Record your support, development or volunteering query here

Community Action: MK provides advice and support on setting up, managing and developing your charity, voluntary or community group in Milton Keynes. We can work with you on a 1:1 basis, or can get you linked in with local training and events. We give advice on getting fit for funding, forward planning and good governance.

We are launching a new online form to record your queries!

Please complete the form below if you would like the Support Team at Community Action: MK to contact you regarding a query. Please provide as much detail as possible, so we can understand how to best respond to your request.

We will aim to contact you as soon as possible, but please allow at least 3 working days for us to get back to you.

Alternatively, feel free to contact us at support@communityactionmk.org or call us on 01908 661 623 to speak to a member of our team.

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Board Members Wanted: Equality Council UK

Equality Council UK are SEEKING NEW BOARD MEMBERS.

In light to some retirements, ECUK is seeking members to serve on its Board, in particular the Milton Keynes area, but regional representation may be sought in the near future.

ECUK is a charity run by voluntary members.

We are looking for interested individuals who have the enthusiasm and drive to forward the equality agenda . If you feel your interest and skills can support our charity, then we would like to hear from you. We are seeking skills in the following areas:

  • Funding raising through an application/tendering process
  • Recruitment and membership – diversifying the database and connections
  • Marketing, Networking and Business Development
  • Equality Standards, Training and Development
  • Events Management: Equality Awards and Promotional Events
  • Web Maintenance and Information Technology

You would need to be committed and determined to make a difference.

There will be approximately 7 meetings during 2020 including the AGM. Facilities will be made available for members to attend meetings remotely via video/teleconferencing.

Please forward your recent CV together with a covering letter outlining your interest in Equality and Diversity as well as what you can bring to the Board. Please send your particulars to:

Navritaa@equalitycounciluk.org

Visit our website: https://www.equalitycounciluk.org/

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Volunteers Needed: Reading Helpers – Coram Beanstalk

Could you spare a few hours each week at a local primary school to share your love of reading with children in Milton Keynes?

Coram Beanstalk is a national reading charity that transforms children’s life chances by recruiting, training and supporting volunteers to work directly with children aged 5-11 who need support in their reading ability and confidence.

The charity currently needs new volunteers who can help engage children in books and stories, bringing the fun and magic back into reading with children whose reading confidence and enjoyment may have been lost or may need a boost.

As a reading helper you will support three primary school children twice a week for 30 minutes sessions for at least one academic year. The children you will be working with will need help for a variety of reasons but your focus will be on making reading fun and helping them feel more positive around books.

Very importantly, sessions are meant to be fun and enjoyable. By having this one-on-one time with each child the reading helper can help to develop the child’s reading skills and wider language acquisition in a fun and engaging way.

All volunteers receive professional training by Coram Beanstalk and ongoing support to ensure that they are best able to have the biggest impact possible through their sessions.

If you would like to become a reading helper in Milton Keynes, please visit the website at www.corambeanstalk.org.uk or call Coram Beanstalk on 020 7729 4087.

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Broughton and Brooklands Community Connectors: Community Awards Evening

Broughton and Brooklands Community Connectors Committee

On Friday evening, Peter, the Chairperson of the Connectors, celebrated the great work that has happened over the last four years by hosting a Community Awards evening to recognise and reward the nominees of the area.

The committee themselves – of Broughton & Brooklands Community Connectors – received an award for their hard work and dedication towards supporting and overseeing the other groups in the Broughton and Brooklands area. The awards were given by Milton Keynes Mayor, Sam Crooks, who came along by special invitation to present the awards to the deserving groups of Brooklands and Broughton.

One of the other groups to be awarded for their wonderful exemplary work was Supporting Xtra Special Families, who offer support to families living with disability or additional needs in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas.

Supporting Xtra Special Families Committee

Our very own Community Action: MK employee also won an award for supporting both groups over their lifetime, and was thrilled to see them awarded for all their hard work and commitment.

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Become a trustee in Milton Keynes!

Trustees play a vital role, volunteering their time and working together to make important decisions about the charity’s work.

Milton Keynes has some amazing charities who are looking for new trustees. This could be your chance to make a difference in a charity, imparting your knowledge and experience and also learning new skills!

Milton Keynes Play Association: Trustee

Image result for mk play association

Time to make a difference? Time to feel needed? Time to do your bit for your community?

MKPA’s team would love to hear from you if you are interested in joining us as a trustee and can spare a few hours or even a day a week. We need even more energy flowing through MKPA to make a bigger success of our exciting plans.

You might want to consider helping as a trustee and sit on the management board, contributing to the oversight of our child-centred organisation your skills and knowledge about business finance, fundraising or marketing.
We are looking forward to welcoming you. Please email sarah@mkpa.co.uk

MKPA – Trustee Roles & Responsibilities

MKPA – Trustee Application Form

Buckingham Canal Society: Trustee/secretary

Image result for buckingham canal society

Do you have an interest in canals and being part of a forward looking charity?

Buckingham Canal Society are lookind for a trustee/secretary to work as part of a team with the carrying out the following duties:

  • Plan and prepare agendas for committee meetings.
  • Ensure that committee and the AGM are run according to the constitution and Charity Commission Requirement’s
  • Dealing with correspondence as agreed at committee meetings.

Arts Gateway-MK: Trustees/Directors

Image result for Arts Gateway-MK:

Have a passion for the arts? Looking for a new interest and have time on your hands? Creative thinker with a background in business? Want to contribute to the creative life of Milton Keynes? Look no further…

Arts Gateway MK is an organisation part-way through a dynamic growth which we would like you to be part of. We are looking for new trustees to help our transformation. We are open to all ages and backgrounds especially those with experience in marketing, fundraising and arts administration. We are a successful arts umbrella body for Milton Keynes. Through this organisation we offer affordable spaces where artists and creatives across different genres can work, grow, experiment and collaborate. We organise creative events and programmes throughout the year such as the annual MK Litfest, now in its third year.

Carers Milton Keynes: Trustee Board Member

Image result for carers milton keynes

Carers Milton Keynes and its sister charity Carers Bucks are looking for new Trustee Board Members with talent and enthusiasm. If you are, have been or know someone who is a family carer, so much the better.

The charity’s work in their respective geographic areas and between them support nearly ten thousand adult and young carers. Services include advice, information, support groups and help both practically and emotionally.

Both charities have grown and developed over the past few years and between them now employ thirty staff and have a turnover of 1.4 million pounds. Among the skills and experience we are looking for are fundraising, marketing, youth work and social care.

MK Center for Integrated Living: Trustee

Image result for mk cil

MK CIL are looking for Trustees who have knowledge of finance, HR and PR/Marketing/Media.

MK CIL is an information centre which provides a very wide range of free and confidential information on any disability related issue for people with a disability, their families, carers, and anyone else with an interest in the field of disability.

MK CIL will aim to inspire, empower and enable people with disabilities, their families, carers and others. Through the provision of a range of information and services, MK CIL will support people in making informed choices, exercising their rights of full participation and to maximize their independence and potential.

Advertise your trustee vacancy with us: https://communityactionmk.org/volunteering/volunteer-management/

If you need support in finding new trustees, let us know at support@communityactionmk.org or give us a call on 01908 661623.

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First Aid for Mental Health Course – ECAF

“A key component of a company’s wealth, is in its employees having good mental health.” ECAF

Course: Supervising First Aid for Mental Health (Ofqual accredited qualification) 

Date: 19th-20th December 2019 (last one for the year)

Where: Milton Keynes

Who should attend: Managers and above, HR officials , union reps and health and safety reps from workplaces, schools, groups, faith groups and the armed forces. Anyone with an interest can also attend

Cost: £300 pp included (Ofqual accredited  level 3 qualification). There is 10% discount for charities, small businesses, any group working with children and families and social enterprises.
Bookings for any of our First Aid for Mental Health courses made between 1st November 2019 – 31st January 2020 get a 40% discount. 

To book email:training@ecafnp.com

ECAF supports the Heads Together programme, which is to bring well-being to workplaces, schools and the armed forces.

About First Aid for Mental Health 
First Aid for Mental Health courses help raise awareness of various mental health conditions and how to spot the signs and give initial help and support, until clinical help can be given. They also help reduce sickness/absence among staff and promote well-being in the workplace.
First Aid for Mental Health is evidenced based and is Ofqual regulated and accredited with certificates at level 1, level 2 and level 3. It complies with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Mental Health Policy of your organization.

While there are no specific duties placed on employers to reduce the risk of exposure to work related stress, the general duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 apply equally to mental well-being, as they do to physical injury and health, making First Aid for Mental Health courses as equally important as First Aid at Work.

What is First Aid for Mental Health?This allows a person to give immediate help, support and signposting information to someone at the onset, in or at the end of a mental health crisis, until clinical help and intervention can be given to the person. It acts in the same way as First Aid at Work and CPR. The courses help to improve the understanding, knowledge and attitude of individuals towards mental health conditions. This in turn helps to improve performance, reduce sick days and create a healthy work environment. Participants learn the signs of some mental health conditions and how to start a conversation and apply the four step C.A.R.E plan around it. It supports early intervention, prevention and treatment, with the correct signposting for clinical help. When early help is given, recovery is often quicker, making sickness absence shorter or not at all in some instances.

The Benefits
Staff get a good understanding of various mental health conditions and how to spot the signs of each. They learn how to support themselves and each other, leading to an open and transparent work culture that destigmatizes mental health conditions, making it easier for those with these conditions to attend work and thrive.

Managers, well-being champions, union reps  and health and safety reps learn how to  take care of their own mental health, as they support colleagues in a range of issues, which can at times can be stressful.
Mangers and HR officials get a good understanding  of various mental health conditions  and how to spot the signs of each. They learn how to support staff who have mental health conditions or who have family members with mental health conditions, when having to manage sickness/absence, work capability, performance and reasonable adjustments of employers.

We offer qualification and non qualification training courses:

Level 1 half day First Aid for Mental Health Awareness

Level 2 one day First Aid for Mental Health First Aid

Level 3 two day Supervising First Aid for Mental Health

Did you know?

  • 1 in 6 people experienced a mental health issues this week
  • Mixed anxiety and depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain
  • 1 in five working days are lost each week due to mixed anxiety and depression
  • Mental health problems are sometimes hidden and not visible causing those who live with them to do so in silence, often without the correct help and support
  • 1 in 10 children aged 5-16 have a diagnosable condition
  • 1 in 2 of all mental health problems are established by age 14
  • 3 in 4 of all mental problems are established by age 24

Mental Health Foundation

About Us: We are a community interest company. We deliver training and programs that fund activities around children and families (after school homework help, holiday play and learn schemes, soft skills personal and social development and parenting courses for parents.) We support activities in local communities that empower and inspire children and families. 

See the website for more information about ECAF (please note prices on the website may differ to those offered above due to an outdated website)

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Trustees’ Week: the importance of good governance

Community Action: MK is committed to providing support and advice to local community groups and organisations to help them run in an effective, transparent way, with the aim of making the local Voluntary and Community Sector as strong and resilient as it can be.

As an organisation, we are fully committed to the principles of the The Code of Governance for Charities, which is a practical tool to help charities and their trustees develop high standards of governance.

What is the Charity Governance Code?

The Charity Governance Code is not a legal requirement, however it represents a standard of good governance practice to which all charities should aspire. Charity Commission recommends that all charities read, follow and apply it proportionately to their circumstances, and we encourage all not-for-profit groups to refer to its recommendations.

How do you start in reviewing your governance?

Trustees week (running from 4th -11th November) is a great opportunity for the existing board of trustees or group committees to review their own governance structures and reflect on the seven principles of the Code of Governance, which are as the below diagram illustrates:

If your board is interested in taking on this exercise, Community Action: MK can offer an easy online governance self-assessment tool, which we have developed over the past year with support from MK Community Foundation, and tested for the benefit of numerous local groups and organisations (please follow this link to see an example).

To complete the self- assessment, please follow this link to an online form, which will take you through some key questions based around the principles of The Code of Governance. Completing the form will take up to 15 minutes, however we recommend that the self-assessment is undertaken as a group exercise for your board or a committee – e.g. as part of your meeting.

What happens after the self assessment?

The form will give you and your fellow trustees some useful prompts to discuss the strengths of your organisation, and identify areas of improvement, and – based on this discussion – you will be able to score your performance.

Once you have submitted the form at the end of this process, we will take time to explore your answers and look into your governance documents.
If necessary:

  • we will come back to you to clarify any gaps in knowledge and, following this assessment;
  • We will provide you with a set of recommendations, including a number of useful resources to refer to and training opportunities;
  • We will consider how we can help you to improve your governance structures by providing support, 1-2-1 sessions and/or sign-posting you to other specialist services.

To find out more about the self-assessment tool , please follow this link to our Good Governance project page. Alternatively, if you have any questions or would like to speak to a member of our team, please either e-mail us on support@communityactionmk.org or call us on 01908 621 661.

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Free Pantomime tickets for charity performance: Thursday 19th December

Free tickets for charity performance on Thursday 19th December at 10am!

Are you still looking for that perfect Christmas outing?

Well we might just have the answer – keep reading!

RARE Pantomimes are delighted to be appearing at Stantonbury Theatre this Christmas. They will bring talented cast of professional actors and dancers together to delight you with their production of…

Beauty and the Beast!

Join Belle and the Beast in the enchanted castle. With Dame Dotty taking full control of everyone’s lives hindered by the hapless Muddles and arrogant Count George, what could possibly go wrong?

A traditional pantomime for all the family built around audience participation. A real Christmas treat!

For this special charity showing, we will be offering up to 30 tickets free of charge as a gesture of good will to the local Milton Keynes community…all we need now is you!

This unique performance will take place on Thursday 19th December at 10am.

These tickets are booked on a first come, first served basis so book now to avoid disappointment!

All we ask for in return is the promise of an image of your party having a lot of fun and a short message that we can share on our website and social media pages.

Stantonbury Theatre offers free parking for cars and coaches and disabled access for those with mobility issues.

If you have any other requirements or enquiries, please contact Emma at emmad@rareproductions.co.uk or contact the theatre directly to book at 01908 324466.

For more about RARE Pantomimes please check out our social media accounts for past production images and backstage gossip…

Facebook – @RAREPantomimes

Twitter – @RARE_Panto

Instagram – @rare_panto

Please be aware that there are only 30 tickets FREE and it will be a first come first serve basis.

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Volunteers needed: Shenley Wood ExtraCare Retirement Village

Shenley Wood are flexible with their volunteers – whatever time you can give, they will appreciate and value, for it’s the residents that will benefit from any time you have to help make sure that the activities, facilities and groups are running for them to access and participate in.

Volunteers are needed at Shenley Wood in the following areas:

Befriender

The purpose of a befriender is to share time with residents listening and chatting, encouraging them to participate in a friendly and professional manner.

