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17 May 2019

The NAVCA Board meets with CA:MK

NAVCA is the only national membership body for local voluntary sector support and development organisations in England. The NAVCA Board met in Milton Keynes on 9th May 2019. The following is by John Tizard, Chair of NAVCA.

“We had a very interesting and informative conversation with Clare Walton (Chief Officer of Community Action Milton Keynes) and Martin Trinder (Chief Officer of Bedfordshire CVS), covering some important issues which NAVCA will seek to address within our new strategy. These included:

  • the importance of ensuring resources are included in new major housing developments to invest in local social infrastructure; and how we (both nationally and locally) can best make the case for this with government and local authorities
  • how local infrastructure bodies can best be effective when building relations with and seeking to influence the emerging raft of sub-regional bodies and groups such as STPs, ICSs, PCC’s, LEPs; the wider sub-regional agendas relating to public services and strategic planning; what role there is for collaboration between local infrastructure bodies; and how can NAVCA play a role?
  • funding models for local infrastructure bodies
  • discussion around the new NAVCA strategy

Our thanks to Martin and Clare”.

Chair’s report and visits to members: “When I was elected last year, I made a promise and firm commitment to visit members to hear about your challenges and plans, and to understand better what you as members would like to contribute to the NAVCA movement, and what actions you would like to see/hear about from the Board and team.

In particular, I repeatedly heard from the members that you like the national voice NAVCA provides and the briefings they receive. Some specific issues have come up regularly in these discussions·      

  • a request for NAVCA to produce or commission the production of a financially and economically based case for local VCS infrastructure which can be used locally to make the case to local authorities and others·      
  • a request for NAVCA to produce advice on alternative funding and revenue options for local VCS infrastructure·      
  • a desire to build horizontal solidarity and mutual support between members·      
  • members would welcome more direct involvement with the staff team and trustees

These can be addressed through our new strategy”.

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A bidder’s guide to working with government

The Office for Civil Society, with support from the Cabinet Office has written a guide for voluntary, community, and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations to help them work with central and local government.
See the full guide here

EU Settlement Scheme: community leader toolkit

The Home Office has published a toolkit to help local authorities and community groups to support EU citizens and their families to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
Read more here

Small Charity Week: 17th-22nd June

Read more about Small Charity week and how to get involved:
Below is the programme of events that Small Charity Week will be hosting.

‘Involving Volunteers’ – Free OpenLearn course

This course is designed for individuals who support volunteers, whether they do so in a group, in an organisation or in an informal community-based setting.  It reflects the spirit of volunteer management and community engagement. 
Browse the course now

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Milton Keynes Council Open Consultations

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Mental Health Awareness Week 13th – 19th May

Mental Health Awareness Week took place 13-19 May 2019. The theme this year was Body Image – How we think and feel about our bodies
Download a number of resources including posters for schools, workplaces and communities, social media graphics and mental health booklets from the Mental Health Foundation.

Sighted people needed for BucksVision Ballroom Dancing Classes

Quality Care Commission needs your views

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) want to find out your views on how they can work with you and how you work with your local communities. Fill out this questionnaire to shape new guidance. You can also email the questionnaire or post it to return it back to us. Download a copy now or take the questionnaire online. The survey closes 31 May 2019.

Help CQC work better with local groups

HOUR Manchester: A new approach from Manchester Community Fund

NAVCA member, Macc, is launching a new approach to bring together people across Manchester with an interest in mutual support, Timebanking and community economies.

Timebanking is a way of linking local people and organisations who can share their time and skills in a way where everyone is valued equally.

Within a Timebanking model, no one is rich and no one is poor as we all have 24 hours each day and an hour is equally as valuable to everyone. Macc wants to build upon the skills, gifts and talents that exist across Manchester by identifying, valuing and connecting what already exists and what is strong in our communities. They will be holding an event later this month to explore initial ideas, and to give people more information about how they can participate.
Find out more details here

Social Infrastructure: How shared spaces make communities work

people playing chessboard game outdoor

GMCVO-led project Ambition for Ageing’s new report argues that to reduce social isolation, we need a diversity of social infrastructure to ensure chance social encounters with a diversity of people.
Read more

CA:MK’s latest show with Secklow Sounds: reducing loneliness and social isolation

The last episode, focusing on local community projects and how they can reduce loneliness and social isolation, is now available to listen.
Listen here

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Volunteers’ Week 2019

It’s human nature to feel good after helping someone out. Volunteering can also help you gain valuable new skills and experiences, and boost your confidence. During the week, hundreds of events and celebrations will take place across the country, saying thank you to volunteers and recognising their invaluable and diverse contribution to the UK.

