Our Work: Renaissance CMK Drop Ins

On 6 March, Community Action:MK, MK Council and City Fibre came together in Acorn House to hold two drop in sessions to discuss the Renaissance CMK project of MK Futures 2050.

We were pleased to see so many faces come to find out about the project and to share their views on how to bring more heart and soul to the centre of Milton Keynes.

There was a lot of information that was covered at the drop ins, such as:

  • Hearing from City Fibre, an investor in Renaissance CMK,
  • Hearing more about MK:U, the new university coming MK,
  • Discussing the redevelopment of Midsummer Blvd East
  • Receiving an update on transport projects of MK Futures 2050,
  • Getting an overview about the principles of Renaissance CMK and a CMK prospectus that is being developed and,
  • Finding out how you and your community can share your input and feedback about MK Futures 2050


You can read about the Renaissance CMK project on the MK Futures 2050 website here as well as explore the five other projects that make up MK Futures 2050.

The next phase of the MK Futures 2050 project involves community outreach! The MK Futures 2050 team at Community Action: MK will be coming out to various community groups and activities in Milton Keynes to gather views and ideas about MK Futures 2050.

If you are a community group in Milton Keynes, or know of groups that will be interested in chatting to us about MK Futures 2050, please get in touch at mkfutures2050@gmail.com or call Anna or Julie on

01908 661 623.

Community Outreach

Don’t forget to follow MK Futures 2050 on Facebook and Twitter for more updates!

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How has Our MK crowdfunding improved life in MK?

Our MK was launched as a crowdfunding platform on 1 June 2017. Since that date, four projects have been successfully funded with the support of 172 backers and total pledges of £12,255!

So, what has been happening with funds raised through crowdfunding? Find out from each of the pilot projects below.

Urb Farm: Learning Tree Tipi and Super Storage

The Urb Farm in Wolverton raised £4,657 to build a traditional tipi in their woodland, providing space for stories, shelter from the weather and giving children coming to “the Learning Tree” the experience of living close to nature. The also wanted to purchase a secure storage after experiencing several break ins at the farm. Read their update below.


“We have now bought and installed the beautiful new tipi which has already been used by hundreds of children, young people and adults!

As the weather changes, more and more of our forest school sessions have taken place inside it – and this will make a huge difference over the coming winter season –  everyone will be able to keep warm by the campfire inside!
It has been hugely popular at our open days too, with lots of families spending hours inside, reading the nature books, playing with and learning about natural treasures such as conkers and acorns, and telling stories and singing together. Lisa and the young people that help run the Learning Tree sessions have decorated it so nicely, with cosy blankets, benches carved out of logs, crafts that the forest schoolers have created, and lanterns to light up the dreary days.
We are ordering the lock up container soon – unfortunately we had to wait until our events were over in order to have a place for it to go. We can’t wait to have it up and running as we are backed up with a plethora of forest school resources. Aside from the many tools we use, we also have bags and boxes filled with recycled bits and bobs – bottles, buttons and beads, feathers, fabric and flowers… the list goes on! All ready and waiting to be turned into some amazing, creative crafts.
We are so proud that so many people believed in us enough to donate such a huge amount of money, and we are also pleased that the resources we have been able to buy will in turn help the community – by allowing us to continue our sessions as we head in to the deep Wolverton winter, and by providing us with a safe space to keep the precious tools and resources that are needed to keep the forest school sessions exciting and interesting.
Thank you once again to everyone that supported us, shared our story and spread the word – we quite literally couldn’t have done it without you!”

The Green Oasis of Milton Keynes : Woughton on the Green Allotments

The Woughton on the Green Allotment Society raised £2,133 to purchase security cameras and gardening equipment after suffering from a break in at their premises. Equipment included a rotavator, strimmer and a mower. Read their update below:
“You and the team at Community Action: MK have been so helpful to many community groups in Milton Keynes. Our personal experience with you was made easier by your hard work and experience.
We have purchased the security cameras, and we are waiting for the ground to be dug to bury the cables. We have ordered the rotavator, strimmer and mower which will be delivered when the security equipment is fully installed and working.”

