#VolunteersWeek: Buckingham Canal Society needs volunteers!

Since 1992 Buckingham Canal Society have been working on sites along the Old Stratford and Buckingham arms of the Grand Union Canal which they eventually hope to see re-opened breathing new life, recreational opportunities and environment friendly business to the area.

The society’s aim is the restoration of the Buckingham Canal to full navigable order, to promote and improve conservation, biodiversity and quality of life.

THURSDAY 6TH JUNE:  ‘HANDS ON’ VOLUNTEERING PROJECT – ALL WELCOME!

The Society are marking the National Volunteers Week by running an extra practical task on Thursday 6th June:

The Buckingham Canal Society are working to restore the disused Buckingham Canal which use to run from the village of Cosgrove to the town of Buckingham hoping that to people will join us in this exciting project for part of ‘National Volunteers Week’.

As a volunteer on the day, you will have a chance to be part of a team helping to restore part of a canal bridge or they may be helping to improve part of the towpath 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 want to be part of the exciting project and want more information email info@buckinghamcanal.org.uk or ring 01908 661217 or just turn up on Thursday 6th June at 10.00 in Lock Lane, MK19 7JR

You will need to wear oldish clothes and bring lunch but they will supply all tools and equipment, and training is given where necessary but no experience is needed and we are a very  friendly group and always welcome new people.

NOT AVAILABLE ON THE 6TH OF JUNE, BUT KEEN TO GET INVOLVED?

If you have an interest an interest in and passion for conservation and environmental work, the Society has a number of volunteering roles currently available. It is a great chance to help the environment whilst also enjoy the great outdoors, however administrative roles are also available!  Please follow the links below to get more details and to apply through our volunteer recruitment platform, Simply Connect:

Conservation Volunteer

Bricklayer

Committee Minutes Secretary

Trustee/secretary

Fundraising Volunteer

Nature Reserve Restoration (group volunteering opportunity!)

Planning Post (experience of writing and submitting planning applications desirable)

Publicity Officer

Social Media Volunteer

HOW TO FIND OUT MORE…

To find out more about the work of Buckingham Canal Society as well as about their history and the history of the Canal, visit their website on

https://www.buckinghamcanal.org.uk or follow the Society on social media:

Facebook: facebook.com/BuckinghamCanalSociety

Twitter: twitter.com/BCSocietyUK (#Buckingham Canal Society #BCS)

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We are the hub for volunteering in Milton Keynes

How can we help you find your perfect Volunteering role?

Help make giant carnival puppets, share some time with older, lonely people in your community, balance the books for a local charity, plant wildflowers along a new canal, use your digital skills to promote local events, drive a vulnerable person to hospital, help young people gain self esteem and confidence, become a school governor – the list of volunteering opportunities in Milton Keynes is endless and diverse.

Volunteering is for everyone, whatever your age or situation. Whether you have a short amount of time, are looking for a one off opportunity or something more regular to get your teeth into, we can help you find what’s right for you.

We use Simply Connect to list all the opportunities available in Milton Keynes. It’s easy to search using your interests, skills and location and express an interest in finding out more about an opportunity.

Search for volunteering opportunities in Milton Keynes.

Community Action: MK also hold a Volunteer drop in service every Tuesday afternoon from 1pm -3pm at Acorn House, 351 Midsummer Blvd, CMK, MK9 3HP. Pop in to speak to our friendly volunteering advisors and find out about the many local volunteering opportunities you could get involved with.

How we can help your organisation promote volunteering opportunities?

Are you a local charity, community group or project looking to recruit volunteers? Advertise your volunteer opportunities for free on our Simply Connect site.

Our volunteering platform puts you in control of your volunteering and befriending services, matching people to the best role for them and increasing skills, confidence and wellbeing for all.

To find out more and to get support with recruiting, supporting and managing your volunteers, contact our team at: support@communityactionmk.org or call 01908 661 623.

Please follow this link to our Information Sheets for useful information regarding volunteering and more.

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#VolunteersWeek: Wolverton Community Orchard, a volunteer-led tranquil place for the local community

HOW DID THE PROJECT COME ABOUT?

