The Support, Development and Volunteering team at Community Action: MK helps charities and community groups, set up, find funding, recruit and retain volunteers and connect with the people and opportunities that matter to them.

Here, team leader Alissa Pemberton talks about a typical day in the office….

7.30am – I arrive early and check my mail and diary for the day. There are four of us in the team and we’re always busy working on all sorts of different projects so it’s helpful to get my head round where we all are before the day starts.

8.30am – Posting on our social media channels to thank everyone attending our Volunteer Managers’ Forum and The Parks Trust for hosting us this morning. We run these forums every quarter for both paid and volunteer volunteer managers to come together and share best practice and learn from each other. They are always fully booked and recently we’ve started holding them at member venues which really helps give people attending a sense of what each other does.


9.00am – Working out some costings for a potential project with the Open University to support ex-prisoners into volunteering roles. We are really lucky to have such great links with the Open University and have particularly enjoyed supporting some of the projects that have come through the Citizen strand of the MK Smart project.

11am – Start thinking about promoting Christmas volunteering opportunities. We always get contacted quite early on by people wanting to arrange volunteering over the Christmas holiday. It’s a great boost to all the fantastic charities and community groups who do so much over the winter to help vulnerable people so we’ll collate all the appropriate opportunities in a document to share with people. It’ll link to our page on the national database of volunteering at where we have over 360 opportunities registered in Milton Keynes.

1pm – Lunchtime meeting with our Employee Volunteering team. We work with Home Retail Group and other local businesses to help them connect with charities and community groups in Milton Keynes. Last year we placed more than 480 employee volunteers into activities to support the voluntary sector across Milton Keynes and the feedback from groups has been brilliant. Volunteers have told us they feel more connected to the local community and their team. We tried on our new bright pink t-shirts so that we can be easily identified when we’re out and about!


3pm – Working on finding some exciting guest speakers for some sessions with staff from library, children’s centres and youth services for a programme we are running with MK Council to increase volunteering and engage local communities around what matters to them in terms of how they want to see those services run in the future. It’s all part of MK Council’s drive to work in a more cooperative way and encourage co-production and community hubs. We’re really excited as this is just the sort of thing we love doing!

3.30pm – Take a call from a resident who wants to use our volunteer run community car service to get to an appointment at the Hospital. The service provides safe and reliable transportation for vulnerable members of the community, in order to help them access a range of medical services or social care visits. So far we’ve got 9 volunteer drivers and 30 passengers registered which is a great start after only 1 month.


4.00pmTake display down from the Healthwatch event we attended yesterday in Middleton Hall. It was great to see so many charities and community groups attending to demonstrate the valuable services they provide. We enjoyed connecting with lots of the groups we recruit volunteers for and speaking to potential new volunteers about how volunteering could boost their wellbeing. We handed out lots of our new eye-catching flyers so are standing by for lots of new volunteers!