24 June: Weekly Bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

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24 June 2019

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5th July: Community Action: MK Summer Networking event

Please follow this link to find out more and to book your place.

MK Futures 2050 – Summer Exhibition

4th-7th July at Middleton Hall

Please follow the link to find out more.

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Early Help Strategy Consultation

Milton Keynes Safeguarding Board and the Milton Keynes Safeguarding Board Children’s Partnership have been working on an Early Help Strategy 2019-22 for Milton Keynes, and are inviting local groups to submit their comments.

Deadline for submitting feedback and comments: Monday 8th July.

Please follow this link to access the consultation document and to submit your response.

1st July: Children and young people’s mental health needs assessment

Community & Voluntary Sector Consultation

When? Monday 1 July, 9.30am – 12.30pm,   at
Where? Davis Suite, Rufus Centre, Steppingley Road, Flitwick, Bedfordshire, MK45 1AH

This event relates to the mental health needs assessment for children and young people that is underway in Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes The focus is on prevention and early intervention approaches to mental health and wellbeing, as well as access to specialist services.

Deadline to RSVP: Wednesday 26th June. Please follow this link to find out more and to book your place.

3rd July: Safeguarding Awereness Event

When? Wednesday 3rd July Where? 43 Bromham Rd, Bedford MK40 2AA

An introduction to safeguarding which aims to raise awareness of the issues for voluntary and community groups working with children, young people or vulnerable adults.

Please follow this link to find out more and to book your place.

Lavendon Neighbourhood Plan

In June 2019, Lavendon Parish Council submitted the final version of its Neighbourhood Plan to Milton Keynes Council. The Plan is now being published in accordance with Regulation 16 of the Neighbourhood Plans (General) Regulations 2012. This is the final stage to make comments on the Plan.

Please follow this link to see the submitted Plan and its supporting documents.

Any comments on the Plan at this stage (including those from members of the public and other organisations) will be passed to an independent person (the Examiner) to consider when he or she is examining the Plan.  The Examiner will consider whether the Plan:

–              Meets a number of basic conditions

–             Satisfies the legal requirements for neighbourhood plans, and

–              Identifies an appropriate area for the referendum

Comments should be sent to: neighbourhoodplanning@milton-keynes.gov.uk  by 5pm on Monday 5th August 2019.

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MK Calling – Open call to exhibit at MK Gallery

Artists working across all art forms are invited to take over MK Gallery! Applications welcome from all, especially from artists connected to Milton Keynes in particular.

Please follow this link to find out more and to submit your application.

Festival of Creative Urban Living 2019

26 September – 13 October 2019

Midsummer Boulevard in CMK will be hosting the first ever ‘A Festival of Creative Urban Living’; bringing together artists, architects, designers, urban planners, thinkers, creatives and many others to deliver a free programme of exhibitions, events, creative workshops, performances and much more.

Please follow this link to find out more and submit a proposal for your group to be involved in the programme!

Free Christmas Hampers from John Lewis & Partners

Ex Christmas Hampers available to give away (no alcohol, items have passed their sell by date by 1-2 months, but sealed and unopened. )

When? Monday July 8th : 11-11.30am

Where: Distribution MP2 Fen Street Magna Park MK17 8EW (drive in,  through the barrier on right and drive to end of car park)

If Interested: please follow this link to send an e-mail.

Do you have news to share?

If you work or volunteer 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. To receive our weekly newsletter, other updates and news about the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes, please follow this link.

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Volunteering opportunity of the week: Trustee for MK Play Association

Time commitment: flexible/ tba

This is an exciting opportunity to join the board of trustees at this children-centred charity providing a number of vital services in Milton Keynes. If you have skills and knowledge of business finance, fundraising or marketing, MKPA would love to hear from you!

Please follow this link to our Simply Connect volunteer recruitment platform to find out more and to apply. If you would like to get a better understanding of what it takes to volunteer as a trustee in general, please follow this link to the NCVO article.

MK Play Association also have a range of other volunteering roles available – please follow this link to their website to find out more.

Girlguiding – Student Volunteering Roles

Flexible volunteering for students at school, college or university!

GirlGuiding are the leading charity for girls and young women in the UK, offering great volunteering opportunities for students and giving you the opportunity to gain lots of new skills while having the adventure of a lifetime.

Please follow this link to find out more and to apply. You can also visit our Simply Connect volunteer recruitment platform to find other volunteering roles with the local Girlguiding groups in MK! Please follow this link to explore (simply put ‘ Girlguiding’ into the keyword search field)

The Parks Trust: Outdoor Learning Ranger (Delivering Environmental Education)

If you are passionate about the environment and have a love for teaching, The Parks Trust are looking for an Outdoor Learning Ranger to deliver Environmental Education to a variety of age groups in MK.

Closing date: Friday 30th July. Please follow this link to find out more and to apply, and to see other roles currently available at The Parks Trust.

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Heart Of Bucks: general grants

Max. Value: £ 5,000 Application Deadline: 28 August 2019

Heart of Bucks are the Community Foundation for Buckinghamshire, supporting charities and community groups in whose work benefits local people. It awards grants to a broad range of causes and welcome applications from both new and established groups.

Please follow this link to find out more and to apply.

Programme of Summer Events at MK Arts Centre

Lots of free events & workshops for all the family – please follow this link to find out more.

Big Lunch at Conniburrow Orchard

29th June

Wolverton-On-The-Sea

29th June

Join this fun event being organised by Wolverton Community Orchard. Please follow this link to find out more.

Parade of Colours – Art at the Lake Festival

29th June

Get Involved with ‘Parade of Colours’. We are setting off for the best Multi-Cultural Parade as part of this year’s Art at the Lake Festival on Saturday 29th June 2019. If you wish to take part or require more info contact simon@routecanalarts.org.uk

MK Festival of Nature

29th June -7th July

Please follow this link for a full programme.

Charity Walk for Peace 2019

30th June 2019

This year this flagship event will be held in Milton Keynes, in association with MK DONS Football Club and the MK DONS SET Charity, on 30th June 2019. It is free to participate.
Find out more and register

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups

Local Consultation: Early Help Strategy 2019-22 for Milton Keynes

Early Help Strategy 2019- 2022

Milton Keynes Safeguarding Board and the Milton Keynes Safeguarding Board Children’s Partnership have been working on an Early Help Strategy for Milton Keynes.  

MK Together (which brings together the Milton Keynes Safeguarding Boards, Community Safety and the Health and Wellbeing Boards) are circulating the consultation document which has been prepared by a cross sector Task and Finish Group. 

 Priorities include: 

  • To target resources effectively to support children and their families as early as possible when problems arise
  • To monitor and measure the impact of the Early Help offer through assessment processes and performance management
  • To build on the strengths and capacity of families and communities to meet children’s needs through universal services where possible
  • To prevent the need for referral and thereby reduce the number of children requiring specialist and statutory support
  • To support children to thrive by intervening to improve key protective factors that help build resilience
  • To support the Early Help model to thrive through shared understanding and responsibility across partners

Please follow this link to access the consultation document.

Please submit your comments on the consultation document by Monday 8 July to MKTogether@milton-keynes.gov.uk

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Consultation

5th July: Community Action: MK Summer Networking & Netwalking Event

When? Friday 5th July: 12.30-1.30pm with an optional walking tour between 1.30-2.30pm

Where? Meet at Acorn House, 351 Midsummer Blvd, MK9 3HP

Join Community Action: MK and other colleagues from the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes at our Summer Networking/ Netwalking event, which will be dedicated to the topic of the growth of Milton Keynes. The event will include a walking tour (optional to join) of some of the planned development areas in the city centre, ending up at Middleton Hall for the Milton Keynes: A Journey to 2050 exhibition and talks.

The Agenda: 

12.30pm – Arrive: registration and refreshments

12.45pm – Welcome from Clare Walton, The CEO of Community Action: MK 

12.50pm – Networking & Visiting the stalls to share feedback & find out useful information about the growth projects in the city and their impact on the sector 

1.30pm – Walking Tour (please note there might be two walking groups depending on the number of people signing up) 

2.40pm – Arrive at Middleton Hall: exhibition & talks (optional to join and explore)

The walking tour is optional (please reserve your ticket as part of the registration process) and will cover the key areas for development proposed in Centre MK, such as MK:U – a new university and Hotel La Tour, a multi-million pound development, to name a few. The walk will take up to one hour – please make sure that you wear comfortable footwear! 

The MK Futures 2050 project is putting on an exhibition at Middleton Hall, with talks from some of the key stakeholders involved in the development projects in Milton Keynes – to see the full programme, please follow this link

Once at Middleton Hall, guests can feel free to browse at their leisure before the exhibition and spend as much time as they wish there.

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

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups

CVS Consultation: Children & Young People’s Mental Health Needs Assessment

Date:   1 July 2019 9:30 – 12:30pm

Do you provide support for Children and Young People’s mental health and wellbeing? Particularly in Milton Keynes, Bedford Borough or Central Bedfordshire? Well, this event may just interest you.

See below for more details.

To see more from our Community of Practice events and any more information about CoP, click here

Blog Post

17 June: Weekly Bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

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17 June 2019

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Community Action: MK Summer Networking event – Friday 5th July

Friday 21st June: A Community of Practice: All VCS practitioners welcome

This is an exciting opportunity for anyone who works or volunteers with Children and Young People in MK, offering them support for their mental health and sense of wellbeing. The second meeting of the group is taking place on:

FRIDAY 21st JUNE 9.30am – midday at Service Six, Chapter House, Coffee Hall, MK6 5EE

Please follow this link to find out more about this new group and the meeting on the 21st June.

This group is set-up for the workers/ volunteering from within the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes.

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The Stables need your support!

The Developers are back and have put in a new Reserved Matters Application no 19/01357/REM which makes no reference to the existence of The Stables nor the previous pre-commencement condition for a deed of easement.

Please support The Stables to protect this important and much loved venue for our creative and cultural city. It is vitally important that you send in comments on the proposed Reserved Matters application as a matter of great urgency.  All comments must be submitted to the Council by Wednesday 19 June.  Please see The Stables website for their Planning Development update of 6 June.

Upcoming Training sessions at MK Play Association:

MK Play Association are offering the following training courses:

  • Emergency First Aid at Work
  • 12hr Paediatric First Aid (last courses of this term)
  • Safeguarding Children
  • L2 Health & Safety (accredited with Highfield Awarding Body)

For dates and prices, and to book, please follow this link.

