Resources and support for groups during Covid-19

Community Action: MK toolkit

We know there is a lot of information to process, some factual and some hearsay. We have been working on a toolkit to help groups get through this difficult time. This pack aims to filter out the confusing messages and provide straightforward and practical advice for you and your group. (Links below) 

We understand that some volunteer roles may become redundant at this time, or you might be lacking in volunteers due to government recommendations and measures. In this instance please get in contact to let us know if you have volunteers that might be willing to help in another capacity, or any urgent roles in your service that could be filled by volunteers.

Latest News:

Organisational Support:


  • MK Community Foundation – Emergency Response Appeal. This details MKCF’s appeal aims and how to get in touch about funding.
  • Martin Lewis is giving grants of £5k to £20k to small registered UK charities, or local arms of bigger charities. Foodbanks, charities engaged in community aid, financial advice help and more –  to help with specific UK coronavirus-related poverty relief projects. Apply HERE
  • Waitrose and John Lewis pledge to give money to support the communities you live and work in Keep an eye on their news for funding updates – Here
  • Neighbourly Covid-19 Community Fund: Micro grants are available for charities and community groups that are existing members of the “Neighbourly” CSR platform, to support good causes that are helping communities affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.
  • 93 Sources of Charity Emergency Funding
  • CAF Emergency Fund – New 5mil fund for small charities from Charities Aid Foundation
  • Thames Valley Police Funding – New round of funding for charities supporting communities

Risk Management:

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Volunteer during the Coronavirus pandemic

Are you willing, able and safe to get involved with some volunteering opportunities that have arisen as a result of Covid-19? If Yes, please complete the expression of Interest form:

If you would like to get involved please could you complete the form which lets us know what you feel comfortable with and are able to do. We have outlined some primary volunteer roles that we have been told about and envision a demand for. 

  • Shopping Service 
  • Medicine collection / delivery service 
  • Dog walking 
  • Check-in calls to reduce isolation 
  • Driving to medical appointments 
  • Food delivery service 
  • Food collection for Community Fridges

We can then share this information with groups that are working at the forefront to ensure residents and communities across MK are supported.

Local responses to Covid-19: What is happening in your area?

Find our what is happening in your area during the Covid-19 pandemic and what you can do to support your community.

What else can I do?

  • Look out for your neighbours – the simplest thing you can do is to offer those of your neighbours who are vulnerable and/or in self-isolation to help with shopping and other errands.
  • Join the NextDoor social media platform to connect with your neighbourhood – click here.
  • Check the Covid-19 Mutual Aid group finder – search by postcode or town to find #Covid support groups across the country – click here.
  • Connect with people through these MK-wide Facebook Covid-19 support groups:

– Milton Keynes Coronavirus Community Support Group 

– Milton Keynes Community 

– Milton Keynes: Beating Coronavirus

– Milton Keynes COVID-19 (Taking care of our neighbours) 

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Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day – 18th March

Although this is a hard and difficult topic to talk about we feel that it is vital to raise awareness for some of the signs and issues that we can all look out for and be aware of relating to child exploitation. 

On the 18th March Thames Valley Police ‘True Costs’ campaign will share the 4th video clip from their series ‘Dee’s Story’, a serving prisoner who talks about child exploitation along county lines. These are things that are being spoken about more frequently and support resources and organisations are being shared. 

STOP CSE have also shared their ‘Safe to Play’ Campaign that looks at exploitation within the sports sphere. You can take a look at resources and videos here – they also have an app ‘ZAPPAR’ where you can use augmented reality to hear and see from the perspective of a parent, coach and child.  

If you would like more information about the resources available please get in touch.

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Thursday 23rd April 1-2-1 Information Session for Groups: BBC Children In Need Funding

We are delighted to be working with the regional grants officer at BBC Children in Need for South, who will be coming to Milton Keynes on Thursday 23rd April to meet with charities and community groups that might be interested in applying for  a BBC Children In Need grant.

What do BBC Children in Need Grant Programmes fund? 

BBC Children in Need’s vision is that every child in the UK has a safe, happy and secure childhood and the chance to reach their potential.

The programme offers grants to third sector organisations that support children and young people of 18 years and under who are experiencing disadvantage through:

  • Illness, distress, abuse or neglect
  • Any kind of disability
  • Behavioural or psychological difficulties
  • Living in poverty or situations of deprivation

Key exclusions: the programme does not fund educational establishments such as schools/colleges or any capital costs such as extensions/refurbishment of buildings through any of their grant programmes.

For more detailed information and guidance about our grants, please visit the website:

Why will this session be useful to my charity or a group?

BBC Children in Need receives far more applications for funding than it is able to award. The funding sessions that we are holding on the 23rd April will be a great chance to chat about your ideas or projects and answer any questions, which can greatly help in making your application to the grants programme. 

