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.

Latest Updates to the LG Inform Stats Tool

Check out the latest information available within the Local Government Association stats tool “LG Inform”, which is available to all staff in the Age UK Network.

The Local Government Association stats tool LG Inform is available to all staff in the Age UK Network, and can be registered for here. LG Inform regularly updates the information it holds, so please see below an update from the organisation on the latest available information in the tool. This includes mid-year population estimates for 2020 from ONS, recent boundary changes, and much more.

The latest updates from LG Inform:
  • In May our regular annual update of both powers & duties and records retention guidance was released and in June we completed our ‘Deep dive’ in to Children’s Services. The review was actively supported by the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS). See here for more details.
  • Additionally, we continue to monitor and update for changes to associated powers & duties resulting from the Coronavirus legislation. Given the many changes this summer, we are undertaking a comprehensive review of this now and hope to conclude this in the coming weeks.
  • Our API tool kit and Data feed continues to be well used and an important aspect of our programme. The monthly amount of data in our data feed has increased to 10GB per month for subscribers and have two very good case studies showing examples of linking the LG Inform Plus database to software solutions such as MS Power BI and In Phase. The case study for Norfolk DC is here and Oldham MBC here.

Keeping LG Inform Plus relevant and up-to-date is key to our programme and the following changes on data and areas have been made so far:

  • Previously available in LG Inform, the mid-year population estimates for 2020 from ONS are now available at lower-level geographies, such as LSOA, MSOA and Ward, in LG Inform Plus reports. This link, to a ward level search in LG Inform Plus, shows you all the data items now available at that geography.
  • In May new areas including Wards, CCGs and Integrated Care systems, were added and can be used to view metrics in our LG Inform Plus reports. All wards that become operative following local elections on 6 May 2021 are now available and wherever possible, we’ve recalculated metrics for the new wards from their component areas. You may want to run reports on these so newly elected councillors can be brought up to speed with key data for their local areas.
  • There have been a number of other proposals on boundary changes this year. You can see the proposed parliamentary constituency boundary changes here. Also, The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released new Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area boundaries, you can view them here.  And, we’ve also added the recently published proposed parliamentary constituencies for Wales for 2023 here.
  • In his statement of 21 July 2021 Robert Jenrick, the former Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, unveiled proposals for four new unitary councils across East Cumbria, West Cumbria, North Yorkshire, Somerset (combining existing unitary, county and/or district councils). These new boundary proposals are available in LG Inform Plus. To review the demographics of these new areas, users from subscribing organisations can see over 2,000 data items for the proposed boundaries, create new LG Inform Plus reports or link data directly to performance management software via our data tool.
  • Promoting open data publishing remains part of our work May saw the launch of an improved web site for Open Referral UK – the standard that provides consistent way of recording and sharing information about local government services. The website describes the advantages of applying the standard, steps to adoption and case studies from councils and suppliers who are using it. The Community Forum is the place to ask questions and share learning with others.

Future work:
  • Census data 2021. We are now planning for taking on board the Census 2021 during the Spring of 2022. Initial work has started and we aim to upload the new data as quickly as possible post its release from ONS.

Finally, we are always looking to improve the LG Inform Plus service and if you have suggestions for new reports, data items or additional functionality please contact us at lginformplus@local.gov.uk. For more information on what is covered by LG Inform Plus visit our training pages here or, for the API, see our help videos here.

Two Social Prescribing Updates

A roundup of two social prescribing updates, from the Accelerating Innovation Programme and the National Academy for Social Prescribing.

This post contains two social prescribing updates which may be of interest. The first discusses the Accelerating Innovation Programme, which aims to address health inequalities and support Covid-recovery plans by harnessing skills and assets of national organisations to complement local community action. The second post, is a call for case studies from the National Academy for Social Prescribing. Both posts can be read in full below.

Accelerating Innovation Programme – Community of Practice

The new Accelerating Innovation programme (a partnership between NASP, RVS and NHSE) will bring together a community of practice of national voluntary organisations (including their local affiliated organisations) to support the development of new ideas and partnerships for social prescribing activities.

The programme aims to address health inequalities and support Covid-recovery plans by harnessing skills and assets of national organisations to complement local community action. The programme will support members in developing good connections with local health and care systems and community groups, provide learning opportunities, and share innovative best practice and tools for innovation.

Read the blog by James Sanderson and Jeremy Hughes to find out more, and register your interest in joining the Community of Practice by 3rd October.

