Homelessness has become a major issue in Milton Keynes over the last few years. According to Vital Signs 2019, a report published by the MK Community Foundation, 1 in every 117 people in Milton Keynes are homeless. This figures does not take into consideration the hidden homeless, so those sofa-surfing or living in temporary accommodation.

With the number of local rough sleepers increasing year on year, how long can we continue to look the other way?

Volunteer to help the homeless:

Sanctuary Housing

Sanctuary Hosting: We need volunteer hosts across the Thames Valley –  people with an open heart and a free bed to help someone who is destitute and far from their home country. If you are interested in being a support worker – volunteers who support hosting placements to help us ensure that hosting goes well – please also get in touch: http://sanctuaryhosting.org/get-involved/

YMCA England

YMCA Milton Keynes: There are many ways to get involved, including:

  • Fundraising to help raise money for accommodation and support services for our young residents.
  • Becoming a board committee member and sharing your experience to benefit YMCA MK.
  • Participating at our events, for example assisting with general organisation or serving food and refreshments.
  • Helping us furnish 199 rooms in our new campus that opens in February 2020.

Bus Shelter MK: There are a wide variety of tasks, including feeding residents, supporting the daily life on the bus and helping residents become self-sufficient so they can move on after their time with us.

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Volunteers needed! Contact Help our Homeless to find out what volunteering opportunities they have and what donations they are looking for.

Winter Night Shelter Milton Keynes

Winter Night Shelter MK. Night owls and early risers are always especially needed. There are many different roles, both interacting with our guests and supporting behind the scenes.

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Open Door MK: Our future depends on you. Your donations, your support, and your time all help us help the homeless in MK .

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MK Soup Run: MK Soup Run is run by a group volunteers, many of which are connected to local church organisations. They are often looking for donations and people to put together winter care packages.

The Rough Sleeper Partnership: The RSP provides a combination of outreach support and assessment hubs where homeless people and people who are vulnerably house can go to access help and support. RSP operates across Milton Keynes, Luton and Bedford – there are volunteering opportunities in all these areas. 

Connection Support

Connection Support: Volunteering with Connection Support offers many exciting opportunities. There is no typical volunteer, we believe that everyone has something valuable to offer. Whether your skills are practical, admin, language-based or people-centred, we can find a role to suit you!

MK Food Bank - Sowing the seeds of Love

MK Foodbank: We have several opportunities for individuals and business volunteering. Opportunities range from a few hours, to a day volunteering in our warehouse or visiting one of our emergency food serving sessions. Interested in volunteering? Please email thefoodbank@mkcc.org.uk


MK Storehouse: We have sessions for clothes sorting, general tidying and cleaning of the building. We also sometimes need people with large cars and strong muscles to help us move donations around. Do get in touch if you’d like to be notified when these are taking place and what you would be happy doing.


Refugees Welcome Milton Keynes is always on the lookout for people who can help in the following capacities:

  • Administrators
  • Furnishings, books, donations:
  • Offer meaningful work placements with positive outputs
  • Assist our our first Community Sponsorship project: Refugees Welcome Wolverton
  • Be a “work mentor” to one family
  • Interpret or teach ESL for the Red Cross, teach Maths or English via Building Bridges
  • Be a “buddy” family and help with all aspects of integration
  • Organise social events that support integration
  • Offer positive links to sports/hobby groups who want to help
  • Speakers to join our ‘Talks Team’
  • Help with fostering (please visit the Milton Keynes Council Fostering page for info)

Village Carlton logo

Emmaus Village Carlton: At Emmaus Village Carlton our volunteers work alongside our companions and staff, sharing activities and responsibilities and helping to build our social enterprise together.

We always welcome support with:

  • Helping to merchandise and price items in our shops (furniture, boutique and bric and brac
  • Admin assistance
  • Fundraising
  • Drivers
  • Upcycling of furniture
  • Gardeners
  • Bistro assistance

Also please get in touch with the organisations below if you are interested in volunteering with them.

Further organisations that help the homeless

Milton Keynes Homelessness Partnership (MKHP) is working together with public, private and voluntary sector organisations for a real change. With a vision of sustainable homes for all, MKHP’s strategy is to shift the focus from managing homelessness to ending homelessness by wider engagement and a joined-up approach to provide a clear pathway to sustainable housing.

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Get advice immediately if you think you might become homeless – with the right help you might be able to stay in or return to your home. https://www.miltonkeynescab.org.uk/how-we-can-help/housing/

The Salvation Army: Fishermead Centre is a Salvation Army Lifehouse that offers supported housing to men and women experiencing homelessness who are aged 25 and over who can stay for 6 months.  For initial enquiries or a referral form please email referralsmk@salvationarmy.org.uk

Compass: A free, confidential substance misuse service for all Milton Keynes residents aged 18+. We positively welcome all those in our community who are experiencing problems with drugs and alcohol misuse and we specialise in supporting recovery.

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StreetLink: StreetLink exists to help end rough sleeping by enabling members of the public to connect people sleeping rough with the local services that can support them. If you are concerned about someone over the age of 18 that you have seen sleeping rough in England or Wales, you can use this website to send an alert to StreetLink.The details you provide are sent to the local authority or outreach service for the area in which you have seen the person, to help them find the individual and connect them to support.

If your community group or charity works in homelessness and is looking for volunteers please contact Community Action: MK at support@communityactionmk.org or 01908 661 623.