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Community Pit-Stop

Do you have news to share?

If you work or volunteer 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. To receive our weekly newsletter and other updates and news about the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes, please follow this link.

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Volunteers Week 2019 as seen by Community Action: MK

Read our blog with a summary of the activities we run and visited during this year’s Volunteers’ Week! Huge thanks again to all of the fantastic groups and organisations that engaged with us this year! Please follow this link to read the blog.

Volunteering opportunity of the week:

Volunteering Sessions at Salcey Forest and Silverstone Woodlands

If you enjoy the outdoors, want to learn new skills, meet new people and help the team look after the nations forest, these volunteering opportunities are just for you. Please follow this link to find out more and to get involved!

We are hiring! Join Community Action: MK as a Trainee Community Mobiliser

Please follow this link for more information and to apply to this exciting community development role, supporting the work of Big Local Conniburrow.

Closing date for applications: 17:00 on 21st June 2019

Macintyre Children’s Homes – Support Worker (Wingrave, near Aylesbury)

Please follow this link to find out more and apply.

Other Roles:

For information on other recent job openings, including at YMCA, Thames Valley Partnerships and Scouts, please follow this link.

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Nationwide Building Society – Community Grants

Max value:  £50,000

Application deadline: 05 July 2019

Grants are available to charities, Community Land Trusts and housing co-operatives for projects that tackle a housing problem in local communities in eligible parts of England.

Please follow this link to find out more and to apply.

Carers Innovation Fund to announce support for unpaid carers

The government has launched the £5m Carers Innovation Fund, which plans to help unpaid carers within communities.

The funding will be used to improve support across the country and help build more carer-friendly communities. Applicants will need to demonstrate their idea is a fresh approach that is better than existing provision, and it will benefit the local community and can be expanded and replicated.

Please follow this link to find out more about the fund and the applications process.

Support for organisations through Doit.Foundation

Doit.Foundation are inviting small and micro voluntary and community groups to register interest in their small grants pilot, which aims to explore how digital can be used to make it easy for small organisations to access funding and other support.

If your organisation has an income of £100,000 a year or less then all you need to do is complete a short survey and register your details for the pilots that will take place later in the year.

Doit.Foundation is the new charity foundation of Do it Life Social Enterprise, the home of the Do-it.org volunteering service. The charity’s aim is to utilise Do it Life tech to make it easy for small voluntary and community organisations to access small grants and other support.

For more information about the Foundation visit their website Doit.Foundation.

World Refugee Day

20th June

Join Refugees Welcome Milton Keynes and partner groups in celebrating World Refugee Day with a programme of events on Thursday 20th June.

Armed Forces Flag Raising

24th June

Big Lunch at Conniburrow Orchard

29th Jun

Come and join us for our Big Lunch in Conniburrow on Saturday 29th June at 1pm – please bring your own lunch or a dish to share.

Wolverton-On-The-Sea

29th June

Join this fun event being organised by Wolverton Community Orchard. Please follow this link to find out more.

Parade of Colours – Art at the Lake Festival

29th June

Get Involved with ‘Parade of Colours’. We are setting off for the best Multi-Cultural Parade as part of this year’s Art at the Lake Festival on Saturday 29th June 2019. If you wish to take part or require more info contact simon@routecanalarts.org.uk

Charity Walk for Peace 2019

30th June 2019

This year this flagship event will be held in Milton Keynes, in association with MK DONS Football Club and the MK DONS SET Charity, on 30th June 2019. It is free to participate.
Find out more and register

MK Futures 2050 – Summer Exhibition

4th-7th July at Middleton Hall

Please follow the link to find out more.

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups

Volunteering opportunity of the week: Salcey Forest and Silverstone Woodlands

If you enjoy the outdoors,want to learn new skills, meet new people and help the team look after the nations forest, why not get involved with your local group today.


The sessions are based at both Salcey Forest and the community woodlands in and around Silverstone and led by our Recreation Rangers and Forest Craft workers. Each session offers individuals the opportunity to learn a variety of new skills in woodland management, the environment and the chance to meet new people whilst out in the great outdoors. In return, the sessions provide us the opportunity to educate people on the work Forestry England do and receive some valuable support helping us to ensure our trees remain healthy and that our woodlands encourage a diverse range of wildlife species. At every session our volunteers receive on the day training, tools and of course tea and biscuits.

For further information contact: Claire.underhill@forestengland.uk

016044 863830

Blog Post

#VolunteersWeek as seen by Community Action:MK

We journeyed out and about into the local communities of Milton Keynes to promote and celebrate all types of volunteers!

Wolverton Community Orchard were wonderful hosts, with the Orchard itself housing several fruit trees, pockets of peace and a lovely sensory garden for all ages to enjoy! The volunteers there give their time and work hard to maintain the tranquil garden, whether it’s teaching schools about wildlife, planting patches of wild flowers or building a dragon out of their unused compost, their commitment to this well-kept Orchard is to be commended! Click here to view their Facebook page to find out more about this wonder of Wolverton!

We also travelled down to Brooklands Expansion area – ever expanding, it seems! There was an inquisitiveness surrounding what we do here at CA:MK, meeting a few people interested in offering their time to us as volunteers! CA:MK also had the fortunate pleasure to bump into the Health Centre’s practice manager, who seemed keen to liaise with us about local community engagement! Creating links, connecting the community and giving people opportunities is a pleasure to accommodate here at Community Action:MK!

The pop up in Netherfield provided an interesting insight into the residents thoughts and feelings on the People’s Health Trust project, a Local Conversation. Most locals were intrigued, particularly when tea and coffee were on offer! They were delighted with the Local Conversation’s recognition of the challenges they face, but there was also a sense of community among them and a willingness to give their time to the Local Conversation, to come together to share ideas, giving up their time willingly to do so, which is what Volunteers Week is all about! To find out for yourself what the Netherfield Local Conversation is all about, click here!

The locals of Big Local Conniburrow accommodated us at the hub for their weekly coffee morning, where we were joined by Amy from Sanctuary Hosting, who was impressed by the activities and various groups set up by BLC and it’s committee, with one of the committee members proudly showing off his own artwork, as well as the colossal amount of ideas and activities he and the committee put forward to bring the community together! To find out more information about what goes on down at the BLC hub, click here, or see for yourself by popping down to their local coffee morning every Friday!

There are so many opportunities to get out there and volunteer, even if it’s just for one hour a week – your time could make a difference to somebody’s life or to your community, as well as gaining invaluable experience and making friends along the way! Volunteers are the unsung heroes of a lot of our communities, so here’s to them! Thank you! #volunteersweek

Get in touch using info@communityactionmk.org if you wish to advertise any of your volunteering vacancies with us, or for those wishing to volunteer themselves, simply follow this link to view our opportunities, sign up to our weekly newsletter or pop in to our Volunteer Drop-In and speak to one of our Volunteering advisors, every Tuesday 1-3pm at Acorn House, Midsummer Boulevard, Milton Keynes, MK9 3HP.

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10 June: Weekly Bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

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10 June 2019

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Community Grants Information Event

Find out more and register here

Fundraising Regulator reveals brand new Code of Fundraising Practice

Commission finds The Cup Trust trustee responsible of ‘clear misconduct and mismanagement’

The Fundraising Regulator has launched a “new and improved” Code of Fundraising Practice which will come into effect in October 2019. The changes are said to be designed to make it easier for fundraisers, charities and third-party organisations to understand the standards expected of them when fundraising. The regulator added the new code is also easier for the public to navigate, so that they know what to expect from ethical fundraising. Read more

Room for improvement in workplace volunteering, new research finds

Room for improvement in workplace volunteering, new research finds

The experiences of people who give their time through employer-organised or employer-supported activities, known as employer-supporter volunteering (ESV), are positive but “lag behind those who arrange their own volunteering”, a new report from NCVO finds. Read more

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Milton Keynes Council Open Consultations

See all MK Council consultations

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Do you have news to share?

If you work or volunteer 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. To receive our weekly newsletter and other updates and news about the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes, please follow this link.

Nominate your women leaders

This year’s Women Leaders prestigious awards event will take place at the Double Tree Hilton in Milton Keynes on Friday 11th October 2019. It’s time to nominate the talented, dedicated and inspiring women that you would like to celebrate.
Find out more

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Volunteers Week 2019: Thank you!

Thank You, Neon Lights, Neon, Advertising, Lighting

Thank you to everyone who participated in Volunteers Week 2019! It was a fantastic week and a great to chance to celebrate and say thank you for the fantastic contributions of volunteers in Milton Keynes. Keep an eye on our website for an update from our activities of the week.

Volunteering opportunity of the week

Thames Valley Partnership: Project Crisis & Support Coordinator (Bucks)

Role: To provide prevention, intervention and crisis support to anyone who is/has experienced, or is deemed to be at risk of, any form of exploitation (e.g.  modern slavery, criminal, financial) and those with complex needs.  The post holder will identify and engage with these individuals on a one-to-one basis, enabling them to access services and make positive, empowering choices to change their lives. 

Closing date for applications:  26th June at  at 8am
Interviews will be held on:   1st  July  2019  at the Partnership offices (Aston Sandford, Bucks HP17 8JB)

A full Job Description and Application Form can be download from the Partnership website at:  www.thamesvalleypartnership.org.uk.  Please note that applications will only be put forward for consideration if they are submitted on the Application Form supplied.

YMCA: Various Roles

YMCA England

In Autumn 2019, YMCA are launching a brand new campus in the centre of Milton Keynes which will provide homes to two hundred young people. We aim to support 75 young people each year out of homelessness and we will be helping 75 young people each year to move on, having secured a job and a new home.

