Voices of The Holocaust – URGENT CALL OUT FOR VOLUNTEERS!

Voices of The Holocaust are looking for volunteers who can support their organisation.

Call out for volunteers from Voices of The Holocaust:

Voices of the Holocaust is the only specialist Holocaust Theatre in Education company in Europe and we are a Milton Keynes’ home grown company offering experience and opportunity to artists and professionals across the city to help make big differences in education and communities across the UK. We are breaking new ground in approaching what is, increasingly a post survivor era, and how to engage young people effectively with this important subject in a sensitive way using theatre as a ‘surrogate human voice’. We have the support of our local synagogue and the European Jewish Congress. We have been nominated for Pride of Britain, National Diversity awards and most recently the International Simon Wiesenthal award for our work in the field of Holocaust Education. We piloted our work in 2013/14 and were due to recommence as a company in 2020 when covid hit so over the past 6 months we have had to start from scratch having lost investment, staff and resources. 

We have used the last few months since covid eased to pilot our new production of ‘Kindness’ which is a verbatim play about Susan Pollack MBE. It got amazing reviews from the AJR, the Polish Ambassador amongst other dignitaries (and Susan herself!) when it premiered for Holocaust Memorial Day back in January. We have toured schools around the country during the spring whilst we prepare to become and registered charity. See www.voicesoftheholocaust.org.uk for more of an idea of how special we are.

Our support team who ran the company from a business perspective have had to move on to other jobs but we have recently been invited to apply for £40,000 of funding which would make an enormous difference to a company who lost everything to covid. Our problem is that the deadline is in four weeks. If you think you might be able to help, please get in touch if you are;

FINANCE / BID VOLUNTEER – someone experienced in supporting / creating and presenting the financial aspects of a funding bid. We need to prepare income and expenditure summaries, prepare a budget overview and so forth. We know what the project we are bidding for looks like but need help and support to put all that together in a cohesive and professional way in line with the other aspects of the bid – and we need to do it quickly!

CHARITY GOVERNANCE VOLUNTEER – we are in the process of registering as a charity, which has to be done by the time our bid is submitted in 4 weeks. We have an accountant supporting the process but need to make sure that all policies and so forth are in place as they should be by then. Any support and guidance that can be given to the new trustees of the charity to help us get to beginning our new life on a solid grounding would be very gratefully received.

ADMINISTRATION SUPPORT – in addition to the above, we are still functioning as a company on a day to day basis; making bookings, contacting schools and theatres, fundraising and campaigning, using social media and making schools’ visits. Time is really not on our side. If you are methodical and organised, good with IT software, interested in outreach or research and development, social media etc. we would love your help to manage this workload. If you are interested in human rights education / theatre / the importance of Holocaust education and remembrance then perhaps our organisation is of interest to you. We are very open to both short and longer term support in these areas.

Think you can help? Get in touch via their website or email: cate.voices@live.com

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Milton Keynes Awarded City Status!

It was announced this morning that Milton Keynes has been awarded City status to mark the Queen’s Jubilee taking place this year!

One of the pivotal reasons for MK being awarded city status is thanks to the huge number of volunteers offering their time and support to organisations in the local area. It has been revealed that Milton Keynes has the largest number of volunteers per population in the country! An achievement which is not easy to reach and one that makes us incredibly proud!

As an organisation working to support the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes, and the Volunteering Hub, Community Action: MK were approached by BBC Look East and ITV East Anglia to be part of their broadcast which will be shown on TV this evening.

Image: Staff and Trustees of CA:MK standing next to the Volunteers’ Week Pillar at MK Rose.

Our wonderful Volunteer Coordinator, Camille, alongside some of our amazing trustees; Julie Dawes, Anthony Lands and Roger Kitchen went down to the MK Rose, Volunteering Pillar to represent CA:MK and celebrate the work of VCSE groups and their volunteers, who make Milton Keynes the beautiful CITY we know and love!

The group were first interviewed by ITV News East Anglia at the Volunteering Pillar, before moving on to the Sky Room at MK Gallery where Camille spoke to BBC News Look East. The interviews focused on why volunteering is so successful in Milton Keynes and how this strong volunteering community has helped us finally gain the award of City status after four applications. So we want to say an enormous Thank You to all of you who volunteer in MK. You have made our City special.

Tune into ITV East Anglia and BBC Look East this evening to watch out for us!

As part of our celebration for Volunteers’ Week on 1st-7th June we also have some exciting events we would like everyone to be a part of:

Online Volunteer Fayre – Tuesday 7th June, 12-1.15pm

Family-Friendly Volunteers’ Week Celebration – Wed 1st Jun 2022 at 10:30

Interested in volunteering?

Sign up to Do-It, our volunteering platform or subscribe to our newsletter for weekly updates on voluntary opportunities in Milton Keynes.

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Mental Health Alliance

Mental Health Alliance:

Community Action: MK facilitates the Milton Keynes Mental Health Alliance. The Alliance is made up of voluntary and community sector groups that play a part in improving the mental health of the people they work with. A huge variety of groups, large and small, are involved with the Alliance, covering a range of activities and services. Not all of the member groups work on mental health issues directly, but may instead support activities that improve health and wellbeing more generally.