Main tasks:

  • To meet with residents who may be isolated in communal areas
  • To spend time with new residents welcoming them and introducing them to village life
  • To encourage the resident to participate in village life
  • To spend time with the resident chatting, listening and responding
  • To follow standard procedures and rules of conduct
  • To work with and in consultation with the staff and specifically the Village Activity Facilitator, Wellbeing advisor and Locksmith
  • Find things of interest for the resident to talk about

Attributes/Competencies:

  • To be a good listener and have an empathy with people
  • Pleasant, friendly personality, patient with a mature understanding attitude
  • Trustworthy, honest, reliable, able to observe confidentiality
  • To work as part of a team

Gym

This role is to assist the fitness instructor in the smooth running of the gym and to ensure proper procedures are observed, and to enhance the services provided within the village.

Main tasks:

  • Assisting with the opening and closing the gym
  • Turning machinery on and off as required
  • Carrying out daily cleaning and health and safety checks on gym facilities
  • Providing excellent customer service to gym members
  • Providing information on the operation of gym equipment
  • Operating the gym music system
  • Observing the gym (being able to raise the alarm in an emergency)
  • Filing and finding gym members programme cards
  • Promote gym facilities and memberships
  • Assisting with housekeeping tasks within the gym facilities  To observe standard procedures and observe Health and Safety and rules of conduct

Attributes/Competencies:
A people person with a pleasant and friendly personality
Trustworthy, honest and reliable
Ability to carry out their role within a team and under own initiative


Memory Group Session

The purpose of the role is to support the EOP Locksmith in delivering a reminiscence session through a person-centered and holistic approach.

Main tasks:

  • Welcoming and chatting to group members
  • Supporting residents to their seats
  • Participating in group and one to one discussions
  • Engaging with individuals, listening to their life history and respecting their life experiences
  • Providing the Locksmith with a summary of sessions and assisting them with planning future
  • reminiscence discussions
  • Assisting with group activities such as quizzes with the possibility of leading sessions
  • Making refreshments for residents

Attributes/Competencies:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Empathetic with a person centered approach
  • A good listener with a friendly and welcoming personality
  • Reliable and flexible
  • An understanding of Dementia would be beneficial to this role
  • A strong team member

Wellbeing Group – Escorter

The role of the Volunteer Escorter Coordinator is to escort, support and assist residents to and from wellbeing and the Enriched Opportunities Programme (EOP) activities and sessions within the village.

Main tasks:

  • Collect residents in a timed manner following a timetable
  • Escorting residents to activities and sessions (assisting wheelchair users if required)
  • Chatting to residents
  • Liaising with the volunteer escorter coordinator, the residents and the care team when necessary
  • To follow standard procedures and rules of conduct
  • To work with and in consultation with the staff and specifically the Village Activity Facilitator/Activity Coordinator, Wellbeing advisor and Locksmith

Attributes/Competencies:

  • Reliable and punctual with excellent time management skills
  • To be a good listener and have an empathy with people
  • Pleasant, friendly personality, patient with a mature understanding attitude
  • Trustworthy, honest, able to observe confidentiality
  • To work as part of a team

Shop Assistant

The role of the shop assistant is to ensure that you are providing good customer service to the residents in a friendly and professional manner, as well as undertaking generic shop housekeeping duties.

Main tasks:

  • Providing excellent customer service
  • Assisting customers with their purchases
  • Replenishing and Rotating stock
  • Processing sales, cash handling and operating a till
  • Processing deliveries
  • Labeling and pricing stock
  • General housekeeping duties

Attributes/Competencies

  • A pleasant, friendly personality, patient with a mature attitude
  • Trustworthy, honest, reliable
  • Able to work in a team and under own initiative
  • Experience of retail work or customer focussed activity would be advantageous but full training and support will be given

Training and development for all roles will be provided.

If you are interested in any of these roles, please contact the Shenley Wood ExtraCare Volunteer manager at natalie.sabin@extracare.org.uk or call on 01908 413035

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All you ever wanted to know about social prescribing

The King’s Fund has produced a reading list on social prescribing for anybody who would like more information. It includes everything from introductory material (such as NHS England’s Social prescribing and community-based support: Summary guide) to qualitative studies (such as Delivering a primary care-based social prescribing initiative: a qualitative study of the benefits and challenges, so there is something for everybody.

Some of the reports have a specific focus such as exercise on referral or arts and health, whereas others are more general. This highlights the complexity of social prescribing, as well as the different rates of development. If you’re working on social prescribing – or thinking about it – this is a really useful resource.

https://koha.kingsfund.org.uk/cgi-bin/koha/opac-shelves.pl?op=view&shelfnumber=133&sortfield=copyrightdate&direction=desc

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Let’s Talk Good Finance Milton Keynes: free event about social investment for local groups

Please follow this link to see the event’s programme.

Guest speakers:

Investors:
Jo Wedderspoon, CAF Venturesome (unsecured loans)
Jaishree Mistry, Homeless Link (blended finance – part grant, part loan)

Hear from a Peer:
David Lett, Co-founder & Operations Director, ToolShed

Charities & Community Groups Funding News from and for the VCS opportunities

Our Autumn Networking/Netwalking Event

The weather was kind to us on Tuesday, for our networking/netwalking event that took place at the Meeting Place outside The Point amidst the Festival of Creative Urban Living.

With the venue so open plan, we used some of our refreshments as paperweights to hold down our information at our stall before it was lost to the wind – otherwise people wouldn’t know who we are, what we do, what we are working on or how we can help and support the voluntary and community sector.

The Festival of Creative Urban Living were kind enough to host us and even entertain us and our guests on a tour of the Festival, exhibiting some of their unique architecture and concepts, with one of our own team getting her idea of a beach in Milton Keynes on one of their models!

We were also joined by AccessAble. AccessAble have been working with Milton Keynes Council for a number of years to create over 350 Access Guides for the area. These Guides contain over 1,000 pieces of access information with a pan-disability approach so that residents and visitors with a disability can make independent and informed decisions about where they would like to go out. For more information, visit their website or contact them to find out how you can utilise their services and Guides!

Then some of our networkers ventured on our netWALK into Conniburrow to see how Big Local Conniburrow have helped to shape and enhance the local community assets. There was a walk around Friendship Park, a visit to the Big Local Conniburrow Hub, as well as a visit to the Pond, the Little Library and the Community Orchard. Our guests were impressed with all of Conniburrow’s hidden gems and how utilised these are by residents and the local community. Our team and guests even had a little laugh and a dance under the Sonar Arch in Friendship Park to show another way the space could be used!

We thank all our attendees and visitors to our Networking Event for coming along and for your ongoing support at our events.

If you would like to see what events we are hosting and that are coming up, sign up to our mailing list here.

Our next event is our ‘Let’s Talk Good Finance’ Event, organised in collaboration with the teams at NAVCA and Good Finance. There will be speakers, the hot topic of the REACH Fund and the promise of refreshments. Please see here for more details.

If you would like to know more about what we do, how we can help or if you have simply got news to share with us, then contact us at info@communityactionmk.org or call on 01908 661623.

We already have our ‘SAVE THE DATE’ for our next networking event! See below for more details.

We look forward to seeing you there! #lovemk #welovemk #networking #voluntaryandcommunitysector

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Big Local Conniburrow upcoming events

Join Big Local Conniburrow for their community events:

Halloween Gathering

When is it: 30th October (Wednesday) 6pm – 8pm (FREE)
Where is it: BLC Hub, 34 Bramble Avenue, MK14 7AP.

What will be happening: Crafts, Snacks, Games and More!
Who is it for: All Ages.

Art Exhibition

When is it: 9th November (Saturday) 10am – 2pm (20p Entry Fee)
Where is it: BLC Hub, 34 Bramble Avenue, MK14 7AP.

What will be happening: Paintings by Sid Burgess, a resident, will be available for viewing and sale.
Who is it for: All Ages.

Yoga

When is it: Weekly on Tuesday, 10:30am – 11:45am (FREE)
Where is it: BLC Hub, 34 Bramble Avenue, MK14 7AP.
Who runs it and how does it work: Trevor Heale does a relaxing session with a focus on breathing and light stretches designed to give the same results as a hard yoga routine.

Coffee Morning

When is it: Weekly on Friday, 10am – 12am. (FREE)
Where is it: BLC Hub, 34 Bramble Avenue, MK14 7AP.
What is available: Free hot drinks, Newspapers and WIFI. Playing cards and darts available as well and we will happily play with you!
Who is it for: Everyone.

Crafty Cuppa

When is it: 9am – 9:30am (Free Breakfast) 9:45am – 11am (Crafty)
Where is it: 1 Germander Place, MK14 7DU (The School)
What happens: Crafty Activities, like knitting for example, around other people for a lovely social environment and cohesion. 
Who is it for: All Ages. Towards Parents.

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7 October: Weekly Bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

Make sure you are signed up to our mailing list to to receive the bulletin to your inbox every Monday morning!

See this week’s bulletin here: https://mailchi.mp/communityactionmk/weekly-info-updates-from-community-action-mk-w7ct2jjjgf?e=f769201de3

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It’s Your Neighbourhood Awards!

Our very own residents from Netherfield were invited along to the ‘Its Your Neighbourhood’ awards, on behalf of the RHS Britain in Bloom, last week to recognise their work on the ever-improving Community Garden.

Residents from Netherfield attending It’s Your Neighbourhood event with our very own Community Mobiliser, Sue Nelson.

Netherfield residents received a Level 2 award from the Royal Horticultural Society for their efforts in transforming the Community Garden space in Netherfield.

It was a well-attended event, with other residents from Milton Keynes areas in attendance, such as locals from Fullers Slade, Greenleys, Bletchley and Stony Stratford.

Milton Keynes Residents at the event

The event is  major community participation programme and is run on behalf of the RHS Britain in Bloom Campaigns.  This programme focuses on community participation.

For more information on the event and the RHS campaign, click here.

To see how your community can get involved in this campaign for next year and for more information about South and South East in Bloom or Britain in Bloom, then click here.

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30 September: Weekly Bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

Make sure you are signed up to our mailing list to to receive the bulletin to your inbox every Monday morning!

See our weekly bulletin here: https://mailchi.mp/communityactionmk/weekly-info-updates-from-community-action-mk?e=bd69a4edbf

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Fareshare South Midlands Warehouse is now open!

In partnership with the alternative education charity SOFEA, a brand new Fareshare has come to Milton Keynes! Community Action:MK went along to the opening of the warehouse and the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Fareshare distribute and supply their surplus food to over 11,000 charities across the UK. They have brought themselves to Milton Keynes, working with ASDA, to try and tackle the poverty, homelessness and lack of food available to vulnerable people in order to provide a basic human need to those who might not otherwise receive it. Fareshare are also using their surplus food to connect people and create a social impact upon those they supply to, by bringing people together through food.

‘Surplus with a purpose’.

Community Action:MK were invited to attend the launch of the brand new Fareshare SOFEA Warehouse, where SOFEA and Fareshare’s partners, volunteers and organisations they supply to were out in force to celebrate the new Warehouse. SMART!, MK College and Milton Keynes Christian Foundation, to name a few of the organisations in attendance that Fareshare supply to.

The CEO of Fareshare and the CEO of SOFEA made speeches about how their organisations work and how they work together to achieve ‘surplus with a purpose’. There is a wealth of work behind the scenes and they owe a large thank you to their workers and volunteers, without whom they’re operation would not work or run smoothly or function at all in order to deliver to the frontline charities and community groups.

Lindsay Boswell, CEO of Fareshare, addressing the crowd at the opening launch.

The Mayor was in attendance of the event, invited to help cut the ribbon. He made an empowering speech about how Fareshare and their partnership with SOFEA and ASDA would benefit not only the homelessness numbers rising in Milton Keynes, but the poverty that both vulnerable people and children face. He is excited to see the benefit to the impoverished areas and vulnerable people within Milton Keynes that Fareshare and SOFEA will work with, as well as the individual and social impact it will have on local communities as a whole.

Fareshare are on the lookout for more volunteers for their new South Midlands Warehouse. If you are are interested in volunteering with Fareshare, click here for more information, or contact Community Action: MK at support@communityactionmk.org or call 01908 661623.

For more information about Fareshare and how they work, click here. Or follow the link here to learn more about SOFEA.

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Community Action: MK joined in the Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning!

Inundated with cake, Community Action:MK sat down and enjoyed a chat over their bakes and buys, accompanied with a cuppa, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

On Friday the 27th September, Community Action:MK took an hour from their day to sit down, have a coffee and a slice of the many, many cakes provided by the staff and donated to Macmillan Cancer Support on the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.

Chocolate cake, lemon cake, fruit cake and raspberry cake and homemade tiffin, the Community Action: MK team surpassed cake-expectations and baked, brought and provided the office with plenty of goodies to feast on alongside their cuppas.

Between our small team of workers and the generosity of our neighbours Duncan Lewis, we raised £58.11 towards Macmillan Cancer Support!

A big thank you to our team at Community Action for getting involved in such a worthwhile cause and for putting your hands in your pockets and giving what you can!

Blog Post

Autumn Networking Event: Living well in communities – 8 October

Date: Tuesday 8th October 2019
Time: 2:00 – 3:00pm, Optional Walk to Conniburrow commencing at 3:00pm
Venue: The Meeting Place (near The Point, CMK)
REGISTER HERE

Community Action:MK are hosting our Autumn Networking in line with the Festival of Creative Urban Living, happening on Midsummer Boulevard.

Join us to explore ‘Living Well in Communities’ in the new urban dwellings of Milton Keynes and come together with colleagues and friends from the voluntary and community sector to explore the hidden gems within these communities.

There will be a walk (optional) into Conniburrow to view the hidden gems of this estate and to explore the community engagement activities taking place there, with guidance from our colleagues working with Big Local Conniburrow.

Agenda (draft):

2:00 pm – Arrival: Registration and Refreshments
2:15 pm – Welcome from Clare Walton, CEO of Community Action:MK
2:20 pm – Networking
3:00 pm – Walk to Conniburrow (optional) / Stay and explore the Festival of Creative Urban Living
3:30 pm – Exploring Conniburrow: The Community Orchard, The Little Library, Friendship Park, The Pond and The Community Hub .
4:15pm – Walk back to CMK

The walk to Conniburrow is optional, but please reserve a ticket as part of the registration process) On the walk, we will be exploring the creative designs within an urban area and visiting the hidden gems of Conniburrow, such as The Community Orchard, Friendship Park and The Hub.

If you prefer, you are more than welcome to stay after our networking section and explore the events and exhibitions of the Festival of Creative Urban Living. From Utopia Station, film screenings and Bike School to the Boulevard Broadcast, talks and Beds United, there is so much to do see and explore at the Festival, that maybe just one afternoon won’t be enough!

You can find a programme of events here.

We do hope you will join in to explore what we will be an intriguing insight into ‘Living Well in Communities’ within the Festival and to journey with us into our very own Conniburrow to see how their hidden gems have contributed to the creativity of one of MK’s very own urban estates.

We very much look forward to seeing you on the day!

Thank you,
Community Action:MK Team

Blog Post

System-wide Conversation: “Let’s talk about changing outcomes for people who are the highest users of services and how we support these vulnerable individuals within our community to flourish”

Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes ICS invites you to: System-wide Conversation: “Let’s talk about changing outcomes for people who are the highest users of services and how we support these vulnerable individuals within our community to flourish”

When: Wednesday 9 October, 2019 5.45 pm – 9.00 pm
Where: Rufus Centre, Lockyer Suite, Steppingley Road, Flitwick, Bedfordshire, MK45 1AH

To register for the event please click here.