Employment Manager: Salary £30,000
Deadline for Application: 28 June
Interview date: 12 July

The Employment Manager will oversee a team of staff who will be focussed on delivering employment related support to our residents, as well as developing relationships with employers and training providers in Milton Keynes.   Find out more

Activities Coordinator: Salary £23 – £25,000 depending on experience
Deadline for Application: 28 June
Interview Date: 19 July

We need someone who can lead on a range of engaging activities that make the YMCA a vibrant place to live and to build up the confidence of our young people. It’s key that the post holder is able offer a varied programme of skills that collaborate with other areas of life including volunteering opportunities, independent living skills and a range of health & wellbeing activities. Find out more

Hostel Manager: Salary £32,500
Deadline for Application: 28 June
Interview Date: 9 July

The Hostel Manager oversees a team of hostel support workers in our Stage 1 accommodation. The priority is the wellbeing and support of the residents, who have often faced homelessness, family or relationship breakdown, or trauma.  Find out more

The Scouts: Various Roles

Growth and Development Officer, South of England

Image result for the scouts uk

An exciting opportunity to join a dynamic team working to create opportunities for more people to join the largest youth organisation in the county. Engaging with communities and young people to help set up new Scout groups, you will also support new and existing volunteers through workshops, one to one inductions and training across the South of England. Contributing to the Growth strand of the Skills For Life organisational strategy, this is a great time to be joining The Scouts!

Maternity Cover from July 2019. We foresee the successful candidate living in Berkshire/ Surrey area in order to respond to our current project demand, but the role will require regular travel beyond this geography : https://scouts.org.uk/about-us/jobs/growth-development-officer-south-(mat-cover)/

FTC until Sept 2020. We foresee the successful candidate living in Avon/ Gloucester/ Wiltshire area in order to respond to our current project demand, but the role will require regular travel beyond this geography.: https://scouts.org.uk/about-us/jobs/growth-development-officer-south/

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Can you help UK schools make more effective use of technology?

Deadline 15 July 2019

Nesta has just launched the EdTech Innovation Fund as part of a new £4.6 million programme, in partnership with the Department for Education. We’d like to transform the UK education system through better use of tech in schools and colleges. We are now looking for 20 organisations to apply for grants of up to £100,000 to improve, evaluate and grow the reach of digital tools across four challenge areas.  Find out more

Will Charitable Trust

Max. Value: £ 30,000
Cancer care: Applications should be submitted from June and by 31 AUGUST at the latest

Grants are available to UK registered charities for activities in the UK that fall within the following categories: care of and services for blind people; long-term care of people with learning disabilities; and care of and services for people suffering from cancer. Find out more

Skills for Positive Futures

Max. Value: £ 90,000

Grants are available for local voluntary organisations to support vulnerable children and young people (aged 8-14 years) in London, Birmingham, and the South of England to develop the life skills they need to thrive and make positive life choices. Find out more

Big Lunch at Conniburrow Orchard

Come and join us for our Big Lunch in Conniburrow.
Saturday 29th June 1pm, please bring your own lunch or a dish to share.

Charity Walk for Peace 2019

30 June 2019

This year this flagship event will be held in Milton Keynes, in association with MK DONS Football Club and the MK DONS SET Charity, on 30th June 2019. It is free to participate.
Find out more and register

Parade of Colours – Art at the Lake Festival

Get Involved with ‘Parade of Colours’. We are setting off for the best Multi-Cultural Parade as part of this year’s Art at the Lake Festival on Saturday 29th June 2019. If you wish to take part or require more info contact simon@routecanalarts.org.uk

Blog Post

Volunteering opportunity of the week: Brook Clinic Support Volunteer

Brook Milton Keynes offers a wide range of sexual health and advice services to anyone up to the age of 25. 

We are currently recruiting for a clinic support volunteer. Go to the volunteer clinic support page for further information on the role, the specification and to discover the benefits.

The next volunteer open day at Brook Milton Keynes will be on Wednesday 12 June 2019 between 10am – 4pm. Contact jennifer.bywater@brook.org.uk for further information.

Blog Post Volunteering

Jobs in the voluntary sector: The Scouts, YMCA and Thames Valley Partnership

Thames Valley PartnershipProject Crisis & Support Coordinator (Bucks)

Role: To provide prevention, intervention and crisis support to anyone who is/has experienced, or is deemed to be at risk of, any form of exploitation (e.g.  modern slavery, criminal, financial) and those with complex needs.  The post holder will identify and engage with these individuals on a one-to-one basis, enabling them to access services and make positive, empowering choices to change their lives. 

Closing date for applications:  26th June at  at 8am
Interviews will be held on:   1st  July  2019  at the Partnership offices (Aston Sandford, Bucks HP17 8JB)

A full Job Description and Application Form can be download from the Partnership website at:  www.thamesvalleypartnership.org.uk.  Please note that applications will only be put forward for consideration if they are submitted on the Application Form supplied.

YMCA: Various Roles

YMCA England

In Autumn 2019, YMCA are launching a brand new campus in the centre of Milton Keynes which will provide homes to two hundred young people. We aim to support 75 young people each year out of homelessness and we will be helping 75 young people each year to move on, having secured a job and a new home.

Employment Manager: Salary £30,000
Deadline for Application: 28 June
Interview date: 12 July

The Employment Manager will oversee a team of staff who will be focussed on delivering employment related support to our residents, as well as developing relationships with employers and training providers in Milton Keynes.   Find out more

Activities Coordinator: Salary £23 – £25,000 depending on experience
Deadline for Application: 28 June
Interview Date: 19 July

We need someone who can lead on a range of engaging activities that make the YMCA a vibrant place to live and to build up the confidence of our young people. It’s key that the post holder is able offer a varied programme of skills that collaborate with other areas of life including volunteering opportunities, independent living skills and a range of health & wellbeing activities. Find out more

Hostel Manager: Salary £32,500
Deadline for Application: 28 June
Interview Date: 9 July

The Hostel Manager oversees a team of hostel support workers in our Stage 1 accommodation. The priority is the wellbeing and support of the residents, who have often faced homelessness, family or relationship breakdown, or trauma.  Find out more

The Scouts: Various Roles

Growth and Development Officer, South of England

Image result for the scouts uk

An exciting opportunity to join a dynamic team working to create opportunities for more people to join the largest youth organisation in the county. Engaging with communities and young people to help set up new Scout groups, you will also support new and existing volunteers through workshops, one to one inductions and training across the South of England. Contributing to the Growth strand of the Skills For Life organisational strategy, this is a great time to be joining The Scouts!

Maternity Cover from July 2019. We foresee the successful candidate living in Berkshire/ Surrey area in order to respond to our current project demand, but the role will require regular travel beyond this geography : https://scouts.org.uk/about-us/jobs/growth-development-officer-south-(mat-cover)/

FTC until Sept 2020. We foresee the successful candidate living in Avon/ Gloucester/ Wiltshire area in order to respond to our current project demand, but the role will require regular travel beyond this geography.: https://scouts.org.uk/about-us/jobs/growth-development-officer-south/

Blog Post Jobs in the VCS

#VolunteersWeek: Grandmentors

WHAT IS THE GRANDMENTORS PROGRAMME ABOUT?

Grandmentors is an innovative volunteering project where older volunteers use their lifetime of skills and experience to support and mentor vulnerable young people leaving the care system. It is a flagship national programme that has won multiple national awards.

The programme is run by Volunteering Matters, a national charity working to fulfill their vision of a society where everyone can participate in their local community through volunteering and social action.

These young people who are out of employment, education or training (NEET) often need a guiding hand and role model to support them to find work, continue their education or begin training – ultimately giving them the skills and self-belief to lead successful and independent lives.

WHAT IS THE GRANDMENTOR ROLE ABOUT?

Volunteers meet with a young person each week to boost their confidence and work towards goals which are unique to each young person. Volunteers support where they can to help these young care leavers find their feet and reach their full potential. All volunteers are given full support and training throughout their time on the project.

WHAT ARE VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS?

  • Be aged 50+
  • Good people and communication skills, patience
  • DBS (criminal record) check will be performed
  • Long-term commitment (min. one year)
  • Based in Milton Keynes

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING AS A GRAND MENTOR?

As a volunteer you’ll receive:

  • Full training
  • Ongoing support including monthly mentor support meetings
  • Reimbursement of your expenses Expenses

WHAT DO THE EXISTING VOLUNTEER GRANDMENTORS SAY?

Through using my wisdom, experience, patience and creative mindset my mentee and I were able to focus on their new direction in life

Darren

The Grandmentors project appealed to me as it gives me the opportunity to work with young people who both need and want support.  In a role where I would be able to share my knowledge and experience. I also hope that in doing so I will inspire others to volunteer.

Bernadette

I decided to become a Grandmentor in order to give myself a feeling of renewed pride as well as giving me the opportunity to have an involvement in the local community where I live

Sue

WHAT DO VOLUNTEERING MATTERS STAFF SAY…

Our Grandmentors give their mentee the pen and let them write their future

Stephen

HOW TO FIND OUT MORE AND APPLY

You can access the role through our Simply Connect volunteering platform – please follow this link to apply.

You can find out more about this innovative volunteering programme on: volunteeringmatters.org.uk/opportunity/grandmentors-mk or follow Volunteering Matters, including Kelly Israel, Volunteer Manager of the programme in MK, on  social media.

Facebook: facebook.com/volunteeringmatters
Twitter:   @volunteering_uk
@kelsrael
#Grandmentors

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Volunteering

#VolunteersWeek: Sailability MK needs volunteers – Can you help?

Enabling the freedom of sailing to all at South Caldecotte Lake, Milton Keynes

Sailability Milton Keynes aims to promote and encourage recreational and competitive sailing for people with disabilities, with the objective of improving their quality of life. Their volunteers help people of all ages to participate and enjoy sailing. They are based at Milton Keynes Sailing club, South Caldecotte Lake. Your donations help provide boats, equipment and support their volunteer instructors. They welcome people of all abilities: sailors and non-sailors.

Why does the community needs Sailability MK?

When people are impacted by a life changing accident, or illness or if they have learning or visual impairments, Sailability MK can help these people establish independence and freedom. People of all ages are able to enjoy sailing in Milton Keynes. Thanks to generous donations and sponsors, they have 8 boats especially designed to be stable and suitable for people with range of abilities. Their special hoist can make getting into a boat simple and straightforward.

Sailability MK’s impact on the community

Sail days provide a mixed social group where all participants, including volunteers, have an enjoyable time, providing a medium for greater confidence in the wider community. Through our links with the Royal Yachting Association, they can offer development and support for people who want to achieve excellence to international level, or simply potter around in their boats. http://www.rya.org.uk/sailability

Volunteers needed

Help rig, launch and sail our boats on Saturdays and some Wednesdays. Contact Tim on 0791 008 6743 or e-mail: sailabilitymk@gmail.com

To find out more about Sailability MK, visit their website: www.mksailability.com. You can also follow them on social media

Twitter: @SailabilityMk

Facebook: facebook.com/SailabilityMK

You can also watch videos on their YouTube channel – here.

