This means it would potentially be possible to have a dashboard that updates once a day.  Initially we would work on a proof of concept and, if successful, work to automate the process, shortening the time between updates gradually.

What data would be involved?

We don’t know yet, the pilot and the Partners involved in that pilot would ultimately determine the data to be included.  We imagine it may include activity data, such as volume of enquiries and when they take place.  The enquiry type would be important as well.  We do not expect that any personal data will be involved, although we may want to use aggregated demographics to show our reach across age, gender and ethnicity.  Location may be important too.

How can you be involved?

Age UK is looking for a group of Partners to be involved in the initial scoping and design of the pilot project, focusing on what data we want to share and use at a Network wide level.  We would then look to work with these Partners to establish a proof of concept dashboard.

If you want to get involved in the pilot, please contact localstatistics@ageuk.org.uk

We will hold an initial meeting on the pilot project through Microsoft Teams on Tuesday 10th August, 10.00 – 11.00am.

Covid-19 Briefing – Stage 4 of roadmap and booster vaccines

View a briefing from Age UK’s Health Influencing Team based on the latest announcements about Stage 4 of the Covid-19 roadmap in England.

The Government have announced the details for Stage 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown in England. This is likely to go ahead from Monday 19th July, however a final decision will not be made until Monday 12th July following a review of the latest data. Many of the current legal restrictions will be lifted and it will be down to individuals to make their own decisions. Please find below a briefing from Age UK’s Health Influencing Team based on the announcements about Stage 4 of the Covid-19 roadmap. Also included is some more information around the Covid-19 vaccines booster programme.

Sources of support for local partners – refreshed for Spring/Summer 2021

As we slowly emerge from lockdown, the Quality and Transformation team have updated their guide to the help and support available to local partners.

As we all cautiously approach the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions, the Quality and Transformation team wanted to remind local partners of the help and support that is still available to them. They have had a spring clean and updated the guide below which draws together a range of useful resources which can either be accessed directly (via this site, The Loop or through external organisations) or by contacting your Regional Link.

Click below to download the guide:


Contact details for Regional Links are listed in the guide but if you have any questions, comments or concerns please email Covid-19EnquiryLine@ageuk.org.uk.

Settled – a new signpost organisation for EU citizens wanting help to apply for Settled Status

Settled is a new charity who can offer advice and support to EU citizens who want to apply for Settled Status. Download their guidance and consent form here.

Following on from our email to CEOs asking if you could provide older European clients with information on the EU Settlement Scheme, we have been contacted by a new charity, called Settled, who can offer advice and support to EU citizens who want to apply for Settled Status. They have produced the leaflet below which explains more about this issue and contact details for how to get in touch with them.

PLEASE NOTE – the leaflet/consent form below is only for use by other third parties – local Age UK I&A advisers must not use this form to assist your clients or offer them advice with applying for Settled Status. This remains a regulated area of advice that you are not authorised to provide.

If you are in any doubt, contact the Age UK Email Enquiry Service on info.team@ageuk.org.uk or speak to your Information and Advice Development Officer.

Further guidance for advisors is also available here

Download the leaflet and consent form below: