Digital round-up: 'Alexa, make a donation'

Plus: Applications for social entrepreneurs programme now open; ICO launches public information campaign on the GDPR; National Lottery to be shown on ITV

Amazon users in the USA are now able to donate to charities using the Alexa virtual personal assistant. Supporters can use Alexa Donations to donate to 40 US charities using voice commands, with payments made through Amazon Pay. Users can command Alexa to donate to a specific charity or simply say "Alexa, make a donation" and Alexa will send a list of the eligible charities to their Alexa app. Amazon has not said when the platform will become available in the UK.

Social entrepreneurs looking to make a difference in their communities are being invited to apply for funding and training through the Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme.

Now in its sixth year, the programme provides entrepreneurs with financial support to start or scale up a social business, a learning programme with the School for Social Entrepreneurs and a dedicated mentor from Lloyds Banking Group. It aims to support 2,350 social entrepreneurs by 2020.

Paula Rogers, head of social enterprise at Lloyds Banking Group, said: "The Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme attracts so many inspirational and motivated individuals from across the UK and we look forward to supporting a new cohort of students this year. We believe that by supporting individuals to start and develop social businesses to solve the most pressing issues within their local communities, we are helping to drive economic growth across the UK and deliver on our ambition to help Britain prosper."

Applications are open online until 26 April, with taster session taking place throughout the month to show what the programme has to offer. 

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The Information Commissioner’s Office has launched a public information campaign to increase trust and confidence in how personal data is used. The Your Data Matters campaign was announced by the Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, at the ICO conference this week with the aim of enabling organisations from the public and private sectors to deliver consistent educational messages that will help people to understand the changing data-protection environment.

"We’ve taken a collaborative approach, inviting a range of businesses and organisations – public and private sector – to work with us to develop baseline educational messages about data protection reform for UK citizens," Denham said. "These are messages that will help raise awareness but also, I hope, increase trust in our data-driven world."

The National Lottery is to be shown live on ITV for the first time, Camelot has anounced.

The draw returns to primetime Saturday night television after it was dropped from the BBC in January last year, after which it was available on the iPlayer only. It will feature as a 90-second slot during Britain's Got Talent this weekend.

Hayley Stringfellow, head of brand marketing at Camelot, said: "One of the outcomes of our recent strategic review was to make The National Lottery and its purpose far more relevant and visible – so what better way to do this than by partnering with ITV to deliver the results during some of the most popular primetime shows.

"People play the National Lottery to win life-changing prizes, but they sometimes forget that they also raise about £30m every week for UK good causes. This partnership will deliver a range of exciting and engaging ways to shine a light on the difference National Lottery players make to the UK."

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