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Communities Volunteering

#VolunteersWeek: Volunteer your home as a sanctuary

Sanctuary Hosting service Coordinator, Elaine, came into the office the other day, and said this:

‘I introduced a guest to a new host today and it never gets old after so many times and years, it blows me away every time when a volunteer host family says to a complete stranger: ‘My home is your home, help yourself to anything in the fridge’.

That is it really – in a nutshell.

Sanctuary Hosting offers the chance for homeowners in the Thames Valley to give a bed to someone seeking a new life in our community. And they do.

Since they started in 2015, 80 people have volunteered to open up their spare room to a stranger. Sometimes for a few nights, sometimes for a few months- it’s up to the host. And for them, it’s a question of humanity and the recognition that we all need a safe place to lay our head, and some of us who have it can offer that to others who don’t.

Madeleine has hosted nine ‘guests’ since 2015 when the refugee crisis hit a peak, with the terrible images of a little Syrian boy washed up on a Mediterranean beach. She said it was a tangible way to help:

It’s more than just ‘doing good’. It’s quite deep. It’s about equality and respect, and all those things. You’re living it a bit, rather than just reading about it or thinking about it.’

Of course – like having any guests – there can be difficult moments, and many of the guests are traumatised by their past experiences, but there are also moments of magic.

‘It’s amazing being able to laugh about things with people from a different culture. I love that- when you find so much difference, but you find something you can both giggle about, or do together. Humour is a really big positive. Seeing a guest become more confident and more ‘in themselves’ is wonderful’.

Aside from hosting, Sanctuary Hosting also offer other volunteering roles as a guest or host support worker that usually take a couple of hours a week to help hosting placements run smoothly and be a support for the guests and hosts. If you are unable to host or volunteer, consider giving £10 per month. Such support goes a very long way in our dynamic small charity. Please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!

Sanctuary Hosting is a registered UK charity that provides shelter to homeless vulnerable migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, many of whom are destitute. They work across the Thames Valley to match guests to generous people who have a spare room to accommodate them temporarily.

The idea for “Sanctuary Hosting” came at the Refugees Welcome demonstration in Oxford, in July 2015. In his speech to the crowd our founder Wyon Stansfeld asked, who would be willing to open up their home to a refugee or migrant in need? The response was startling. Many people volunteered. And so their service began. Thanks to the Big Lottery and Oxford City Council, they work in partnership with the British Red Cross and Citizens Advice Reading to holistically support their guests.

You can apply to volunteer with Sanctuary Hosting through our online volunteering platform, Simply Connect:

Volunteer Guest Support Worker
Volunteer Host
Volunteer Host Support Worker

To find out more about Sanctuary Hosting, visit their website: sanctuaryhosting.org. You can also follow them on social media:

Twitter: @SanctuaryHUK

Facebook: facebook.com/SanctuaryHUK/

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Volunteering

#VolunteersWeek: BucksVision-give support to people with sight loss

There are an estimated 23,000 people living in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes with sight loss.

However, sight loss doesn’t mean you stop living or enjoying your life and BucksVision are here to support people to do this.

BucksVision is the local charity supporting people with sight loss across Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes. They offer a range of services including:

  • advice and information on living with sight loss;
  • practical support on using new technology;
  • advice and information on equipment;
  • befriending services; and social and sporting activities.

HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT BUCKSVISION AS A VOLUNTEER?

BucksVision currently have a number of volunteering roles available – to find out more about these roles and to apply,  please follow the links below:

Resource Room Volunteer

Make visitors feel welcome by demonstrating and providing information as they browse through a host of handy products that can help them to live independently.

Volunteer Tandem Pilot

Assist our visually impaired members enjoy a tandem experience

Social and Activity Support Volunteer

Assist with social groups and/or activities for blind and partially sighted people

Sports and Activities Volunteer

Support visually impaired members to participate in sports and activities

Telephone Befriender

Offer companionship via telephone conversations and alleviate the loneliness blind and partially sighted people can often experience

Volunteer Befriender

Offer companionship and alleviate the loneliness blind and partially sighted people can often experience.

Volunteer Driver

Help drive driving blind and partially sighted people from their homes to local activities

Walking Group Sighted Guides and Drivers

Help visually impaired people in your local community to get active and healthy, providing vital support that they otherwise might not get

HOW TO FIND OUT MORE

To find out more about BucksVision and its work, please visit their website: https://www.bucksvision.co.uk/

You can also follow them on social media:

Twitter: @BucksVision

Facebook: facebook.com/bucksvision

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Volunteering

#VolunteersWeek: Become a Volunteer Tour Guide at Hazard Alley

The Safety Centre, better known as Hazard Alley, is on the lookout for people to volunteer as tour guides. They  need more people to take small groups of primary aged children coming on school visits through the 12 everyday scenarios in their interactive safety learning village.

WHAT IS HAZARD ALLEY?

‘Hazard Alley’ was the first purpose-built safety education centre in the UK, designed to give visitors a unique interactive learning experience.  During a tour in our ‘life size’ village, young people encounter a range of ‘hazards’ giving them the opportunity to develop vital knowledge and strategies on how to stay safe.

WHAT DOES A VOLUNTEER TOUR GUIDE DO?

If you enjoy working with youngsters and want the satisfaction of teaching children invaluable life skills such as how to make 999 calls and put casualties into the recovery position as well as what to do in the event of a fire, how to cross the road safely, and ways to stay safer online, you will enjoy being a tour guide. They’re also a friendly bunch who enjoy buddying with new volunteers on tours and showing them how to lead a group.

You will be asked for a minimum of 4 hours a month and you can give your time regularly each week or flexibly to fit with other commitments.

You will receive full training and you don’t need to have experience of working with children to be able to become a guide.

You can get your travel expenses reimbursed and will receive a safety centre polo shirt and sweatshirt to wear when guiding, and organise social activities such as a summer outing.

HOW TO FIND OUT MORE AND APPLY:

Please contact Val Williams for more information or to arrange to visit the centre and see a tour in action. Telephone 01908 263 009 or email info@safetycentre.co.uk

You can also access the role through our Simply Connect volunteering platform – please follow this link to apply.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HAZARD ALLEY

To find out more about The Safety Centre, visit: http://www.safetycentre.co.uk or follow them on social media:

Facebook: facebook.com/safetycentre

Twitter: @HazardAlley (#hazardalley)

You can also watch a short video about Hazard Alley here.

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Volunteering

#VolunteersWeek: Weekly Volunteer Drop-In in Milton Keynes

It’s the national Volunteers Week and we wanted to remind you about the weekly Volunteer Drop-In

  • Every Tuesday
  • 1-3pm
  • Acorn House, 351 Midsummer Blvd, MK9 3HP

The drop-in is run by our wonderful volunteers, Jill and Mary, who enjoy chatting to people about the variety of volunteering roles available at a wide range of not-for-profit organisations in Milton Keynes and guide them through our volunteer recruitment platform, Simply Connect.

We would like to thank Jill and Mary for their energy and dedication in helping to run the drop-in every week!

To mark Volunteers Week, we will be running a special edition of our drop-in tomorrow, Tuesday 4th June, with our friends from Volunteering Matters and MK Sailability, who will be promoting their current volunteering opportunities!

Come along to find our more and explore how you could be making a difference through volunteering.

If you can’t make it to the drop-in, you can search for volunteering roles on our volunteer recruitment platform, Simply Connect.

If you are a local group or organisations wanting to find volunteers and advertise your opportunities, please follow this link.

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Volunteering

#VolunteersWeek: Get inspired by these National Trust volunteers!

National Trust in Stowe is a truly beautiful place to volunteer at and they have been very lucky to get support from a number of dedicated volunteers.

Read on to find out more about what inspires them to give their time and skills to support National Trust through a variety of volunteering roles, and what their favourite places at the Stowe Park are…

LIZ

This is Liz. Along with her husband Conrad, she volunteers multiple times a week and spends lots of quality time at Stowe with her family. Liz can often be found at New Inn playing tunes on her recorder and is part of the fundraising team selling National Trust raffle tickets. Liz’s favourite place at Stowe is in the Elysian Fields because of the way the British Worthies look towards the Temple of Ancient Virtue, she says, “there is so much history behind it!” She finds it is very beautiful and peaceful no matter what time of year and she loves to sketch the view.

MICHAEL

Michael here is one of Stowe’s faithful buggy drivers, helping visitors get to and from the garden on their electric mobility vehicles. He told us his favourite place at Stowe is in Lamport Garden. He thinks it is a peaceful area. He likes the waterfall and the succession of colourful plants. He feels it offers a nice contrast to rest of the Stowe landscape.

SUE

Sue is part of the visitor welcome team at weekends. She coordinates the volunteer’s monthly social coffee hour and supports the young Duke of Edinburgh volunteers. Her favourite place at Stowe is at a Yew tree near to the Temple of Ancient Virtue. She likes it because it is secretive, mysterious, and fun to play on. It also provides a great place to take shelter!!

PAUL

This is Paul, he volunteers in the welcome team, greeting Stowe’s visitors, and he loves visiting Stowe regularly with his two dogs.  When asked his favourite place at Stowe he said, “I love the Saxon Deities, it’s feels like a tucked away secret place that is a bit mystical. I get great fun from telling people that there are only six deities (Sunday is missing) and that’s why we get Sundays off work. It’s lovely to hear them say things like “really” or “oh I see” before they realise I’m pulling their leg, normally with a hearty laugh!”

ANDY

This is Andy. He is one of Stowe’s knowledgeable tour guides. His favourite place at Stowe is at the Temple of Friendship. He loves the view here because there is so much to see. “When I am guiding it is a great place to explain landscape gardening and how the great landscape gardeners managed to create the wonderful balance between the temples and the natural environment – for example the trees were carefully chosen so that when mature they would perfectly frame Lord Cobham’s Pillar.”

Find your favourite place at Stowe: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stowe

If you are interested in exploring volunteering opportunities at National Trust, please follow this link.

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Volunteering

#VolunteersWeek: Buckingham Canal Society needs volunteers!

Since 1992 Buckingham Canal Society have been working on sites along the Old Stratford and Buckingham arms of the Grand Union Canal which they eventually hope to see re-opened breathing new life, recreational opportunities and environment friendly business to the area.

