Trustees’ Week: the importance of good governance

Community Action: MK is committed to providing support and advice to local community groups and organisations to help them run in an effective, transparent way, with the aim of making the local Voluntary and Community Sector as strong and resilient as it can be.

As an organisation, we are fully committed to the principles of the The Code of Governance for Charities, which is a practical tool to help charities and their trustees develop high standards of governance.

What is the Charity Governance Code?

The Charity Governance Code is not a legal requirement, however it represents a standard of good governance practice to which all charities should aspire. Charity Commission recommends that all charities read, follow and apply it proportionately to their circumstances, and we encourage all not-for-profit groups to refer to its recommendations.

How do you start in reviewing your governance?

Trustees week (running from 4th -11th November) is a great opportunity for the existing board of trustees or group committees to review their own governance structures and reflect on the seven principles of the Code of Governance, which are as the below diagram illustrates:

If your board is interested in taking on this exercise, Community Action: MK can offer an easy online governance self-assessment tool, which we have developed over the past year with support from MK Community Foundation, and tested for the benefit of numerous local groups and organisations (please follow this link to see an example).

To complete the self- assessment, please follow this link to an online form, which will take you through some key questions based around the principles of The Code of Governance. Completing the form will take up to 15 minutes, however we recommend that the self-assessment is undertaken as a group exercise for your board or a committee – e.g. as part of your meeting.

What happens after the self assessment?

The form will give you and your fellow trustees some useful prompts to discuss the strengths of your organisation, and identify areas of improvement, and – based on this discussion – you will be able to score your performance.

Once you have submitted the form at the end of this process, we will take time to explore your answers and look into your governance documents.
If necessary:

  • we will come back to you to clarify any gaps in knowledge and, following this assessment;
  • We will provide you with a set of recommendations, including a number of useful resources to refer to and training opportunities;
  • We will consider how we can help you to improve your governance structures by providing support, 1-2-1 sessions and/or sign-posting you to other specialist services.

To find out more about the self-assessment tool , please follow this link to our Good Governance project page. Alternatively, if you have any questions or would like to speak to a member of our team, please either e-mail us on support@communityactionmk.org or call us on 01908 621 661.

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Let’s Talk Good Finance Milton Keynes: free event about social investment for local groups

Please follow this link to see the event’s programme.

Guest speakers:

Investors:
Jo Wedderspoon, CAF Venturesome (unsecured loans)
Jaishree Mistry, Homeless Link (blended finance – part grant, part loan)

Hear from a Peer:
David Lett, Co-founder & Operations Director, ToolShed

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2nd September: Weekly Bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

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2nd September 2019

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Let’s Talk Good Finance MK

This afternoon session is designed for charities, social enterprises, community businesses and local groups in Milton Keynes interested in social investment. The event is organised by Community Action: MK in collaboration with NAVCA and the Good Finance teams.

Date: Thursday 17th October

Time: 1.30 – 4.30pm (3:50 – 4.30pm: networking)

Venue: Herons Lodge, Bradwell Rd, Great Holm, Milton Keynes MK8 9AA

To find out more about social investment and to book your free place, follow this link. The programme of the event can be found here.

Beds, Luton and Milton Keynes Disability Physical Activity and Sport Summit 2019

The Summit is designed to bring partners together who are influencing physical activity for disabled people across our area. The event will focus on insight, workforce, sharing of good practice and provide an opportunity for organisations to network. Please follow this link to find out more.

Innovations in community-centred support

The Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) partnership has recently launched a new online resource to showcase innovative community-centred models that keep people connected – or re-connect – to family, friends and communities. It showcases types of support that are innovative in their approach to improving people’s health and wellbeing. It has been designed for commissioners, providers and people who access services and carers. Please follow this link to view the directory.

Discover 13 ways to bring good ideas to life!

There are many ways to bring good ideas to life. Nesta works to uncover, analyse and test new ways of supporting innovation from across sectors and around the world.

The possibilities for the next generation of innovators to change the world for good is increasing by the minute. From prototyping to futurescoping, there are a number of techniques, tools and processes to aid innovation. 

Use nesta’s collection of innovation methods to find out how you could bring your bright ideas to life.

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Milton Keynes Council Open Consultations

Other useful links:

Citizens UK Hate crime survey

Citizens UK organises communities to act together for power, social justice and the common good. Their recent survey explores the everyday experiences of targeting and discrimination experienced by ordinary citizens from a range of different backgrounds. By taking part in this survey, you will be helping to change and strengthen the law around hate crime. Please follow this link to complete the survey.

