DARS Newsletter February 2016

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Dear Users,

Welcome to this month’s DARS Newsletter. Older newsletters can be found at https://www.darscentral.ox.ac.uk/newsletters, with newsletters since May 2015 held at http://darswiki.bsp.ox.ac.uk/index.php/DARS_Newsletters. And remember that you can contact the DARS helpdesk via dars@admin.ox.ac.uk.

In this issue:

Recording data on DARS
Overseas communication
BBIS website – North American Office
New Support Centre Staff


Recording data on DARS

Under the terms of the Data Protection Act, all DARS constituents can make a Subject Access Request, asking us to provide them with the information that we hold about them on DARS. Therefore, when recording notes, interactions and other information, imagine yourself in a room with the constituent, having to read out what you’ve just written to their face. If you wouldn’t be comfortable doing that, don’t record it in DARS.

Overseas communication

When communicating by post with alumni and other supporters overseas, the time it takes to deliver post needs to be taken into account. There is a useful resource at http://www.royalmail.com/service-update/international, which lists international service delays (including reasons such as strikes or natural disasters), and more significantly, suspensions.

DARS news and features

BBIS website – North American Office

We recently completed the first phase of work on the website of the North American Office. This website and online donation form are now hosted on Internet Solutions. This has reduced data entry work, provides easier access to edit content, and gives greater insight into website performance.

New Support Centre Staff

We now have an additional three Data Entry Assistants (joining Claudia and Ruth) – Donna Chalcraft, Sian Painton and Barbara Zweifel.

Donna has previously worked for the Nielsen Company where her job involved loading bar code data from the major food retailers onto a database. Previous to this she has had all manner of jobs including making sand socks for traffic calming cones; she’s been a receptionist for a double glazing firm and in the 80’s a Warners’ Greencoat. When Donna is not here you will usually find her singing for the elderly in care homes and day centres or at home where her hobbies include cooking (especially biscuits), reading and cross stitch or watching period dramas. She lives with her husband and 3 sons although one of them is currently at university studying theatre set design.

Sian has previously worked as a support worker and she has a degree in Psychology and Criminology. Sian has a little boy called Nye who is three. In her spare time she likes to read or listen to music and she is a big fan of chocolate (so she will fit right in with all of us!).

Barbara joined us as a temporary DEA via the Temporary Staffing Service in November 2015 and has during that time worked on DEA assignments for the Saïd Business School and Jesus College. In her free time she loves to walk her friend’s dogs, enjoys reading books by Aitmatov, Indriðason and Heinesen, - oh yes, now and then she bakes the odd cake (and if we are lucky brings it to work!).


We are sorry to have to announce that Karen Ward’s last day with the DARS Process and Training team was Friday 26 February. However, Karen’s knowledge and experience of DARS is not lost to the overall programme, since on Monday 29 February she joins IT Services as a Business Analyst, and will be working on a number of DARS projects.

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