Lifesaving defibrillators in Camphill MK


Camphill Milton Keynes Communities is a charity providing a central community resource for Milton Keynes. In addition to creating a living and working community for people with learning disabilities, it is also a meeting place for many across Milton Keynes. Camphill raised £2,915 to purchase two defibrillators for their sites to keep residents and visitors safe.

“Camphill Milton Keynes was thrilled with the success of the Our MK Crowdfunding project. Our Defibrillators should be with us very soon and could quite literally save a life. What made the project all the more rewarding was the public support that we received  in achieving our fundraising goal. Our thanks to the Our MK team for all their support!”

MK Community Fridge

MK Community Fridge is two fridges and one freezer located in the foyer of The Old Bath House and Community Centre, Stratford Road, Wolverton. The fridges enable residents and businesses to share surplus food and for anyone to help themselves to quality food that would otherwise be wasted. The community fridge raised £2,540 to secure a long-term future for MK Community Fridge beyond the initial pilot project, including setting up a website.



MK Community Fridge are celebrating official accreditation from MK Council to recognise them as a 5 star food business and the launch of their new website www.mkcommunityfridge.org made possible by a successful crowdfunding campaign this summer. Just 6 months from the project seed being sown and three months from their launch, the project team of 21 volunteers have collected and redistributed more than a ton of food from local residents, allotment owners, gardeners, businesses and community groups. 

“We are all so delighted by the positive response and look forward to welcoming even more new faces over the winter months now that we have extended our staffed hours and can share the project more widely,” said Hel Innes, Project Co-ordinator.

If you haven’t already been to visit the project it is regularly staffed by volunteers on weekday evenings between 7-9pm and Thursday and Friday mornings between 10.30-1pm in the foyer of The Old Bath House on Stratford Road, Wolverton. The (honesty) fridges and freezer are also accessible out of staffed hours when there are people using the building. Food collections from Co-op, Costas, Sainsbury, Tesco, Belistore and allotment owners fill the fridges and shelves daily and the project has been helping local residents and gardeners to successfully share their unwanted food and reduce their food waste.

You can learn more about how the project works by visiting:

www.mkcommunityfridge.org and follow daily posts about what is being redistributed and and the projects’ progress on Facebook: /MKCommunityFridge and Twitter: @MKFridge.

It is now possible to pledge support by giving a one-off or regular donation through a new fundraising page via The Old Bath House and Community Centre Local Giving Page. All funds raised will be used to sustain the project beyond its initial years’ funding.

MK Community Fridge and the Old Bath House and Community Centre would like to thank everyone that has shared, visited and supported the project.


We recently held a crowdfunding workshop with Spacehive and are looking forward to seeing new projects emerge:

It’s your turn now!

Have you ever had an idea about how to improve life in Milton Keynes? Do you want to support your neighbours in seeing their ideas for the community come to life? Are you curious about what innovative projects have been proposed for your community, by your community?

Crowdfunding through Our MK, right here on Spacehive, can help you do just that.

Lastly, Nesta has released some insightful findings from looking at matched crowdfunding for arts and heritage projects. Read more below:

Using matched crowdfunding to tap into more than money


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Opportunities: Action4Youth Conference on 17 November



2017 Conference Theme: Community Cohesion

Friday 17 November 2017 10am-4pm
The Clare Charity Centre, Wycombe Road, Saunderton, Buckingham HP14 4HU

In rapidly changing and uncertain times, how can we contribute? What is the way forward for our sector?

Key Note Speakers include:

  • David Ruebain, Chief Executive of the Equality Challenge Unit
    Building Inclusive Cultures
  • Patrick Murray, Head of Policy and External Affairs at New Philanthropy Capital (NPC)
    New relationships and ways of working with highlights from NPC’s State of the Sector research
  • Professor Nigel Adams, BA (Hons), FCIM, Chartered Marketer
    Can Innovation and Entrepreneurship help charities prosper in future?