There are lots of events happening in Milton Keynes too….please send us yours to be included in the programme, which you can see below and find out more on our website:


Get involved in this one off volunteering project for Buckingham Canal Society. You will have a chance to be part of a team helping to restore part of a canal bridge or you may be helping to improve part of the tow-path at Cosgrove. This gets very muddy in winter and is almost impossible to walk along so the work is to help disabled people enjoy the canal more and also be of great assistance to other walker and boaters.

* If you would like to find out more about the volunteering day at Lock Lane with Buckingham Canal Society and to sign-up to take part, please e-mail or ring 01908 661217, or turn up on Thursday 6th June at 10.00 in Lock Lane, MK19 7JR.

Volunteering opportunity of the week

woman driving car

Driver’s Mate – Milton Keynes Play Association

Driving : Delivering orders to local nurseries and hire equipment to customers. Collection of donated items from local companies.
Find out more

Administrative Coordinator at YiS (Youth Counselling Service)

SALARY: £10,781 per annum subject to a satisfactory 2-month review. Rising to £13,476 per annum based on full time salary of £19,945 per annum
HOURS: Initially 20 hours per week rising, after a satisfactory 2-month review, to 25 hours per week, mainly flexible, but including Mondays 3.45-7pm
CONTRACT: 12 months initially (contract extension dependant on funding)
To provide administrative support to the charity which includes liaison with clients, their parents/guardians and supporting agencies, maintaining client records and financial duties. In addition, working with volunteers to help support administrative work and projects.
Find out more

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National Lottery Grants for Heritage

Max. Value: £ 5,000,000
Deadline: 28 May 2019

Grants are available for projects that connect people and communities to the national, regional and local heritage of the UK

BBC Children in Need – Main Grants Programme

Max. Value: £ 120,000
Deadline: 28 May 2019

Grants for not-for-profit organisations that are working with disadvantaged children and young people who are 18 years old and younger living in the UK.

BBC Children in Need – Small Grants Programme

Max. Value: £ 30,000
Deadline: 27 May 2019

Grants for not-for-profit organisations that are working with disadvantaged children and young people who are 18 years old and younger living in the UK, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

Power to Change – Community Business Fund

Max. Value: £ 300,000
Deadline: 22 May 2019

Grants are available to help locally based and community-led businesses in England to increase their social impact and make them more viable in the long term.

The ‘Places to Ride’ programme – funding available!

Awards are being made to fund small-medium scale facility improvements or equipment through to large-scale new build facilities across all types of cycling.
More information here:

Broughton Events:

The Big Lunch – Save the Date
JUNE 2 @ 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM

The Big Lunch is a very simple idea brining people together with food. The aim is to get as many people as possible across the community to have lunch with their neighbours. Bring a dish to share or a picnic for the family and enjoy an afternoon of entertainment at Broughton Fields School playing field. More info coming soon:

Community litter-picks in Broughton
Broughton Community have some Litter Picks coming up:

  • July 7th 2-3pm
  • September 1st 2-3pm
  • November 3rd 2-3pm
  • Families welcome, children must be accompanied by adults.
  • Equipment will be provided but please wear appropriate footwear and clothes. For meeting point go to

MK Festival of Nature: 29 June – 7 July

A wonderful programme of exciting events and activities for all ages is being lined up. Check back soon on the website to download the programme.
Read more

National Trust – free events:

1.      College interpretive dance performance on 22nd May 5pm.
More information is available here.

2.      Mindful running course for 10 weeks starting on 21st May. More information is available here.

To find out about all local National Trust events and courses, click here.

Milton Keynes Surveying Workshop

Tuesday 21 May

AccessAble’s surveying workshop is taking place in partnership with Milton Keynes Council in May. This workshop is for anyone who is interested in collecting disabled access information from local venues or anyone who would like the opportunity to get out and about for a few hours. A free lunch and a £10 gift voucher are included as a thank you for attending.

Do you have news to share?

If you work or volunteer for a local group or organisation in Milton Keynes or have an interesting project going in your community and have news to share, please feel free to get in touch with us. You can e-mail your updates to

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