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Tips for Tackling Loneliness

Loneliness can affect everyone, from young to old and no matter what our profession or current situation is. Connection and communication are vital for us to maintain good mental health and being part of a community allows us to build those connections needed to tackle loneliness.

As the world starts to recover from Covid-19 and the social distancing measures that came with it, many people are feeling the effects of social isolation and being apart from family. As this week is Mental Health Awareness Week, we thought it was the perfect time to write down our ideas for beating loneliness and looking after our mental health.

Read below to find our top tips for tackling loneliness:

1) Reach out

Let someone around you know how you’re feeling. It could be a chat with a friend or neighbour or a phone call with a family member. Sometimes a friendly chat with someone you know can make a big difference, even if you can’t see them face to face. Think about people you know who might be feeling lonely and make an effort to contact them too.

2) Join a local community group

Search for groups online. It could be a reading group, local craft group or an organisation offering day trips. Being part of a community with people who share similar interests can be a great way to meet new people and make new connections.

3) Do Things You Enjoy

Sometimes loneliness can feel more difficult to deal with when we’re feeling bored. Keeping busy with activities we like doing can massively reduce the effects of loneliness on our mental health. Why not start painting or sewing? If you’re not sure where to start, think about what you enjoyed doing as a child. You might even find a new hobby!

4) Volunteer

Volunteering is another great way to reduce loneliness. Not only does it offer an easy way to make new friends and meet new people, but it also offers an opportunity to do something good for your local community. Why not make a Do-It account to find a volunteer role in Milton Keynes or contact someone at Community Action:MK by emailing: .

5) Take Yourself Out

For a lot of people, feeling lonely can be linked to not having friends to do things with. Sometimes going out alone is a great way to feel connected to the world. You could take a walk in nature, have a picnic in the park and read a book, or go out for a coffee alone. Strike up a conversation with people who are around you, they might be feeling the same and you never know when you’ll meet a new friend.

6) Share your feelings

Sometimes all it takes is letting someone know how you’re feeling for your mood to improve. If you’re struggling to tackle feeling lonely or living in social isolation, reach out to local organisations. Take a look at our signposting page to find local groups who will be able to support you and help you to make connections in the local community.

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Mental Health Awareness Week – Signposts

Community Action: MK are proud to be supporting Mental Health Awareness Week 2022! The theme this year is loneliness. 

Loneliness can affect everyone, from young to old and no matter what our profession or current situation is. Connection and communication are vital for us to maintain good mental health and being part of a community allows us to build those connections needed to tackle loneliness.

We’ve collected a range of resources and services for Mental Health available to people in Milton Keynes. Read below to find an organisation offering support. You could also take a look at our signposting channels to find other VCSE groups providing support in the local area.

Local Organisations

Keeping Well BLMK 
Do you work in the Health and Social Care sector or for the NHS and live in Bedfordshire, Luton or Milton Keynes? You may be able to access personalised wellbeing and psychological support. Click here to check for eligibility and access support. 

Mind BLMK 
Mind BLMK offer support to those living in Bedfordshire, Luton & Milton Keynes. They work with a range of partners around the area to make sure that no one faces mental health struggles alone. Click here to find service available in Milton Keynes. 

The Mix MK 
The Mix MK is a drop-in mental health service for people to access local service and make new friends. Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend the sessions which take place: 
When: Every Monday 14:00 – 16:30 
Where: Unity Park Station (Old Bus Station) Milton Keynes, MK9 1LR

National Services

Mental Health Foundation
Mental Health Foundation support anyone who needs help taking care of their mental health. They’re also hosting Mental Health Awareness Week this year. Visit their website to find out more and why they chose loneliness as the theme for 2022. 

Better Health: Every Mind matters Campaign
NHS advice and support for mental health. 

The Campaign to End Loneliness
Advice and research on loneliness and how we can tackle loneliness within the community. Want to support their campaign? Click here to become a campaign supporter.

Heads Up 
Heads Up focuses on mental health for men, supporting men ‘to get happy and stay happy’. They offer toolkits for mental health, a talking service and advice for a range of topics. 

For Men to Talk
A chance for men suffering with anxiety, depression and grief to talk to other sufferers. 

Samaritans
24/7 mental health support and suicide prevention service. They offer a free, confidential helpline, Call: 116 123 or visit their website to have a confidential chat. 

Mind
National mental health organisation, providing emergency support to people struggling with their mental health. 
This week, you can also visit their advice page on loneliness and effects on mental health. 
Or call their infoline: 0300 123 3393 for expert advice and support. 

The Marmalade Trust
Marmalade Trust is the UK’s leading loneliness charity for all ages and the only charity in the world specifically dedicated to raising awareness of loneliness. 

The Mix 
Essential mental health support service for young people (Under 25). Call their helpline: 0808 808 4994 or visit their website to access a 1-1 chat service and online advice. 

The silverline
The Silver Line is the only free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and support to older people, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Call their helpline:  0800 4 70 80 90

Mind side by side
Side by Side is Mind’s online community where you can listen, share and be heard. 

Childline 
Free support service for children, offering mental health supoort through their free helpline: 0800 1111 or chat to them online

Gransnet
Social networking platform for grandparents to connect with others offering advice, support and friendship. 

Mumsnet
Social networking platform for parents to connect with other parents offering advice, support and friendship. 

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