Volunteering Opportunity of the Week: Listening Volunteers Samaritans MK


Samaritans Milton Keynes is the local branch of the nationally recognised charity Samaritans. We provide confidential, non-judgemental support 24 hours a day by phone, email, text and face to face, to anyone who is experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide. We offer a safe place for people to talk about feelings and emotions, and whatever is on their mind. What all our callers have in common is a need for someone to listen and help explore their situation, without giving advice or offering an opinion.

You can make an amazing difference by becoming a Samaritan and helping to support people around the UK and Ireland when they are going through a difficult time and need someone to talk to. We welcome and value every volunteer, from all walks of life. Whatever your background, experience or skills, if you want to make a difference, we will train, mentor and support you to become a Listening Volunteer.

Our branch is based close to Central Milton Keynes and we currently have around 50 volunteers from the local area, as well as further afield, and we are looking for more Listening Volunteers to enable us to cope with the increasing demand for our services. For us, location is not an issue, but you need to be prepared to travel to the branch for duties which will include late evenings and night shifts.

Read more and apply.


Blog Post

Weekly bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

Weekly bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

Funding Alert! Milton Keynes Community Foundation’s Large Strategic Grant Programme is now live. Welcoming expressions of interest for applications for multi-year strategic projects for a maximum of 3 years. Find out more about the criteria and fill in an expression of interest form via their website.

MHA MacIntyre Hudson, an MK based audit, accountancy and taxation firm want to increase their involvement in their local community and are looking for corporate volunteering opportunities.

They are particularly interested in providing support, coaching or advice with CVs, interview tips etc. to young people attempting to enter employment or further education but would also be open to other volunteering opportunities. We could provide a team of approximately 10 young professionals, comprising a mixture of both qualified and training members of staff. At the moment they are looking to donate one afternoon and would like to all go out together to the same project/event. Call Robyn de Kock 01908 662255.

Save the date! Friday 28th September 2018. Networking, discussions and open spaces for the Voluntary Sector in MK.

“This is the power of gathering: it inspires us, delightfully, to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful: in a word, more alive.” ~ Alice Waters

GATHER 2018 (2)

The Constantly Moving Happiness Machine: Artist and Academic Discussion

20th Sept, 8pm

Anna Berry discusses her relationship to capitalism using her work, The Constantly Moving Happiness Machine, as a jumping-off point. She discusses the beginnings of consumer capitalism as we know it, and probes the nature of our role as consumers.

Jason Hickel, author of The Divide, will discuss the notion of ‘degrowth’, and how neoliberalism is enforced by global institutions. By arguing that our addiction to economic growth is killing us, Hickel disrupts sacred economic orthodoxies.

Chaired by Kevin McConway

There will be discussion, refreshment for guests, and time to explore the artworks.


Swan Credit Union, based at Foundation House on Aylesbury Street, is working with the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) to use proceeds of crime money as an incentive to encourage people in Milton Keynes to save, and to raise awareness of the dangers of borrowing from illegal money lenders.

The first 50 people to join Swan Credit Union living in the postcode areas MK 2-3, 6-7 and 10-14, and who save £5 per week for 13 weeks, will qualify for a savings boost of £25.

 Steve Eyre, Chair of the Swan Credit Union said:

 “Swan Credit Union exists to provide affordable savings and loans through our local Community Banks and we value very highly the work of the England Illegal Money Lending Team in tackling loan sharks. We recognise that this type of crime hits vulnerable people very hard, and using recovered proceeds to support the work of Credit Unions is imaginative and dynamic. I am confident our existing and potential members will be grateful for this support and will be encouraged to use the valuable services that we all provide.”

 For more information on how to become a member of Swan Credit Union, call 03030 300147 or visit http://swancreditunion.org.uk/.


Open day flyer-page-001

Museum HERstory leaflet[1813] new-page-001

Blog Post

Jobs in the Voluntary Sector: Cycle Saviours -Cycle Mechanic – social enterprise worker

Cycle SavioursCycle Mechanic – social enterprise worker

Job type: Full time 37.5 hrs a week (5 days a week including weekends on rota)

Salary £16,000-£17,000 pa

Cycle Saviours is a social enterprise whose mission is to save unwanted bikes, save the environment and help get people on their bikes. We achieve this with the support of young people looking for an alternative path towards qualifications and employment. In addition to our work recycling, repairing and servicing bikes we have been awarded a large contract to maintain bikes for the new Milton Keynes’ public bike rental scheme and are also expanding our community engagement services to encourage more people to get on their bikes.

You will be an enterprising, environmentally committed, cycling enthusiast with high level cycle mechanic skills who is keen to share those skills with young people and others in our community.

For this post you will need an enhanced DBS check.

