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, Debbie Leask talks about a typical day in the office….

7.30 am – I arrive early and respond to my e-mails and check my diary for the day. There is a lot to get through. I don’t work on Fridays so Mondays are always incredibly busy. At the moment I work on 2 – 3 different projects so today I will be doing all sorts of tasks!

8.30 am – I complete a feedback form logging how my support meeting went with a local organisation the week beforehand.  This helps us to monitor what kind of support we have provided to local charities and community groups and the outcomes. We discussed different methods of recruiting volunteers.

8.45 am – Next I post information relating to our next Volunteer Managers Forum on to Eventbrite. We hold 3 forums a year and this time we are focusing on Fundraising which is kindly being hosted by the Spinal Injuries Association. The forums are always fully booked and it is a great opportunity for local Volunteer Managers to learn from one another and network.

First Volunteer managers Forum Sept 2014

9.15 am – We currently have approximately 360 voluntary roles registered with Community Action: MK and we receive new opportunities each week. This morning there is a new role which I upload to the national database of volunteering opportunities  and I also add to our paper directory of opportunities. We are working on a programme with MK Council to increase volunteering and engage local communities around what matters to them in terms of how they want to see services such as libraries, children’s centres and youth services run in the future. There are a couple of new opportunities from a children’s centre which I add to the directory.

9.45 am – Next I write the weekly media article promoting local voluntary roles and the benefits to volunteering. I email it across to the local newspapers, BBC radio stations and MK Web.

10.30 am – I have a 1:1 volunteer appointment with a young lady who is interested in volunteering. She has come along with her support worker. We explore options and try to find her a role where she will be able to increase her confidence. We discuss charity shops, community cafes and performing art roles. It was agreed that she will consider her options over the Christmas period and get in touch in the New Year. After 14 years in this job I am always touched by the people I meet, some overcoming their disabilities, wanting to donate their time supporting local charities.

11.30 am – There are four of us in the Support, Development and Volunteering Team and recently we have revamped our volunteering leaflets so this morning Alissa and I head out across Milton Keynes delivering them to local Parish/Town Councils, libraries, community centres and support groups.


12.30 pm – Lunchtime meeting with Tracy Pearson, Project Lead for our Employee Volunteering programme. We work with Home Retail Group and other local businesses to help them connect with charities and community groups in Milton Keynes. We place teams of 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.

1 pm – I work part time and my day finishes at 1.30 pm. I take time to read publications and newsletters that I have received over the week. This helps keep me up to date on volunteering policies/issues/updates that are forever changing.

I’m always happy to talk to organisation or volunteers on the phone so please do call me on 01908 661623 or email