Workshop One
Demonstrating our difference: are we making the change we want?

This Workshop will be led by Shehnaaz Latif, Lead Consultant, NCVO Charities Evaluation Service.

Workshop Two
How Youth Organisations can work with the Police.

This Workshop will be led by Sergeant James Benfield, Thames Valley Police.

Workshop Three
Is anyone Listening? Getting the message right for your cause.

This Workshop will be led by Nick Lund, Director of Development, Action4Youth.

Panel Session

Shouldering the burden: as local government struggles with financial constraints is it for the charity sector to step up and fill the gap?

Panel Members

  • Tolis Vouyioukas: Buckinghamshire County Council’s new Executive Director for Children’s Services
  • Cllr Zoe Nolan: Cabinet member responsible for Children and Families, Milton Keynes Council
  • Ian Revell: CEO of MK Community Foundation
  • Sue Imbriano: Trustee of the Bucks Learning Trust and Board member of LEAP


The Conference is free, however there will be charge of £35 for non-attendance.

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Our Work: Exploring Community Led Housing Workshop

If your area is crying out for decent, affordable housing, then why not consider taking some local action to set your own housing project?


“Communities can now have more of say over what they want to build and where they want to build it.”

What is community-led housing?

Community-led housing projects are run by individual community groups determined to build the types of homes that local people need and want.

It is usually developed by, with and for a community-led organisation or enterprise, and is controlled and in some cases owned by a community-led organisation or enterprise.

These projects aim to solve local problems by working for and with the local community.

Community-led housing can help address issues like:

  • Affordable housing for:
    • those who are in need (such as unemployed people or single parents)
    • young people looking to buy their first house
    • older residents wanting to downsize
  • Reasonably priced homes for families
  • Housing that meets the community’s wants and needs
  • A long waiting list for council housing.
Text from Locality – My Community website

Community Action: MK and Future Wolverton are hosting a free taster workshop to explore the current interest in community-led housing initiatives such as co-housing and community land trusts, and to consider the opportunities that might exist in Milton Keynes for local people to take the lead in addressing their own housing situation.

The workshop will feature speakers representing K1 at Marmalade Lane, the first co-housing development in Cambridge – Frances Wright, a local resident involved in the initiative and Jonny Anstead, Director of Town, who helped to develop it.


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Opportunities: £1000 grants available from British Science Week

British Science Week Community Grant Scheme

This grant scheme offers £500-£1000 for community groups that work directly with audiences who are traditionally under-represented in science activity.

Applications for British Science Week 2018 are now open.

The mission of the British Science Week Community Grant Scheme is to expand the audiences that engage with science and self-identify as having an interest in science by empowering and supporting community groups to run their own science activities during British Science Week (9-18 March 2018).

The scheme offers £500-£1000 grants for community groups that work directly with audiences who are traditionally under-represented and currently not engaged in science activity. Our definition of groups that are underrepresented in science includes:

  • people who are Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME)
  • people with low socioeconomic status (SES), including people disadvantaged in terms of education and income
  • young people facing adversity, including those not in education, employment or training (NEET)
  • people with a disability, defined as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term effect on someone’s ability to do normal daily activities (Equalities Act 2010)
  • people living in a remote and rural location, defined as settlements of less than 10,000 people
  • girls and women

Note: community grants cannot be used for events or activities with school groups unless they are a special needs school. For school activities, the schools themselves, if they meet the eligibility criteria, should apply for our Kick Start Grants.

For additional information, you can read our 2017 infographic and evaluation report, available on this page. You can also read our case studies, where community grant recipients discuss their experiences and the impact of the grant on themselves, their audiences and their organisations.

To apply:

Applying for a grant is simple, but make sure to read the Community Grant Guidelines 2018 carefully to give your application the best chance.

To apply fill in our online application form.  All applications for British Science Week 2018 grants will close on 13 November 2017 at 12 noon. 

