Small Charities Week 2016

Small Charity Week 2016,  13-18 June 2016.

Now in its seventh year, Small Charity Week has become one of the major features of the UK charity calendar. Events will be happening around the country to engage policymakers, the media and the general public to support in the work of the UK’s vibrant small charity sector. 2016 promises to be a fantastic week especially if we can get the support of CVS’ and similar organisations around the country.

Please find attached a short toolkit outlining ways in which your organisation could get involved.  Further information on the week can be seen at

Small Charity Week was set up to:

  • Improve the knowledge, representation and sustainability of small charities across the UK
  • Highlight the work of the small charity sector to the broadest possible audience
  • Encourage public giving to small community organisations
  • Provide small charities with additional skills and support to help them deliver their work more strategically and sustainably
  • Work with the small charity sector to develop political engagement at both a national and local level
  • Celebrate the contribution that small charities make to communities throughout the UK

If you have any queries or would like to request more information, please contact:

Martin George, Project Manager, The FSI,

T: 0207 3244 777





Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Communities News from and for the VCS

Arts Update

Public Art Map – the public art collection has been plotted onto a google map.  If you know of any in your estate/area that are missing, please let us know so we can upload it. . You’ll also find the two newly grade II listed artworks by Bernard Schottlander and Wendy Taylor on there.
Culture Challenge – this programme links schools with artists and in the coming weeks, Milton Keynes schools will be given funds to spend through the website on artists.  We need to make sure it’s populated with MK artists so please e-mail to request the submission form – it’s free!!
Music Hub – Professional Partners – if you are a music teacher you should look into this scheme which includes CPD and support with safeguarding:
Grants for Arts – the new Arts Council England portal is now open.  It’s not particularly intuitive so you may wish to explore it in advance of your funding deadline: funds are through the existing portal
Sport Relief Mile – On the 20th March, the sport relief mile is coming to MK and performers, musicians, buskers etc are invited to take to the streets and entertain those running for charity. Email for more information
Statement Images – I have been bringing together statement images that show off the arts in Milton Keynes.  If you have images of your events which clearly shows it’s in Milton Keynes and promotes what is the best of MK, do send them to me and I’ll include them.  Here’s what we’ve got so far:
Arts & Heritage Intern – we have been successful in a partnership funding bid with theArts & Heritage Alliance to appoint a paid intern.  The job will be advertised through the job centre next month

Blog Post News from and for the VCS

New – Rent To Own a PC Scheme

ConnectMK, the Council’s PC rental service, is now offering a ‘Rent to Own’ scheme on PCs and laptops.

Starting at just £10 per month for a PC, the service is available to anyone in the Milton Keynes area who fits the eligibility criteria.

The new scheme is specifically designed to equip people with online skills which they can use to apply for Universal Credit – the new government benefit that combines six separate benefits.  Universal Credit requires applicants to apply online and manage their details through the UC website so digital skills are vital.

Being computer literate is also a key skill that employers look for when recruiting for staff.

ConnectMK was started in 2007 by Milton Keynes Council to enable those on low incomes to access technology at an affordable rental cost. The successful service has provided equipment, advice and technical support to 1,700 households over the last 8 years.

The service has achieved a lot over the last 12 months including:

  • Winning the Excellence in Innovation 2015 award on 7 October from the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV)
  • Joining up with Argos in the summer to provide a digital skills training scheme on tablet devices for unemployed people.
  • Creating 50 Digital Champions who are given free online training

Cllr Rob Middleton, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Resources and Commercialism said, “Universal Credit has now come to Milton Keynes, and is beyond doubt, the most far-reaching welfare shake up in a generation.

“Universal Credit is only accessible online which creates a problem for those on low incomes who may not have access to the internet or a computer. To make sure all of our residents have access to Universal Credit, whatever their means and whatever their circumstances, I am pleased to announce this new Council initiative allowing those on a low income to rent to own a computer for a low monthly cost.”

More information about the eligibility criteria and how to apply can be found at or

Alternatively call 01908 691249 or drop into the ConnectMK office at: Beanhill Local Shopping Centre, Unit 5, Dodkin, Beanhill, Milton Keynes.

There is no credit agreement with this scheme and after 12 monthly payments the equipment becomes their property. All computers come pre-loaded with Windows, MS Office suite and safety and security software packages. Eligibility can be checked through ConnectMK.



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Recycle Laptops and Notebooks

Do you have any redundant laptops or notebooks that could be recycled and put to good use?

If yes, then Milton Keynes Council’s ConnectMK would love to hear from you.

The ConnectMK Service provides a rent to own PC service  and was established in 2007 in response to the Government’s Digital Inclusion Challenge.

The scheme is offered to assist families and individuals to experience the benefits of using IT and getting online at home. ConnectMK staff support and encourage residents to utilise digital/online services to benefit their lives. Each machine is also loaded with Microsoft Windows and Office suite under the Microsoft Community MAR (Microsoft Authorised Refurbisher) programme.

One of the objectives is to enable residents to experience the ups and downs of technology so that when they are in a position to purchase their own equipment they do so with the knowledge and confidence to buy appropriately. Over 75% of those returning their equipment do so because they have now purchased their own.

When ConnectMK started in 2007 it primarily rented out desktop machines. Whilst there is still a demand for desktops, obviously technology has moved on and there is now a greater demand for smaller form factor machines such as laptops or notebooks.

Worried about your data? ConnectMK ensures that all equipment received is securely data wiped using Industry standard software.

Consequently ConnectMK would be keen to hear from any Milton Keynes organisations looking to reuse and recycle their end of life laptops.

If you would like to know more or think you can help them please contact Lisa Bailey, ConnectMK Operations Manager on 01908 691249 or email Lisa

It would be good to hear from you.




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National Charities and Voluntary Organisations Survey 2015

Take part in the biggest annual survey of charities and voluntary organisations. The survey, launched by a coalition of charities, is gathering evidence about how charities are able to get their voice heard and the support they need.

By taking part you will be helping make sure that funders and decision makers know more about your needs. By being the biggest survey of charities and voluntary organisations this survey is a powerful way of getting your voice heard.

The survey can be completed in 15 minutes.

Please also forward this on to anyone else you think may be interested in being part of this year’s biggest charity survey.

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