National Academy for Social Prescribing – Case Studies Call Out

Two national-reaching publications have been in touch with National Academy for Social Prescribing about social prescribing for people of retirement age and above. They are looking for case studies and examples, and potentially to interview a couple of people who have experienced social prescribing and seen a benefit to their physical or mental health.

If you can help, please email Francesca Baker francesca.baker@nasp.info by Tuesday 14 Sept. We appreciate and apologise for the fact that this is such short notice, please note that this timeline is being driven by external organisations rather than Age UK.

Brand Partner Websites Update & Maintenance – 7.30pm Tonight

Brand Partners will be unable to make edits to their websites between 7pm-8pm tonight (29 March) while the latest updates are installed.

The latest updates for Age UK Brand Partner websites will take place tonight (29 March) at 7.30pm. This update will see an upgrade to the SEO Toolbox section of the Content Management System (CMS), due to an issue that was highlighted by the last release. All Brand Partner sites will be affected, so staff who manage the website for your organisation will not be able to access the CMS between 7pm and 8pm tonight. You shouldn’t see any major changes to your site and there is minimal downtime expected. Our Network Digital Team have also sent this information to their mailing lists, so staff members who manage your website should be aware of this maintenance.

Political Update 09/09/20 – Reintroduction of some restrictions in England

The Prime Minister will announce later today the reintroduction of some restrictions in England expected to be effective from Monday 14th September. We will provide another update after his press conference later today.

The Prime Minister will later today (Wednesday 9th Sept) announce the reintroduction of some restrictions in England, following a spike of Covid cases. Since Sunday, there has been 8,396 new cases in the UK. The Prime Minister will say: “We need to act now to stop the virus spreading. So we are simplifying and strengthening the rules on social contact — making them easier to understand and for the police to enforce”.

The new rules are expected to be effective from Monday 14th September:

  • Social gatherings of more than six people in England will not be allowed. This applies to people meeting indoors and outdoors and from private households.
  • The rule does not apply to schools and workplaces, or weddings, funerals and sports
  • People who ignore this law can be fined £100 – doubling with each offence to a maximum of £3,200.

There will be a list of exemptions published before the law comes into force. We will send another update on this after the Prime Minister’s press conference.

New updates to the Network Infrastructure Hub!

Check out the latest updates to our infrastructure work on the Network Infrastructure Hub.

Visit the Network Infrastructure Hub for the latest infrastructure programme updates and upcoming events! Read the latest updates on Case, Contact & Rostering, Accounting Systems, Banking & Financial Transactions, Charitylog, and IT Support, Telephony, Hardware & Software. You can also find out how to book your place on the upcoming Finance Network meeting on Tuesday 29 September.

Reminder: Second fortnightly assessment now live

The next fortnightly assessment for local Age UKs is live. Find the link to the assessment below and see how the information provided is being used.

A huge thank you to the 102 Brand Partners who completed the first of the new fortnightly assessments. The next assessment is now live and can be completed here. This assessment covers the period 2nd May 2020 to 15th May 2020 and the deadline for completion is 5pm Friday 22nd May 2020. 

A Word document copy of the questions to refer to as you complete the assessment is available here:

How your information is demonstrating the impact of the network

The information you have provided so far has been invaluable in supporting influencing, media, and fundraising colleagues to respond to major donors, journalists and ministers.

For example, data provided in the first fortnightly assessment was used in two Telegraph articles last week. The first article highlighted the 37,315 food deliveries made between April 20th and May 1st. Meanwhile the second article covered both the amount of the food parcels delivered and the number of advice line calls handled in the last two months.

As you complete more fortnightly assessments, the picture of the Network’s activity during this period becomes more compelling and helps demonstrate the collective frontline response of the network to this emergency and the ways we are responding to the unprecedented and growing needs of people affected by the impact of Covid-19. 

You can view the headlines from the first fortnightly assessment and download an aggregate report of the data here.

Future assessments timetable

In order to allow you to plan and provide clarity, the below table details the remaining planned assessments, including release dates and completion deadlines. 

Assessment The period the assessment covers (dates are inclusive) Release Date Completion Deadline 
20/04/20 – 01/05/20 01/05/20 08/05/20 
02/05/20 – 15/05/20 15/05/20 22/05/20 
16/05/20 – 29/05/20 29/05/20 05/06/20 
30/05/20 – 12/06/20 12/06/20 19/06/20 
13/06/20 – 26/06/20 26/06/20 03/07/20 
27/06/20 – 10/07/20 10/07/20 17/07/20 

If you have any questions please contact the team at covid-19enquiryline@ageuk.org.uk 

Thank you again for all your hard work at this incredibly busy time.