BLMK ICS is delighted to invite you to a special workshop focussed on changing the outcomes of the health systems highest users. On the evening we will be joined by two keynote speakers who will join us to talk about ‘High Intensity User (HIU) Schemes, Approaches, Mindsets & Behaviours’.

– Rhian Monteith, Clinical Lead for RightCare High Intensity User Programme, NHS England and NHS Improvement & Clinical Lead, Rotating Paramedic Programme, Health Education England and

– Dawn Chamberlain, Programme Director Clinical Improvement, NHS England and NHS Improvement

In addition, the evening will also include an opportunity for attendees to participate in break out groups to focus on jointly identifying a better understanding of the true impact across our whole system – in particular the wider determinants of health – for HIU schemes/approaches. 

Spaces are available to staff of the 15 Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes partners and associated voluntary organisations.

To register for the event please click here.

Food and refreshments will be provided at the event and a full agenda will follow. 
Follow us at:  @BLMKPartnership www.blmkpartnership.co.uk

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Health and Wellbeing Board Drop – In

Tim Davies joined us for the ‘Meet Peta’ Drop In and was keen to impart his knowledge and his wisdom about his role on the Health and Wellbeing Board, whilst enjoying some tea and treats in the process!

Tim Davies, the Deputy VCS representative on the Health and Wellbeing Board for Milton Keynes, stepped in for Peta at the drop in Community Action:MK hosted at Acorn House on Wednesday 25th September.

We got some visits from a couple of local groups, interested to learn about what the Health and Wellbeing Board do within the voluntary and community sector, whilst promoting themselves to Tim to make him aware of what is out there at a grassroots level.

Some groups are still growing, developing and learning about the sector they are involved in, such as DAFS (Drugs Alcohol Family Support), a family support group run by other parents/partners of addicted loved ones, offering a weekly support meeting in a welcoming/safe/confidential and non-judgemental environment. They met Tim and were impressed with the strategic priorities of the HWB to affect change at grass roots level for the voluntary and community sector and the new and developing groups working with and operating within the health and social care system.

What is the Health and Wellbeing Board?

Health and Wellbeing Boards are a key element of the new health and social care system. The boards bring together commissioners of services across the NHS, public health, social care and children’s services, and build on the current strong local partnerships and joint working across health and social care within Milton Keynes. Milton Keynes Council has provided strategic leadership in developing a Health and Wellbeing Board for Milton Keynes.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 gives health and wellbeing boards specific functions which include the preparation of Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs) and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies (JHWSs), these are duties of local authorities and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

The overarching strategic priorities of the Milton Keynes Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2018 – 2028 (PDF, 2.4MB) are:

Staying Well

  • a strong focus on prevention

Closing the Gap

  • reducing inequalities in life chances

One MK

  • an integrated, innovative approach to health and wellbeing

This is achieved through Starting Well, Living Well and Ageing Well.

For more information about how the Health and Wellbeing board in Milton Keynes is being run and what it is about, click here.

If you would like to learn more about how you can start, support or develop a group within the voluntary and community sector, please contact us at support@communityactionmk.org or call us on 01908 661623.

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Skills Support for the Unemployed

The Skills Support for the Unemployed initiative is aimed at the 18+ and unemployed.

The short courses are designed to upskill individuals and give you some training and development to boost confidence and increase their employability.

We also try to arrange job interviews after each course. 

Not only is all the training and development paid for, but you will receive money for each training day, paid into your account at the end of each course.

This is to cover any expenses e.g travel, food that they might have occurred. They won’t need proof of expenditure. They will literally just receive a capped payment per day, for each course (this is paid on successful course completion). 

Upcoming Courses:

Spectator Safety – One day workshop

All attendees will also receive £20 per day for food and travel expenses.   

Date & Time: Monday 23rd Sept 2019: 9.30am – 4.30pm

Location: Luton


Spectator Safety – One day workshop 

All attendees will also receive £20 per day for food and travel expenses. 

Date & Time: Friday 27th September 2019: 9.30am – 4.30pm

Location: Northampton

See PDF for more details


Sales & Customer Service – 5 day course  

All attendees will also receive £10 per day for food and travel expenses, paid via bacs transfer at the end of the week.  

Date & Time: 30th September – 4th October 2019: 9.30am – 4.00pm

Location: Corby


Sales & Customer Service – 5 day course

All attendees will also receive £10 per day for food and travel expenses, paid via bacs transfer at the end of the week.

Date & Time: 7th – 11th October 2019: 9.30am – 4.00pm

Location: Luton


Sales & Customer Service – 5 day course  

All attendees will also receive £10 per day for food and travel expenses, paid via bacs transfer at the end of the week.  

Date & Time: 14th – 18th October 2019: 9.30am – 4.00pm

Location: Milton Keynes

See PDF for more details


Social Media & Digital Marketing – 5 day course  

All attendees will also receive £10 per day for food and travel expenses, paid via bacs transfer at the end of the week.  

Date & Time: 14th – 18th October 2019: 9.30am – 4.00pm

Location: Northampton 

Please see PDF for more details


If you have any questions or would like to apply, please contact CA:MK at support@communityactionmk.org or directly contact the TESS group at shovorne.adams@thetessgroup.com or call 01604 210500

Blog Post

23 September: Weekly Bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

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23 September 2019

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Autumn networking event: Living well in communities

Date: Tuesday 8th October 2019
Time: 2:00 – 3:00pm. Optional Walk to Conniburrow commencing at 3:00pm
Venue: The Meeting Place (next to The Point in CMK)

REGISTER HERE

Join us to explore ‘Living Well in Communities’ in the new urban dwellings of Milton Keynes and come together with colleagues and friends from the voluntary and community sector to explore the hidden gems within these communities.

There will be a walk (optional) into Conniburrow to view the hidden gems of this estate and to explore the community engagement activities taking place there, with guidance from our colleagues working with Big Local Conniburrow.

Let’s Talk Good Finance MK

Thursday 17th October, 1.30 – 4.30pm.
This session is designed for charities, social enterprises, community businesses and local groups in Milton Keynes interested in social investment. To find out more about social investment and to book your free place, REGISTER HERE.

Sign up to our Cyber Protect workshops

The workshops will be held on the following dates and times:
Workshop 1: Tuesday 8th October
11am – 1pm.
Workshop 2: Thursday 24th October 11am – 1pm
Venue: Grant Thornton, 199 Avebury Blvd, MK9 1AU. REGISTER HERE

Meet Peta : drop-in with the representative of MK Health & Wellbeing board

Drop in on 25 September, 13:00-15:00, Acorn House Foyer to meet Peta Wilkinson from the MK Health and Wellbeing Board.

For more information about what the Health and Wellbeing Board is and what they do, click this link.

Age UK Milton Keynes AGM

Thu, September 26, 2019, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM. REGISTER HERE
Guest speaker is Michael Bracey, Chief Executive Milton Keynes Council, who will be speaking about the changing role and relationship between the council and the voluntary sector.

Proposed changes to sexual harassment law

The government has opened a consultation on sexual harassment in the workplace and the legal protections available under the Equalities Act 2010. NCVO has published some useful information for charities which explains what the consultation is about and how the proposed changes to sexual harassment law may affect how you safeguard not just staff, but also volunteers. You can read NCVOs guidance here and you can take part in the consultation here

Independent Examination update for Trustees – TCC

The Charity Commission has updated its guidance for trustees on what they need to know about independent examination. This guidance gives trustees the information they need to:

  • check whether their charity can have its accounts independently examined instead of audited
  • appoint a suitable person to carry out the independent examination, and
  • prepare for the independent examination.
    Find out more
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Milton Keynes Council Open Consultations

See all MK Council consultations

Other useful links:

Milton Keynes Housing Strategy Consultation

Architect, Building, Joy, Planning

The Housing Strategy provides a clear vision of how the Council and its stakeholders can achieve our shared aspiration in providing housing that meets the needs and requirements of Milton Keynes. Find out more and have your say here.

EEH Transport Strategy Meeting

England’s Economic Heartland (EEH) officers are holding a local engagement event where you can hear about the strategy and their work.   The event will take place on 25 September 2019 from 6:30-8pm, in the Council Chamber, Civic Offices, Milton Keynes. Please email Transport.Policy@milton-keynes.gov.uk

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British sign language (BSL) taster Session (5th October) and BSL Course (9th October)

Find out more:
Email us: info@access-ambassadors.co.uk for information or go onto our website: https://www.access-ambassadors.co.uk/bsltraining

Bletchley Speakers Club – Local Speakers Club offers free public speaking course

Have you noticed how much time people spend looking at their phones? Is the art of verbal communication dead? Bletchley Speakers Club invites you to get out from behind your screen, and talk.

The club is offering a free 5 week course in public speaking starting Tuesday October 1st
7.30 – 9.30 pm at Rectory Cottages.

What’s been happening in Conniburrow? A BLC Update.

Big Local Conniburrow has had an exciting few weeks, because as well as having new member of personnel join the team, there was a bunch of events such as the Fun Day, Treasure Hunt and the Cheese and Biscuit
Quiz. These events were overall positive and promoted the BLC to new families and groups. Read the blog here

The rule that gave people with learning disabilities a voice

Essex County Council’s 100 Day Challenge explored the best ways to support people with learning disabilities and autism. During their challenge, a new way of working emerged that remains in place today to ensure everyone’s ideas are heard.  Read more

Bicycle Training Sessions

woman riding bicycle near grass

MKC’s Transport team deliver bicycle training sessions across MK – providing people with the skills to increase their confidence and safety. The training sessions are suitable for all abilities and can be completed individually, in groups or as a family. Click here to book the right course for you.  Email cycling@milton-keynes.gov.uk.

Crowdfunding for the Children & Young People of Milton Keynes

Arther Ellie Mental Health Support are raising £1,000,000 to provide the children and young people who are unable to access help across Milton Keynes with 1:1 therapeutic support. Find out more

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Volunteering opportunity of the week: Quality Christmas Gift Wrapping in December 2019

It’s too early for Christmas, surely? Not for Nkiru Arts – they are thinking ahead and already looking to recruit volunteers for Christmas! Nkiru Arts are currently recruiting unpaid volunteers for December up to Christmas Eve to be trained for quality Christmas Gift Wrapping to work a few occasional 3 / 4 hour shifts on the Charity Gift Wrapping Stall in INTU as part of the Christ The Cornerstone Christmas Appeal Christmas Gift Wrapping Stall. Find out more

Volunteering drop in

Community Action: MK also hold a Volunteer drop in service every Tuesday afternoon from 1pm -3pm at Acorn House, 351 Midsummer Blvd, CMK, MK9 3HP. Pop in to speak to our friendly volunteering advisors and find out about the many local volunteering opportunities you could get involved with.

Part time Information Advice and Guidance Adviser

Works for Us

Come and join our team at Works for Us!
We are looking for an outstanding individual to provide one-to-one advice sessions to our clients to support them in obtaining employment, education, training or volunteering. This position requires excellent communication skills and experience of working with people from a variety of social, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Find out more

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Small Charities Challenge Fund

Maximum Value: £ 50,000
Deadline: 28th November 2019

The Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF) is a funding opportunity for small UK-registered charities and not-for-profit organisations. SCCF project grants of up to £50,000 are available for projects of up to two years. Grants are available for UK-registered organisations working towards addressing the Global Goals to improve the lives of the most vulnerable and marginalised. Find out more

Groundwork partners with Comic Relief to offer grants of up to £4,000 for grassroots organisations

Grant funding of up to £4,000 will be available for projects, including purchasing items, materials and equipment to benefit the local community, improvements to a community building, developing an outdoor space or running a community project or activity. Projects can also fund coordinators to manage volunteers, staff to lead activities or training sessions, workshops and community activities. Find out more

Cultural Impact Development Fund

A £3.7 million fund providing small-scale repayable finance to socially-driven arts and cultural organisations. Cultural Impact Development Fund will pioneer the use of financial incentives to drive the achievement of social impact targets in its investment portfolio, making it one of the few impact investment funds with a clear trade-off of financial return for the attainment of social outcomes. The Fund is supported by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment through the Growth Fund programme, with finance being provided by its partners The National Lottery Community Fund and Big Society Capital.

Velobants

Saturday 28 September

Velobants present CX in The City 2, Central Cyclo-Cross League Round 3 – next Saturday 28 September.
A special plea to all female riders – local cycling club Velobants are trying to attract 100 women riders to help break the British Cycling record and each rider gets a chance to win a Trek Crockett bike.Don’t forget to log your miles for Cycle September https://www.lovetoride.net/miltonkeynes !

The Festival of Creative Urban Living : 26 September – 13 October 2019

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You’ll find MK’s first ever free ‘A Festival of Creative Urban Living’ from 26 September – 13 October on Midsummer Boulevard in Central Milton Keynes.

Find out more

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

What’s been happening in Conniburrow? A BLC Update.

Big Local Conniburrow has had an exciting few weeks and we wanted to share with you what’s been happening!

BLC Fun Day

The Fun Day was a big hit, with hundreds of residents turning up to the big party-like atmosphere in the Friendship Park. There were food stalls, face-painting stalls, soft-play for the children and even and inflatable helter skelter! And a big hat’s off to one of Conniburrow residents for ‘Braving the Shave’ to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Research, with BLC’s Chair of the Partnership, Robbie Macpherson, kindly offering to yield the razor for her!

All the stalls and the entire event was made up of volunteers giving up their weekend to bring the local community together to enjoy the end of summer and promote the hard work of the Big Local Conniburrow!

Treasure Hunt

The Treasure Hunt took place in Great Linford Wood with a picnic lunch afterwards, with a good turn-out on the day and plenty of treasure to hunt down! There was even a story read to the children and families afterwards by our new Trainee Mobiliser!

This event was hosted by Sid Burgess, a local resident who really enjoys spending time at BLC and his input and ideas had really help make the events as successful as they are. If you are interested in getting involved at Big Local Conniburrow, then please contact us on support@communityactionmk.org or call 01908 661623

What else is BLC up to?

The Involvement and Social Task group are always hosting events, such as the most recent Cheese and Biscuit Quiz, led again by Sid Burgess, keen to always find different ways to bring the community together in different ways!

BLC also host weekly groups and clubs for local residents from Conniburrow and the surrounding area to attend! There is a Youth Social every Tuesday afternoon (16yrs+) and a coffee morning for every age on Friday mornings. They facilitate Yoga sessions on a Tuesday morning and yes, the Crafty Cuppa is back! Complete with an option of Breakfast at the Children’s Centre in Conniburrow every Thursday morning.

Conniburrow is also home to a well-kept, creatively planted Community Orchard.

Friends of Community Orchard project is managed by volunteers in collaboration with Big Local Conniburrow. We are always looking for volunteers to help maintain and plant the orchard. The Friends of the Orchard meet every Wednesday at 3:30pm to 5pm for Creative Gardening and on the third saturday of each month. (Please note these times may have changed. Contact us for more details).

