A site about how community groups and charities can make the most of data and open data to do something useful. Focused on Birmingham, relevant everywhere.

A open data surgery in Trafford


Last week the fab Jamie Whyte ran an open data surgery in Trafford…

These are the people he helped and how…

Trafford Centre for Independent Living (CIL)

Trafford CIL provide a support service to the 4,500 or so carers in Trafford. They are preparing to carry out a comprehensive survey of carers in Trafford, and wanted to know if we would want the responses. We spoke about the sorts of data that it would be useful to collect, such as postcode (for geocoding). We also spoke about what we might be able to do with the data, in terms of mapping, etc. The CIL did have concerns that we might take their data, and then sell it (something that we would not do). The outcome of this conversation was that the CIL will send us the questionnaire before they distribute it, to make sure nothing useful is missed, and we will take it from there.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Foundation (LGBTF)

We spoke about the fact that the LGBTF have LOTS of data, but it tends to be at a national level. We had a good long chat about how we might turn this national data into local data, probably by starting off using the same proportions that are reported nationally to get an idea of expected numbers. We then spoke about how we might carry out specific projects, in conjunction with the LGBTF, to identify local communities. Andrew from the LGBTF shared this (very good) document with me, GM Building Health Partnerships and we agreed that we should get together outside of the surgery, to discuss how we might work together.


Luxson are a company who have recently moved into The Fuse, in Partington. They wanted to get an understanding of the Partington area, so that they could better help the community. We spoke about the area profiles that we are developing, the very first part of which can be seen here. Lydia from Luxson agreed to be part of the test group as we develop the profiles.

First Asian Support Trust (FAST)

FAST offers support and advice to Asian communities, with a particular focus on the Old Trafford area. They had an idea for a project that would support Asian women to get jobs, and wanted to understand the ethnic make-up of Old Trafford. We spoke about the census and how there is a detailed breakdown of ethnicities and languages, and that that might be of use to the group. We also spoke about the potential of using the school census as a more up-to-date way of gauging ethnic composition of different areas. We said we’d send Linda from FAST the Census data, and take it from there.

Trafford Hard of Hearing group (THHG)

We spoke about the service that THHG provide – helping people who are hard of hearing to access lip-reading training, advice on using hearing aids, etc. They were interested in understanding where the groups potential clients would be – eg how they can tap into referral data from audiology departments of hospitals. We spoke about personally identifiable data, and how we wouldn’t be able to pass that on. We did mention that we might be able to aggregate location data to, for example Ward. We also explained the demographic data that we have available, and that we can tell the group where there are higher proportions of over 60s, an area of focus for THHG.

Community Allotment, Trafford Compass

We had an open chat about mental health and how the data that we can access and release can be used to help other services understand and target mental health support.

Art With a Heart

Great discussion with Karen about the place of Art in society. From a data point of view, we helped convert hours of volunteering into a cash equivalent, using minimum wage, plus 20%. We also spoke about which secondary schools offer arts subjects at GCSE and A-Level, and we agreed to look into this. We also said that we should be able to categorise and release Trafford’s voluntary sector grants and Trafford Housing Trust’s Community Panel funding, to show proportionate giving to art/culture projects.

Trafford Housing Trust / Friends of Coppice Library

One of the pieces of work that we had carried out was a profile of the area around Coppice Library, to support the new friends Group, and BlueSci. Dan from Trafford Housing Trust asked for this piece of work, which we’ll send. We also spoke very briefly about how the report was quite high level, and that we could tailor the data to his specific needs.

Collaborative Women

Collaborative Women are an organisation working with vulnerable women. They couldn’t stay, but they did give me this…

Note with open data requests on


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