The society’s aim is the restoration of the Buckingham Canal to full navigable order, to promote and improve conservation, biodiversity and quality of life.

THURSDAY 6TH JUNE:  ‘HANDS ON’ VOLUNTEERING PROJECT – ALL WELCOME!

The Society are marking the National Volunteers Week by running an extra practical task on Thursday 6th June:

The Buckingham Canal Society are working to restore the disused Buckingham Canal which use to run from the village of Cosgrove to the town of Buckingham hoping that to people will join us in this exciting project for part of ‘National Volunteers Week’.

As a volunteer on the day, you will have a chance to be part of a team helping to restore part of a canal bridge or they may be helping to improve part of the towpath at Cosgrove.  This gets very muddy in winter and is almost impossible to walk along so the work is to help disabled people enjoy the canal more and also be of great assistance to other walker and boaters.  

If you want to be part of the exciting project and want more information email info@buckinghamcanal.org.uk or ring 01908 661217 or just turn up on Thursday 6th June at 10.00 in Lock Lane, MK19 7JR

You will need to wear oldish clothes and bring lunch but they will supply all tools and equipment, and training is given where necessary but no experience is needed and we are a very  friendly group and always welcome new people.

NOT AVAILABLE ON THE 6TH OF JUNE, BUT KEEN TO GET INVOLVED?

If you have an interest an interest in and passion for conservation and environmental work, the Society has a number of volunteering roles currently available. It is a great chance to help the environment whilst also enjoy the great outdoors, however administrative roles are also available!  Please follow the links below to get more details and to apply through our volunteer recruitment platform, Simply Connect:

Conservation Volunteer

Bricklayer

Committee Minutes Secretary

Trustee/secretary

Fundraising Volunteer

Nature Reserve Restoration (group volunteering opportunity!)

Planning Post (experience of writing and submitting planning applications desirable)

Publicity Officer

Social Media Volunteer

HOW TO FIND OUT MORE…

To find out more about the work of Buckingham Canal Society as well as about their history and the history of the Canal, visit their website on

https://www.buckinghamcanal.org.uk or follow the Society on social media:

Facebook: facebook.com/BuckinghamCanalSociety

Twitter: twitter.com/BCSocietyUK (#Buckingham Canal Society #BCS)

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Communities Volunteering

#VolunteersWeek: Wolverton Community Orchard, a volunteer-led tranquil place for the local community

HOW DID THE PROJECT COME ABOUT?

Wolverton Community Orchard was founded in 2003 with a vision to provide a place of peace and tranquility for the whole community to enjoy. A place for all age groups to practice skills and develop new ones, to enhance and raise awareness of the importance of caring for our environment and the wildlife that share that environment with us, to encourage an appreciation and love of wildlife and the natural world in the children who visit.

Yvonne Galuszka came up with the original idea for Wolverton Community Orchard back in 2003, determined to rescue it from being a disused allotment site which had also become a rubbish tip. She imagined it as a potential site for a community area for all to enjoy, then polled the neighbours for their input, applied for grants and pulled together a small group of friends who wanted to get involved in creating a community space that could be used by everyone.

The local residents expressed their support for the idea. After clearing the area, work proceeded in setting out the various sections of the site, planting hedges and fruit trees and creating a “sensory” garden full of colour and scents. Part of the site was retained as allotments and has successfully involved local schools who provide the children with after-school outdoor experiences.

HOW HAS THE ORCHARD DEVELOPED OVER THE YEARS?

The orchard now boasts over 50 productive fruit trees including apple, pear, cherry, plum and damson. It’s enclosed by a mixed hedge of native species and incorporates a child-safe covered pond, a coppiced hazel “secret” pathway, a willow dome and an impressive rosemary hedge. Other hidden surprises are mentioned later in this document. Over the years, increasing numbers of nesting boxes have been installed – these and the pond are productively used by the local wildlife most years.

The Orchard does not use any harmful chemicals across the site, thus protecting wildlife and humans alike.

Wheelchair-friendly pathways and raised beds have been installed from early on, providing accessibility for less able visitors and volunteers. Open every day of the year during daylight hours, the orchard plays host to locals and Mums/Toddler groups who might be found relaxing in the orchard, playing or picnicking.

To read the full story of this amazing local volunteer-led project, please follow this link.

Here is what the group has said about its founder and volunteer, Yvonne Galuszka

Yvonne Galuszka, whose imagination and enthusiasm initiated the project 15 years ago, is still the orchard committee chair and an inspiration for us all with her continuing energy. As a volunteer group, we are proud of our achievements and continue to plan for the future. We believe that we make a positive contribution to Wolverton’s community and the comments we regularly receive from visitors encourage us onward and continue to make us feel appreciated.

To read the Volunteer Case Study of Yvonne Galuszka, please follow this link.

HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED & SUPPORT THE ORCHARD?

Apart from grass-mowing performed regularly by the local Council’s caretakers, it’s entirely maintained by a small group of volunteers who have weekly work sessions on Tuesdays where anyone is welcome to join in. On a site of almost half an acre, there’s never any shortage of tasks for people of any ability and experience and we’re always looking for new talents.

If you would like to volunteer with the orchard, contact them on:
1908 320 405 or e-mail yvonnegalu@gmail.com. You can also follow the group on Facebook.

Location: alleyway off Woburn Ave, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5AY, United Kingdom. For map and directions, please follow this link.

Come along to the Orchard on Tuesday 4th June between 11am-12.30pm when we will be running a Volunteering Pop-Up, a volunteering information session for anyone interested in finding out about volunteering opportunities across Milton Keynes! All WELCOME.



Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Communities Health & Wellbeing Volunteering

1 June: Weekly Bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

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1 June 2019

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The Voluntary Sector Partnership Podcast

Don’t miss this podcast from NHS England which explores the value of a joined-up way of working between systems and the voluntary sector. It identifies the benefits of voluntary sector involvement in health and care partnerships and what this means for clinicians and their patients.
It features Ben Barley from NAVCA member, Voluntary Centre Services, who speaks about the real value for health services of working with local voluntary sector organisations in delivering care to local communities. Listen to the podcast here.

In-work poverty in Europe: a study of national policies

A new Synthesis Report produced by the European Social Policy Network (ESPN) puts forward several recommendations and calls for more effective policy action at European and national levels to tackle in-work poverty.

In-work poverty in Europe: a study of national policies

While working is generally considered as the best way to avoid poverty, this is not the case for a significant number of European workers. In 2017, 9.4% of all EU-28 workers lived in households that are at risk of poverty, i.e. an alarming 20.5 million persons. Read more

Final report for the UK Autodrive Project released

When UK Autodrive got underway in October 2015, it was the largest trial of connected and self-driving vehicles ever to have taken place in the UK. Back then, the concept of autonomous cars would still have struck many people as the stuff of science fiction. And yet, in the space of just three years, we have gone from concept to reality – delivering on our promise to trial fully connected and self-driving vehicles on UK streets.
Read the full report

Association of Mental Health Providers hosts free webinars for VCSE sector

With support from the VCSE Health & Wellbeing Alliance, the Association of Mental Health Providers (AMHP) is hosting a series of free webinars for VCSE organisations and policy leads. The webinars are theme-specific including Men’s Health, Homelessness and Money and all focus on the prevention of mental health problems. Each webinar is developed in conjunction with a Health & Wellbeing Alliance partner, offering specialist expertise. You can find a full list of the webinars here.

VODG report highlights importance of VCS disability organisations

A new report from VODG has highlighted the significant social and community impact of voluntary sector disability organisations.
Above and Beyond: How voluntary sector providers of disability support add value to communitiesproduced by VODG (Voluntary Organisations Disability Group) explores how innovative not-for-profit organisations consistently and proactively meet gaps in support, particularly as austerity undermines existing provision. You can read the full report here.

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Milton Keynes Council Open Consultations

See all MK Council consultations

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Vital Signs MK 2019 survey

The aim of this survey is to find out what people living in Milton Keynes think and have to say about different aspects of their community. MK Community Foundation is interested in hearing about your personal experiences and opinions, so encourage you to answer as honestly as possible.

The majority of the questions in this survey will ask the extent to which you agree or disagree with a number of given statements about Milton Keynes, across 12 thematic areas. All questions are optional, and you can answer as many or as few as you like.We estimate that the complete survey will take you approximately 10 minutes.

Complete the survey here

Ways to reduce your Council Tax bill

If you are struggling to afford your Council Tax bill as it has recently gone up, or even if you are not, you may be able to decrease how much you are paying.

There are two different schemes in Britain to help you reduce your Council Tax bill. Read more

Westbury Arts Centre Creative Wednesdays

Every Wednesday 10am – 12pm

A Morning of Mindfulness
by Ka-yee

5th June
3rd July
On the first Wednesday of each month, Ka-yee will share one Chinese philosophical teaching combined with experience of still and action zen, zen tea ceremony….
You will have quiet time for mindful reflective contemplation.
Find out more

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Tune in & get involved: Volunteers Week starting on 1st June

Visit our website to find out all about our activities over Volunteers Week!
https://communityactionmk.org/volunteersweek/

4th June: Special Edition of CA: MK Weekly Volunteering Drop-in During Volunteer’s Week

Join us at this special edition of our weekly volunteering drop-in to mark and celebrate the national #volunteersweek. You will be able to speak to our advisors and find out about the many volunteering roles across Milton Keynes listed on our volunteering platform, Simply Connect.

We will be joined by our friends at Volunteering Matters and MK Sailability, and you’ll be able to chat to them about he amazing volunteering opportunities they currently offer. We look forward to seeing you on the 4th June!
Register your interest on Facebook

Volunteering opportunity of the week

Worktree

Career WorkOut  – No prep, no pressure, no prior qualifications needed…just an enjoyable hour or two with other work guests answering young people’s questions about your work. 

Career WorkOut involves small groups of 3-4 students rotating around 8-12 work guests in a carousel of 6-7 minute conversations.  Primary WorkOut involves guests answering questions from 3-4 class groups of 25-30 pupils in a carousel of 15-25 minute conversations.  If you have any questions, please contact Bhupinder on 07984 178416, bhupinder.roda@worktree.org.
Find out more

Trainee Community Mobiliser Role

Image result for big local conniburrow

The post is part of the CA: MK staff team which aims to develop the capacity of BLC and assist the Partnership and residents of Conniburrow to achieve their collective aspirations. The post-holder will work as part of the BLC Team.