Second redesign workshop of the CNWL – Milton Keynes Adult Mental Health Community Services Model

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You are invited to join us for our second redesign workshop of the CNWL – Milton Keynes Adult Mental Health Community Services Model. Wednesday 25th September 2019.
Ridgeway Centre, Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes MK12 5TH.
Booking is essential.
Please email n.ranautta@nhs.net by 13th September 2019 to reserve your place.

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New extra session of The Mix opening in Bletchley – in partnership with Crosslinks

Dyslexia Training Workshops

REGISTER HERE

Broughton Litter picking

September 1st 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 https//bbccmk.org.

CMK Litter picking

South Row:
On Saturday 14th September Central Milton Keynes Town Council is holding its first litter pick along South Row. We hope that this will be the first of a number of litter picks across CMK. The event will take place between 10am-12 noon and we invite residents to come along and get involved. We will meet next to Beefeater Barn, Secklow Gate West.

North Row:
On Saturday 21st September Central Milton Keynes Town Council is holding another litter pick between the North 9th and 10th Street flats . The event will take place between 10am – 12 noon and we invite residents to come along and get involved. We will meet next to Centrecom, North Row.

Equipment and disposable gloves will be provided. If you would like to join our litter pick in your area simply turn up on the day. If you need any more information, just contact: sue.nelson@cmktowncouncil.gov.uk or leave a message at 01908 661623.

Cycle September

Milton Keynes Council will compete against workplaces from across the UK this month as Cycle September gets underway – and you can do your bit to make sure we win.  It’s free to take part and registration only takes couple of minutes.  Once you’ve registered you’ll need to log the miles you have cycled throughout September, and at the end of the month our combined total mileage will be added together to discover which organisations have won prizes. Click here to find out more and to register.

Mental Health Radio Show

In partnership with MKFM and Thomas Connolly, Arthur Ellis are bringing the people of Milton Keynes the MK Mental Health Hour, an hour every Sunday evening from 7pm where we’ll be discussing a variety of topics with some pretty exciting guests, not just to bring awareness to the issues we all face but to provide expert, practical advice.
See you for our first show, September 8th at 7pm!
Find out more

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Volunteering opportunity of the week: General Adviser – Citizens Advice Milton Keynes

Being a General Adviser with the Citizens Advice Milton Keynes is an incredibly varied role. Once trained you can expect to carry out the following duties:

  • Conduct face to face interviews to establish the issue the client wants to resolve, question, probe and check understanding of the issue, diagnose the issue and begin action to resolve the problem.
  • Research the advice required by using the Advisornet, reference books and other web based providers .
  • Give information and advice to the client. 
  • Give advice in explaining the choices and consequences the client faces 
  • Give practical help by writing letters, making phone calls, completing forms and doing basic calculations. 
  • Make accurate records of all client cases 

You don’t need any particular qualifications or experience to train as an adviser, and they’re proud of the fact that their volunteers come from all walks of life. All they ask is that you can:

  • Be good at listening
  • Be able to work in a team 
  • Be able to read and write English and do basic maths
  • Be open minded and non judgemental 
  • Commit to a minimum of 8 hrs per week. 

If you’re worried about being an expert at everything then don’t be even advisers don’t need to know it all. They provide all their trainees with a comprehensive accredited training programme that will provide you with the skills you need to deliver a high quality service to the clients. Their up-to-the-minute electronic information system contains most of the information you will need when advising clients. 

When your training ends you won’t be left alone. Their supervisors, guidance tutors and other experienced volunteers are on hand to give you further support, encouragement and advice. Age restriction: 18+

References will be required. Good communication, numeracy and literacy skills are essential.

Please contact: Carol Muldownie @ Citizens Advice Milton Keynes for more information or follow this link to their website.

We’re Hiring! Support, Development and Volunteering Outreach Worker Roles

We have two roles available, each with elements of specific focus. The purpose of the posts is to contribute to the support, development and volunteering services which are central to the work of Community Action: MK. These are focused around the key elements of:

● Mobilising communities
● Strengthening groups
● Influencing policy and decision making

The post holder will work as part of a dedicated community development team, committed to supporting the community and voluntary sector in Milton Keynes. Find out more

Deadline Tuesday 3rd September.