Political Update 29/04/20 – DHSC updates domiciliary care guidance

Today’s political update covers government plans to expand home testing capacity and an update on Age UK’s influencing work on the Domestic Abuse Bill.

Yesterday the ONS report reported on the number of weekly deaths, which includes the number of people who have sadly passed away due to covid-19 in care homes. This includes CQC data on notifications of COVID-19 related deaths explicitly stated as occurring in care home settings; with 4,443 notified deaths in care homes since Easter. From today, the Government will be publishing not just the number of deaths in hospitals each day, but also in care homes and in the community too. This will supplement the ONS’ weekly publication and will help to inform policy judgement.

The Heath Secretary also asserted that the Government is expanding home testing capacity from 5,000 a day to 25,000 by the end of the week. They are also rolling out testing of asymptomatic residents and staff of care homes and staff in the NHS, and testing is now available to al over 65 and their households with symptoms, and any households of keyworkers that have symptoms

The DHSC have updated their covid-19 guidance to include information about how to work safely in domiciliary care. The guidance includes specificities regarding recommended PPE usage in different circumstances. The full guidance can be read here.

The BBC has reported that the Government had “failed to buy crucial protective equipment to cope with a pandemic.”

The Victims Commissioner has  backed the call  from parliament’s Home Affairs Committee to make tackling domestic abuse a central pillar of the Government’s strategic response to the Coronavirus epidemic.

Influencing Action

Yesterday saw the Second Reading of the Domestic Abuse Bill in Parliament. We briefed a number of MPs ahead of the debate on our key asks for the Bill. Dawn Butler MP thanked Age UK for the work we do and Tim Loughton MP used our briefing to highlight that one in five victims of domestic homicides is aged over 60, and there has been a 40% increase in the last two years in the number affected by domestic abuse. There is also a disproportionate impact on those from BAME communities. We will continue to work to influence this important piece of legislation.

Age UK is in continued discussions with DCMS on loneliness and Defra on access to food and supermarket policy.

The External Affairs team has been working with local Age UK partners to write to their MPs to ask the Government for further support during the crisis.

It is not yet clear how the money announced by the Chancellor will be distributed but we can do our best to make sure that every local MP knows that the need for Age UK to be supported now is critical, and that we will not be able to continue to help older people to get through this crisis without government funding. If you have the time, please pick up the phone or send an email to your MPs, you can find a draft letter here to make this as easy as possible for you.

If you have any questions, please contact Robert Henderson or Alison Trew. Please also let us know if you have contacted your MP and asked them to make representations on your behalf.

Coming Soon: Inform and Advise Bulletin

Don’t miss this week’s Inform and Advise bulletin!

Look out for the upcoming Inform and Advise bulletin this week. Packed full of news, guidance and practical resources, it’s an essential read for all I&A frontline staff. The next edition includes:

  • Attendance Allowance – how you can use video conferencing to support a client to make a claim
  • Attendance Allowance self-help guidance for the general public
  • Information from the DWP on Attendance Allowance
  • TASO briefings and Interesting email enquiry
  • Information Guides update
  • 3 face-to-face training courses postponed
  • Working from home and supporting home worker
  • Age Co update
  • Rightsnet’s COVID-19 tools for advice sector practitioners
  • Reminder about the Turn2Us website

To sign up for updates from Age UK, including Inform & Advise and our daily Coronavirus Hub updates, please click here.

Upcoming Features on the Coronavirus Hub

Sign up for updates from the Coronavirus Hub and be the first to receive the latest news.

In these challenging times, it’s important to stay up-to-date and have easy access to information and practical resources that can help you continue to deliver your vital services.

Coming soon

  • Guidance for setting up emergency shopping services
  • Regular updates about the Age UK Emergency Fundraising Appeal progress
  • Daily updates and briefings on all Covid-19 related news
  • An update on the Neighbourly Volunteering offer and upcoming volunteering guidance

Click here to sign-up to get Age UK’s email newsletters for the Age UK network including our daily coronavirus updates.

To receive an email whenever a new post appears on the Coronavirus Hub, just put your email address into the box at the top of this page.