Jobs in the Voluntary Sector: Finance Officer for Advantage Africa (Closed)

Advantage Africa: Finance Officer

Olney-based charity Advantage Africa is seeking an experienced bookkeeper or accountant who is keen to apply their skills to our life-changing work. This is a vital supporting role that enables Advantage Africa to deliver cost-effective development among some of East Africa’s most vulnerable people and meet its statutory requirements as a registered charity. The position is part-time requiring up to 20 hours per week spread over 3-4 days and will be located at the charity’s office in Olney.

The closing date is 12th March 2019, with interviews on 22nd March and employment commencing on 29th April. To find out more and download a job pack please visit

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Jobs in the Voluntary Sector: MK Play Association Scrapstore Retail Lead

Scrapstore Retail Lead

We are looking for a passionate, enthusiastic and energetic individual able to work under their own initiative to take responsibility for our retail operation, the Resource Unit and Scrapstore, with the opportunity to grow and develop it.

Milton Keynes Play Association is one of the oldest charities in Milton Keynes having started in 1971. There are three core services that we offer; play, training, and the provision of resources. These three together allow MKPA to encourage the development of individuals and organisations through play in the local community. We also offer a wide range of activities and courses as well as stage fun and exciting events across the region.

Job Title: Scrapstore Retail Lead

Hours of work: 37.5 per week

Location: Milton Keynes and surrounding areas

Duties and Key Responsibilities:

  • Co-ordinate resource unit and staff on a day to day basis, ensuring the effective operation of the Scrapstore and Resource Unit as set out in our policies and procedures.
  • Responsible for stock ordering and supplier negotiation.
  • Actively develop new sources of materials to be donated.
  • Report to Board on progress at regular intervals.
  • General digital marketing duties to promote the Resource Unit and Scrapstore.

Qualifications and Experience:

Ideally you will have the following qualifications, training and experience:

  • First class communicator at all levels.
  • Recent retail experience, at supervisory/management level desirable.
  • Be able to fulfil the role including all of its physical requirements (this will be a very hands on role).
  • Be confident in using IT packages – Word, Excel, Sage
  • Relationship management, forming and maintaining links with the customers, business community and donors.
  • To identify and remain focused on priorities.
  • Experience using results of data analysis to implement improvements to the retail operation.
  • Understand the ethos behind reusing/repurposing scrap materials as well as how it can be used for play (desirable).
  • Full UK driving license.
  • Forklift License (desirable, training will be given)


  • Attractive remuneration package.
  • Encouragement and support for training and personal development.
  • A pivotal role in a great team that makes a difference to children, families and the wider community.

Salary indicator:

£11 per hour.

We are committed to safeguarding the welfare of children and young people we serve.  As such, this post is subject to necessary safeguarding checks including an Enhanced DBS.

MKPA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. MKPA does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and business need.

We look forward to receiving your application!

To apply please send a CV and covering letter

Closing date for applications: Friday 1st March 2019

Interviews to be held: Wednesday 6th March  2019

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What does Good Governance look like? York House Case Study


Good Governance Case Study

York House Community Centre


York House Centre is an established and well used Youth, Community and Arts Centre in Stony Stratford.

It is both a charity and a charitable company limited by guarantee and is governed by a board of eight trustees, supported by 4 part time members of staff.

The board has a healthy gender and age balance but currently has no representation from the BAME community. Many of the trustees are long serving and almost all of them are semi-retired or retired. Each trustee has a ‘portfolio’ area of work that they are responsible for including marketing, staffing, infrastructure and IT.

York House Centre were fortunate to be approached by local company, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services, who wanted to support a local community organisation as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility, whilst gaining development for their staff. It was the professional business-like and openness of the running of the centre, plus the centre’s relationship with other organisations in the town, which attracted MBFS to invest a huge amount of time and effort. The collaboration has resulted in a number of physical improvements to the building, and enabled professional review of documents and policies, marketing support and preparation of a new long term business plan.

We spoke to Ken Daniels, Chair of the trustees of York House to get his top tips for improving governance:

  • Consider having defined roles for each trustee, ideally in an area they have experience or professional expertise in
  • Develop leadership by focusing on strategic decision making. Trustees are often busy people so will appreciate smooth systems for information sharing and decision making
  • Ensure you have a skilled treasurer who can work with any staff to oversee financial management and  prepare accounts
  • Create transparency through regular communication with members, users and supporters
  • Keep meetings short by ensuring proposals are circulated well in advance and everyone knows what options for decision making are being proposed
  • Consider trying to break down the perception that being a trustee is time consuming and that you need knowledge and experience. This should help with recruitment
  • Bear in mind the importance of succession planning so that knowledge and experience can be passed on and not lost
  • Provide formal or in-house training