If you are interested in any of these groups or getting involved in BLC or volunteering at one of their events or in the orchard, then please contact us at support@communityactionmk.org or call 01908 661623

Blog Post

Volunteering Opportunity: Volunteers required for Quality Christmas Gift Wrapping in December 2019

It’s too early for Christmas, surely? Not for Nkiru Arts – they are thinking ahead and already looking to recruit volunteers for Christmas!

Nkiru Arts are currently recruiting unpaid volunteers for December up to Christmas Eve to be trained for quality Christmas Gift Wrapping to work a few occasional 3 / 4 hour shifts on the Charity Gift Wrapping Stall in INTU as part of the Christ The Cornerstone Christmas Appeal Christmas Gift Wrapping Stall.

The hours spent wrapping would be credited to Nkiru Arts Inclusive Organisation (not for profit)

You would report to and be under the guidance and Insurance of of Nkiru Arts.

Who are Nkiru Arts?

 Nkiru –  Means ‘the best is yet to come’.

Nkiru Arts is an Inclusive arts for health organisation based in Milton Keynes. They are a  small ‘Not for profit’ organisation and run entirely by volunteers – everyone gives their time freely and no wages are paid.

Focusing on all aspects of ‘The Arts’, embracing all forms of ‘The Arts’ to compliment people’s lives keeping people fit, active and portray disabilities in a positive light.

Nkiru runs community African & Dhol Drumming Groups for fun and do public performances. Sessions are totally inclusive and encourage a mix of abled and disabled. Arts workshops and all textile workshops are totally inclusive too. They aim to include all, regardless of any disability.

Nkiru Arts’ activities also provide supportive opportunities, training and work experience for volunteers.

The ideal candidate must:

  • be over 18 years of age
  • have a good rapport with customers
  • be able to take and organise orders
  • be nimble fingered
  • enjoy wrapping gifts
  • be able to work sitting or standing for 3 / 4 hour shift
  • be able to cope in busy periods.

Sales experience in shop environment ideal, but not essential as full training given, working as a team member and able to follow instructions essential.

All training provided and must reach level required, must attend a 2 hour training session.

Choice of morning , afternoon, evening or weekend shift to suit.

Please contact Annie Beddoenkiruarts@btinternet.com

Blog Post

16 September: Weekly Bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

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16 September 2019

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SAVE THE DATE: Autumn networking event

Our Autumn Networking event has been confirmed for Tuesday 8th October 2019. It will be held at the Meeting Place as part of The Festival for Creative Urban Living .

Watch this space for more details! We look forward to seeing you there!

Let’s Talk Good Finance MK

This session is designed for charities, social enterprises, community businesses and local groups in Milton Keynes interested in social investment. Thursday 17th October, 1.30 – 4.30pm. To find out more about social investment and to book your free place, follow this link.

No-deal Brexit and the voluntary sector

While there is still little certainty around what kind of Brexit we will get and what Brexit will mean for the UK, planning for it is essential. It is vital that all organisations undertake contingency planning now to make sure they are resilient during times of uncertainty. Read more

Charities warned to prepare for no-deal Brexit following prorogation of Parliament

According to upcoming research from the Charity Finance Group, 75 per cent of charities have made no or little preparation for no-deal Brexit.
Read more

Shifting power, supporting communities and reshaping public services

Nesta are sharing stories from five local government innovators who are experimenting and developing more effective ways to shift power, solve problems, and reshape public services in the UK.
Read more

Sign up to our Cyber Protect workshops

The workshops will be held on the following dates and times:
Workshop 1: Tuesday 8th October
11am – 1pm.
Workshop 2: Thursday 24th October 11am – 1pm
Venue: Grant Thornton, 199 Avebury Blvd, Milton Keynes MK9 1AU. REGISTER HERE

Meet Peta : drop-in with the representative of MK Health & Wellbeing board

Drop in on 25 September, 13:00-15:00, Acorn House Foyer.

For more information about what the Health and Wellbeing Board is and what they do, click this link.

Age UK Milton Keynes AGM

Thu, September 26, 2019, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM. Register here
Guest speaker is Michael Bracey, Chief Executive Milton Keynes Council, who will be speaking about the changing role and relationship between the council and the voluntary sector.

Fundraising and Bid Writing Opportunities for MAKE Members

Writing, Write, Person, Paperwork, Paper, Notebook

Between autumn 2019 and summer 2020 MAKE offers two CPD fundraising and bid writing opportunities to its members, as a result of a successful funding bid to Artswork. Please email elizabeth@aha-mk.org for more information.

Community Grants information event

Do you run a project that supports local people to get on in life? Join the upcoming ‘Community Grants information event’ on Thursday 19 September in Milton Keynes for more information. Find out more

Charity Finance Group (CFG) Awards

Have you and your team made an outstanding contribution to your charity? If so, the Charity Finance Group (CFG) want to hear about it and recognise it with its new awards! The CFG Awards consist of three categories: Inspirational trustee, Innovation in Finance team & Embracing digital in financial reporting. Find out more

Emmaus Professional Open Day – 7th October

Emmaus Village Carlton is a homelessness charity providing more than just a bed for the night to people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion. For a short tour talk about Emmaus, a tour of the site, and an opportunity for shopping and free refreshments at the Bistro, book here.

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Milton Keynes Council Open Consultations

See all MK Council consultations

Other useful links:

Milton Keynes Housing Strategy Consultation

Architect, Building, Joy, Planning

The Housing Strategy provides a clear vision of how the Council and its stakeholders can achieve our shared aspiration in providing housing that meets the needs and requirements of Milton Keynes. Find out more and have your say here.

MK Carbon and Energy survey 2019

man holding incandescent bulb

Complete the MK Carbon and Energy Survey here

EEH Transport Strategy Meeting

England’s Economic Heartland (EEH) officers are holding a local engagement event where you can hear about the strategy and their work.   The event will take place on 25 September 2019 from 6:30-8pm, in the Council Chamber, Civic Offices, Milton Keynes. Please email Transport.Policy@milton-keynes.gov.uk

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Netherfield Update

There’s been a lot happening in Milton Keynes this summer, but we at Community Action: MK have been working with the local residents on Netherfield Local Conversation, to engage and entice the local community to get involved with what’s happening in Netherfield. Find out more

Mental Health Awareness Session – Netherfield

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Mental Health Awareness session took place on Monday 9th September with Christa Drennan from The University of Lancashire for people who live and work in Netherfield.  This was an informative event which was a good starting point to think more about mental health.

What Matters? Community Survey

In this survey, the Institute for Community Studies is looking to hear what matters most in your community and the questions you have about the issues that affect it. Please take the survey here.

CMK Litter picking

North Row:
On Saturday 21st September Central Milton Keynes Town Council is holding another litter pick between the North 9th and 10th Street flats . The event will take place between 10am – 12 noon and we invite residents to come along and get involved. We will meet next to Centrecom, North Row.

Aspects Sound and Vision: A project for young people aged 16 – 25 on the Autism Spectrum

Working in a small group you will devise a project to create podcasts in a professional radio studio, learn interview skills, how to run a radio show and create blogs. 1st Course: Starting 9th October for 6 weeks. 2nd Course: Starting 20th November to 18th December. For more information or to book contact: Sue Quinn 07739985546 or admin@aspects.org.uk

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Volunteering opportunity of the week: Puppy Socialiser

The £50 Challenge

Medical Detection Dogs are looking for caring family homes in Milton Keynes and surrounding areas to look after and socialise puppies and young adult dogs up to 18 months old.

Find out more

Volunteer Recruitment Day – National Museum of Computing, Bletchley

The National Museum of Computing

Sunday 21st September 2019. The National Museum of Computing seeks volunteers to assist in roles including front of house, room stewarding, tour guiding, back of house technical and administration, people looking to support STEM activities and helping in the small shop and front desk. Find out more

Homeless Shelter Support Worker

The Bus Shelter are seeking an additional team member to assist our Shelter Manager in supporting our guests and also ensuring the site remains a pleasant environment both physically and in atmosphere. Find out more

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Winifred Tumim Fund 2019

National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has launched the Winifred Tumim Memorial Fund 2019, awarding a grant of £1,000 for work which supports innovation in good charity governance . Find out more

Magic Little Grants 2019

Magic Little Grants 2019 from Localgiving is now open for £500 grants to charities and community groups that encourage people to be physically active. Find out more

Heritage Open Days

13th – 22nd September. This year Heritage Open Days will run over 10 consecutive days. All events will be free for the public to attend. The theme will be People Power, a celebration of the ways that people across time have taken action to change our world. Find out more

The Festival of Creative Urban Living : 26 September – 13 October 2019

You’ll find MK’s first ever free ‘A Festival of Creative Urban Living’ from 26 September – 13 October on Midsummer Boulevard in Central Milton Keynes.

Find out more

Community Fridge Tea Dance

Thursday 19th Sept 1230 – 3pm
The community fridge pop-up cafe team will be sharing an afternoon tea of sandwiches, cakes and homemade jam until 2pm accompanied by music from bygone decades and dancing until 3pm. No charge for food or entertainment. 

MK SNAP Quiz Night

Fri, 20 September 2019 19:00 – 22:00. Join us for a fun and competitive night at MK SNAP. £8.50 per person includes Hot dog and snacks for the table. Teams of 6. Find out more

MK LIT FEST 2019

18th – 22nd September. A fabulous festival of books, words, writers and ideas that celebrates everything literary, bookish or wordy. A programme of events and ticket information can be found here. Follow this link to find out more about MK Lit Fest.

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

No-deal Brexit and the voluntary sector

Author: Ben Westerman

After a turbulent period for the UK parliament, there is still a great deal of uncertainty around Brexit and the manner of the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU). While there is still little certainty around what kind of Brexit we will get and what Brexit will mean for the UK, planning for it is essential. It is vital that all organisations undertake contingency planning now to make sure they are resilient during times of uncertainty.

Since Boris Johnson’s appointment as prime minister, the possibility of a ‘no-deal’ or ‘WTO’ Brexit has been reported as the ‘assumed’ government position, and many experts agree that it is now the ‘most likely’ outcome. In recent days, the government has launched a public information campaign entitled Get ready for Brexit. Parliament remains opposed to a no-deal Brexit and has passed legislation designed to prevent this scenario on 31 October. However, not only is there very little time left for MPs to block such an outcome completely, ​particularly while parliament remains prorogued, but it may not even be possible for them to rule it out conclusively.

For charities, this means that preparing for change is crucial. Putting in place plans that are sufficiently flexible for a number of scenarios needs to be at the top of any list of trustee priorities.

NCVO has been clear about the dangers a no-deal Brexit poses to charities and their work. It is therefore all the more important that we think now about what we can do to reduce the possible impact of these dangers. Charities should map out the areas where they may be exposed to change in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Following our factsheet of October 2018, this guide will set out the main implications of a no-deal Brexit for charities and consider areas where practical steps can be taken to reduce negative consequences.

Read more from NVCO’s guide

Blog Post

Netherfield: An Update.

There’s been a lot happening in Milton Keynes this summer, but we at Community Action: MK have been working with the local residents on Netherfield Local Conversation, to engage and entice the local community to get involved with what’s happening in Netherfield.

Let’s catch up on what’s been going on!

The Community Garden

The Community Garden in Netherfield is blooming, with more volunteers from all different walks of life and all ages, working together and involving themselves to make the garden a clean, calm and colourful place to be.

This picture demonstrates the wonderful level of community engagement. These planters have been adorned with plaques made and vibrantly decorated by the local children, making the planters more attractive to look at and it will give the children pride to see their work displayed so publicly in the garden.

The garden has now also acquired a sign for recognition of where the garden is and now the locals of Netherfield know where to go if they want to do a spot of gardening or enjoy the beautiful flowers and plants planted and maintained by their own local residents.

From old to young, so many residents have dedicated their time and effort to the garden and have enjoyed doing so. If you want to get involved in helping out the local community in Netherfield, whether you are a resident, group of employees or gardening enthusiast or just keen on helping a community in any capacity, then email support@communityactionmk.org or call 01908 661623.

Love Rocks

MK Play Association liaised and worked with the NLC Steering Group to put together a crafts event for children to celebrate all things rock!

The event took place in the ever growing and beautifully maintained Community Garden in the summer holidays in Netherfield.

The children enjoyed a sunny afternoon of painting and getting creative with rocks of all different shapes and sizes; painting the rocks, making a variety of creatures and animals and getting messy creating their own pictures to take home.

If you would like to get involved in volunteering down at Netherfield to support them and engage with the key issues prioritised by the local residents, then as mentioned above, contact us here at support@communityactionmk.org or call 01908 661623.

Blog Post

Jobs in the sector: Homeless Shelter Support Worker

The Bus Shelter MK is a much loved local charity which provides a temporary home – and much, much more – for people who would otherwise be sleeping on the streets.

We provide accommodation on a converted double decker bus and reclaimed building site units based on a former car park in central Milton Keynes.

Since we opened in March 2018 we have accommodated 43 people and advised more than 100 others.  Ages of our guests has ranged from 19 to 73 and the average stay is three to four months. 

We are now seeking an additional team member to assist our Shelter Manager in supporting our guests and also ensuring the site remains a pleasant environment both physically and in atmosphere.

The personal qualities of the successful candidate will be more important than formal qualifications, but if you have experience in working with homeless people or expertise in benefits or housing that would be preferred. The duties will be varied and it is likely that no two days will be the same.

What will you need to be?

  • Confident and able to make sensible decisions in unexpected situations.
  • Kind and caring but not a pushover! You will often be working alongside volunteers so will need to understand how that creates a different dynamic than when working with fellow staff members or service users.
  • Computer literate and able to research and understand various regulations and guidelines.
  • Presentable and able to communicate with all types of people as you will be representing the charity to visitors and external organisations in the course of your duties.

Pay and conditions

The role is for 20 hours per week but full time or job share considered for the right applicant.

There will be a lot of evening and weekend working but not overnights. There will also be some lone working.

The role is permanent and the salary offered will depend on your skills and experience.

Holidays offered will be 36 days (including bank holidays).

Our Service Users

Our guests are people who would otherwise be sleeping on the streets and who need a helping hand to return to mainstream life.  Often the role will involve convincing guests their lives can improve and helping them unravel the red tape and hurdles that make it so difficult for them to move on.  At any one time, 50% of our usual guest cohort of eight will be working. We do not accept guests with drug or alcohol addictions as we do not have the facilities to help them. 

Former guests have described being on the bus as “five star homelessness” and attested to the kindness of staff and volunteers as changing their lives.

Why not join us as we provide hope and a route out of homelessness?

To apply please send a CV and a covering letter to: info@thebussheltermk.org  

Please put Support Worker Application in the subject line. The successful candidate will require an Enhanced DBS Check in line with our safeguarding policy.

Blog Post

9th September: Weekly Bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

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9th September 2019

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SAVE THE DATE!

Our Autumn Networking event has been confirmed for Tuesday 8th October 2019.

It will be held at the Meeting Place as part of The Festival for Creative Urban Living .

Watch this space for more details!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Let’s Talk Good Finance MK

This afternoon session is designed for charities, social enterprises, community businesses and local groups in Milton Keynes interested in social investment. The event is organised by Community Action: MK in collaboration with NAVCA and the Good Finance teams.