If you have any questions, please contact the British Science Association: bsw@britishscienceassociation.org

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Jobs in the Voluntary Sector: MK Snap


Screenshot 2017-08-31 at 10.04.59
Base: MK SNAP, Bourton Low, Walnut Tree, Milton Keynes. MK7 7DE
Salary: £15000 – £16000 depending on qualifications and experience
Permanent Post: 5-days per week



To assist and support in a variety of sessions on MK Snap’s learning
and education programme.
To ensure that learners are being supported in all education and work
training sessions in order for them to reach their potential.
To support teaching staff in preparation of resources and materials to
ensure that teaching and learning sessions are creative and meet the
needs of a diverse range of disabilities.


Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
An understanding of the needs of people with learning difficulties
Team player
A flexible attitude towards change
Excellent verbal and written communication skills
Highly organised with a methodical approach towards all documentation
Highly professional
Patience and sense of humour
Full driving licence

For an application form and full job description please email The Head of Support
Support Services steph@mksnap.org or telephone Steph on 01908 690330.



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Our MK successfully crowdfunds four projects!

On Thursday the 1st June the Our MK team launched the next phase of Our MK, focussing on supporting projects crowdfund finance and support through our spaceHive page.

Our MK has launched on Spacehive to support, through crowdfunding, the many amazing and creative ideas that Milton Keynes residents have to improve the city.

After the launch event on 1 June, we are very pleased to announce that all four of these wonderful projects have now been successfully funded! Our MK has received the support of 172 backers and total pledges of £12 255!

Screenshot 2017-08-03 at 14.17.19

It’s your turn now! 

Have you ever had an idea about how to improve life in Milton Keynes? Do you want to support your neighbours in seeing their ideas for the community come to life? Are you curious about what innovative projects have been proposed for your community, by your community?

Crowdfunding through Our MK, right here on Spacehive, can help you do just that.

Community Action: MK will soon be arranging some crowdfunding training for individuals and groups in Milton Keynes. If you are interested in attending please email Jessica at jessicam@communityactionmk.org.


Find out more about the successful projects below:

MK Community Fridge

A simple solution to wasting less through the sharing of good quality food to benefit the people of Milton Keynes.

The first community fridge in Milton Keynes, and part of a new network of community fridges across the UK, the MK Community Fridge raised a whopping £2540! Almost £1000 above their target! Follow them on Facebook to see the amazing work that they do.

Screenshot 2017-08-03 at 13.38.41

The Green Oasis of Milton Keynes

Why oasis? The allotments in Woughton are a green haven for the residents of Milton Keynes. Peace and quiet with your own piece of land to grow your own food and socialise with other tenants.

The Patch Allotments in Woughton were able to raise £2133 to replace their stolen equipment and purchase a security system to protect their allotment. Take a look at their video to see a bit of the beautiful green oasis!

Screenshot 2017-08-03 at 13.38.30

Lifesaving defibrillators in Camphill MK

Defibrillators are essential, potentially life-saving devices used in the case of cardiac arrest, so it is essential that we raise enough funds to purchase and install them.

Camphill MK was able to raise £2915 to buy some lifesaving defibrillators for this central community resource for Milton Keynes. With the myriad of visitors to Camphill this was truly a necessary and worthwhile project to raise funds for – and their supporters agreed! Follow them on Facebook to find out more!

Screenshot 2017-08-03 at 13.38.21

Learning Tree Tipi and Super Storage!

We want to build a traditional tipi in our woodland, providing space for stories, shelter from the weather and giving children coming to “the Learning Tree” the experience of living close to nature.

The Urb Farm in Wolverton were able to raise an outstanding £4667 towards purchasing a handmade tipi for their Learning Tree forest school as well as purchase a secure lock up to store their equipment and other goods. Having recently experienced a break in, this would provide an important sense of security on the Urb Farm. Follow them on Facebook to find out more about their fantastic work!

Screenshot 2017-08-03 at 13.38.10

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