Mobilisers Bring in £9 for Every £1 MK Council Fund Us!

We recently asked Bruce Fenning, an expert on Social Return On Investment (SROI), to have a look at the difference our Community Mobiliser service makes in Milton Keynes. There’s lots of interesting he came back with, including that the return on the Council’s investment over is over £9 for each pound they spent. Over five years, the financial impact adds up to over £10 million! To read the full report, click here to download it.

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Carbon Monoxide Awareness – Free training on 15th September in Milton Keynes

From the Gas Safe Charity (

“The charity is running a project with the aim of raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning to front line staff and volunteers of charities who provide services in the homes of vulnerable people e.g. home carers, befrienders, handy-person services. Over the last few months we have worked with national charities such as Age UK, Red Cross, Royal British Legion, RVS and Alzheimers’ Society all of which have agreed to come onboard and support the project.
By briefing frontline staff and volunteers on the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning, they can raise awareness of CO with the clients they work with, be additional eyes and ears with their clients looking out for signs that CO may be present and the charity also meets its “duty of care” as they are making staff/volunteers aware of a potential risk which they may face in the course of their work/volunteering.
We have a range of materials that are available for charities to use with their staff/volunteers i.e. a 15 minute presentation that can be part of an induction programme or team briefing/training. As a result of the success of this, we have been asked to develop a training session for people in a charity who can lead on ensuring CO awareness is mainstreamed into the induction/training offered by the charity.
Age UK Milton Keynes have been a supporter of the project and have agreed to host a training event for people interested in ensuring CO awareness is mainstreamed into their organisation’s work.  The training is being held between 10.00-1.00 on Tuesday 15th September 2015 at Age UK Milton Keynes’ Peartree Centre, 1 Chadds Lane, Peartree Bridge, Milton Keynes, MK6 3EB. It’s free to attend and lunch is provided. The event is called “Carbon Monoxide Awareness”. Further details about the event and to register for it is via “
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Finding ways round funding for community growing

Growing Together is a new partnership of community and environmental sector organisations. Supported by the Big Lottery Fund, it will develop “income inspiration” for community growing groups to help them become financially self-sustaining and less reliant on grants.

The project will also offer expert advice and training about income generation, as well as working with government and big business to unlock land, skills and money.

The website address currently goes to a temporary information page hosted by Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens.

The Growing Together partnership will work across the UK and comprises the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens, Groundwork UK, Incredible Edible Network, Permaculture Association, Development Trusts Association (Scotland), Wales Co-operative Centre (Wales) and Cooperative Alternatives (Northern Ireland).

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A concert to benefit a charity?

For the attention of local Charities!

Sherwood Choral Society is looking for a venue and audience for their Christmas Concert, and are happy for the proceeds to be given to a charity in return for help with this.

“We are a talented and versatile mixed- voice choir, which numbers 24.

We can offer:-

  • A variety of Christmas and festive themes.
  • Choir pieces.
  • Vocal and instrumental solos, duets, etc
  • Readings of an historical, humorous, or religious nature.
  • Carols for audience participation.

All we need you to do is provide a venue and audience, and publicise it.

The only fixed point is the date- Wednesday 16th of December.”

If you are interested, please contact Jan Taylor on 01908 372138 or email

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MK Residents’ Survey of new town experience and lessons for the future

Educational charity Town and Country Planning Association is researching lessons from the new towns and Garden Cities (successive governments having been disinclined, despite Select Committee advice). The TCPA feels that if the Government is going to promote New Towns and Garden Cities, they ought to be told what they mean, and be given some advice about what works and what doesn’t.

In that connection, and as one research stream among many, their researcher has sent the message set out below. It would help if as many people as possible were able to tackle the survey, whatever their views.

“As part of the study we are collecting views of residents in the case study new towns using a short online survey.  This won’t be comprehensive or representative, we just want to get some thoughts on how people feel about
living and working in the New Towns today (and hopefully some insightful quotes!).
MK Observatory does a residents survey but for completeness I wanted to circulate the same survey I have for the other case studies.

Would be grateful if you could either circulate to your local networks/groups, or send me some relevant contact details to circulate directly.”

Here is the link to the survey:

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Bucks Charities to make a Big Impact

Big Impact

Not-for-Profits in Buckinghamshire will be treated to a day of inspiration from some of the UK’s greatest marketing gurus. Around 200 hundred third sector professionals are expected to attend the ‘Big Impact’ Not-for-Profit Conference, which takes place at The Gateway in Aylesbury on 29th September.

The event, hosted by Community Impact Bucks and sponsored by Urban Media, aims to help local voluntary groups attract the attention they deserve. There are over 2500 registered charities in Buckinghamshire, so effective communications and a strong identity are crucial for survival. A recent skills audit by Community Impact Bucks (CIB) revealed that that marketing, attracting volunteers and demonstrating outcomes are the greatest concerns for local non-profits. Communications and PR Executive at CIB, Stacey Astley-Clark, says the conference was built around these insights. ‘The most successful charities are those that connect with both supporters and volunteers on an emotional level, and that can only be achieved through powerful storytelling.

The aim of this event is to give Buckinghamshire’s non-profits a fresh perspective on how they communicate their message and provide some useful tips and tools to make an even bigger impact’ Participants can select from a variety of workshops which include Brand Building, Crowdfunding, PR, Online Marketing and Impact Measurement. There will also be an inspirational showcase of some of the UK’s most successful charity campaigns and a keynote presentation from Anahid Basmajian, Creative Media Director of The Media Trust.

Among the line-up of marketing experts sharing their wisdom is Giles Robertson, founder of Green Banana Marketing, an agency that works exclusively for clients with a social mission: ‘With ever greater pressures to gain new supporters and increasing competition, building your appeal and what you stand for is essential’ Early Bird Tickets at the reduced price of £25 are on sale this week

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