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5 April  2019

Welcome to the weekly newsletter for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes.  

Farewell Alissa, welcome Anna

Alissa’s fixed term contract came to an end this week.  Thank you for all your work Alissa, and we wish you well in all your new adventures.   We would also like to welcome back Anna from maternity leave, it’s brilliant to have you back!  Anna will be the main contact for Group Enquiries, and currently works Tuesdays ad Wednesdays.  The Support and Development Team (Josan, Emma, Michaela, Claire and Hannah) pick up enquiries for group support and volunteering on a daily basis and will allocate the enquiries to the most appropriate member of the team.  We aim to get back to you in a day or two, but It may take up to a week to deal with your enquiry if it’s particularly complicated.   

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Health Check Questionnaire

Community Action: MK is carrying out a piece of research into how we can more effectively help community groups in Milton Keynes. If you are part of a local voluntary group or an organisation, we hope you are willing to complete an online survey to gather information about how we can best support you in the areas of:

  • funding
  • strategy and planning
  • governance
  • volunteers
  • networking and collaboration
  • influencing decision making
  • impact
  • monitoring and evaluation
  • communicating achievements
  • human resources

We would really appreciate your help as it will enable us to gather important data about local groups and how we can adapt and develop our support services.

The link to the survey is:
Apologies if you have received this request before and thank you very much if you have already completed the survey. Please do get in touch with Marcus Armstrong on  if you have any questions.

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New Toolkit for Tactical Suburbanism

Tactical Suburbanism: Low-Density Ideas for High-Density Places highlights projects from around the country where locals are using their own resources to implement informal projects that transform their streets from gritty, diverse places into exclusive communities for SUV parking and big-box shopping. Read more about the latest publication!

Podcast recording

Hear from Sheila Thornton from Community Action: MK on Secklow Sounds 105.5 FM.

On the first Wednesday of every month, the Community Action:MK team will be on the Platform MK show, led by Sheila Thornton, to share ideas and let you know what’s going on within the voluntary sector in Milton Keynes.
Listen here:

Milton Keynes: A growing community

A film by Community Action: MK

Josan Race, Community Action: MK Development Officer, talks about the expansion areas of Milton Keynes and the ongoing work to improve community life for all residents.

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Uncover > Action – Community research that changes lives
Conference on 26 November 2019, London

The best research brings about change. Uncover > Action is a new conference presenting the very latest community research making a difference to people’s lives.

Uncover > Action brings together exciting examples of research made with and in communities, and shows how its impact can reach far beyond a final report.

Save the date to find out about community research that:
-Provides insight into what communities care about today
-Gives a platform to overlooked and unheard voices
-Leads to real change in policy and practice, locally or nationally.

Call for content
If you’re interested in sharing your experience and research with communities at Uncover > Action we want to hear from you.
-We are interested in the power of research to bring about change.
-We are interested in research with and in communities.
-We are giving the opportunity to share your research with other researchers, policy-makers and others.
-We welcome content from community researchers and anyone else doing research with communities such as academics, students, local authorities, policy-makers and funders.

Please find out more and tell us a bit about your research by Friday 3 May 2019 using this short form.

If you have any questions, contact us at

Interested in attending?
Please leave your name and contact details here and we’ll be in touch once registration opens.

ARVAC is a free membership organization for researchers in the voluntary and community sector providing information and training in research for and about the community sector. Find out more.

About Local Trust
Local Trust supports people to do brilliant things in their communities and share research and learning to influence others. Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, Local Trust support the Big Local and Creative Civic Change programmes. Find out more.

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Volunteering opportunities

Pre-loved Clothing Photographers
Oxfam Online Hub, Milton Keynes

For the Photographer role, you will be responsible for photographing clothes and accessories to sell on Oxfam’s online shop: Volunteers will take photographs of products covering clothing/accessories and home wares, make use of the 5 purpose built photography studios, lighting equipment and display aids, to create a visual image library of clothing and accessories. Volunteers will experience how an online shop works, chance to try something new and develop new skills. Ongoing training/support will be provided. You will also gain valuable experience within the relevant and rapidly growing e-retail sector. Volunteer with Oxfam to maximise the value of donations to help overcome poverty and suffering.
Find out more

Nature Reserve Restoration
Buckingham Canal Society

This project would suit individuals or groups of volunteers (up to 25 people) wishing to give their time to help the environment whilst enjoying the great outdoors. Volunteers will be tidying footpaths, clearing the canal bed and possibly some hedge laying. 
The site of the nature reserve is off the A422 near Foscote. 
Volunteers need to wear a hard hat whilst volunteering. This is a good role for volunteers interested in conservation and the environment.
Find out more

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Community Grants launched

The Community Grants programme offers Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations grant funding from £10,000 to £20,000 to deliver projects that make a difference within local communities in the South East Midlands.

If you can help people to build confidence and overcome barriers that can block them from getting training or paid work, we could help you. Grants can cover 100% of your project cost so no match-funding is required.
Find out more

Community Grants information event

Thu, 11 April | 12.45 – 3 | Cranfield 
This event will provide in-depth information and application guidance for the Community Grants programme. 
Book now