The purpose of this post is to work with and train young people on our pre-apprenticeship programme to:

Source, refurbish and sell unwanted bikes and bike spares and repair and service customer bikes

Service, repair and relocate rental bikes (involves driving a small van)

Develop community activities that promote access to cycling

Key requirements

Ideally you will:

Be an enterprising cycling enthusiast with good cycle maintenance skills

Ideally hold a cycle maintenance qualification

Have an ability to, and experience of, working with young people

A passion for cycling and the environment

Have strong administrative skills

Qualifications at level 2 or above in English and Maths

Strong team work skills and an ability to work constructively with others

A commitment to the completion of work and to the achievement of targets

Hold a current driving license and be able to drive a small van

Please send your CV to stephen@mkchristianfoundation.co.uk

The closing date for applications will be midday on Monday 27 August 2018

Blog Post

Jobs in the Voluntary Sector: Foundation Training: Maths Training Assistant

Foundation Training: Maths Training Assistant

Job type: Part time 22.5 hrs a week (Term Time)

Salary £17,000-£18,000 pa pro rata

Foundation Training provides innovative learning opportunities, within social enterprises, for young people struggling with traditional approaches to teaching and learning. We use our social enterprises as learning environments helping young people to:

build their confidence and self esteem

develop vocational, employability, social and life skills

gain vocational and employability qualifications including customer services

grow skills and achieve qualifications in maths and English

identify the next steps towards more independent living

For this post you will need an enhanced DBS check.

This purpose of this post is to provide:

Support for trainees working to build their Functional Skills

Key requirements

You will have:

Experience as teacher, trainer or TA

Maths to at least L2

Awareness of Safeguarding expectations

An enhanced DBS

Good administrative skills

An ability to be flexible and be good at working under pressure

Strong team player

Positive, creative and solution focused

We value diversity and welcome applicants from all sections of the community

Please send your CV to stephen@mkchristianfoundation.co.uk

The closing date for applications will be midday on Monday 27 August 2018

Blog Post

MK Community Foundation Seeks Trustees

Master CMYK large (2)

MK Community Foundation Seeks Trustees

MK Community Foundation seek highly motivated people to join their inclusive volunteer Board of Trustees to play an important strategic role in increasing their impact and reach in the communities of Milton Keynes.

MK Community Foundation is an independent charity working for and at the heart of Milton Keynes. They connect people and resources to projects and ideas that create a positive impact for the whole borough.

In 2017 – 18, they delivered more than £1.99 million to support the local community.

Skills, Knowledge and Experience sought
Whilst they need Trustees with strategic planning, business planning and governance experience they particularly wish to attract people with:
 – commitment to local community issues and community development OR
 – regional and national voluntary community sector experience OR
 – IT and social media flair OR
 – campaigning skills OR
 – property management; property development experience

Additionally through their Vital Signs initiative, they are hoping to attract people with expertise in very specific areas. Follow the link below for detailed definitions of all these knowledge areas.

Vital Signs 2017

Become a Trustee of the Board
The Board is responsible for the governance of MK Community Foundation.

Each Trustee needs to be prepared to give their time and expertise to make an important contribution to the Community Foundation’s strategic aims that requires:
 – Making a commitment to regular attendance at Board, and other Committee meetings
 – Attendance at a range of receptions and events
 – Involvement in the Community Foundation’s grant and philanthropy activities
 – Engagement with your own network to introduce them to the Community Foundation
 – Supporting and maintaining awareness of the Community Foundation’s activities and also those of the local voluntary sector
 – Embracing the Community Foundation’s values and being an ambassador for the Community Foundation
 – Becoming a member of MK Community Foundation

Please express your interest in writing to Karen Cooper, karen.cooper@mkcommunityfoundation.co.uk by
Friday 7th September.

Please email Karen or call 01908 304432 if you have any queries.

Closing Date: Midday on Friday 7 th September 2018. Those shortlisted will be invited for interview weekcommencing 10th September.

Charity reg. no. 295107

Blog Post

Civil Society Strategy Launched

Last week the Government launched the first Civil Society Strategy in 15 years.

This Strategy sets out how government will work with and for civil society in the long-term to create a country that works for everyone. It consists of five chapters that each address the ‘five foundations of social value’ in turn:

  1. People – enabling a lifetime of contribution focuses on the role of citizens in civil society, with particular reference to the role of young people.
  2. Places – empowerment and investment for local communities presents a vision of ‘place’, and the role of government in supporting local communities.
  3. The social sector – supporting charities and social enterprises explains the government’s approach to the core of civil society i.e. the social sector of charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises including mutuals.
  4. The private sector – promoting business, finance and tech for good outlines the role of business, finance and tech in civil society.
  5. The public sector – ensuring collaborative commissioning explains how the government sees the future role of civil society organisations in the delivery of public services.
The Civil Society Strategy plans to: 
    • Unlock £20 million from inactive charitable trusts (those which spend less than 30% of their annual income) to support community organisations over the next two years. The work will be carried out alongside the Charity Commission and UK Community Foundations.
    • Launch an ‘Innovation in Democracy’ pilot scheme in six regions across the country. This will trial creative ways for people to take a more direct role in decisions that affect their local area. This could include Citizens Juries or mass participation in decision-making on community issues via an online poll or app.
    • Fund a new independent organisation that will distribute £90 million from dormant bank accounts to get disadvantaged young people into employment. This new organisation will harness the experience of grassroots youth workers, businesses, and other local services, to help young people achieve their full potential.
    • Fund a new independent organisation to use £55 million from dormant accounts to tackle financial exclusion and the problem of access to affordable credit.
    • Support charities to make their voices heard on issues that matter to them. We will also ensure that charitable trustees reflect the diversity of the society they serve.
    • Strengthen Britain’s values of corporate responsibility, through the launch of a major new Leadership Group. This will be formed of senior figures from the business, investment and social sectors, to put social and environmental responsibility at the heart of company decisions.

Read more here.

Blog Post

Weekly Bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

Weekly Bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

Could your group do with a hand?

Ricoh UK are looking to connect with a charity within the Milton Keynes area to host some volunteering for a team. Contact James Knox by email.

Vicki Reisinger has a team of 50 people from Network Rail looking for a group to help. Contact her directly via email.

What better way to enjoy a Tuesday afternoon in the summer holidays?

Bring all the family to enjoy afternoon tea, sandwiches and cake created from unwanted food from MK Community Fridge in the beautiful setting of The Secret Garden.

Would you like to acquire the skills and confidence to speak effectively in any situation?

Giving you these skills is the purpose of a course that will be run by a local organisation, Bletchley Speakers Club.

This is a five session course, led by experienced professional speakers in an informal and supportive environment, allowing you every chance to watch, learn, practice and grow.

The course is absolutely free, it is suitable for everyone who wants to improve their public speaking and will be of particular benefit to those with little or no experience of public speaking. Each session covers a separate aspect of public speaking, so it is not necessary to attend every session to benefit from the course.

The first session is on September 25th, with further sessions held on October 10th , October 24th,  November 14th  and November 28th.

Each session will  start at 7.30 pm and run until 9.30pm

The course will be held in the charming location of Rectory Cottages. Rectory Cottages address is 49 Church Green Road, Bletchley, MK3 6BJ.

To reserve a place  or to find out more,  contact Tom Ferrett tomferrett@btinternet.com on 07814 417260

Bletchley Speakers Club is a member of the national association of Speakers Clubs. For more information, visit www.bletcheyspeakers.co.uk

Pedalling Culture Updates

Motus Dance – Pedalling the Tracks Volunteer call out / Blazing Saddles Volunteer call out /  Live Mapping Performance Walk and Map Launch – Groundwork presents: A to B in MK / Pedalling Culture Social, all welcome!
Pedalling Culture Champion Volunteer Info Sheet 2818
Pedalling Culture Champion Volunteer Info Sheet 2818 (1)

Young People Talking About  Mental Health & YiS 2018 AGM

Friday September 21, 2018 3-5pm

Join YiS for a panel discussion with young people talking about their mental health experiences and views. There will be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions and engage.

The panel discussion will be followed by the YiS Youth Counselling Service 2018 AGM, including a review of 2017/18, a look back at the recently finished Outreach Project and a look at the months ahead.

There will also be a chance to get some nibbles and network afterwards.

A full copy of the formal notice for the AGM is available online.

Reserve your place here.

Applications are now open for the Winifred Tumim Memorial Prize for best practice in charity governance.

To apply complete the online application form by Friday 7 September.

Celebrating involvement in healthcare community grants 2018 – apply now!

Are you a voluntary, community or social enterprise (VCSE) group that has done some amazing patient, service-user or carer involvement work, that’s improved healthcare services?
If so, the NHS wants to hear about it. In fact, it wants everyone to hear about it – and wants to provide the support to make this happen.
NHS England will be awarding grants of up to £2,500 to a number of projects that showcase good practice around patient and citizen involvement in healthcare.
Applications should explain how you have involved patients and citizens in a healthcare project, and how you plan to use the grant to share and showcase your work in a creative way.
The grants can only be awarded to a voluntary organisation. To read the community grants guidelines and to check that your organisation and project is eligible, visit this webpage. The application deadline is 20 September 2018 and you can apply here.

38781074_397468950779505_4983580257266171904_n (1)

The World Bike Girl Speaking Event, Milton Keynes
Fri 17th August, Doors open 6.30pm, Event begins 7pm to 8.30 pm.
Coffee included in price of ticket.
Price: £10


Blog Post