Wolverton Community Orchard was founded in 2003 with a vision to provide a place of peace and tranquility for the whole community to enjoy. A place for all age groups to practice skills and develop new ones, to enhance and raise awareness of the importance of caring for our environment and the wildlife that share that environment with us, to encourage an appreciation and love of wildlife and the natural world in the children who visit.

Yvonne Galuszka came up with the original idea for Wolverton Community Orchard back in 2003, determined to rescue it from being a disused allotment site which had also become a rubbish tip. She imagined it as a potential site for a community area for all to enjoy, then polled the neighbours for their input, applied for grants and pulled together a small group of friends who wanted to get involved in creating a community space that could be used by everyone.

The local residents expressed their support for the idea. After clearing the area, work proceeded in setting out the various sections of the site, planting hedges and fruit trees and creating a “sensory” garden full of colour and scents. Part of the site was retained as allotments and has successfully involved local schools who provide the children with after-school outdoor experiences.

HOW HAS THE ORCHARD DEVELOPED OVER THE YEARS?

The orchard now boasts over 50 productive fruit trees including apple, pear, cherry, plum and damson. It’s enclosed by a mixed hedge of native species and incorporates a child-safe covered pond, a coppiced hazel “secret” pathway, a willow dome and an impressive rosemary hedge. Other hidden surprises are mentioned later in this document. Over the years, increasing numbers of nesting boxes have been installed – these and the pond are productively used by the local wildlife most years.

The Orchard does not use any harmful chemicals across the site, thus protecting wildlife and humans alike.

Wheelchair-friendly pathways and raised beds have been installed from early on, providing accessibility for less able visitors and volunteers. Open every day of the year during daylight hours, the orchard plays host to locals and Mums/Toddler groups who might be found relaxing in the orchard, playing or picnicking.

To read the full story of this amazing local volunteer-led project, please follow this link.

Here is what the group has said about its founder and volunteer, Yvonne Galuszka

Yvonne Galuszka, whose imagination and enthusiasm initiated the project 15 years ago, is still the orchard committee chair and an inspiration for us all with her continuing energy. As a volunteer group, we are proud of our achievements and continue to plan for the future. We believe that we make a positive contribution to Wolverton’s community and the comments we regularly receive from visitors encourage us onward and continue to make us feel appreciated.

To read the Volunteer Case Study of Yvonne Galuszka, please follow this link.

HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED & SUPPORT THE ORCHARD?

Apart from grass-mowing performed regularly by the local Council’s caretakers, it’s entirely maintained by a small group of volunteers who have weekly work sessions on Tuesdays where anyone is welcome to join in. On a site of almost half an acre, there’s never any shortage of tasks for people of any ability and experience and we’re always looking for new talents.

If you would like to volunteer with the orchard, contact them on:
1908 320 405 or e-mail yvonnegalu@gmail.com. You can also follow the group on Facebook.

Location: alleyway off Woburn Ave, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5AY, United Kingdom. For map and directions, please follow this link.

Come along to the Orchard on Tuesday 4th June between 11am-12.30pm when we will be running a Volunteering Pop-Up, a volunteering information session for anyone interested in finding out about volunteering opportunities across Milton Keynes! All WELCOME.



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#VolunteersWeek: Yvonne Galuszka, a volunteer with energy & ideas that inspire many

Volunteers’ Week 2019 is here and we are marking the start of it with this inspiring case study of a local volunteer. We will be posting blogs throughout the Volunteers’ Week with special focus to volunteering, so tune in…

Yvonne Galuszka came up with the original idea for Wolverton Community Orchard back in 2003, determined to rescue it from being a disused allotment site which had also become a rubbish tip. She imagined it as a potential site for a community area for all to enjoy, then polled the neighbours for their input, applied for grants and pulled together a small group of friends who wanted to get involved.

Soon the digger moved in and levelled most of the site while removing broken glass and much other rubbish. After clearing the area, work proceeded in setting out the various sections of the site, installing railings, planting hedges and fruit trees and creating a “sensory” garden full of colour and scents.

