Little Girl Kissing her Baby Cousin, Refuge Christmas campaign

Every woman and child should feel safe this Christmas: Buy a Christmas present for a child in a refuge

Little Girl Kissing her Baby Cousin, Refuge Christmas campaign

Every woman and child should feel safe this Christmas. You can help – here’s how. Buy a Christmas present for a child in a refuge.

Last Christmas, Refuge supported 682 women and children in their refuges and they expect similar numbers again this year, For many, it’ll be their first Christmas away from their abusers, after months or even years of living in danger and fear.

So we’re asking people to give someone a happier Christmas by buying a present from our gift list. Donations will then be used to give the women and children we support gift cards so they can choose a present they will cherish all year round.

This holiday season, help a woman or child have a happy Christmas. We’ve got great gifts ranging from teddy bears to winter hats and jumpers. Take a look

Young woman with a baby boy at Christmas time, Refuge Christmas campaign

Mariam* and her children arrived at our refuge with just a single suitcase, after years of physical abuse.

She says gifts from Refuge supporters made a huge difference. “Being able to choose a new toy meant so much to my sons – their faces would light up!”

It meant a lot to Mariam, too. “‘I remember receiving a bundle of toiletries and I was so touched, it almost made me cry,” she says. “It meant everything to know that someone cared about my family and they understood what we were going through.”

A simple act of kindness like buying crayons, a scarf, or toiletries can show a family like Mariam’s you’re thinking of them. Choose your gift now:


Your generosity is genuinely life-changing and these are gifts that will never be forgotten.

*Mariam’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.

Find out more about Refuge and the support they provide

Refuge supports thousands of women and children on any given day, and runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which is the gateway to accessing specialist support across the country. More than one in four women in England and Wales experiences domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime, and two women a week are killed by a current or former partner.

Refuge is committed to a world where domestic violence and violence against women and girls is not tolerated and where women and children can live in safety. Refuge supports women and children who experience all forms of violence and abuse, including domestic violence, sexual violence, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, so-called ‘honour’-based violence, and human trafficking and modern slavery.

Refuge logo

TechUP industry mentors

Want to support others start their career in tech? TechUp needs mentors for its Skills Bootcamps

TechUP industry mentors

Do you want to support others start their career in tech? TechUp are looking for tech mentors to support their Skills Bootcamp learners.

The TechUP project, based Durham University, are offering two national Skills Bootcamps, as part of the Department for Education’s Plan for Jobs.

TechUP will be offering two industry-focussed, cohort customised 14 week Skills Bootcamps – one in data and the other on software development, with priority places going to learners from underserved and underrepresented groups.

The Skills Bootcamps will be led by Professor Sue Black and Professor Alexandra Cristea and will include weekly online lectures and workshops, drop-in support sessions, networking events, guest speakers from industry and one-to-one mentoring.

TechUp are now looking for individuals that can offer an average of 30mins of their time per week between October 2021 and February 2022 to mentor one of our learners. Mentors are required to have experience working in the tech sector, ideally with specific experience in either data or software development.

Full training will be provided.

Mentor/mentee contact can be via phone, email, messenger, video call or face to face, time, frequency and method of contact will be agreed with your assigned mentee as part of your first meeting so that it works for you both.

Join TechUp to support the next generation of data engineers and software developers!


For more information, email [email protected]

Durham University Master Logo_RGB

School of Code Mentor

Calling all developers, the School of Code needs YOU!

School of Code Mentor

Are you passionate about tech? Do you want to get involved in helping to shape, and inspire, your region’s next generation of coders? Yes! Then School of Code need you.

School of Code are launching their free software developer bootcamp across the country on 15 November 2021 and  are looking for 192 mentors, (yes that did say 192!),  to help them make a massive impact.

They will be taking a group of people from all walks of life through their free, life-changing, intensive course and turning them into something special…Job ready junior developers.

