Volunteering News

Have you seen our ‘Make it possible’ video about our Employee Volunteering programme? There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when we screened it recently!

Eighteen members of staff from employee volunteering trailblazers Home Retail Group helped the Countryside and Rights of Way team improve the environment in Woughton on the Green this week. A fantastic day was had by all, getting huge jobs done that are made so much easier by many hands.


At the same time there was an interesting debate at the All Party Parliamentary Group for Civil Society and Volunteering on whether the sector is really benefiting from employee volunteers because it is believed that “80 per cent of the support that is pledged by firms never reach the third sector.” Read more about what this might be in the article on Civil Society. Community Action: MK is working hard to address these issues and making sure everyone benefits positively from it.

This week we said goodbye to Miriam McConachie who has been with Community Action: MK for 6 years and has most recently been the glue that holds our EV programme together. Mim leaves us to take up a post with PACT the national charity that supports offenders, ex-offenders, and their children and families where we know she will continue to do great things and we thank her for all her hard work and positivity whilst with us. Debbie Leask who has been working on the programme and leading our Volunteer Centre for many years will be replacing Mim.

If you’d like to find out more about our programme please contact ev@communityactionmk.org

We recently heard from one of the groups we work with that they are in the fortunate position of having too many volunteers and need to keep people on a waiting list. We are working with them to find short term alternative volunteering opportunities while they wait. If your organisation is in a similar position, please do talk to us about how we could help – email debbie@communityactionmk.org or call 01908 661623.

Sometimes we get enquiries about people wanting to volunteer with their children. WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is a great opportunity to explore this. Check out this article about a family’s week long experience on a Cornish farm.

Earlier this week we held our popular forum for Volunteer Managers which looked at best practice in retaining volunteers. We had some great feedback from participants. Karen Caldbeck from the Pre-School Learning Alliance said;

“It is always very helpful to hear other professionals views which may have an impact on your service.”

The next session, in November will cover topics like how best to communicate with volunteers, maximising social media in recruiting volunteers, influencing local policy and training. Make sure you’re signed up to our Learning & Events email bulletins to get notifications.

Stony Stratford Save Our Library campaign have urged library users not to volunteer as part of the Sharing Libraries consultation currently being carried out. They say they want professionally paid staff and are keen to get support for the campaign on social media. The BBC has recently covered the issue – “Local libraries are increasingly relying on volunteers to run them. But are “community libraries” a step forward or a regressive stopgap?”

Managing volunteers and creating volunteering programmes can sometimes seem like a huge task, breaking it down and doing ‘little and often’ towards the change you are trying to make, can help keep you on the right track. This bog post from Green Space Coaching has some great tips for how to do this. It also sits well with the idea that many hands make light work and little bits of volunteering add up to something bigger!

Imagine making someone feel like this…


You could get that warm fuzzy glow by volunteering with our Community Car Service!

If you live in or around the following areas, Simpson, Ashland, Walton Park, Walnut Tree, Wavendon Gate, Woolstone, Woughton on the Green, Passmore, Springfield, Fishermead, and Oldbrook you could help transport elderly and disabled people to a range of medical appointments and social care activities. These are generally in Milton Keynes and local area, but can occasionally be to Aylesbury, and Oxford.

For more information please get in touch with either Tracy Whitmore or Laura Jeffery on 01908 661623 or email vdsmk@communityactionmk.org