Volunteers Week with the Employee Volunteering Programme


We had a great start to volunteers week with our Employee Volunteering Programme. Local businesses signed up their staff members to volunteer with local charities and community groups throughout the week.

On the 2nd June they joined coordinators and regular volunteers to help Bucks Canal Society clear more of the canal bed at their Cosgrove site. More activities are planned to be taking place.

Tusher from Tech Mahindra said:

“Firstly, many thanks to Community Action: MK for making available the volunteering opportunities as part of Volunteer Week.

My team were part of the volunteers that assisted the Bucks Canal Society at Cosgrove on 2nd of June. Despite the bleak weather, we had a wonderful day. The activities were well planned out and we split up into groups to work at different parts of the canal. The day gave us an opportunity to interact with volunteers from other organisations and we made new friends. It was certainly a day that led to greater team bonding between my employees as they worked together on tasks that they are not accustomed to, working inside the office environs. Having spoken to my team, the activities left them with a sense of achievement & satisfaction. They were extremely glad to have taken part and are keen to participate in more now. This has certainly helped me take the first step and propagate a culture of volunteering in my organisation. Once again, many thanks to Community Action: MK for this.”

Athina who is a coordinator for Bucks canal told us

“The hard work and enthusiasm of this team has made a valuable contribution towards our aim of flooding more of the canal bed.”

Community Action: MK would like to thank Tech Mahindra, The Woburn Hotel and Hewitsons for taking part in our Employee Volunteering Programme.

Don’t let volunteering stop at volunteers week, it really makes a difference. If you would like to be part of our Employee Volunteer Programme or to find out more about it, please email us ev@communityactionmk.org or visit www.communityactionmk.org/projects/employee-volunteering/


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Treasurer wanted – On the Verge


‘Underpasses: connecting people, connecting places’ project

Love heritage? Love public art? Love history?

Love urban design?

Love to volunteer?

If you can spare a few hours a month to help On the Verge (OTV) as Treasurer to oversee OTV’s finances during the delivery of the underpasses project in Milton Keynes, over the next 10 months, they’d love to hear from you.

Are you a retired accountant or finance professional? Looking to make a difference to communities through an exciting project? Then join OTV, an Oxfordshire based Community Interest Company in delivering a heritage inspired public art project contact Myriam today for more information and to join the team.

Contact: Myriam Metcalf OTV Project Director at: mm@ontheverge.org.uk

Visit On the Verge’s website for more details about the project www.ontheverge.org.uk/the-underpasses- project

Closing Date 1st July 2016

OTV Treasurer Ad- Voluntary ARTS 2016


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The Leading Together Programme

By Emma Robinson | Patient Experience Lead | NHS England South (South Central)

Patients, professionals and the public working together to improve care

Would you like to understand and show how patients, carers and the public can contribute meaningfully to the NHS?

Would you like to help create sustainable change through effective collaboration?

If “YES!” then the Leading Together Programme is for you!


What is the Leading Together Programme?

Leading Together is a three-day programme that will support 120 health professionals and lay people to develop genuine partnerships that will make a difference to their local health organisations and communities. The programme will increase the number of lay partners and professionals who are actively working together to improve healthcare and research.

We are inviting applications to be part of this innovative new programme across the South of England  – patients, carers, members of the public, clinicians, researchers and managers can all apply.

This is not the kind of programme where you will just sit and listen to people telling you what to do. We will invite you to think and talk about the concepts, try out some skills, reflect on your experience, test out your ideas and work together on a project to make a difference in your community.


How much does it cost and what is the commitment?

There is no charge for the programme. If you are a lay person we can cover your travel expenses. If you are a professional, you will need permission from your organisation/line manager to release your time and cover your travel expenses.

The programme consists of three one-day workshops spread over three months. You will need to commit to attending all three workshops.


What are the benefits of the programme?

This programme will help to:

  • Develop your strategic leadership skills
  • Develop your skills in collaborative working
  • Build collaborative networks
  • Put your learning into action with a local project

The Programme is designed and delivered by leadership professionals and people who have regularly used health services.


How can I find out more, or register my interest in participating?