Our ideal candidate is someone familiar with the local area, has a positive, flexible and can-do attitude to be able to assist in building an inclusive and engaged community. You must have good communication skills to build.   Find out more

Administrator for VOCypf Network in Bedfordshire

VOCypf logo and strapline

10 hours per week
£5,987 per annum (£20,344 pro rata)

We are looking for a flexible person with administration experience to support the work of the Voluntary Organisations for Children, Young People and Families (VOCypf) network, which operates across Bedfordshire. 
Find out more

Enrych Bucks are recruiting for a
Co-ordinator

We are looking for a self-motivated person who is passionate about improving the quality of life for disabled people.  This is an opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives through an approach that has earned a reputation for meeting individual needs and aspirations.

Working and travelling from home, this is a 14-21 hours a week appointment, on a flexible arrangement, and initially for a 6 month contract.  If we can secure the funding we’ll aim to increase length of the contract period.
Find out more

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£140,000 available to community and voluntary groups

Deadline 9am on Thursday 20th June

Applications are now invited from local voluntary and community groups who can contribute towards two of the PCC’s strategic priorities in his Police and Crime Plan priorities, which are Reducing Reoffending and local response to Serious Organised Crime and Terrorism.
Read more

Help the Homeless

Help The Homeless makes grants to charitable organisations with the aim of helping homeless people return to the community and enabling them to resume a normal life. Deadline 15 June.
Read more

Esmee Fairbairn – Food Strand

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation has launched its new food strand. Esmee will offer total funding of £5m over a period of three years and is inviting applications from organisations focused on understanding and investigating the critical role that food plays in wellbeing and the interplay between food, sustainability and poverty.
Read more

Urb Farm Summer Open Day

Farm Fest returns for it’s fourth year of fun and frolics at the Urb Farm! Come down and soak up the sun while you…

– Devour a delicious burger from our locally sourced BBQ (vegetarian/vegan options available)
– Sip on a cool, refreshing locally brewed beer or cider
– Delight in the soothing sounds of local musicians performing live in the willow dome 
– Browse our beautiful array of fruit and veg, plants and seedlings, and eggs and preserves, all produced and/or grown at the Urb Farm
– Try a homemade cake or two while enjoying a hot cuppa
– Have your face painted by our amazingly talented artist Sonia
– Take part in a range of free forest school activities in our wonderful woodland
Find out more in the Facebook event

Charity Walk for Peace 2019

30 June 2019

This year this flagship event will be held in Milton Keynes, in association with MK DONS Football Club and the MK DONS SET Charity, on 30th June 2019. It is free to participate.
Find out more and register

Parade of Colours – Art at the Lake Festival

Get Involved with ‘Parade of Colours’. We are setting off for the best Multi-Cultural Parade as part of this year’s Art at the Lake Festival on Saturday 29th June 2019. If you wish to take part or require more info contact simon@routecanalarts.org.uk

MK Festival of Nature: 29 June – 7 July

A wonderful programme of exciting events and activities for all ages is being lined up. Check back soon on the website to download the programme.
Read more

Do you have news to share?

If you work or volunteer 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.

To receive our weekly newsletter and other updates and news about the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes, please follow this link.

Blog Post

#VolunteersWeek: Yvonne Galuszka, a volunteer with energy & ideas that inspire many

Volunteers’ Week 2019 is here and we are marking the start of it with this inspiring case study of a local volunteer. We will be posting blogs throughout the Volunteers’ Week with special focus to volunteering, so tune in…

Yvonne Galuszka came up with the original idea for Wolverton Community Orchard back in 2003, determined to rescue it from being a disused allotment site which had also become a rubbish tip. She imagined it as a potential site for a community area for all to enjoy, then polled the neighbours for their input, applied for grants and pulled together a small group of friends who wanted to get involved.

Soon the digger moved in and levelled most of the site while removing broken glass and much other rubbish. After clearing the area, work proceeded in setting out the various sections of the site, installing railings, planting hedges and fruit trees and creating a “sensory” garden full of colour and scents.

In addition to the 50+ fruit trees which are now extremely productive, part of the site was retained as allotments and Yvonne liaised with local schools, Milton Keynes College and other organisations to provide children and young people with outdoor experiences. From the outset, the orchard has been designed as wheelchair-friendly and raised beds have been installed over recent years to make gardening accessible to all.

Yvonne’s approach is to encourage volunteers and other helpers with varied interests; not just gardening but musicians, artists and more, many of whom can be seen at our regular community events throughout the year. No decisions are made on new features of functions without the agreement of the majority of volunteers.

Her tireless efforts have transformed the site into a peaceful and productive area which is appreciated by many and she still works tirelessly as committee chair as well as cooking cakes and more for our events.

Yvonne is an inspiration for us all through her energy and ideas.

Said another member of Wolverton Community Orchard.
Yvonne Galuszka, whose imagination and enthusiasm initiated the project 15 years ago, is still the orchard committee chair and an inspiration for everyone involved with the ORchard with her continuing energy.

To find out more about Wolverton Community Orchard and how you can get involved as a volunteer, look out for our next blog…

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Communities Volunteering

24 May: Weekly Bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

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24 May 2019

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Anxiety: Tips & Tools for Working with Young People & YiS 2019 AGM

Friday June 28th, 2019 ⌚ 3.00-4.30PM
RESERVE YOUR PLACE ONLINE
Join us to learn practical tips and tools from YiS counsellors to best support young people who are experiencing anxiety.

Learn from a panel discussion inviting expert YiS counsellors to share their unique ideas and perspectives on how professionals can best support young people with anxiety and what works well for them in the therapy room. Full details on panel members will be released soon.

The panel discussion will be followed by the YiS Youth Counselling Service 2019 AGM, including a review of 2018/19, a look back at the success of our new packages and services and a look at the months ahead. Panel members to be announced soon There will also be a chance to get some nibbles and network afterwards, alongside a chance to meet our YiS counsellors in person. A full copy of the formal notice for the AGM is available online.

University of Oxford announces new Institute for Charity

New College, Oxford

The Oxford Institute of Charity (OIC) represents a collaboration between the College and Charity Futures, the Third Sector think tank, and is the culmination of almost three years of discussion and planning. It is anticipated that the Institute will open its doors in the summer of 2022 in a purpose-built home on a newly developed part of the college site. Read more

Using crowdfunding to transform communities for good

How many times have you walked past a vacant building in your local area and thought what it could be used for? Crowdfunding can help people invest in ideas that matter to them. From purchasing solar panels to sports clubs, Nesta’s new report explores real-life examples of how untapped resources such as community shares and bonds can be used to fund projects owned and run by the communities they serve. Read more

‘Pinkware’ the biggest threat to small charities

Software isn’t the biggest cyber security threat to charities, but rather, people or ‘pinkware’, security firm NexusProtect has warned at a recent event in Liverpool addressing charities and non-profits on cyber-security run by accountancy firm BMW.

NexusProject Managing Director Nick Holden said: “Many small charities, in particular, lack the resources or skill set to have people specially trained in this area and that makes them vulnerable. That is where we have seen the bigger risk of cybercrime.” Read more

Small Charity Week: 17th-22nd June

Read more about Small Charity week and how to get involved: https://smallcharityweek.com/
Below is the programme of events that Small Charity Week will be hosting.

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Milton Keynes Council Open Consultations

See all MK Council consultations

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Campbell Wharf Marina Opens

The new 111 berth marina opened this week at Crest Nicholson’s Campbell Wharf development. The marina provides a destination for boaters and canal users in Milton Keynes, with direct access to the Grand Union Canal and additional services to be provided nearby as part of the wider Campbell Wharf development.  Read more

Sighted people needed for BucksVision Ballroom Dancing Classes

CA:MK’s latest show with Secklow Sounds: reducing loneliness and social isolation

The last episode, focusing on local community projects and how they can reduce loneliness and social isolation, is now available to listen.
Listen here

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Volunteers’ Week 2019 – Updated programme

We will be running volunteering drop-ins and pop-up activities in various locations in Milton Keynes – please come along to one of them to meet our team and to find out how you could be contributing to the amazing Voluntary and Community sector in MK!

We have also teamed up with a number of local groups and organisations to publish blogs sharing their volunteering stories and roles. Special focus will be given to organisations such as Wolverton Community OrchardVolunteering MattersBuckingham Canal SocietyMK Safety Centre (known as Hazard Alley), MK Sailability, Blue Cross and others!

We will also be telling you about our own volunteer-led projects and the support Community Action: MK gets from our volunteers!

4th June: Special Edition of CA: MK Weekly Volunteering Drop-in During Volunteer’s Week

Join us at this special edition of our weekly volunteering drop-in to mark and celebrate the national #volunteersweek. You will be able to speak to our advisors and find out about the many volunteering roles across Milton Keynes listed on our volunteering platform, Simply Connect.

We will be joined by our friends at Volunteering Matters and MK Sailability, and you’ll be able to chat to them about he amazing volunteering opportunities they currently offer. We look forward to seeing you on the 4th June!
Register your interest on Facebook

Volunteering opportunity of the week

Sanctuary Hosting – Sanctuary Hosting matches homeless asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants to people in the community with spare rooms and open hearts, to stay rent free for an agreed period of time.

Volunteer Host

black house welcome decor

A ‘host’ is someone who generously accommodates a refugee, migrant or asylum seeker – a ‘guest’ – in their own home. This is usually in a spare room. It is up to the host to decide how long they are willing to accommodate someone. This could be for just a few days or considerably longer. The initial agreement is always for a week or two; then you can decide to extend if you wish. People host in all sorts of different ways and we aim to be as flexible as possible. Find out more

Volunteer Guest Support Worker

two men talking while sitting on bench

Volunteer guest support workers provide practical support to guests in the hosting scheme, acting as the main contact. The guest support worker attends meetings relating to their hosting placement with the guest. During the placement, the guest support worker makes weekly check-in contact e.g. by phone or text message and meets with the guest in person at least once a month. The support worker’s role is to help the guest access services as needed, and report any issues that might arise during the hosting placement to the Service Manager. Find out more

Volunteer Host Support Worker

woman wearing gray jacket

Host support workers provide vital support to the people who welcome guests into their homes. They are the main contact point for hosts and are essential in maintaining good links and communication between a host and Sanctuary Hosting.  Find out more

SWAN Community Bank: Administration Officers (2 posts) – Milton Keynes

Two able part-time administrative officers are required by Swan Community Bank from 1 September 2019 to run our new back office.  The post-holders will work 20 hours per week from 9 am to 2 pm every working day to allow us to provide a full service to our members every working day whilst offering flexible working arrangements to the successful candidates. Find the full advert here

Further information and a full job specification can be obtained from deputy@swancreditunion.org.uk . Applications, in the form of a cover letter outlining how you meet our requirements and a CV, should be received by Monday 1 July 2019. Interviews will be held on Wednesday 17 July.

