DataKind UK: Four Fantastic Causes
May 14, 2014

Plans for DataKind UK's next DataDive are well underway!

We've got the dates: June 6th-8th
We've got the venue: Mozilla Space in London
We've got the volunteer DataAmbassadors
And we've got the charities!

But before we say who they are, we’d like to thank all of the charities who took the time to apply to be a part of the DataDive. We were hugely impressed by the number and variety of great applications we received from charities across the country - if we couldn’t support you this time, please don’t be too discouraged. There will be other opportunities soon!

After much deliberation we have chosen four fantastic causes and invited them to bring their data-driven projects to our weekend-long DataDive. The organisations are Buttle UK, The Access Project, Shooting Star Chase and Citizens Advice Bureau.

  • Buttle UK will be looking at the issues faced by children and families living below the breadline.
  • The Access Project will map their volunteer lifecycle to better understand how and why volunteer tutors can keep helping motivated state school students to access top universities.
  • Shooting Star Chase wants to improve the hospice services they offer children with life-limiting conditions.
  • Citizens Advice Bureau will explore their data on advice services accessed by citizens to flag pressing social problems.

If you are a data scientist and want to put your skills to good use please sign up to volunteer at the event. If you are not a data scientist and would like to volunteer with us please sign up on the DataKind UK home page: If you want to find out more about the charities involved and their projects, keep reading...

Buttle UK
Buttle UK provides small grants to children and young people in need of support to help them and their families to purchase basic items, such as beds and cookers. Buttle UK receives thousands of applications every year that summarise the family's circumstances and concerns. It is this qualitative dataset that will be subject to analysis during the DataDive. The aim is to help Buttle UK identify and understand the patterns and trends in this data: do families in the same geographical area face similar problems? How have the challenges faced by families living below the breadline changed in the past five years? Buttle will use insights from the DataDive to help them focus their support on specific issues and influence policy and practice on a regional and national level.

The Access Project
Despite the fact that 15% of secondary school pupils in the UK are eligible for Free School Meals, these students make up only 2% of the intake at England's 25 most selective universities. The Access Project combats educational inequality by using volunteer tutors to help motivated state school students access top universities. They match high-flying graduates with students from disadvantaged areas for weekly academic tutorials. With a pool of 700 volunteer tutors, the Access Project wants to map the volunteer lifecycle to understand what makes for a successful pairing between tutor and student. They would like to get a better idea of what keeps a tutor volunteering, how they can improve participation and what drives a tutor to volunteer with a second student. Based on the DataDive the Access Project hopes to improve and adapt their process so they can continue to help disadvantaged students receive a better education.

Shooting Star Chase
Shooting Star Chase is a leading children’s hospice charity caring for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and their families. They support families from diagnosis to end of life and throughout bereavement with a range of nursing, practical, emotional and medical care. Shooting Star Chase has carefully recorded information on the individuals they help over a long period of time and they now want to interrogate that database in order to inform and improve their own service provision. Not only do they want to look at how children and their families use the service and how patterns have changed over the years, but they want to use these insights to contribute to the national debate around children's palliative care which lacks data and evidence.

Citizens Advice Bureau
There are over 3,300 Citizens Advice Bureaus throughout England and Wales helping citizens to resolve their legal, financial and other problems by providing free, independent and confidential advice. Using the data gathered about people’s experience of social problems through the CAB’s advice services we will spend the DataDive looking into whether the dataset can be used to flag issues as they arise in real time providing an early warning system for social problems for the organisation and beyond.

If you want to get stuck in and help on any of these projects please join us on June 6th-8th at the Mozilla Space in London for DataKind UK's third weekend-long DataDive.

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