Age UK – Two new roles available:

Jobs Club Support Worker

The post holder will be responsible for supporting clients attending Age UK Milton Keynes job clubs. You will carry out initial assessments and devise a personal programme for each client. You will deliver support in Northamptonshire. You will be responsible for booking rooms for training courses that support the programme.

More information about the role and responsibilities can be found here.

Age UK – Admin Support Worker

Supporting the BBO Project Officers by preparing client folders, Photocopying and scanning files. Supporting the BBO Programme Manager by preparing the financial and participant information for the returns to the Accountable Body. Occasionally to support the BBo Project Officers at Job Clubs. To support the job club at Kiln Farm. To attend weekly meeting and take minutes.

More information about the role and responsibilities can be found here.

To apply to the above roles, please send your CV and covering letter outlining your experience to sue.quine@ageukmiltonkeynes.org.uk.

Closing date for both roles: 24th September Interviews 2nd October 2019

Spinal Injuries Association Fundraising Events Coordinator

SIA are looking to recruit a Fundraising Events Coordinator to join the team and be responsible for managing their diverse portfolio of Special Events across the UK, including black tie dinners, charity race days, golf days and networking events, amongst others. Find out more here.

Deadline: 5pm Friday 20th September

Connection Support – Direct Payment & Employment Support Advisor

A local charity providing advice and support services to people living in Milton Keynes who receive a social care budget and use this as a Direct Payment to create more tailored care arrangements.  They are looking for someone keen to develop their knowledge and understanding to support people to use Direct Payments confidently and assist some of these people with finding and employing their own care staff.  Working within a small friendly team of advisors the role involves home visiting and responding to enquiries to our Helpline.

Click here for more information and to apply.

Deadline: 11 September 2019

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Veolia Environmental Trust

Grants are available to constituted, not-for-profit groups with environmental and community projects that are located near a qualifying Veolia site in England. Please follow this link to find out more.

Deadline: 28 November 2019

Money Saving Expert (MSE) Charity

Grants are available to not-for-profit organisations in the UK for projects that relate to the delivery of financial skills to different defined groups. Please follow this link to find out more.

Deadline: 27th September

Peter Harrison Foundation

Special Needs and Care for Children and Young People Programme

Grants are available for charities in the South East of England to assist young people who are disabled, disadvantaged, ill, homeless or at risk of crime, truancy or addiction. Please follow this link to find out more.

Deadline: N/A (ongoing)

‘Secklow Hundred Mound – Milton Keynes’ ancestral meeting place’
– an illustrated talk by Martin Petchey, Archaeologist.

Thursday 19th September 2019 at 6.15pm – 7.15pm

Milton Keynes Central Library

The Secklow Mound – Central Milton Keynes. Behind the Central Library lies a Scheduled Ancient Monument of national importance known as Secklow Mound, named after an Anglo-Saxon administrative area called the Secklow Hundred. The Mound was a meeting place and historical research in the 1970s confirmed the precise location of the Mound to be at the edge of todays City Centre. In 1978 the mound was reconstructed and landscaped protecting the significant archaeological remains.

Please follow this link to book your free tickets.

MK FOOD FEST

SATURDAY 14TH SEPTEMBER 2019: 11am – 5pm

Each September the picturesque MK Village Pavilion in Middleton comes alive with the exciting vibe of the local food and drink scene. With all the stallholders coming from within a 20 mile radius of the venue, the event showcases the best of local food and drink and brings together street food vendors, artisan producers, farmers market stallholders and chefs for a one day, one location, not-to-be-missed food and drink shopping experience. Please follow this link to find out more.

CENTRE MK TURNS 40!

Centre MK celebrates its 40th Birthday in September. To recognise the landmark of the Grade 2 listed building, which opened September 1979, people are encouraged in Middleton Hall on Tuesday 10th September to help form a human display, similar to the one done 5 years ago. Arrival at Middleton Hall at 12.20 if you want to be involved – it’ll only take about 20 minutes!

Do you have news to share?

If you work or volunteering 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 support@communityactionmk.org

Are you following us on social media?

Stay up to date using your favourite social media channel and help us spread the word about the amazing voluntary and community action in Milton Keynes! #lovemk #volunteermk 

Here is where you can find us:

Twitter: twitter.com/ComActMK

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CommunityActionMK/

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/community-action-mk

Instagram: instagram.com/comactmk

YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CommunityActionMK

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