Funding: RAISE Challenge Fund

RAISE, a regional charity working to support the voluntary and community sector in the South East of England, in conjunction with local Community Foundations have launched the RAISE Challenge Fund across the South East to support aspirational thinking and initiative in voluntary sector activity.

This challenge fund aims to help groups and organisations to;

  • Grow
  • Develop
  • Overcome barriers.
  • Achieve greater results for their local communities

The Fund aims to support groups to develop innovation, leadership, creative thinking, resourcefulness and piloting activity. Support is available for all types of ideas, activity and organisations. Applications will be assessed on their creativity, reach and predicted benefits. Grants of between £2,500 and £10,000 will be awarded, although other amounts will be considered based on merit. For more information, click here.

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Key Findings of the Largest Voluntary Sector Survey Ever Published

NAVCA has published the findings of the Health and Care Voluntary Sector Survey, the largest charity survey of 2014. The findings show that local health bodies need to do more to engage with charities.

The survey was conducted by NAVCA and the Health and Care Voluntary Sector Strategic Partnership, involving more than 50 charities spanning the breadth and depth of the voluntary sector.

The 720 charities that took part in the survey collectively work with over 11 million people. They ranged from very small to large – 20% had incomes less than £10k and nearly 4% said they had an income over £10 million. Overall, a third of respondents were from charities with an income of less than £50k.

You can download the report here or click ‘READ MORE’ below to see the key findings.

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Employee Volunteering – Make It Possible!

We recently made a short film about the great stuff Home Retail Group have been up to through our Employee Volunteering programme. The video features their employees talking about volunteering at Sailability MK and Festive Road, as well as people from those organisations expressing the importance of volunteers. You can see the video below or on YouTube.

If your company would like to get involved, please call us on 01908 661623 or email

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West Bletchley Action Group Discuss their Community Mobiliser


Sarah Dean, Chair of West Bletchley Action Group

Sarah Dean is the Chairperson of the West Bletchley Action Group. The Community Mobiliser supported the group to become constituted in September 2013. Since then the group have been supported to apply for funding and have run a variety of skill sharing workshops, such as pottery and bread making. Sarah was asked a few questions about the community mobiliser and the impact this had had on her and the rest of the group…

What made you volunteer?

Sarah was keen to see more going on in West Bletchley and wanted to take a proactive role in getting involved and making things happen.

We supported Sarah to become a constituted group along with several other members of the community as she wanted to run community projects.

How did the community mobiliser help you to volunteer?

Mim has pointed me in the right direction- supported me to get funding, connected me to other groups, helped me to access Community Action: MK 1:1 support around laws and regulations etc. She has been my back up. I would never have known where to start. she has supported me and pointed me in all the right directions.

What happened next?

We started the group last September, West Bletchley Action Group, for skills based learning, pottery, bread making and activities for all ages.

How did that make you feel?

Having someone like Mim to call and ask to pop round, or call with a question, is so important.

You need a pat on the back sometimes, you do fail sometimes and it can be disheartening but Mim focuses you on the positive and gives you the encouragement to keep going. I don’t know what I would have done without her!

I wouldn’t have done it without Mim. I wouldn’t have known where to start. There is no manual for this stuff. A Community Mobiliser like Mim says ‘I don’t know but I will find out’ and she always comes back with an answer. Lots of people don’t know about any of this stuff, and don’t realise they can do it.

Enjoyed taking part in the phone survey as it has been her way to give back to Mim and the CM’s, people often moan but they don’t say thank you enough- SO THANK YOU!

What are you looking forward to in the future?

We took part in the MKCF Car Raffle to raise funds and we are now working with West Bletchley Council to run a Craft Fair/Farmers Market in the fifth weekend of the summer holidays. All funds from the Fair/Market will come back into the WAG, and Community Action: MK have supported me in learning the laws and regulations around Food Hygiene and other things to do with the event.

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Dementia Awareness Workshop for PCSOs


Ruth from the Alzheimers Society helping PCSOs to better understand dementia

Recently 12 PCSOs attended an Engage MK workshop facilitated by the Alzheimer’s Society to learn more about how to support people in their communities who may have dementia.

Ruth used activities to help the PCSOs understand some of the signs and symptoms, and how to best support people they come across who may have dementia.

To find out more about the services available locally through the Alzheimer’s Society visit their website.

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MK Museum Survey

Last year Milton Keynes Museum announced plans for a £7.3 million expansion, funded by Milton Keynes Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council. This project hopes to develop new galleries as well as upgrade existing displays.
The museum is now looking to get thoughts and comments from the public, and community groups, about what you would like to see. They want you to help make the Museum expansion the best that it can be. The more people get involved and share their views, the better they will be able to make the new galleries.
The closing date of the survey is Thursday 30th April
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