School of Code are looking for mentors, both veteran and brand new, to volunteer 30 minutes per week, to support them as they navigate their first steps into the world of tech!

As a SoC Mentor you’ll get to share your knowledge, get the buzz of making a positive difference and it doesn’t look too shabby on your CV either.  If this would be your first time volunteering as a mentor, fear not as you will be supported every step of the way.

The November bootcamps will cover the following areas – North West, West Midlands, East Midlands, London and South East.

To get involved,  register below and start your School of Code mentoring journey today!


Interested in applying for the School of Code bootcamp instead?

There are no prerequisites to apply and no previous experience required – those applying for the course don’t even need to have seen a line of code before.

School of Code takes a learner from beginner to software developer in just 16 weeks before helping them find their first role in tech.

Already this year, during the pandemic lockdowns, they have successfully helped 62 people go from zero to programmer and started their professional tech careers.


Digilearning GirlRise mentoring programme

Help a young person by becoming a mentor with Digilearning's GirlRise

Digilearning GirlRise mentoring programme

Can you commit 1 hour to a young person to change their lives?

The Digilearning Foundation needs mentors for young people aged 16-24 from marginalised and underrepresented groups from all over the world.

Digilearning mentors will help and guide mentees through the course and support them if or when they begin looking for work. Mentors will ideally support them for the first few months in their new roles of if they are setting up their businesses.

Why get involved?

We all have a superpower and we want our young people to understand theirs, Digilearning's programmes do just that. The journey begins in helping our youth to believe in themselves and providing them with relevant career insight and skills over 12 weeks as well as matching them with a mentor for 6 months.

Head Of BBC Diversity, author and TV Presenter June Sarpong OBE; Business Entrepreneur and Author Shaa Wasmund MBE; BBC TV Presenter Brenda Emmanus OBE; Founder of MOBO Awards Kanya King CBE and many others are volunteering their time and expertise to support the campaign.

About Digilearning

For underserved and marginalised groups in particular, technology can be a great equalizer. Digital can help bridge the economic divide, diversify and connect people and communities to greater opportunities. At Digilearning, they want to do just that! They have reached thousands of young people with digital skills in the UK and Commonwealth.


Have a question? Email [email protected]

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Catalyst and the National Lottery Community Fund COVID 19 Digital Response, charities

Charities invited to apply to £4.95m fund to improve sector digital capabilities

Catalyst and the National Lottery Community Fund COVID 19 Digital Response, charities

CAST and The National Lottery Community Fund have joined forces to help more charities meet increasing demands for digital transformation in the current climate.

Charities and other civil society organisations are invited to apply for funding and expert support worth up to £60,000 each, which can be spent on projects to improve the sector’s digital capabilities.

The fund, called Catalyst and The National Lottery Community Fund COVID-19 Digital Response, is open to any social organisation based in England that's part of a formal or informal network of ten or more other charities, and is committed to proactively sharing learnings with this group.

The partnership prioritises those that have been disproportionately impacted as a result of COVID-19 – in line with the wider approach taken by The National Lottery Community Fund to get resources to those that are hardest hit by the pandemic as quickly as possible. Applicants must be working with one of nine key groups facing disproportionate challenges as a result of COVID-19: older people; those pushed into crisis; people in medical or end of life care; people who experience health inequalities, loneliness and social isolation or poor mental health; children and young people; disabled people and families hit hardest.

The fund is a partnership between The National Lottery Community Fund and the Centre for The Acceleration of Social Technology (CAST), supported by the Catalyst network. Applications opened on Wednesday 19th August at the Catalyst site.

Thanks to National Lottery players, The National Lottery Community Fund has committed nearly £5 million to the partnership, which will be used to support the digital needs of civil society organisations as they respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Of this, £1.75 million will be made available in direct grants, with the remaining £3.2 million allocated to fund expert support, which will be provided to organisations along with tools and shared resources.