Date: Thursday 17th October

Time: 1.30 – 4.30pm (3:50 – 4.30pm: networking)

Venue: Herons Lodge, Bradwell Rd, Great Holm, Milton Keynes MK8 9AA

To find out more about social investment and to book your free place, follow this link. The programme of the event can be found here.

The Open University: Virtual Internship Programme

A virtual internship is a remote working arrangement that provides employers access to many more students who have the skills needed for their organisation. It also provides employers access to a wider talent pool that extends far beyond their local area. 

More information can be found here or alternatively, visit the OU’s website to discover more about what their virtual internships have to offer for both individuals and businesses alike.

Beds, Luton and Milton Keynes Disability Physical Activity and Sport Summit 2019

The Summit is designed to bring partners together who are influencing physical activity for disabled people across our area. The event will focus on insight, workforce, sharing of good practice and provide an opportunity for organisations to network. Please follow this link to find out more.

Meet Peta Drop In

Cyber Security Workshops

We are helping the Thames Valley Police deliver two workshops dedicated to Cyber Security for voluntary and community groups.

The TVP Cyber Security Advisor will be providing two short Cyber Protect awareness sessions for Community Action MK in order to empower their own local voluntary and community sector groups to speak with confidence within their communities of the current cyber threats that they may experience.

Tuesday 8th October: 11am – 1pm

Thursday 24th October 11am – 1pm

Venue: Grant Thornton, 199 Avebury Blvd, Milton Keynes MK9 1AU

Click the link to find out more and to book your place.

Fareshare Warehouse Opening!

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Milton Keynes Council Open Consultations

Other useful links:

Second redesign workshop of the CNWL – Milton Keynes Adult Mental Health Community Services Model

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You are invited to join us for our second redesign workshop of the CNWL – Milton Keynes Adult Mental Health Community Services Model. Wednesday 25th September 2019.
Ridgeway Centre, Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes MK12 5TH.
Booking is essential.
Please email n.ranautta@nhs.net by 13th September 2019 to reserve your place.

Charity Risk Barometer 2019

BREXIT Advice

Please follow this link to access some guidance and resources shared by Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) to help organisations prepare for Brexit. Acas provides free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law.

Exploring volunteers’ attitudes to health and safety in the charity sector

Ecclesiastical are partnering with leading researchers at the Health and Safety Executive’s Science and Research Centre to develop practical advice for charities.

Volunteers are an integral part of the charity sector. With so much reliance on the work they do, it is important that charities understand the needs of managing such a diverse group of people. 

The HSE are looking for participants to be part of this pioneering research through either, attendance at one of the planned regional workshops, or via a short telephone interview.

Recognising that participants would be giving freely of their time, Ecclesiastical will make a donation of £100 to a registered charity of their choice as a thank you for taking part.

For more information and to find out how to get involved, follow this link.

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Communities Week 2019!

9th – 13th September

It’s #CommunitesWeek ! A week organised by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the community sector to celebrate communities, business and partners who are working with communities and improving neighbourhoods across the country.

If you’re a community organisation, community business, council or work with communities,get involved online: follow and use #CommunitiesWeek

Suicide Prevention Training

Take this 20 minute online training session to learn how to potentially save a life. Click the image below to take you to the website.

Deaf Awareness Training


Dyslexia Training Workshops

REGISTER HERE

CMK Litter Picking

South Row:
On Saturday 14th September Central Milton Keynes Town Council is holding its first litter pick along South Row. We hope that this will be the first of a number of litter picks across CMK. The event will take place between 10am-12 noon and we invite residents to come along and get involved. We will meet next to Beefeater Barn, Secklow Gate West.

North Row:
On Saturday 21st September Central Milton Keynes Town Council is holding another litter pick between the North 9th and 10th Street flats . The event will take place between 10am – 12 noon and we invite residents to come along and get involved. We will meet next to Centrecom, North Row.

Equipment and disposable gloves will be provided. If you would like to join our litter pick in your area simply turn up on the day. If you need any more information, just contact: sue.nelson@cmktowncouncil.gov.uk or leave a message at 01908 661623.

Bikeability Cycle Training

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Volunteering Opportunity of the Week: Driver – Barnado’s Young People

Barnardos runs a service that allows parents and children who cannot live together to meet in a supervised setting. The young people sometimes need transport to enable them to attend these meetings. It needs to gather a small team of drivers that can be called upon to assist when the need arises.

Purpose of opportunity:

  • To safely drive young people with carer or chaperone to meetings
  • Additional gardening/maintenance role if desired.

Key activities:

  • Picking up young people with carer to bring to contact centre
  • Return them afterwards
  • We have other practical tasks available to fill the time in between- but not compulsory.

Attitude/skills/knowledge required:

Training, support or other benefits available:

  • Core volunteer training – safeguarding, EDI and confidentiality
  • Supervision
  • Experience working with a national Children’s charity

See our SimplyConnect details for this volunteering role or visit Barnado’s website directly.


Volunteers Needed: Gardening session in Centre MK


Volunteers Needed: Victims First Emotional Support Volunteer

Victims First Emotional Support Volunteer provides free emotional and practical support to all victims of crime, witnesses of crime and family members of victims. The service is available across Berks, Bucks and Oxfordshire. They can provide help regardless of whether or not the crime has been reported to the police.

What does it involve?

  • Providing practical and emotional support to victims of crime in the Thames Valley area
  • Working to empower victims and to track and map progress by using an evidence-based outcomes tool
  • Ensuring fairness, impartiality and equality in supporting victims
  • Keeping a secure record of contact with victims and reporting to the Caseworker appropriately and in line with data protection requirements
  • Working alongside a Caseworker to ensure the delivery of a high-quality service
  • Committing to attending training, supervision, reflective practice and support sessions

Click here to find out more about this role. Victims First are in desperate need of volunteers to help empower their service users, through their access to improved services and support networks.

Visit their website for more information about what they do.

Jobs in the Voluntary Sector: Community Inclusion Project Manager – The Stables

The Community Inclusion Project Manager will play a pivotal role in creating new connections between The Stables, IF: Milton Keynes International Festival and D/deaf and disabled people. He/she will be responsible for creating connections within Milton Keynes and ensuring that The Stables and the Festival are appropriately prepared for these new partnerships.

This role will support the delivery of a new project funded by MK Community Foundation which includes an extensive programme focussing on and enhancing the organisation’s approach to working with D/deaf and disabled people as participants, audience members and performers.

Click here for a more detailed role description can be found here

For more information click here, or see The Stables website for full details.


Jobs in the Voluntary Sector: Locality Project Worker – Barnado’s Young People

Barnardo’s Young People is seeking a Locality Project Worker for Milton Keynes and Bedford Borough Council.  They are looking for a flexible person willing to help develop existing services in both Milton Keynes and Bedford Borough Council.

Services include:

  • independent return interviews to support looked after children
  • independent visiting carried out by volunteers
  • advocacy
  • short breaks
  • supervised contact.

This is a zero hours contract based in Dunstable (covering Milton Keynes and some areas of Bedfordshire) with a salary of £9.50 per hour.

Deadline 29 September. Click here for more information

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Winifred Tumim Fund 2019

National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has launched the Winifred Tumim Memorial Fund 2019, awarding a grant of £1,000 for work which supports innovation in good charity governance such as:

  • trialling and testing a new approach
  • developing a tool for NCVO which can be used to support good governance
  • undertaking some thought leadership work.

Entries can be from organisations or individuals.

Deadline: 28 October. Click here.


Magic Little Grants 2019

Magic Little Grants 2019 from Localgiving is now open for £500 grants to charities and community groups that encourage people to be physically active.

Successful projects will support and inspire people to participate in sports or exercise with the primary aim of improving the physical health of participants.

Applicants must either be in their first year of operation or have an annual income under £250,000.

Deadline 30 November. Click here.

The Festival of Creative Urban Living : 26 September – 13 October 2019

You’ll find MK’s first ever free ‘A Festival of Creative Urban Living’ from 26 September – 13 October on Midsummer Boulevard in Central Milton Keynes.

The main theme is ‘The Built, The Unbuilt and The Unbuildable’, looking at art, design and architecture in urban environments.

The Festival brings together artists, residents, architects, designers, urban planners, thinkers, creatives and many others for a FREE programme of exhibitions, discussions, events, creative workshops, performances and much more.

It has been commissioned by MK Council, funded by Arts Council England, and is programmed and curated by experimental architectural practice raumlaborberlin.

To find out more about what’s on during the festival and a programme of events, then please click here for more information.

‘Secklow Hundred Mound – Milton Keynes’ ancestral meeting place’
– an illustrated talk by Martin Petchey, Archaeologist.

Thursday 19th September 2019 at 6.15pm – 7.15pm

Milton Keynes Central Library

The Secklow Mound – Central Milton Keynes. Behind the Central Library lies a Scheduled Ancient Monument of national importance known as Secklow Mound, named after an Anglo-Saxon administrative area called the Secklow Hundred. The Mound was a meeting place and historical research in the 1970s confirmed the precise location of the Mound to be at the edge of todays City Centre. In 1978 the mound was reconstructed and landscaped protecting the significant archaeological remains.

Please follow this link to book your free tickets.

MK FOOD FEST

SATURDAY 14TH SEPTEMBER 2019: 11am – 5pm

Each September the picturesque MK Village Pavilion in Middleton comes alive with the exciting vibe of the local food and drink scene. With all the stallholders coming from within a 20 mile radius of the venue, the event showcases the best of local food and drink and brings together street food vendors, artisan producers, farmers market stallholders and chefs for a one day, one location, not-to-be-missed food and drink shopping experience. Please follow this link to find out more.

Community Fridge Tea Dance

Thursday 19th Sept 1230 – 3pm

Get on your dancing shoes for an afternoon get-together of vintage music and dancing!

The community fridge pop-up cafe team will be sharing an afternoon tea of sandwiches, cakes and homemade jam until 2pm accompanied by music from bygone decades and dancing until 3pm. No charge for food or entertainment. 

Donations are welcome and there will be ‘guess the weight of the cake’ competition and homemade jam to fundraise for the project.

ROCLA Art Trail Walk

15th September 2019

A guided walk round the ROCLA Art Trail in the Redhouse Park area, Milton Keynes. A variety of newly commissioned artworks & sculptures of various types reflecting nature, magic and location have are due to be installed in 2018. Each commission will have a plaque that will contain a QR code. – Meet some of the artists on the day.

MK LIT FEST 2019

18th – 22nd September

A fabulous festival of books, words, writers and ideas that celebrates everything literary, bookish or wordy.

The Lit Fest Steering Group brings together arts and education professionals and enthusiasts who share a love of books, words, writing, speaking and thinking.  We are a small team with big ambitions, and we are especially grateful to our wonderful volunteers who help us get the show on the road. 

A programme of events and ticket information can be found here.

Follow this link to find out more about MK Lit Fest.

The big population health conversation

This free-to-attend virtual conference focuses beyond health and social care to areas where there is untapped potential for local and national action to support healthier lives.

We will explore how a wide range of organisations – across local government, the voluntary sector, the private sector and local communities – have it within their power to improve people’s health.

To find out more and book your place, click here.

Transparency and Trust: Trustee Conference 19th September 2019

2:00pm – 5:15pm

Looking at why transparency and trust are critical to a charity’s success, this half-day conference in Aylesbury will give you expert input and practical ideas to strengthen your organisation.

You will learn how to boost trust levels through governance, board diversity and accountability, as well as participate in one of our expert-led interactive breakout sessions. If you are a trustee or committee member of a charity, voluntary or community group or a board member of a social enterprise, this conference will provide you with clear, take-away actions to apply to your organisation.

Click here for more information and to book onto the conference.

Do you have news to share?

If you work or volunteering for a local group or organisation in Milton Keynes or have an interesting project going in your community and have news to share, please feel free to get in touch with us. You can e-mail your updates to support@communityactionmk.org

Are you following us on social media?

Stay up to date using your favourite social media channel and help us spread the word about the amazing voluntary and community action in Milton Keynes! #lovemk #volunteermk 

Here is where you can find us:

Twitter: twitter.com/ComActMK

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CommunityActionMK/

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/community-action-mk

Instagram: instagram.com/comactmk

YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CommunityActionMK

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

Jobs in the Sector: Community Inclusion Project Manager – The Stables

The Community Inclusion Project Manager will play a pivotal role in creating new connections between The Stables, IF: Milton Keynes International Festival and D/deaf and disabled people. He/she will be responsible for creating connections within Milton Keynes and ensuring that The Stables and the Festival are appropriately prepared for these new partnerships.

This role will support the delivery of a new project funded by MK Community Foundation which includes an extensive programme focussing on and enhancing the organisation’s approach to working with D/deaf and disabled people as participants, audience members and performers.

The successful candidate will need to:

  • demonstrate an ability to work with a good degree of independence and responsibility whilst maintaining ongoing communication to keep in touch with the team.
  • an understanding of accessible arts, inclusion, working with disabled people, project management and ways to engage a wide range of people is central to the role.
  • Communication skills are key, along with an ability to maintain the big picture as well as retaining high levels of attention to detail.
  • require a flexible yet methodical approach with a ‘can do’ attitude.
  • the ability to absorb information quickly, integrate into an existing team and organisational culture, and work with established systems and processes to ensure a joined-up approach is essential.
  • it will be important to build relationships with local networks, so a good knowledge of / connection with the Milton Keynes area is desirable.

A more detailed role description can be found here

Who are The Stables?

The Stables in Milton Keynes is one of the UK’s leading music organisations, presenting over 400 concerts across all music genres, and delivering 250 learning and participation projects per annum, including the National Youth Music Camps.

It also produces IF: Milton Keynes International Festival, a biennial multi-artform festival which engages people with extraordinary events in unusual spaces and in unexpected ways. Part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio, The Stables is preparing for its 50th birthday celebrations in 2020 by looking to expand the impact of its work locally, regionally and nationally.

Salary: Up to £20,000 depending on experience and availability

Contract: Freelance, temporary

Term: 1 year  

Based: The Stables, Wavendon

Please submit your CV and up to 2-pages of A4 outlining your suitability for the role. Your submission should set out how you would seek to tackle the project and how much time you would commit to ensuring its success.

Alternative formats to written applications are accepted as a reasonable adjustment.

Application Deadline: Monday 23 September, midday (12 noon)

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News: Congratulations! YMCA Milton Keynes secures £498,849 grant from the National Lottery!

“We will use this grant over a 3-year period to fund staff and services to improve the well-being of our residents, including 3 personal development coaches and a significant resident activities budget to help their young people belong, contribute and thrive.”

Youth social housing provider and independent homeless charity, YMCA Milton Keynes, is celebrating today after being awarded £498,849 in National Lottery funding to support its work with local young people. The charity will use the cash over a 3-year period to fund staff and services to improve the well-being of its residents, including 3 personal development coaches and a significant resident activities budget to help their young people belong, contribute and thrive.