How to register?

Please click here to express your interest in attending the session and so we can contact you to confirm your slot. There will be ‘surgery’ type sessions available between 11am – 3pm on Thursday 23rd April, each lasting 20 minutes. The sessions will take place at our office at Acorn House, 351 Midsummer Boulevard, MK9 3HP. We will be allocating the slots on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis, aiming to accommodate your group availability as much as we can. 

How to get more information? 

If you have any questions, please contact Community Action: MK Support Team on 01908 661 623 or e-mail us at 

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The government has escalated the coronavirus response to the second phase – moving from containing the virus to delaying the spread. Recommending Self-isolation, household isolation if anyone shows symptoms and 12 week isolation for any at risk groups.

If you have any symptoms such as:

  • New continuous cough
  • High temperature

You will now have to self-isolate for 14 days – this doesn’t require you to call NHS 111 to tell them that you are self-isolating. You should keep in contact with family and friends via the phone. This BBC article looks at what it means to self-isolate and how you should do it.

If you require food or medication – you should contact the relevant services and arrange a delivery. They will have to deliver this to your front door – do not ask them to come into your home. There is also a huge voluntary effort coming from the community to ensure that anyone who needs support can access it. Many of the supermarkets are now offering a exclusive time for the vulnerable to visit.

Here are some more guidelines from the government about how to manage self-isolation and best practice when considering various complications, such as house sharing, single parenting with kids and caregivers. Recommendations, look at trying to stay 2 meters away (3 steps) from those you live with, scheduling times for using the bathroom, regular cleaning and keeping in touch through social media, phone calls, and texts.

There is an online service from NHS 111 here, they ask that you use this first. You should call NHS 111 if…

  • You cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • Your condition gets worse
  • Your symptoms do not get better after seven days

Wellbeing and the Coronavirus:

Mind has shared some resources here. It is so important that you take care of your mental health at this challenging time. Please use these resources and share them with others.

This is a photo symbol poster that could be of use when talking to individuals who respond better to visual aids.

We hope this helps and please get in touch if you have any resources, information or experiences you would like to share.

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Safer MK VCS Representative: Appointment Instructions for Applicants

Instructions for Applicants

Thank you for your interest in the role of Voluntary Sector Representative on Safer MK, or as the Deputy Representative.  

Application Letter 

As you will know, we are looking for letters of application to be submitted on Thursday 12th March 2020 to Paula Williams at Community Action:MK. 

Please make sure that you have demonstrated how your skills and experience match that of the role description and the person specification.  This is the criteria against which your application letter will be assessed.  


The interviews will take place on Friday 20th March at Community Action: MK offices in Acorn House at 10am.    There will be two parts to the process.  Firstly there will be a group exercise and this will be followed by a formal interview with two independent, practioner assessors.  

Interview Preparation (observed and assessed)

In the group exercise you will be asked to come to a ‘pre-meeting’ with colleagues from the voluntary sector to prepare for the next Safer MK Board meeting.  Before coming to the interview please consult with three groups in the voluntary sector about what they feel the three most pertinent crime and community safety issues are for MK.  You will then be asked to give a five minute presentation about these issues to the group.  

After the presentations have all been completed, you will have a group discussion to reach a consensus about which three key points which ought to be raised at the next Safer MK Board on 9th April 2020.  The successful candidate will be able to bring these issues to the actual meeting. 

There are two rules for the preparation of your presentation.  

One is that when you choose your three groups to contact, you don’t approach Community Action: MK.  

Two is that you are not to use powerpoint, presentation materials, or reports: the assessment will be purely based on your verbal performance.  


DateTime Task 
12 March 20205pm Submit Application 
13 March 2020 12:30pmAssessors undertake shortlisting 
16 March 202010amSuccessful candidates are invited to interview and set a preparation task.  
20 March 202010am Candidates arrive at CAMK for Interivew briefing 
10.15amGroup Exercise
Each candidate has 5 minutes to present their findings and answer questions. 
All candidates seek to reach consensus on the three key points which ought to be raised at the next Safer MK Board. 
11.15am Refreshment BreakQ&A with Safer MK member 
We have requested that each candidate is able to have a 10 minute 1:1 with a Safer MK member to answer your questions about the role. 
12pmInterview 1
12.45pmInterview 2
1.30pmInterview 3 
2.15pm Interview 4

Decisions and Feedback 

We will endeavour to inform all candidates by the end of 20th March 2020.  Following a successful recruitment, Community Action: MK will write to Safer MK with recommendations for confirmation by the board on or before 1 April 2020.

If you would like feedback from our assessors, they are happy to provide this at your request. 

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