The board find it essential to regularly assess their vulnerabilities in order to inform their planning. Their current assessment looks like this:

  • Competition from other organisations, both commercial and charitable.
  • Changes in demographics and economic climate, affecting usage,
  • recruitment of volunteers.
  • Changes in economic climate affecting availability of grants and other
  • sources of income.
  • Demographics affecting, for example, BAME volunteers and trustees.
  • Difficulties in recruiting younger (ie under 50s) trustees and volunteers,
  • thereby threatening succession planning.
  • Perceptions about what is involved in being a trustee or volunteer,
  • including knowledge, experience and time.
  • In the case of York House Centre, the age and condition of the Grade II
  • listed building.

We know that it can be a huge job keeping up with all the latest best practice around regulation and compliance so thanks to funding from MK Community Foundation, Community Action: MK have developed a self assessment tool based on the Charity Code of Governance that you can use whether you are a charity or community group, large or small or anything in between.

The tool is a relatively quick and easy online form for your board or committee to assess how you are performing in regards to the seven key principles of Good Governance. After completing the form, Community Action: MK will tailor advice and resources for you to use to improve your score.

We are also able to promote your trustee and committee member roles via our volunteering platform. If you require more substantial support, we are happy to talk to you about a bespoke package of support. Please email us.

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Volunteering Opportunity of the Week: ‘Planting Up’ Community Garden


The Planting Up project is building a community garden at Westbury Arts Centre (in Shenley Wood) to give MK residents a safe, welcoming and educational place for people to enjoy being outside together, “muck in” with some organic “no-dig” gardening methods and to connect with Art, Nature, Food and each other.

In the long term, we expect local families, schools and groups to visit the house and gardens and join our project to learn more about growing your own food, about permaculture and recycling, to help us create wildlife habitats that encourage biodiversity in the garden, and for us all to benefit from the organic produce we grow.

Our focus on permaculture means that we will be recycling, reusing materials, and keeping to local resources – helping to save money, protect the environment and help to reduce our carbon footprint.

There are two areas that we need volunteer help with:

1) Gardening to help maintain the gardens
2) With admin and marketing to help promote the project in MK

Read more and apply here.

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Safeguarding Training

Acorn Early Years Nursery are hosting a number of safeguarding courses delivered by expert Tammie Redman.

Basic Safeguarding Children Course

  • Wednesday 13th Feb 2019 (9:30am-12:30pm)
  • Wednesday 3rd Apr 2019 (9:30am-12:30pm)
  • Tuesday 14th May 2019 (6:30-9pm)
  • Wednesday 5th June 2019 (9:30am-12:30pm)
  • Monday  8th July 2019 (6:30-9pm)

Cost £30

To provide a basic introduction to safeguarding and child protection, covering the requirements for all staff who work with children on a frequent or infrequent basis.

Safer Recruitment

  • Tuesday 14th Mar 2019 (9:30am – 5pm)
  • Tuesday 30th Apr 2019 (9:30am – 5pm)
  • Wednesday & Thursday 8-9 May 2019 (6:00-9:30pm)
  • Wednesday 3rd July 2019 (9:30am – 5pm)

Cost £60

This accredited course is endorsed by the Safer Recruitment Consortium. There should be at least one person on a recruitment panel who has undertaken this course.

Understanding Appropriate Sexual Behaviour

  • Thursday 6 June 2019 (6:30pm – 9:00pm)

Cost £30

This workshop will equip practitioners with the skills to use the Brook ‘traffic light’ identification system. Participants will be able to: identify normal sexual behaviour, identify concerning behaviour & use the traffic light system of identification and appropriate responses.

Designated Safeguarding Lead

  • Tuesday 12 Feb 2019 (9:30am-3:30pm) FULL
  • Tuesday 7th May 2019 (9:30am-3:30pm)
  • Wednesday 10 July 2019 (9:30am-3:30pm)
  • Monday & Tuesday 15-16 July 2019 (6:30-9pm)
  • Cost £45
  • To ensure that designated leads understand their safeguarding responsibilities in relation to the organisation and their colleagues

Designated Safeguarding Lead Update

    • Friday 15 Feb 2019 (9:30am-12:30pm)
    • Tuesday 12 Mar 2019 (6:30pm-9:00pm)
    • Wednesday 3rd Apr 2019 (6:30pm-9:00pm)
    • Wednesday 24th Apr 2019 (9:30am-12:30pm)
    • Tuesday 7th May 2019 (6:30pm-9:00pm)
    • Wednesday 5th June 2019 (1:30-4:30pm)

Cost £30

To ensure that designated leads have been updated on all changes to safeguarding requirements and that their knowledge is refreshed annually.