To be eligible to apply, charities must be able to show that they have a network of other charities who will be able to share their work, and benefit from it. This may include being a federated charity, or an infrastructure organisation, but applications from other charities who can show evidence of a network will also be accepted. The scheme’s partners are particularly interested in receiving applications from user-led organisations and those representing ethnic minority communities, LGBT+, disabled and other marginalised communities.

Funding will be a mixture of direct grants and payment for support from digital agencies. Two funding avenues will be simultaneously available for application: a four-week ‘Discovery’ phase, in which a small amount of funding will pay for charities to work together in cohorts with a support partner, to understand and research the problem they are trying to address, and a ten-week ‘Development’ phase, in which charities will work with a designated support partner to develop a digital solution.

Catalyst will be reaching out to existing digital partners as part of the scheme, as well as taking on a range of new specialists to work with charities across the Discovery and Development phases. Projects will be managed through an Open Projects portal, whereby experts respond to briefs posted on behalf of charities. Any agencies with specialisms in digital, data or design are invited to visit Open Projects for more information.

Speaking about the scheme, CAST’s Director Dan Sutch said, “COVID-19, and social distancing in particular, has demonstrated the importance of digital in ensuring social organisations can continue to serve the needs of their communities."

"And we’ve also seen clear evidence that organisations that are better equipped to use digital, data and design have been able to respond more quickly to the new needs and environment in which we’re operating."

"This scheme will enable charities to access funding to dedicate their time and focus to developing their digital practice, and vitally, access the support of digital partners from across the Catalyst network who are experts, not only in digital, data and design, but in supporting charities."

"Thanks to National Lottery players, we have an opportunity to intentionally design how we can best take advantage of digital, data and design to most effectively serve communities across England - taking the best from the sector’s response to COVID and building towards a more responsive and resilient sector”.

Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Community Fund, added, “Thanks to National Lottery players, nearly £5 million has been made available to this new partnership, helping civil society organisations to access specialist knowledge and much needed resources to boost their digital skills and services."

"That’s why we’re excited to be working with CAST to reach more charities at this critical time so that National Lottery funding goes to where it is needed now and equips organisations to think about digital needs for the future.”

Applications are open now at the Catalyst site. Applications for the Discovery phase will close on 7th September; applications for the Development phase will close on 20th September.

WeAreTechWomen covers the latest female centric news stories from around the world, focusing on women in technology, careers and current affairs. You can find all the latest gender news here.

Don’t forget, you can also follow us via our social media channels for the latest up-to-date gender news. Click to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

CompTIA offering free cyber security upskilling classes in Birmingham, Manchester and Preston

Cyber Ready - CompTIA

CompTIA, a non-profit tech association, is offering free cyber security upskilling classes in Birmingham, Manchester and Preston for groups who are under-represented in the cyber industry.

CompTIA's initiative, Cyber Ready, is a six-month retraining programme designed to ensure all graduates develop the necessary skills and knowledge to secure Cyber Security related employment.

The flipped-classroom approach combines classroom and online teaching methods and is designed to encourage applications from candidates who may have other commitment and time limitations.

The free course is open to people in-work and has been developed to improve the diversity of the cyber talent pipeline by supporting returners to tech, low skilled, graduates, ex-armed forces, women, and BAME individuals.

Graham Hunter, CompTIA’s vice president for skills certification in EMEA, said, “The need for cybersecurity professionals and the vital skills they provide remains robust, even in the midst of the worst global pandemic in the last 100 years.”

“In fact, certain types of cyber-attacks have increased in frequency during the pandemic."

"This is prompting more employers to strengthen their cyber defenses and recruit skilled personnel to secure data, devices and networks.”

During the six-month programme, candidates will have access to the latest industry-standard content on cybersecurity, via on-demand videos, virtual labs and adaptive questions to build their cyber skills. The learning will be supervised by trainers with real world experience in cybersecurity.

Applications for the West Midlands class close on the 14th August and the North West on the 21st August. You can find out more about Cyber Ready and how to apply here.