In addition to the 50+ fruit trees which are now extremely productive, part of the site was retained as allotments and Yvonne liaised with local schools, Milton Keynes College and other organisations to provide children and young people with outdoor experiences. From the outset, the orchard has been designed as wheelchair-friendly and raised beds have been installed over recent years to make gardening accessible to all.

Yvonne’s approach is to encourage volunteers and other helpers with varied interests; not just gardening but musicians, artists and more, many of whom can be seen at our regular community events throughout the year. No decisions are made on new features of functions without the agreement of the majority of volunteers.

Her tireless efforts have transformed the site into a peaceful and productive area which is appreciated by many and she still works tirelessly as committee chair as well as cooking cakes and more for our events.

Yvonne is an inspiration for us all through her energy and ideas.

Said another member of Wolverton Community Orchard.
Yvonne Galuszka, whose imagination and enthusiasm initiated the project 15 years ago, is still the orchard committee chair and an inspiration for everyone involved with the ORchard with her continuing energy.

To find out more about Wolverton Community Orchard and how you can get involved as a volunteer, look out for our next blog…

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Melting Pot: Bridging the Gap event on 13th July

The MK Melting Pot is organising a community event ‘Bridging the gap’ to showcase different supplementary schools, community groups and youths are doing extraordinary work in Milton Keynes.

Venue: CMK Open Market: MK9 3NT
Date: 13th July 2019
Time: 11am- 5pm

To find out more about the event, e-mail mkmeltingpot@hotmail.com

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Call for applications to join a virtual learning club for The Voluntary Sector

Call for applications to join a virtual learning club for courses on Introducing Leadership in the Voluntary Sector and Collaborative Leadership in Voluntary Organisations

The Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership (CVSL) based at The Open University is looking for participants interested in undertaking the Centre’s courses on Introducing Leadership in the Voluntary Sector and Collaborative Leadership in Voluntary Organisations.

Following a successful local learning club piloted in Milton Keynes, the Centre is looking for participants to join a virtual learning club i.e. a learning club with virtual facilitation through webinars and social media. To create a good learning environment those participating will commit to doing the courses within indicative timelines, to allow for the maximisation of the benefits of facilitation. Places on the course will be limited and will be allocated on first come first served basis. These online courses can be accessed here.

Applicants will be expected to study for independently for about 4 hours per week for 5 weeks to complete the course on Introducing Leadership in the Voluntary Sector (20 hours over a 5 week period) and/or 4 hours per week for 8 weeks to complete the course on Collaborative Leadership in Voluntary Organisations (32 hours over 8 weeks).

In addition, participants are invited to, and expected to attend 1 (if undertaking only the 5 week course), 2 (if doing the 8 week course) or 3 (if undertaking both courses) virtual 1hr 15m long supportive learning club sessions during the duration of the course. These sessions will give participants the opportunity to share their learning during the intervening period and benefit from peer learning. In the period between the virtual sessions, participants will use social media to share their learning and engage in peer support activities.

If you would like to join the virtual learning club, please upload complete the application form and a starter questionnaire (here).

Completed application forms and questionnaires should be submitted by email to Dr Fidele Mutwarasibo (fidele.mutwarasibo@open.ac.uk) at their earliest convenience. Details of the launch of the virtual learning club will be communicated with successful applicants in due course.

If you have any further query, feel free to contact Fidele by email.

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Jobs in the Voluntary Sector: Sessional Tutor & Sessional Learning Support Assistant at MK Snap

MK Snap, a leading local charity based in Milton Keynes providing education, life and work skills programmes for adults with learning disabilities, currently have two vacancies available:

Sessional Tutor

To lead in the planning, provision, development and delivery of activity sessions and work training skills sessions for learners across the curriculum as and when required on a sessional basis.

£12.24 per hour to include planning and essential training (£23,868pa FTE pro rata ) – fixed zero hours contract


Sessional Learning Support Assistant

To assist in the planning, provision, development and delivery of activity sessions and work training skills sessions for learners across the curriculum as and when required on a sessional basis

£9.18 per hour to include planning and essential training (£17,901pa FTE pro rata ) – fixed zero hours contract


For more information about the roles and to apply, please visit MK Snap website: mksnap.org/current-vacancies/

If you are interested in the positions you can also call and speak to a member of the team on 01908 690 330.

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