YMCA Milton Keynes has helped over 10,000 young people since it opened its doors in 1981. The charity’s current site is cramped and no longer fit for purpose, so it has embarked on an ambitious journey to build a new £19M campus to provide supported housing to young people in Milton Keynes. YMCA Milton Keynes’ new campus, which is due to open early in the new year, will give 199 young people access to affordable accommodation, a dedicated pathway of support, including training and employment opportunities, well-being services and a number of social enterprises, including a café and a nursery that will provide its residents with work experience and employment opportunities.

The National Lottery grant will focus on supporting 225 young people over a 3-year period with mental and physical health, employment, education and training giving them access to a sustainable future.

Each outcome will be tracked through monitoring mechanisms and short and long-term outcomes. This will show how the services delivered contribute to a chain of results leading to the intended outcomes.

Simon Green, CEO of YMCA Milton Keynes, says:

“We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way. Now, thanks to National Lottery players we will be able to press on with our plans to broaden the range of support and opportunities available to young people here in Milton Keynes. This grant is vital as it enables us to deliver the dedicated support, activities and training needed to enable our young people to achieve their full potential.”

Find out more about YMCA Milton Keynes by following this link

Blog Post

2nd September: Weekly Bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

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2nd September 2019

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Let’s Talk Good Finance MK

This afternoon session is designed for charities, social enterprises, community businesses and local groups in Milton Keynes interested in social investment. The event is organised by Community Action: MK in collaboration with NAVCA and the Good Finance teams.

Date: Thursday 17th October

Time: 1.30 – 4.30pm (3:50 – 4.30pm: networking)

Venue: Herons Lodge, Bradwell Rd, Great Holm, Milton Keynes MK8 9AA

To find out more about social investment and to book your free place, follow this link. The programme of the event can be found here.

Beds, Luton and Milton Keynes Disability Physical Activity and Sport Summit 2019

The Summit is designed to bring partners together who are influencing physical activity for disabled people across our area. The event will focus on insight, workforce, sharing of good practice and provide an opportunity for organisations to network. Please follow this link to find out more.

Innovations in community-centred support

The Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) partnership has recently launched a new online resource to showcase innovative community-centred models that keep people connected – or re-connect – to family, friends and communities. It showcases types of support that are innovative in their approach to improving people’s health and wellbeing. It has been designed for commissioners, providers and people who access services and carers. Please follow this link to view the directory.

Discover 13 ways to bring good ideas to life!

There are many ways to bring good ideas to life. Nesta works to uncover, analyse and test new ways of supporting innovation from across sectors and around the world.

The possibilities for the next generation of innovators to change the world for good is increasing by the minute. From prototyping to futurescoping, there are a number of techniques, tools and processes to aid innovation. 

Use nesta’s collection of innovation methods to find out how you could bring your bright ideas to life.

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Milton Keynes Council Open Consultations

Other useful links:

Citizens UK Hate crime survey

Citizens UK organises communities to act together for power, social justice and the common good. Their recent survey explores the everyday experiences of targeting and discrimination experienced by ordinary citizens from a range of different backgrounds. By taking part in this survey, you will be helping to change and strengthen the law around hate crime. Please follow this link to complete the survey.

Second redesign workshop of the CNWL – Milton Keynes Adult Mental Health Community Services Model

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You are invited to join us for our second redesign workshop of the CNWL – Milton Keynes Adult Mental Health Community Services Model. Wednesday 25th September 2019.
Ridgeway Centre, Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes MK12 5TH.
Booking is essential.
Please email n.ranautta@nhs.net by 13th September 2019 to reserve your place.

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New extra session of The Mix opening in Bletchley – in partnership with Crosslinks

Dyslexia Training Workshops

REGISTER HERE

Broughton Litter picking

September 1st 2-3pm

Families welcome, children must be accompanied by adults. Equipment will be provided but please wear appropriate footwear and clothes. For meeting point go to https//bbccmk.org.

CMK Litter picking

South Row:
On Saturday 14th September Central Milton Keynes Town Council is holding its first litter pick along South Row. We hope that this will be the first of a number of litter picks across CMK. The event will take place between 10am-12 noon and we invite residents to come along and get involved. We will meet next to Beefeater Barn, Secklow Gate West.

North Row:
On Saturday 21st September Central Milton Keynes Town Council is holding another litter pick between the North 9th and 10th Street flats . The event will take place between 10am – 12 noon and we invite residents to come along and get involved. We will meet next to Centrecom, North Row.

Equipment and disposable gloves will be provided. If you would like to join our litter pick in your area simply turn up on the day. If you need any more information, just contact: sue.nelson@cmktowncouncil.gov.uk or leave a message at 01908 661623.

Cycle September

Milton Keynes Council will compete against workplaces from across the UK this month as Cycle September gets underway – and you can do your bit to make sure we win.  It’s free to take part and registration only takes couple of minutes.  Once you’ve registered you’ll need to log the miles you have cycled throughout September, and at the end of the month our combined total mileage will be added together to discover which organisations have won prizes. Click here to find out more and to register.

Mental Health Radio Show

In partnership with MKFM and Thomas Connolly, Arthur Ellis are bringing the people of Milton Keynes the MK Mental Health Hour, an hour every Sunday evening from 7pm where we’ll be discussing a variety of topics with some pretty exciting guests, not just to bring awareness to the issues we all face but to provide expert, practical advice.
See you for our first show, September 8th at 7pm!
Find out more

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Volunteering opportunity of the week: General Adviser – Citizens Advice Milton Keynes

Being a General Adviser with the Citizens Advice Milton Keynes is an incredibly varied role. Once trained you can expect to carry out the following duties:

  • Conduct face to face interviews to establish the issue the client wants to resolve, question, probe and check understanding of the issue, diagnose the issue and begin action to resolve the problem.
  • Research the advice required by using the Advisornet, reference books and other web based providers .
  • Give information and advice to the client. 
  • Give advice in explaining the choices and consequences the client faces 
  • Give practical help by writing letters, making phone calls, completing forms and doing basic calculations. 
  • Make accurate records of all client cases 

You don’t need any particular qualifications or experience to train as an adviser, and they’re proud of the fact that their volunteers come from all walks of life. All they ask is that you can:

  • Be good at listening
  • Be able to work in a team 
  • Be able to read and write English and do basic maths
  • Be open minded and non judgemental 
  • Commit to a minimum of 8 hrs per week. 

If you’re worried about being an expert at everything then don’t be even advisers don’t need to know it all. They provide all their trainees with a comprehensive accredited training programme that will provide you with the skills you need to deliver a high quality service to the clients. Their up-to-the-minute electronic information system contains most of the information you will need when advising clients. 

When your training ends you won’t be left alone. Their supervisors, guidance tutors and other experienced volunteers are on hand to give you further support, encouragement and advice. Age restriction: 18+

References will be required. Good communication, numeracy and literacy skills are essential.

Please contact: Carol Muldownie @ Citizens Advice Milton Keynes for more information or follow this link to their website.

We’re Hiring! Support, Development and Volunteering Outreach Worker Roles

We have two roles available, each with elements of specific focus. The purpose of the posts is to contribute to the support, development and volunteering services which are central to the work of Community Action: MK. These are focused around the key elements of:

● Mobilising communities
● Strengthening groups
● Influencing policy and decision making

The post holder will work as part of a dedicated community development team, committed to supporting the community and voluntary sector in Milton Keynes. Find out more

Deadline Tuesday 3rd September.

Age UK – Two new roles available:

Jobs Club Support Worker

The post holder will be responsible for supporting clients attending Age UK Milton Keynes job clubs. You will carry out initial assessments and devise a personal programme for each client. You will deliver support in Northamptonshire. You will be responsible for booking rooms for training courses that support the programme.

More information about the role and responsibilities can be found here.

Age UK – Admin Support Worker

Supporting the BBO Project Officers by preparing client folders, Photocopying and scanning files. Supporting the BBO Programme Manager by preparing the financial and participant information for the returns to the Accountable Body. Occasionally to support the BBo Project Officers at Job Clubs. To support the job club at Kiln Farm. To attend weekly meeting and take minutes.

More information about the role and responsibilities can be found here.

To apply to the above roles, please send your CV and covering letter outlining your experience to sue.quine@ageukmiltonkeynes.org.uk.

Closing date for both roles: 24th September Interviews 2nd October 2019

Spinal Injuries Association Fundraising Events Coordinator

SIA are looking to recruit a Fundraising Events Coordinator to join the team and be responsible for managing their diverse portfolio of Special Events across the UK, including black tie dinners, charity race days, golf days and networking events, amongst others. Find out more here.

Deadline: 5pm Friday 20th September

Connection Support – Direct Payment & Employment Support Advisor

A local charity providing advice and support services to people living in Milton Keynes who receive a social care budget and use this as a Direct Payment to create more tailored care arrangements.  They are looking for someone keen to develop their knowledge and understanding to support people to use Direct Payments confidently and assist some of these people with finding and employing their own care staff.  Working within a small friendly team of advisors the role involves home visiting and responding to enquiries to our Helpline.

Click here for more information and to apply.

Deadline: 11 September 2019

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Veolia Environmental Trust

Grants are available to constituted, not-for-profit groups with environmental and community projects that are located near a qualifying Veolia site in England. Please follow this link to find out more.

Deadline: 28 November 2019

Money Saving Expert (MSE) Charity

Grants are available to not-for-profit organisations in the UK for projects that relate to the delivery of financial skills to different defined groups. Please follow this link to find out more.

Deadline: 27th September

Peter Harrison Foundation

Special Needs and Care for Children and Young People Programme

Grants are available for charities in the South East of England to assist young people who are disabled, disadvantaged, ill, homeless or at risk of crime, truancy or addiction. Please follow this link to find out more.

Deadline: N/A (ongoing)

‘Secklow Hundred Mound – Milton Keynes’ ancestral meeting place’
– an illustrated talk by Martin Petchey, Archaeologist.

Thursday 19th September 2019 at 6.15pm – 7.15pm

Milton Keynes Central Library

The Secklow Mound – Central Milton Keynes. Behind the Central Library lies a Scheduled Ancient Monument of national importance known as Secklow Mound, named after an Anglo-Saxon administrative area called the Secklow Hundred. The Mound was a meeting place and historical research in the 1970s confirmed the precise location of the Mound to be at the edge of todays City Centre. In 1978 the mound was reconstructed and landscaped protecting the significant archaeological remains.

Please follow this link to book your free tickets.

MK FOOD FEST

SATURDAY 14TH SEPTEMBER 2019: 11am – 5pm

Each September the picturesque MK Village Pavilion in Middleton comes alive with the exciting vibe of the local food and drink scene. With all the stallholders coming from within a 20 mile radius of the venue, the event showcases the best of local food and drink and brings together street food vendors, artisan producers, farmers market stallholders and chefs for a one day, one location, not-to-be-missed food and drink shopping experience. Please follow this link to find out more.

CENTRE MK TURNS 40!

Centre MK celebrates its 40th Birthday in September. To recognise the landmark of the Grade 2 listed building, which opened September 1979, people are encouraged in Middleton Hall on Tuesday 10th September to help form a human display, similar to the one done 5 years ago. Arrival at Middleton Hall at 12.20 if you want to be involved – it’ll only take about 20 minutes!

Do you have news to share?

If you work or volunteering for a local group or organisation in Milton Keynes or have an interesting project going in your community and have news to share, please feel free to get in touch with us. You can e-mail your updates to support@communityactionmk.org

Are you following us on social media?

Stay up to date using your favourite social media channel and help us spread the word about the amazing voluntary and community action in Milton Keynes! #lovemk #volunteermk 

Here is where you can find us:

Twitter: twitter.com/ComActMK

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CommunityActionMK/

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/community-action-mk

Instagram: instagram.com/comactmk

YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CommunityActionMK

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

23 August: Weekly Bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

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23 August 2019

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Cyber attacks on charities and businesses increasing

The Cyber Readiness Report 2019 surveyed organisations across the UK, US and Europe and found that 61 per cent have experiences a cyber incident in the last year. This is up from 45% the previous year. Losses from cyber attacks have also increased. The average loss is £291,000, compared to £180,000 last year.

Sign up to our Cyber Protect workshops

We are helping the Thames Valley Police deliver two workshops dedicated to Cyber Security for voluntary and community groups.

The Thames Valley Police Cyber Security Advisor will be providing two short Cyber Protect awareness sessions in October 2019 for Community Action: MK in order to empower their own local voluntary and community sector groups to speak with confidence within their immediate communities of the current cyber threats that the general public may experience.

The workshops will be held on the following dates and times:
Workshop 1: Tuesday 8th October: 11am – 1pm
Workshop 2: Thursday 24th October 11am – 1pm
Venue: Grant Thornton, 199 Avebury Blvd, Milton Keynes MK9 1AU
REGISTER HERE

Meet Peta : drop-in with the representative of MK Health & Wellbeing board

For more information about what the Health and Wellbeing Board is and what they do, click this link.

Community Grants information event

Do you run a project that supports local people to get on in life? If you can help people to build confidence and overcome barriers that can block them from getting into training or paid work, the Community Grants programme could help you.

Join the upcoming ‘Community Grants information event’ on Thursday 19 September in Milton Keynes for more information: 
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/community-grants-information-event-milton-keynes-tickets-68263663455?aff=VCSENewsletters

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Milton Keynes Council Open Consultations

See all MK Council consultations

STATION SQUARE: HAVE YOUR SAY– Deadline extended to 1 September

Take part in the Milton Keynes Station Square Public Consultation by filling in this survey. If you want to consider the complete consultation of Station Square before you have your say, you can download a specially created Interactive PDF of the Consultation via this link.

MK Carbon and Energy survey 2019

Complete the MK Carbon and Energy Survey here

The carbon and energy survey relates to two EU projects that MK Council are working on: POWER is a water efficiency project and INTENSIFY is about informing and monitoring public attitudes to deep carbon reductions. Find out more here:
POWER –  https://milton-keynes.power-h2020.eu/ 
INTENSIFY – https://www.interregeurope.eu/intensify/

Specifically, INTENSIFY has an objective to monitor any changes in public attitudes to energy/carbon savings over the life of the project and therefore MK Council needs a baseline, which this survey will address. The main policy that this project will be working with is the Sustainability Strategy which was approved in January.

EEH Transport Strategy Meeting

England’s Economic Heartland (EEH) is inviting comments on their Outline Transport Strategy. To facilitate engagement and increase awareness of their role, EEH officers are holding a local engagement event on 25 September where you can hear about the Strategy and their work.  

The stakeholder engagement event will take place on 25 September 2019 from 6:30-8pm, in the Council Chamber, Civic Offices, Milton Keynes. Please email Transport.Policy@milton-keynes.gov.uk and include details of any groups they represent.

Draft Milton Keynes East Development Framework Supplementary Planning Document

Milton Keynes Council is consulting on a Draft Milton Keynes East Development Framework Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). The consultation runs from 7 August 2019 closing on 16 October 2019 at 5pm. Read more

Second redesign workshop of the CNWL – Milton Keynes Adult Mental Health Community Services Model

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You are invited to join us for our second redesign workshop of the CNWL – Milton Keynes Adult Mental Health Community Services Model. Wednesday 25th September 2019.
Ridgeway Centre, Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes MK12 5TH.
Booking is essential.
Please email n.ranautta@nhs.net by 13th September 2019 to reserve your place.