Working Together to Safeguard Children

  • Tuesday & Wednesday 26-27 Mar 2019 (6:30pm – 9:00pm) – two evenings
  • Thursday 2nd May 2019 (9:30am – 3:30pm) – one day
  • Thursday 4th July 2019 (9:30am – 3:30pm) – one day

Cost £45

This course is designed to meet the ‘Working Together’ guidance of ‘training that equips people to work effectively with those from other agencies to safeguard and promote the welfare of children’.

Working with Difficult to Engage Parents

  • Wednesday 6th Feb 2019 (6:30pm – 9:30pm)

Cost £30

To support practitioners to gain confidence in how to engage with parents who are reluctant to engage and challenge appropriately.

Safeguarding: FGM Awareness

  • Thursday 7th Feb 2019 (6:30-8:30pm)
  • Tuesday 23rd Apr 2019 (6:30-8:30pm)
  • Thursday 6th June 2019 (10am-12pm)

Cost £30

To increase practitioners knowledge around FGM and  reinforce professionals’ safeguarding responsibilities in FGM cases.

Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness

  • Tuesday 5 Mar 2019 (6:30-8:30pm)
  • Tuesday 30th Apr 2019 (6:30-8:30pm)
  • Tuesday 11th June 2019 (6:30-8:30pm)

Cost £30

To ensure participants understand child sexual exploitation, who is most at risk and how to support them.

Belief in Spirit Possession

  • Wednesday 6 Mar 2019 (6:30pm – 9:00pm)

Cost £30

To ensure participants understand who is most at risk, identify the risks and how to support children.

Honour Based Violence

    • Wednesday 13 Mar 2019 (9:30am – 3:30pm)

Cost £45

To ensure participants gain knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of honour-based violence (HBV) and equip them with the skills to support clients effectively.

Domestic Abuse and DASH Risk Assessment

  • Tuesday 2 Apr 2019 (9:30am – 3:30pm) – all day

Cost £45

Increase and consolidate practitioners knowledge and understanding of the impact of domestic abuse, including a greater understanding of the problems facing people suffering domestic abuse and the impact on children.

Understand the leave/stay problem and explore Domestic Abuse Stalking & Harassment (DASH) Risk Assessment Tool including Safety Planning.

All courses can also be brought to your setting to be delivered in house, a 1/2 day course can work out at roughly £15 per head for 20 people and a full day course can work out at £30 per head.

Please email me directly for the cost of these and minimum/maximum numbers.

Tammie Redman


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Jobs in the Voluntary Sector: Building Better Opportunities: Community Connections Advisor (Maternity cover)

Career opportunities with the Pre-school Learning Alliance

The Pre-school Learning Alliance is the largest early years membership organisation and voluntary sector provider of quality affordable childcare and education in England. An educational charity, the Alliance represents the interests of over 14,000 member settings who deliver care and learning to over 800,000 families every year.

The opportunity Building Better Opportunities: Community Connections Advisor (Maternity Cover) Location: Milton Keynes Department: Development Services Salary Details: £12,142 per annum fixed term contract Building Better Opportunities Enterprising People is a project funded by the Big Lottery and the European Social Fund to provide support for unemployed or economically inactive individuals to overcome barriers to employment. The focus will be on those people who are out of work, furthest from the labour market and people who are most at risk of social exclusion.

We are looking to recruit a Building Better Opportunities Community Connections Advisor to cover maternity leave, whose main duties will include:

  • To work to identify defined target groups of participants and network with the agencies that support them in order to meet their needs.
  • To assess the needs of individuals in order to support a plan for them to receive “the right support at the right time”
  • To give advice on job search opportunities, access to local childcare and sign post to other agencies and partners.
  • To support individuals explore Self Employment opportunities.

Key Requirements:

  • Experience in development work with adults, especially in community settings.
  • Good interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to engage positively and negotiate with professionals from a range of backgrounds in order to access appropriate support including appropriate communication skills.
  • Ability to travel throughout the Milton Keynes, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire areas as required.

Benefits 25 days annual leave plus 8 Bank Holidays, pro rata for part time employees Employer and employee contribution pension scheme Regular access to internal and external learning and development opportunities The Alliance operates a Team Recognition Scheme to recognise the outstanding work of the staff across the Charity Can save up to 40% on 02 Refresh Airtime Plan if getting a new phone or tablet on 02.

Closing date: Friday 15 February 2019 Interview date: Monday 25 February 2019

To apply for this role or to find out about working for the Alliance and other roles currently available, please go to:

The Charity is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and equal opportunities in employment.

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