Cyber Ready - CompTIA

WeAreTechWomen covers the latest female centric news stories from around the world, focusing on women in technology, careers and current affairs. You can find all the latest gender news here.

Don’t forget, you can also follow us via our social media channels for the latest up-to-date gender news. Click to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Paper Airplanes logo

Could you become an instructor or mentor for Paper Airplanes' Women in Tech programme?

Paper Airplanes Women in Tech Programme

Paper Airplanes' are looking for instructors and mentors for their Women in Tech Programme.

Paper Airplanes is a non-profit organisation that provides free, one-on-one language and skills learning for individuals whose lives and education have been interrupted due to conflict. They provide alternative pathways for our students to pursue their education by connecting them with personal tutors for 12 week sessions conducted through Skype. As of now, Paper Airplanes are running programs that teach English, coding to women, and Turkish to primarily Syrian refugees and Gazans. In the five years since their inception, they have served approximately 1,300 students with 90 per centof students reporting significant improvement within a semester.

Paper Airplanes' Women in Tech program works with conflict-affected women and non-binary people aged 18 - 35 who speak advanced English, have little to no coding experience, but are interested in learning coding. The program seeks to equip women and non-binary people with basic skills in coding languages such as CSS, JavaScript, and HTML.

Each student is matched with an instructor, who dedicates four to six hours of their week to preparing and presenting the course content, and a personal mentor, who meets with them once a week to help with assignments and answer questions! At the end of the course, each student has three weeks to create their own small project to showcase their learning to potential employers. Paper Airplanes' focus on working with marginalised women and non-binary people to empower them and give them access to jobs in the programmer market, including the ability to work remotely.

Become a Women in Tech instructor:

As a Women in Tech instructor, you would be responsible for teaching the Women in Tech program alongside the other instructors and the Women in Tech Program Manager. This is a volunteer position, with an expected time commitment of four-six hours per week (typically up to two hours of planning and up to two hours of instructing).

Find out more and apply here

Become a Women in Tech mentor:

As a Women in Tech mentor, you would be responsible for meeting with your mentee(s) on a weekly basis over a channel like Skype, helping them complete homework assignments and their final project. This is a volunteer position, with an expected time commitment of two hours per week.

Find out more and apply here

elderly couple with a tablet, coronavirus, technology

Can you help FutureDotNow support the most vulnerable online during COVID-19?

elderly couple with a tablet, coronavirus, technology

FutureDotNow has launched an initiative to support the most vulnerable online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FutureDotNow are coordinating industry action through a new initiative, DevicesDotNow, targeting the 1.7 million households who don’t have access to the internet and are digitally excluded as we face a socially distanced world gripped by COVID-19.

Supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the DevicesDotNow campaign is asking businesses to donate tablets, smartphones and laptops, as well as connectivity in the form of sims, dongles and mobile hotspots.

As the government works to address the challenges of COVID-19, many elderly and vulnerable people may find themselves isolated in their homes with limited means of communicating with the outside world, or getting access to vital services such as health, food or banking.

Frontline community organisations are in desperate need of digital devices to be able to mobilise into the community. With your help, we can power them up so they can support households facing self-isolation – alleviating the strain on the NHS, while ensuring that vulnerable people aren’t cut off from their loved ones and the outside world.

There are number of ways to get involved and support the #DevicesDotNow campaign:

  • Donate devices - tablets or smartphones are a first choice, but laptops are also required.
  • Donate SIM cards, portable hotspots, dongles or other connectivity.
  • Make a financial donation - £10,000 would fund the purchase of tablets and smartphones for around 100 vulnerable individuals and families.
  • Spread the word - Share the #DevicesDotNow mission with a least five business leaders in your network who could be in a position to help.

Find out more about the campaign here.

Science, coronavirus, virus

Are you part of the scientific modelling community? The Royal Society needs your help

Science, coronavirus, virus

Are you part of the scientific modelling community?