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Could your organisation could benefit from donations of surplus food?

If you feel that your organisation could benefit from donations of surplus food, the Neighbourly Food Team  would be grateful if you could fill in the short tick-box survey on the following link so that we can maximize the amount of products that we can offer you in the future:
I would like to collect surplus food

New extra session of The Mix opening in Bletchley – in partnership with Crosslinks

Case Study: How Everton in the Community are creating a more meaningful volunteer experience thanks to Investing in Volunteers

Everton in the Community IiV

Everton in the Community achieved Investing in Volunteers (IiV) in April 2019, becoming the only Premier League football club to hold the award. In this case study, Volunteer Manager Adam Howard tells us about their IiV journey, how his organisation developed innovative practice through achieving the award, and gives great advice to anyone interested in IiV.
Read more

Dyslexia Training Workshops

REGISTER HERE

Broughton Litter picking

September 1st 2-3 pm.
Families welcome, children must be accompanied by adults. Equipment will be provided but please wear appropriate footwear and clothes. For meeting point go to https//bbccmk.org.

CMK Litter picking

South Row:
On Saturday 14th September Central Milton Keynes Town Council is holding its first litter pick along South Row. We hope that this will be the first of a number of litter picks across CMK. The event will take place between 10am-12 noon and we invite residents to come along and get involved. We will meet next to Beefeater Barn, Secklow Gate West.

North Row:
On Saturday 21st September Central Milton Keynes Town Council is holding another litter pick between the North 9 th and 10 th Street flats . The event will take place between 10am – 12 noon and we invite residents to come along and get involved. We will meet next to Centrecom, North Row.

Equipment and disposable gloves will be provided. If you would like to join our litter pick in your area simply turn up on the day. If you need any more information, just contact: sue.nelson@cmktowncouncil.gov.uk or leave a message at 01908 661623

Netherfield Local Conversation Summer Newsletter

Read the full newsletter here

Mental Health Radio Show

In partnership with MKFM and Thomas Connolly, Arthur Ellis are bringing the people of Milton Keynes the MK Mental Health Hour, an hour every Sunday evening from 7pm where we’ll be discussing a variety of topics with some pretty exciting guests, not just to bring awareness to the issues we all face but to provide expert, practical advice.
See you for our first show, September 8th at 7pm!
Find out more

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Volunteering opportunity of the week: My Guide Service

An image of a My Guide volunteer with a service user.

Are you looking to directly help improve someone’s life? To support a person with sight loss to safely navigate the environment, building self-confidence and increasing social interaction; whilst maintaining dignity and promoting independence. Variable depending on individual needs; approximately 3 hours per week. Find out more

Join our volunteer drop-in

Our Volunteer Drop In day is changing. From Tuesday 24th October we will be running every Tuesday. Drop in anytime from 10am (3)

We’re Hiring! Support, Development and Volunteering Outreach Worker Roles

We have two roles available, each with elements of specific focus. The purpose of the posts is to contribute to the support, development and volunteering services which are central to the work of Community Action: MK. These are focused around the key elements of:

● Mobilising communities
● Strengthening groups
● Influencing policy and decision making

The post holder will work as part of a dedicated community development team, committed to supporting the community and voluntary sector in Milton Keynes. Find out more

Mental Health Project Organiser – Citizens Advice

We are looking for an enthusiastic, committed and confident person to join our small team of staff. The successful candidate will support volunteers and service users of The Mix MK. The Mix MK was developed in 2015 to provide a safe, relaxed space for local people to meet and share information about mental health services in Milton Keynes. Closing date: Wednesday 28th August 2019 at Midday
Find out more

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British Cycling Places to Ride Programme

Max. Value: £ 50,000
Grants are available to not-for-profit organisations in England that are developing cycling activity in their community for the development of new, or the improvement of existing, cycling facilities in communities.

Stop Loan Sharks – Proceeds of Crime Grants

Max. Value: £ 5,000
Grants are available for local residents, charities, community and voluntary groups, schools and statutory agencies in England for projects that target illegal money lending

Empowering young people to improve communities

Applications for grants of up to £35,000 are open until 12pm (noon) on Friday 20 September. Co-op Foundation expect to make about eight grants in total and funding comes from a new £3 million extension to Co-Op’s #iwill Fund. You can find out if your organisation is eligible by checking out their funding page,

Big Local Conniburrow (BLC) Treasure Hunt

30th August
10:30-11:30 am

Big Local Conniburrow (BLC) is holding a Treasure Hunt that has been designed by a resident.  It will follow a route along the Redways and end in Friendship park, Conniburrow.

1940s Weekend at Milton Keynes Museum

31 August & 1 September
11:00am to 4:30pm

You definitely don’t want to keep mum about the next big event at Milton Keynes Museum – the return of the hugely popular 1940s weekend.  Despite being an era famous for ration books, there will be no rationing of entertainment at this event! Visitors will be able to step back into history and absorb all the sights and sounds from the decade. Find out more

Fun Day – Raising money for Oxford Hospital

31 August
From midday

We are having a family fun day in order to raise money for oxford hospital.  It’s free entry and have loads of family fun stalls from tin can alley to how many sweets are in the jar and many many more. 

As the day goes on we have a Motown tribute band coming that are simply incredible we will also be holding a charity auction with some amazing prizes donated by some amazing companys including MK Don’s, Planet ice, Airkicks, Funstation, Hobbtcraft and many many MORE… 

We be lovely to see everyone come down and support a great cause… Price: FREE

MK Arts Centre Summer Party

Saturday 31st August 2019
1-3pm

Milton Keynes Arts Centre warmly invites you to a launch party with artist Kitty Finer, MK College students, residents of Pritchard Court and our communities, in celebration of the intergenerational collaborations which have taken over MKAC gallery this summer. 

The launch will include the drop of MY KIND; a new fashion label inspired by the elderly, designed by the young and worn by all. 

Free picnic and arts activities for everyone. Free, everyone welcome.

Youth Fest – Truth For Youth

Saturday 31 August 2019
11:00 – 18:00

We are celebrating the launch of Truth For Youth, a brand new youth project in MK4. Come and join us at our free festival to see a mix of youth facilities from around MK. We will have DJs playing some soulful House and Garage, guest speakers, singing workshops, dance crew performances, a climbing wall, football skill activities, creative tent, a giant sand pit for little ones and some quality eco food & beverage vendors. This event is 100% plastic free, and the first 70 people will get a free reusable Truth For Youth festival cup!

Service Six Family Fun Day

Saturday 31stAugust 2019
12:00-16:00
Chapter House, Coffee Hall

On Saturday 31st August Service Six will be holding a family fun day at our base Chapter House, Coffee Hall. The event is 12-4, we will have a bouncy castle, low cost bbq, tomobola, raffle, games, a number of Harley Davidsons, Police Car and a range of stalls. If you would like to have a promotional stall or even if you just want to come and lend a hand we would be grateful of the support.
Contact Katie Marsh for more info: katie.marsh@servicesix.co.uk

MK Hospital 40th birthday celebration event

7 September 2019

Milton Keynes Hospital Charity Gala Ball

Friday 13 September
Find out more

Weaving Trust event on environmental issues

14th September 2019

Join MK Green Alliance members for lots of natters about Milton Keynes and environmental issues. The following link explains the origin and usual format of a weaving trust event.
http://www.citizensmk.org.uk/campaigns/former-campaigns/weaving-trust/
Find out more here.
Sign up today. We’d love to meet you.
Click here to register on eventbrite 

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

Volunteering opportunity of the week: My Guide Service

An image of a My Guide volunteer with a service user.

Are you looking to directly help improve someone’s life? To support a person with sight loss to safely navigate the environment, building self-confidence and increasing social interaction; whilst maintaining dignity and promoting independence. Variable depending on individual needs; approximately 3 hours per week.

Find out more on Simple Connect, our volunteering platform: https://www.vcconnectsystem.org.uk/MiltonKeynesVMS2/VolunteerOpportunities/DetailsForSearch/3100

Is this volunteering role right for me?

You must be able to give – on average – a few hours a week, and be aged 18 years old or over. This role requires that you have an Enhanced Disclosure.

What is My Guide?

My Guide is a service we offer that allows volunteers to become sighted guides. You will undergo training and learn to safely guide someone with sight loss, navigating environments and building self-confidence – all whilst increasing social interaction with those who may not otherwise wish to leave their home. 

You can read much more about My Guide

What does sighted guiding involve?

  • Provide sighted guide assistance on a regular basis to people living with sight loss – you will be matched with a suitable partner.
  • Agree on when and where you will provide the sighted guide, as part of a mutually agreed activity plan.
  • You must undertake all elements of My Guide training (approximately two days).
  • Always maintain professional boundaries and adhere to safeguarding procedures.
What skills or experience are required?What training and support will I receive?
Excellent communication and interpersonal skillsSighted Guide training and certificate upon completion of training
Patience and flexibilityGuide Dogs safeguarding training
Able to undertake your role safely and effectivelyOngoing support from the My Guide team
Blog Post Volunteering

Meet Peta : Drop-in with the representative of MK Health & Wellbeing board

Meet Peta!

Peta Wilkinson is one of the VCS representatives on the Health and Wellbeing board in Milton Keynes.

We are giving you a chance to have a voice, to express your views and to bring any health-related issues you have to her on the 25th September, 2019 1pm = 3pm at Acorn House.

You can express your views about anything Health and Wellbeing to do with you and your group. You can also voice your opinions on such things as PCN (Primary Care Networks) and ICN (Integrated Care Networks) and community health services available and accessible to you.

There is the promise of talk, tea and cake, so you won’t want to pass this opportunity up.

More details and a possible agenda to follow.

For more information about what the Health and Wellbeing Board is and what they do, click this link

Blog Post

Fareshare is coming to Milton Keynes!

Save the date! Fareshare will be organising a warehouse open day on the 1st October 2019 to celebrate the launch of the new warehouse.

We are excited to announce that the food redistribution charity FareShare, in partnership with the innovative education charity SOFEA will be opening a new Regional Centre; FareShare South Midlands in September 2019.

Who are Fareshare?

FareShare is the UK’s largest food redistribution charity. We intercept perfectly good surplus food, and we re-distribute it to local charities and not-for-profit community organisations that use it for good causes. Across the UK, we work with 10,943 frontline charities and community groups to make this happen. They take the food we save from waste and transform it into meals for vulnerable people. It’s about more than just meals though.

These organisations serve up specialist support – as well as lunch and dinner – meaning that one meal can be the start of a life-changing journey. Charities estimate it would cost them an average £7,900 a year to replace the food they get from FareShare.

Membership has the ability to significantly reduce your expenditure on food, allowing you to channel your resource into frontline services that improve the lives of those who you work with.

If you think your charity could make huge savings on your food bills and would like to access nourishing, fresh produce for a fraction of its retail value, please contact us: sophia@sofea.uk.com

Together we can fight hunger, and tackle food waste!

Blog Post

Jobs in the Sector: Fresh Start Worker (MK ACT)

MK-ACT are looking for a Fresh Start Worker to support their Fresh Start Programme.

We have an exciting opportunity to work within our organisation to work with those perpetrators of Domestic Violence who are undertaking the Fresh Start Programme, as a worker supporting the service.

As the Fresh Start Worker, your job will be:

  • to support the programme by undertaking assessments and case work with perpetrators of domestic abuse
  • case-managing
  • providing administration and support for the facilitators for Fresh Start.
  • You will also be working closely with other professionals who are involved with our clients.

We require a Fresh Start Worker who has a broad knowledge and experience of Domestic Violence particularly perpetrators.

Our ideal candidate will need to have:

  • a comprehensive understanding of domestic abuse, risk and risk management
  • be able undertake assessment and direct work with perpetrators as required, with the ability to work in a multi-agency setting.
  • be committed to supporting those affected by Domestic Violence and to join our caring and hardworking team.

MK-ACT is an equal opportunities employer committed to quality, equality and diversity and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. This post is subject to safer recruitment procedures and regulations and an enhanced DBS check.

Salary: £12.56 per hour

Hours: will consider between 20 hours – 37.5 hours per week (based at the MK-ACT Office, Acorn House, 351 Midsummer Boulevard, Milton Keynes, MK9 3HP)

Contract: Rolling monthly

Closing date: Monday 5th September, 5pm.

Interviews: TBC

MK-Act is a Safer Recruitment Employee and all those who work for us require an enhanced DBS check.

For an application pack and for further details contact: rebecca@mk-act.org

Blog Post

Jobs in the Sector: Complex Needs Outreach Worker (MK-ACT)

MK-ACT are looking for a Complex Needs Outreach Worker to support those who experience Domestic Abuse with additional complex needs in accessing services. (Female Applicants Only)

We have an exciting opportunity to work for our organisation providing a high quality service as a Complex Needs Outreach Worker to support those who experience Domestic Abuse (DA). Your role will be to work intensively with clients who have complex needs to support them in accessing services. Part of your work is to empower our clients, keeping the safety of them and their children central to their interventions.

We are looking for an individual who is committed to working in a face-paced multi-agency setting. You will be joining our caring, strong and hardworking team.

The aim of this post is to work with those clients who are experiencing Domestic Abuse, but who are hard to engage and need support into specialist services and therapeutic services due to their additional needs, including substance misuse and mental health.

The main tasks of the job will be to:

  • Engage and advocate with clients who are experiencing DA but have additional complex needs to reduce their risk and increase their safety.
  • To provide intensive support to your clients and to support them into services for e.g. MK-Act, Drug and Alcohol and Mental Health.
  • To work closely with other agencies to develop pathways for your clients to facilitate smooth and quick referral routes to ensure they get the support they need when they need it
  • To work closely with other agencies creating a coordinated multi-agency approach for your client and also encouraging referrals from other agencies and having improved engagement from your clients with other agencies.
  • To refer and provide therapeutic interventions for your clients for e.g Freedom Programme and Counselling.
  • To be able to show clear outcomes for your clients for funders MK-ACT is an equal opportunities employer committed to quality, equality and diversity and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

We require a Complex Needs worker who has a broad knowledge of DVA and experience of working with harder to reach groups. It is desirable you will be experience of working with those who have substance misuse and mental health issues but also have a therapeutic/psychology background.

Our ideal candidate will be able to work in creative ways to engage with this client group and able to work on own initiative but also seeking support from the team when required.

Salary: £ 24,512

Hours: 37.5 hours per week (Full-time)

Contract: Fixed Term (1 year)

Hours: TBC (may require some evening work)

Responsible to: Working with the Crisis Intervention Team (nature of the work involved will require majority of your work to be community-based)

This post is subject to safer recruitment procedures and regulations and an enhanced DBS check and is open to female applicants only under Schedule 9 (Part 1) of the Equality act 2010.

Closing date: Monday 2nd September, 5pm

Interviews: TBC

For an application pack please contact: Rebecca@mk-act.org

This post is funded by the Thames Valley Office of the Police and Crime

Blog Post

Volunteering Opportunity of the week: Victims First Emotional Support Volunteer

Victims First Emotional Support Volunteer provides free emotional and practical support to all victims of crime, witnesses of crime and family members of victims. The service is available across Berks, Bucks and Oxfordshire. They can provide help regardless of whether or not the crime has been reported to the police.