If you would like to find out more information please visit: http://www.oxfordahsn.org/our-work/patient-and-public-engagement-involvement-and-experience/leading-together/

The Programme is funded by NHS England, Oxford Academic Health Science Network and Health Education Thames Valley, and run by The Performance Coach


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Lloyds Bank Foundation Grants


The Lloyds Bank Foundation invests in charities supporting people to break out of disadvantage at critical points in their lives, and promote practical approaches to lasting change. Support will be adapted to the needs of small and medium sized charities (income between £25,000 and £1 million) that are committed to delivering work which breaks or prevents cycles of disadvantage. There are two grant stream available:

  • INVEST – A flexible, long term core funding programme for organisations delivering clear, targeted outcomes for disadvantaged people (Grants up to £25k per annum and up to six years);
  • ENABLE – A smaller and shorter grants programme for organisations that have identified clear development needs (Grants up to a total of £15k over two years);

For successful grant holders additional in kind support is available through the

  • ENHANCE programme providing  an option of tailored in-kind support to strengthen and develop charities.

The next round for applications is open 4th January 2016 to the end of February.

More information can be found at www.lloydsbankfoundation.org.uk of for an informal discussion contact Gary Beharrell on 07734 973060 or gbeharrell@lloydsbankfoundation.org.uk


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Latest news from RegenerationMK

On Monday 21st December 2015, the recommendation to set up a partnership with Mears Group plc will be presented to Milton Keynes Council’s Cabinet.

Over the past two years, Milton Keynes Council has been working to identify the best private sector organisation with whom to establish a partnership to repair and maintain council properties and deliver a regeneration programme across priority areas.

The Cabinet meeting on the 21st December, starting at 6.30pm is open to the public and papers for this meeting are available here to view.  Further information about the Cabinet meeting, how to participate and support available if you wish to ask question(s) at this meeting is available here.

If have any questions please get in touch.

Best regards


T: 01908 252320

E: regeneration@milton-keynes.gov.uk

Visit online: http://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/regeneration

Follow on twitter: @MKCRegeneration

Milton Keynes Council I Civic Offices I 1 Saxon Gate I Milton Keynes I MK9 3HS

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London named Europe’s top city for volunteering

London has been crowned the best city in Europe for volunteering, beating off competition from 10 other rival cities on the eve of the United Nations’ International Volunteer Day.

London scooped the title European Volunteering Capital 2016 in recognition of the innovative programmes the Mayor Boris Johnson has developed as a legacy of London 2012, when volunteering took centre stage at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Since then, the Mayor’s volunteering initiative Team London has mobilised over 120,000 active volunteers including 60,000 school children and young people.

Team London led the successful bid with support from local volunteer centres and Greater London Volunteering. The accolade is awarded by the European Volunteer Centre (CEV), a network of agencies which promotes volunteering across Europe.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “I’m very proud that London has been recognised as the top volunteering city in Europe. Tens of thousands of Londoners are now giving a hand to others and helping to make London a cleaner, greener and more welcoming place for everyone. Team London has created an incredible volunteering legacy for the capital, with people of all ages and backgrounds giving up their time to make the city an even better place to live in.”

Achievements that were recognised by the expert judging panel include:

  • Mobilising over 120,000 active volunteers including over 60,000 schoolchildren and young people
  • Delivering the UK’s first speed volunteering app
  • Supporting nearly 1,600 charities and offering grants of over £3 million to date
  • Signing up over 100 businesses to offer employer supported volunteering through the Mayor’s Corporate Commitment. Sixty five per cent of employees now say that they would be more likely to work for an employer that encourages volunteering.
  • Offering innovative recognition for volunteering through a guaranteed interview scheme for young volunteers seeking paid work experience or full-time jobs

Senior Adviser to the Mayor of London, Veronica Wadley, said: “I am delighted that London is the European Volunteering Capital 2016. This is not only an extraordinary legacy of 2012, but it also shows that with will, every leading city can deliver the Big Society. More and more people are now taking social action in their local area and increasing numbers of businesses understand the value of volunteering as a route in to work. Seventy per cent of our young volunteers are assessed as work ready compared to just 20 per cent of the normal pool of job candidates.

“With continuing problems of youth unemployment, we’ve demonstrated that volunteering gives people the skills they need to compete in the job market and this model could be adopted by any city in the world. Team London looks forward to capitalising on this honour by working even more closely with the voluntary sector and businesses to drive greater impact for London’s communities.”

Director of the European Volunteer Centre, Gabriella Civico said: “London’s volunteering legacy will continue to thrive in 2016 as European Volunteering Capital. The city is an outstanding example of how local government, local people and businesses can strategically harness the benefits of volunteering to improve people’s lives, the environment and contribute to socially cohesive communities. Congratulations on becoming the European Volunteering Capital!”

The 11 candidate cities for this year’s title were Belfast, Bruges, Cagliari, Cascais, Edinburgh, London, Lucca, Perm, Rome, Varese and Viterbo.

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