The Royal Society is calling for urgent action for those in the scientific modelling community, and is a scheme to allow those with modelling skills (including data science) to contribute to current UK efforts in modelling the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UK has a small but highly effective community of academic experts in pandemic modelling. These skilled researchers are currently at full stretch, not only doing their own research on the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, but also providing evidence to inform Government policy, through channels such as SPI-M, the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling Group, which reports to SAGE, the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies.

Many in the wider scientific community have valuable skills in computer modelling but no direct expertise in pandemic models. For example, some existing epidemic models, called IBMs (individual based models) are closely related to Agent Based Models used in research fields ranging from urban traffic planning, financial market modelling, dataflow optimization across communications networks, and individualized marketing on social media. In some of these fields there is valuable expertise in developing very large scale models and integrating them with data-science toolsets.

This is a nationwide call for rapid assistance in modelling the pandemic (RAMP), addressed to specialists in any or all of the above areas, and indeed to the scientific modelling community more widely. Possible assistance could include advice on importing modelling elements from other research domains; undertaking the software engineering needed to port vastly enlarged datasets into existing pandemic models; data analytics to create predictive empirical models from real-world data; offering new perspectives on existing modelling strategies; and adding to human and computing resources more generally. Another role could be to review and filter the numerous COVID-relating modelling efforts from scientists in other fields that are already starting to appear online, feeding through to SPI-M and/or other bodies, contributions that might have substantial impact on planning.

This call for assistance is addressed to the wider modelling community (including data analytics) in academia and industry. Our initial focus is on the UK community but this is an international emergency and we welcome contributions from non-UK based scientists, while realizing that they might wish to prioritize any similar initiative in their own countries.

A willingness to work on specified tasks, and to deadlines, is needed. However, no previous experience in epidemic modelling, as such, is required of RAMP participants.

For full details of the scheme and an online form to volunteer on behalf of your research group, click here.

The online survey form should be filled out as soon as practicable and, if at all possible, by 5pm on Thursday 2 April (BST). The survey form will cease to operate completely a day or two after that.

Calling all engineers! Can you help in the fight against COVID-19?

coronavirus, Royal Academy of Engineering, COVID-19

Calling all engineers!

With each day that passes, the severity of the coronavirus outbreak increases, as the issues extend beyond health concerns, impacting stock markets around the world and the way businesses operate.

The Royal Academy of Engineering has recognised the critical role that engineers can play in managing the impact of the pandemic, and is asking its Fellows, awardees and partners to use their combined engineering expertise and UK and global networks to help identify solutions, organisations and contacts that could help governments address challenges and assist the public health response.

There is an immediate need for ventilator manufacture, but The Royal Academy of Engineering are encouraging innovation and ideas across all areas, including healthcare systems, critical infrastructure, business management and supply chain.

The Academy is supporting the following calls for assistance:

  • The UK government’s urgent call for assistance from engineering and manufacturing organisations around the UK to help boost the supply of ventilators and ventilator components across the UK to support the National Health Service in its response to COVID-19
  • The Frontier Tech Hub’s urgent call to emerging markets for Rapidly Manufactured Ventilation Systems, inviting applications for an existing, proven technology that can be rapidly adapted to be built in the UK. The winning technology will be adapted for manufacture and use in the UK by a team at UCL’s Institute for Healthcare Engineering with GDI Hub, and will receive a licensing fee
  • In addition, there are other key areas where the engineering community may be able to provide new approaches to specific challenges through technological developments. The Academy is calling on its Fellows, awardees and partners to help accelerate innovations, provide relevant policy advice and establish communications and engagement channels for people to share experiences and knowledge with governments and other organisations.

The Royal Academy of Engineering has identified the below specific requests as a great way to offer your expertise:

If you don't feel able to respond to the specific requests, there are still ways that you as an engineering professional can help with the effort to address the coronavirus, so please do get in touch with The Royal Academy of Engineering.