What does it involve?

  • Providing practical and emotional support to victims of crime in the Thames Valley area
  • Working to empower victims and to track and map progress by using an evidence-based outcomes tool
  • Ensuring fairness, impartiality and equality in supporting victims
  • Keeping a secure record of contact with victims and reporting to the Caseworker appropriately and in line with data protection requirements
  • Working alongside a Caseworker to ensure the delivery of a high-quality service
  • Committing to attending training, supervision, reflective practice and support sessions

Skills needed?

  • A non-judgemental attitude
  • The ability to empathise with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures
  • Listening Skills
  • Reliability and punctuality
  • Able to set and work within clear boundaries
  • Able to travel within your local area
  • Commit to a minimum period of 6 months

What’s in it for you?

  • Free training, ongoing professional development and support
  • Travel reimbursement
  • Opportunity to develop personal skills and support skills for future opportunities and employment
  • Contribute to your community in a role that has social value
  • Meet people, learn new things and gain a rewarding sense of contribution

Who are Victims First?

Victims First is dedicated to making sure that all victims and witnesses receive the support they need to cope and recover from the impact of the crime. We care about those affected by crime and work continuously to improve services and support for victims.

Services

We have a number of specialist services which include help for victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse. We may refer you to one of our specialist services depending on your needs.

Specialist services include:

  • Telephone support
  • Face to face support
  • Advocacy, including, help to access other services such as sexual health clinics, drug and alcohol services and legal services
  • Support through the criminal justice system (if you have reported the crime to the police)
  • Therapeutic Counselling

Roles are subject to reference and DBS clearance. For more information or to request an application form, please contact the VFESS Manager on 01844 487989 or email admin@vfess.org.uk

Blog Post

12 August: Weekly Bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

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12 August 2019

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Community and voluntary events in Central Beds, Bedfordshire, Luton & MK

The Counselling Foundation is holding Free Counselling Training Open Days in Bedford and Luton on Saturday 17 August. Booking essential. Click here.

The next Small Charities Forum, hosted by Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation, is on 19 September,10am-1.30pm, in Toddington, with the theme of Financial Management. Click here.

Think Autism: Bedford Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Borough Council and Luton Borough Council are running a partnership engagement workshop to discuss the Bedfordshire Think Autism Partnership Board. They would like to invite carers, Autism organisations, complex needs groups and others who may be interested, to participate. The event is Friday 27 September, 10am-12pm at The Rufus Centre in Flitwick. RSVP required to commissioningsupport@luton.gov.uk by 13 September.  Details here

19th September: TRANSPARENCY AND TRUST: TRUSTEE CONFERENCE

Looking at why transparency and trust are critical to a charity’s success, this half-day conference will give you expert input and practical ideas to strengthen your organisation.

You will learn how to boost trust levels through governance, board diversity and accountability, as well as participate in one of our expert-led interactive breakout sessions. If you are a trustee or committee member of a charity, voluntary or community group or a board member of a social enterprise, this conference will provide you with clear, take-away actions to apply to your organisation.
Find out more

We support communities and groups

Community Action: MK provides advice and support on setting up, managing and developing your charity, voluntary or community group in Milton Keynes. We can work with you on a 1:1 basis, or can get you linked in with local training and events. We give advice on getting fit for funding, forward planning and good governance.

Your first step should be to have a look at the information sheets we provide here.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for or think you might require more in depth support please email support@communityactionmk.org or call 01908 661623.

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Milton Keynes Council Open Consultations

See all MK Council consultations

Have your say!
Draft Milton Keynes East Development Framework Supplementary Planning Document

Milton Keynes East (MKE) has been allocated for a residential-led strategic urban extension in Plan:MK. The allocation within Plan:MK is for around 5,000 homes and 105 hectares of employment land along with a range of social, transport and green infrastructure provision.

Milton Keynes Council is consulting on a Draft Milton Keynes East Development Framework Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). The consultation runs from 7 August 2019 closing on 16 October 2019 at 5pm.

The preferred method for submitting comments is via a Consultation Response Form which can be downloaded below or a hard copy is available in all public libraries within the Borough and at Civic. Please return your completed form to us via: development.plans@milton-keynes.gov.uk

See all related documents and download Consultation Response Form here

MK Council Useful links and documents

Calendar of Forthcoming Meetings
Reporting Issues to the Council Contact List
MK Council Statement of Community Involvement

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CNWL Community Health Strategy Q&A

Central and North West London (CNWL) launched their Community Health Services Strategy on Thursday 18 July 2019.

The strategy includes 14 key commitments which the Trust will continue to develop together with staff, patients, carers and partners over the next five years. You can find out more on their website and can attend their Q&A to share your views.

Register for the Q&A event on 14 August from 09:00-11:00

Goods for charities from In Kind Direct

Goods for charities from In Kind Direct

In Kind Direct, a charity founded by HRH The Prince of Wales, is set up to provide UK charitable organisations with new usable consumer goods. Goods range from toiletries, clothes, toys, cleaning products and a range of other items that can be used to:

  • Give to people you support free of charge
  • Run your projects and activities
  • Clean and maintain your facilities

The charity takes donations of goods from companies such as Amazon, Procter & Gamble, Asda, Kimberly Clark (to name a few). Goods are all new and usable but donated for a variety of reasons including having small defects in the branding or packaging, over production or being end of line goods.

Registration is free. You pay a small charge for their service, which contributes towards the cost of running a warehouse, staff, packaging and includes delivery. If you have any questions, please contact the Charities Team on 0300 30 20 200 or info@inkinddirect.org

#BLMKfutureNHS

#BLMKfutureNHS is a ‘campaign to understand what is important to local people about the future of health and care services across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK). The campaign will provide ‘BLMK residents with an opportunity to share their views at a series of events and via an online survey about existing services and what is important to them for the future’.
Find out more

Nominate your city for the 10th Access City Award 2020! On 29 November 2019, the European Commission will reward the 10th winners of the Access City Award (first, second and third place prizes and up to four special mentions). Once again, cities will be rewarded for their outstanding work in making their cities more accessible for persons with disabilities and elderly people. Applications must be made by completing and submitting the online application form by 11 September 2019 

Apply for the Access City Award

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Volunteering opportunity of the week: MK Gallery Assistant

Gallery Assistant Volunteers are a vital part of the team working to ensure the continuing success of MK Gallery, ensuring we deliver the best quality of visitor experience to all. Gallery Assistant Volunteers work pro-actively to ensure the safety and security of the art works at all times. 

Find out more: https://app.betterimpact.com/PublicOrganization/b881f42d-18f2-4e68-ad68-4a5f6f064659/1

Volunteers wanted for Intu Green Gym

Part-time Digital Skills Officer (Citizens Advice)

Citizens Advice is looking for someone for their new role as a Digital Skills Officer, helping those that need it to access a variety of online services both locally and nationally.

A background in advice giving is desirable but not essential. Full training will be provided.  ‘Job share’ arrangements may be considered. Find out more

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People’s Postcode Trust 

The Peoples Postcode Trust is the grant-giving independent charitable trust of Peoples Postcode Lottery. They distribute funds to small organisations, community groups and registered charities.
Deadline: 14 August
Find out more

Sharing and Celebrating Patient and Public Involvement in Healthcare

NHS England and NHS Improvement have launched the ‘Sharing and Celebrating Patient and Public Involvement in Healthcare’ community grants scheme. Grants of up to £2,500 are available to voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations ‘that showcase good practice around patient and citizen involvement in healthcare.’
Deadline: 23 September
Find out more

GSK IMPACT Awards

The GSK IMPACT Awards provide core funding, training and national recognition for charities doing excellent work to improve people’s health and wellbeing. Up to 20 awards will be made ranging from £3,000 to £40,000. To be eligible organisations must be at least three years old, a registered charity, working in a health-related field in the UK, with income between £80,000 and £2.5 million. Winning organisations will have a film made, receive support with press and publicity and be given a set of promotional materials. They will also be offered free training and development valued at a further £9,500.
Deadline: 23 September
Find out more

Comic Relief Launches £1.2m Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Fund

Women’s organisations providing frontline services in the UK that meet the needs of women and girls facing multiple disadvantage can apply now for grants of up to £250,000 out of this £1.2 million fund.

Comic Relief continues their partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the UK’s devolved administrations to support organisations across the UK tackling violence against women and girls. The fund has been made available through a grant from the Tampon Tax Fund.
Find out more

Empowering young people to improve communities

Applications for grants of up to £35,000 are open until 12pm (noon) on Friday 20 September. Co-op Foundation expect to make about eight grants in total and funding comes from a new £3 million extension to Co-Op’s #iwill Fund. You can find out if your organisation is eligible by checking out their funding page,

Mid Shires Orchard Group – Afternoon at the Orchard

Saturday 17 August 2019
2.00pm to 6.00pm
Venue: Woughton Orchards, off Newport Road, Woughton on the Green, Milton Keynes, MK6 3BD

Activities: This month, our focus will be on the Plum Hedge and its lovely Merryweather Damson trees. We’ll be removing brambles and weeds from around the trees, doing summer pruning and perhaps even harvesting some fruit. Bring work gloves and tools such as loppers, scythes, pruning saws and shears. 
Price: FREE! Donations welcomed towards refreshments 
Contact: Claire at MSOGChairman@yahoo.com to find out more and confirm attendance

Emily’s Star Dinosaur Hunt

Saturday 17 August 2019
10:30 – 14:30

Our roarsome dinosaur hunt is back!! Book your tickets now to join in the adventure! Search the secret garden for the hidden dinosaur letters, play games to earn clues & watch out for Pete the dino roaming around! Tickets are priced at £5 per child plus booking fee, adults are FREE!

Planting Up permablitz

Saturday 24 August 2019

Join Planting Up in the garden for their next permablitz at Westbury Arts Centre on Saturday 24 August from 10.30am. They’ll be working up an appetite for their “bring & share” lunch from 1 – 2pm. Summer garden care is mostly about leisurely watering, trimming and weeding but they’ll also be seeing what they can pick and eat from the garden too! 🙂

Upcoming Workshops @ Westbury Arts Centre

Service Six Family Fun Day

Saturday 31stAugust 2019
12:00-16:00
Chapter House, Coffee Hall

On Saturday 31st August Service Six will be holding a family fun day at our base Chapter House, Coffee Hall. The event is 12-4, we will have a bouncy castle, low cost bbq, tomobola, raffle, games, a number of Harley Davidsons, Police Car and a range of stalls. If you would like to have a promotional stall or even if you just want to come and lend a hand we would be grateful of the support.
Contact Katie Marsh for more info: katie.marsh@servicesix.co.uk

MK Hospital 40th birthday celebration event

7 September 2019

Weaving Trust event on environmental issues

14th September 2019

Join MK Green Alliance members for lots of natters about Milton Keynes and environmental issues. The following link explains the origin and usual format of a weaving trust event.
http://www.citizensmk.org.uk/campaigns/former-campaigns/weaving-trust/
Find out more here.
Sign up today. We’d love to meet you.
Click here to register on eventbrite 

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

Have your say: Milton Keynes East Development Framework

Milton Keynes East (MKE) has been allocated for a residential-led strategic urban extension in Plan:MK. The allocation covers approximately 440 hectares of land encompassed by the M1 to the west, the A422/A509 to the north, and Moulsoe and the wider rural area to the east. 

The allocation within Plan:MK, under Policy SD12, is for around 5,000 homes and 105 hectares of employment land along with a range of social, transport and green infrastructure provision.

Public consultation Aug-Oct 2019

Milton Keynes Council is consulting on a Draft Milton Keynes East Development Framework Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).

The SPD will support policies in Plan:MK and will be considered a material consideration in the determination of planning applications submitted to the Council.

The consultation runs from 7 August 2019 closing on 16 October 2019 at 5pm.

After the end of the consultation period, any comments received will be considered by the Council and the SPD will be amended accordingly. A report will then be prepared to reflect the comments received throughout the consultation. A decision will then be made as to whether or not to take the SPD forward for adoption, taking into account any outcome of the Council’s Housing Infrastructure Fund bid associated with Milton Keynes East (see below). If the SPD is taken forward for adoption, the final version would be approved by Cabinet.

The preferred method for submitting comments is via a Consultation Response Form which can be downloaded below or a hard copy is available in all public libraries within the Borough and at Civic. Please return your completed form to us via: development.plans@milton-keynes.gov.uk

The following documents form part of this consultation:

A. Draft Milton Keynes East Development Framework SPD July 2019 (PDF, 12.2MB)

B. Consultation Response Form pdf (PDF, 161KB) and Consultation Response Form word (DOCX, 31KB)

C. Guidance Note for Respondents (PDF, 206KB)

D. Statement of Representations Procedure (PDF, 238KB)

E. SEA Screening Statement (PDF, 805KB)

Paper copies of all consultation documents have been placed in all libraries across the Borough and at Civic.

Blog Post Eastern Expansion Area Plan:MK

Jobs in the Voluntary Sector: Part-time Digital Skills Officer (Citizens Advice)

Citizens Advice is looking for someone for their new role as a Digital Skills Officer, helping those that need it to access a variety of online services both locally and nationally.

What do they want from you?

  • Competency and confidence in using IT, and specifically using IT applications and resources on websites.
  • Clear and accurate communication skills.
  • Able to listen, understand and use information
  • Able to work in a team, be organised and manage time effectively
  • Confident in working to performance targets
  • Able to recognise the limits and boundaries of the role.

A background in advice giving is desirable but not essential. Full training will be provided.  ‘Job share’ arrangements may be considered.

The successful Applicant/s will be asked to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Salary: £20,265 per annum pro rata. Actual salary – £16,211

Hours: 28 hours per week over 4 days (0.8 FTE)

Contract: Part-time, 3 year fixed term until 31st March 2022

They are looking for an enthusiastic, committed and confident person to join their small, team of staff. The successful candidate will provide advice and support to local people, on a one to one basis, including those living in the community who could be considered ‘vulnerable adults’.

Who are Citizens Advice?

Citizens Advice Milton Keynes is a local charity that helps people to resolve their legal, money and personal problems. The organisation has been providing free, confidential, and impartial advice since 1972 and helps approximately 10,000 local people every year.

Closing date: Tuesday 20th August 2019 at Midday  

Interviews: w/c Monday 2nd September 2019 

For more information regarding this role, please click here.

Blog Post

Jobs in the Voluntary Sector: Information, Advice and Guidance Adviser (Part-time)

Works For Us have a great opportunity available to those who are searching for ‘more than just a job‘.

Come and join our team at Works for Us!

We are looking for an outstanding individual to provide one-to-one advice sessions to our clients to support them in obtaining employment, education, training or volunteering.

This position requires excellent communication skills and experience of working with people from a variety of social, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

The ideal candidate will have a Level 4 NVQ in IAG or equivalent. Working towards relevant qualifications with experience will be considered.

We will consider a job share.

Main Responsibilities

  • To provide high quality individual Advice and Guidance services
  • To assist with work, training and volunteer related skills
  • To contribute to the promotion of services
  • Develop and maintain work, training and volunteer related information and resources
  • To supported Volunteering/Work Experience within our services