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Applications wanted for Google.org Impact Challenge

Applications are closing soon for the Google.Org Impact Challenge on Safety– a €10m fund to support organisations across Europe that are working on challenges related to hate, extremism and child safety, both online and offline.
Read more

Thames Valley Community Chest

Max Value: £5000
Deadline: 27 September 2019

The Community Chest makes small grants to fund community projects. Bids must be for projects that come under one of the following themes:

  • Building Neighbourhoods – health, education, training, crime prevention,environmental issues and supporting access to leisure activities
  • Celebrating Heritage and Culture – Community arts, community festivals, and heritage projects which contribute towards place shaping
  • Working for Community Change – worklessness, volunteering projects, community enterprises , promoting diversity integration, increasing participation and skills, financial inclusion and anti poverty projects

Milton Keynes Arts Centre Open Garden Party

Saturday 01 June, 11am–3pm
Free, everyone welcome 

Please join Milton Keynes Arts Centre and resident artist and gardener, Katie Ellen Fields for a day of family fun in celebration of our new Open Garden. 

We’ll have a variety of free garden themed activities on offer including becoming Garden Explorers, Seed Bomb Making and a Sensory Play Corner, suitable for all ages and abilities. We’ll also be offering a light lunch of garden inspired refreshments, including a selection of freshly squeezed fruit drinks, botanical flavoured water and vegetarian pizza.

Free, everyone welcome.
Find out more

Parade of Colours – Art at the Lake Festival

Get Involved with ‘Parade of Colours’. We are setting off for the best Multi-Cultural Parade as part of this year’s Art at the Lake Festival on Saturday 29th June 2019. If you wish to take part or require more info contact simon@routecanalarts.org.uk

MK Festival of Nature: 29 June – 7 July

A wonderful programme of exciting events and activities for all ages is being lined up. Check back soon on the website to download the programme.
Read more

Do you have news to share?

If you work or volunteer 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.

To receive our weekly newsletter and other updates and news about the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes, please follow this link.

Blog Post

Volunteering opportunity of the week: Sanctuary Hosting

Sanctuary Hosting – Sanctuary Hosting matches homeless asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants to people in the community with spare rooms and open hearts, to stay rent free for an agreed period of time.

Volunteer Host

black house welcome decor

A ‘host’ is someone who generously accommodates a refugee, migrant or asylum seeker – a ‘guest’ – in their own home. This is usually in a spare room. It is up to the host to decide how long they are willing to accommodate someone. This could be for just a few days or considerably longer. The initial agreement is always for a week or two; then you can decide to extend if you wish. People host in all sorts of different ways and we aim to be as flexible as possible. Find out more

Volunteer Guest Support Worker

two men talking while sitting on bench

Volunteer guest support workers provide practical support to guests in the hosting scheme, acting as the main contact. The guest support worker attends meetings relating to their hosting placement with the guest. During the placement, the guest support worker makes weekly check-in contact e.g. by phone or text message and meets with the guest in person at least once a month. The support worker’s role is to help the guest access services as needed, and report any issues that might arise during the hosting placement to the Service Manager. Find out more

Volunteer Host Support Worker

woman wearing gray jacket

Host support workers provide vital support to the people who welcome guests into their homes. They are the main contact point for hosts and are essential in maintaining good links and communication between a host and Sanctuary Hosting.  Find out more

Blog Post

10 May: Weekly Bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

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10 May 2019

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Small Charity Week: Big Advice Day

We want to make sure that all small charities in the UK knew that the deadline to book Big Advice Day 2019 is Friday, 17th May. Although the main event takes place in London, advice via phone or skype is available.

Big Advice Day is designed to offer small charities the chance to increase skills, confidence and knowledge in the topics you need help with the most. Read on to find out how to book onto Big Advice Day in London, remotely, or at partner events across the UK, and how to maximise the Day with top-up support and live streamed sessions.

Book your slot at Big Advice Day – 18 June 2019

NCVO: Eight reasons to love the theory of change

Theory of change (ToC) is a planning tool that helps organisations evaluate their impact. It takes the form of a visual diagram or narrative that shows how you expect outcomes to occur over the short, medium and longer term as a result of your work.
Read more

Are you on our community group database?

If you are a new community group or an organisation in Milton Keynes and would like to join our database of local groups, please call us on 01908 661 623 or e-mail support@communityactionmk.org. This will give you a chance to stay up to date about funding, events and opportunities for partnership-working within the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes!

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NCVO: How can voluntary organisations influence and shape health service transformation?

Charities and social enterprises can support the planning and delivery of publicly funded health services in lots of ways – from gathering user insight, to codesigning services, to actual service delivery. And those are all aspects that were endorsed and encouraged by the 2017 national review of the voluntary sector’s role in healthcare delivery. But beyond this, what are the opportunities for charities to influence and shape service strategy and transformation at a high level?
Read more

Milton Keynes Council Open Consultations

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Quality Care Commission needs your views

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) want to find out your views on how they can work with you and how you work with your local communities. Fill out this questionnaire to shape new guidance. You can also email the questionnaire or post it to return it back to us. Download a copy now or take the questionnaire online. The survey closes 31 May 2019.

Help CQC work better with local groups
Link: https://dev.webdataforms.cqc.org.uk/Checkbox/Regional-VCSE.aspx

Listening to our older people to help communities tackle fraud

Two ladies taking a walk

More than 50 per cent of over 65s have been targeted by fraudsters. At Neighbourhood Watch we’re gathering insight into communities, helping us design a scheme for tackling this issue.

From the insight gathered, via workshops and interviews with Neighbourhood Watch volunteers and older people, we’ve developed a variety of tools for engagement to enable a community powered response to tackling fraud.
Read more

Charity Awards 2019 shortlist is unveiled

A fast-growing network of Community Fridges, an education project that teaches young women about extremism and online grooming, and a campaign to ensure the environment doesn’t suffer as a result of Brexit, are among 28 inspiring projects shortlisted for the Charity Awards 2019.
Read more

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Volunteers’ Week 2019

The national Volunteers’ Week 2019 is fast approaching: 1-7 June. Volunteers’ Week is a time to say thank you for the fantastic contribution volunteers make. During the week, hundreds of events and celebrations take place across the country, saying thank you to volunteers and recognising their invaluable and diverse contribution to the UK.

We have teamed up with local groups and organisations to celebrate the amazing volunteering activity we have in Milton Keynes. We will be running volunteering drop-ins and pop-up activities across MK and sharing spotlight-stories of various organisations in Milton Keynes offering volunteering opportunities and case studies of some of the exiting volunteers. Please follow our blog and social media (#volunteerMK) to find out more.

To find out more about the Volunteer’s Week and access a whole range of resources to help you get involved visit: https://volunteersweek.org

And don’t forget about Simply Connect, the online volunteering platform for Milton Keynes where you can search through hundreds of existing volunteering opportunities right away – visit: https://communityactionmk.org/volunteer/.

Volunteering opportunity of the week

Volunteer Mentor – Prison, Probation and Community. Prison Advice and Care Trust

As a Volunteer Mentor you will have the opportunity to volunteer with people in the criminal justice system, either in the prison or out in the community.
Find out more

Health Watch Milton Keynes are looking for new trustees

Do you have a broad interest in health and social care issues, and feel that you have the skills to support Health Watch Milton Keynes as a Trustee? They have a number of spaces on their Board of Trustees and need your help to bring greater strength to the voice of people in Milton Keynes.

If you would like to join us please email info@healthwatchmiltonkeynes.co.uk or call on 01908 698800.
For more information, please go to: https://www.healthwatchmiltonkeynes.co.uk/news/2019-03-28/healthwatch-milton-keynes-inviting-our-members-apply-join-its-board-trustees

New Town Heritage Explorers

Project Manager Role (Freelance) 

Milton Keynes Council (MKC) and its partner Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre (MKCDC) have secured National Lottery Heritage Fund investment thanks to National Lottery players, for a pioneering New Town Heritage Explorers project in Milton Keynes.  MKC is seeking an enthusiastic freelance Project Manager with experience of delivering heritage projects and managing a complex and varied workload to drive this project. 
Click here for more information. (PDF, 374KB)

Various roles as MK Snap

MK Snap, a leading local charity based in Milton Keynes providing education, life and work skills programmes for adults with learning differences, currently have the following vacancies:

Sessional Tutor: To lead in the planning, provision, development and delivery of activity sessions and work training skills sessions for learners across the curriculum as and when required on a sessional basis.
£12.24 per hour to include planning and essential training (£23,868pa FTE pro rata ) – fixed zero hours contract

Sessional Learning Support Assistant: To assist in the planning, provision, development and delivery of activity sessions and work training skills sessions for learners across the curriculum as and when required on a sessional basis.
£9.18 per hour to include planning and essential training (£17,901pa FTE pro rata ) Fixed zero hours contract 

For more information about the roles and to apply, please visit MK Snap website: mksnap.org/current-vacancies/.If you are interested in the positions you can also call and speak to a member of the team on 01908 690 330.

Various roles at MK Gallery

MK Gallery is recruiting for a number of roles which make a significant contribution to the realisation of MK Gallery’s vision to become a world class arts centre and tourist destination.

Learning Coordinator 
Closing date: 10am Monday 20 May 2019
Marketing and Public Relations (PR) Manager
Closing date: 10am Monday 20 May 2019
Administrator and Development Coordinator
Closing date: 10am Monday 20 May 2019  

Find out more about these positions here and make applications to Kate Chadwick, Deputy Director, at kchadwick@mkgallery.org.

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Standard Life Foundation offering £2m in grants until 3 June

Charities that work on financial health and wellbeing projects can apply for grants the foundation expects to be between £50,000 and £150,000.
For more information and to apply, click here. The deadline for applications is 1pm on 3 June.

Digital Health Funding

NHS digital are offering £1m funding for digital social care projects. The Social Care Digital Innovation Programme (SCDIP) aims to support local authorities using digital technology to design and implement social care.

Please see the link below for more information:
https://www.digitalhealth.net/2019/02/nhs-digital-funding-social-care-projects/

New Funding from The England Illegal Money Lending Team

New funding available from The England Illegal Money Lending Team to be used to benefit local communities. If you are interested in applying, then just send a short summary of your great idea and the budget you will require. Closing date is 30th June 2018. Project must be delivered by 31st March 2020.
www.stoploansharks.co.uk
Application Form
FAQs

Permablitz at Westbury Arts Centre

Our community garden at Westbury is being built by us, for us, and our growing volunteer group is creating a social retreat for us to reconnect with our local community as well as with art, nature and the food that we grow there.
Saturday 18th May
11am – 2pm

Close up of people planting in a garden

No matter what your experience or ability, everyone is welcome to join our gardening day permablitzes where we share skills, team-work, enthusiasm and food. We all “muck in” and work together to maintain our permaculture-led community garden in the morning. Then from 1pm we sit down for some social time as we share the food we all brought to contribute to the Bring & Share lunch and discuss our plans for the project.

Lunch takes as long as it takes – usually until the conversation finishes and someone says we should probably go home.
Look forward to seeing you in the garden!
If you would like to get involved, please see https://plantingup.co.uk/about/ for further details.

Great Get Together Iftaar

Sunday 19 May 7.30 pm
This multi faith enlightenment programme aims to build a stronger and cohesive community in Milton Keynes. If you would like to join this free event please bring salads, vegetarian dishes or desserts for the ‘bring and share’.
Register on Eventbrite

Charlotte Vincent

Monday 20th May at The Venue. 2pm to 4.30pm.  Free event.

Founded in 1994 and led by Artistic Director Charlotte Vincent, Vincent Dance Theatre (VDT) produce powerful and engaging dance theatre work accompanied by extensive programmes of social engagement and professional development work. Charlotte will share her experience of creating relevant work for today’s audiences, her work with sometimes disengaged communities, and her collaborative approach alongside the use of technology within her process and performance.  This promises to be a relevant and thoughtful session inviting debate and discussion. 

She is considered ‘one of the UK’s leading female choreographer/directors’ and ‘one of the most important feminist artists working in Britain today’ (The Observer). https://www.thevenuemk.com/

National Trust – free events:

1.      College interpretive dance performance on 22nd May 5pm.
More information is available here.

2.      Mindful running course for 10 weeks starting on 21st May. More information is available here.

To find out about all local National Trust events and courses, click here.

Milton Keynes Surveying Workshop

Tuesday 21 May
11:30-14:30

AccessAble’s surveying workshop is taking place in partnership with Milton Keynes Council in May. This workshop is for anyone who is interested in collecting disabled access information from local venues or anyone who would like the opportunity to get out and about for a few hours. A free lunch and a £10 gift voucher are included as a thank you for attending.

Armed Forces Day

Do you have news to share?

If you work or volunteer 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.

To receive our weekly newsletter and other updates and news about the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes, please follow this link.

Blog Post

3 May: Weekly Bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

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3 May 2019

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New practical guide on how to recruit trustees for your charity

Guidance cover

The charity Getting on Board has just launched free guidance for the charity sector: How to Recruit Trustees for your Charity – a Practical Guide.

Getting on Board’s research shows that there are great benefits to being a trustee:

  • 96% say they’ve learnt new skills,
  • 22% got a promotion as a direct result, and
  • 84% said it made them happier!

Visit our recruitment platform, Simply Connect, to find out about the existing trustee vacancies in Milton Keynes at the moment, including with organisations such as Health Watch Milton Keynes, MK Play Association, Harry’s Rainbow and Educational Wealth Fund.

You might also be interested to visit our website to learn more about our recent Good Governance Project: https://communityactionmk.org/good-governance.

Are you on our community group database?

If you are a new community group or an organisation in Milton Keynes and would like to join our database of local groups, please call us on 01908 661 623 or e-mail support@communityactionmk.org.

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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:

OU digital access for prisons and secure hospitals “shone out” in The Guardian University Awards 2019

A project which provides digital access to study materials for students in secure environments, such as prisons and secure hospitals, has won the widening access and outreach category in the Guardian University Awards.

The award, which was presented to the OU team at the Guardian University Awards ceremony in London yesterday (10 April) was for the OU Secure Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), specifically for students in secure environments who have restricted internet access. Read more

FINAL REMINDER: Milton Keynes Community of Practice

Friday 10th May: 09.30am – 12.00pm
MK College, Chaffron Way, MK6 5LP
Sign up here

Do you work with children and young people to support mental health and well-being? Are you joining up with:

  • Peer-based, collaborative learning
  • Sharing good practice and ideas
  • Creating new knowledge and understanding to advance your professional practice
  • Addressing common concerns and set of problems?

We are forming a Community of Practice (CoP) for people working (at least initially) in the Milton Keynes Voluntary and Community Sector. This will be a co-produced group, so who is part of it and what will take place as part of it will be decided by its members. Although face-to-face meetings are very important, most CoPs include online participation.

We are acting as facilitators because our research ‘Where are the safety Nets?’ (see the report here) indicated that such support would be helpful; people we have asked tell us that the proposal is sound and needed.

To find out more about a Community of Practice, read this short paper here.For some interesting and inspirational stories, click here.

Sale of Campbell Wharf Marina

Last week Campbell Wharf celebrated a successful launch of the sales and marketing centre which is now open to the public. This was an opportunity for local stakeholders to discuss the development with Crest Nicholson and take a closure look at the upcoming new homes.

We are now happy to announce the next milestone at Campbell Wharf, the sale of Campbell Wharf Marina to the Parks Trust. Please find attached the latest press release and accompanying image showing the recently completed marina. See the Press Release

Children in Need announces £10m child mental health grants programme

BBC Children in Need has today announced the first recipients of a new, three-year, £10m grants programme to improve children’s mental health. The programme, called A Million & Me, provides early action support for children between eight and 13 who are struggling with wellbeing before mental health problems are established. Read more

Community Action: MK live show at Secklow Sounds

Tune in to Secklow Sounds community radio on the first Wednesday each month at 1pm to hear from Community Action: MK about what is happening in the voluntary and community sector of Milton Keynes.
Access previous episodes here.

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Volunteers’ Week 2019: Get your group involved

The national Volunteer’s Week 2019 is fast approaching: 1-7 June. Volunteers’ Week is a time to say thank you for the fantastic contribution volunteers make. During the week, hundreds of events and celebrations take place across the country, saying thank you to volunteers and recognising their invaluable and diverse contribution to the UK.

Here at Community Action: MK we have started to plan our activities to make sure we celebrate the amazing volunteers and volunteering opportunities in Milton Keynes! We will be giving a special focus to volunteering during the week through our blogs, social media channels, and at our events.

We are calling all local groups and organisations – get in touch with us if you:

  1. Have any specific volunteering roles that you would like to promote as a ‘Volunteering Opportunity of the Day’ during Volunteer’s Week and/or
  2. Would like to share with us and publicise any inspirational case studies of your wonderful volunteers who are giving their time to support your services.

To express your interest and submit your volunteering roles/ case studies, please email support@communityactionmk.org by 17th May 2019!

To find out more about the Volunteer’s Week and access a whole range of resources to help you get involved visit: https://volunteersweek.org

Volunteering opportunity of the week

Cook / Cafe Assistant: Age UK Milton Keynes

Age UK is looking for a volunteer to cook simple dinners for their cafe, based in The Food Centre, Central Milton Keynes. These will be sold in our cafe to customers. This role is for Wednesday and Thursdays.
Find out more.

Sessional Tutor at MK Snap

MK Snap, a leading local charity based in Milton Keynes providing education, life and work skills programmes for adults with learning differences, currently have the following vacancies:

Sessional Tutor: To lead in the planning, provision, development and delivery of activity sessions and work training skills sessions for learners across the curriculum as and when required on a sessional basis.
£12.24 per hour to include planning and essential training (£23,868pa FTE pro rata ) – fixed zero hours contract

For more information about the roles and to apply, please visit MK Snap website: mksnap.org/current-vacancies/.If you are interested in the positions you can also call and speak to a member of the team on 01908 690 330.

Various roles at MK Gallery

MK Gallery is recruiting for a number of roles which make a significant contribution to the realisation of MK Gallery’s vision to become a world class arts centre and tourist destination.

Learning Coordinator 
Closing date: 10am Monday 20 May 2019
Marketing and Public Relations (PR) Manager
Closing date: 10am Monday 20 May 2019
Administrator and Development Coordinator
Closing date: 10am Monday 20 May 2019  
Visitor Experience Assistant
Closing date: 10am Thursday 9 May 2019 Thursday 9 May 2019

Find out more about these positions here and make applications to Kate Chadwick, Deputy Director, at kchadwick@mkgallery.org.

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Power to Change – Community Business Fund

Max. Value: £ 300,000
Grants are available to help locally based and community-led businesses in England to increase their social impact and make them more viable in the long term. Read more.

Bupa UK Foundation – Mental Health Funding Programme 2019

Max. Value: £ 20,000
Grants are available to not-for-profit organisations in the UK for practical projects that tackle critical challenges in health and social care, make a direct impact on people’s health and wellbeing and address the Foundation’s theme for that year. Read more


National Trust – free events

1.      College interpretive dance performance on 22nd May 5pm.
Info is available here: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/7ad84fed-e03c-4a5a-bab7-82cc56496a36/pages/details

2.      Mindful running course for 10 weeks starting on 21st May: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/19ce04a0-17a8-4d9b-b8b8-f384bd3a9ba9/pages/details

Events at Wolverton Community Orchard

MÓTUS 2019 JOURNEYS festival

JOURNEYS is a diverse, twelve week festival across Milton Keynes which engages with and explores the theme of JOURNEYS. Relating to artists, individuals, young people, communities, campaigns and political narratives, it has been designed to engage the people of Milton Keynes and beyond with dance: to see how the concept can relate to each individual and their personal story/identity and how sharing our journeys can positively impact others. The wonderfully varied twelve week programme is designed to offer something for everyone and is MÓTUS’ most extensive festival programme to date. 

ROS-landscape A size - social post prima

The full line up for the festival is now LIVE on our web-site and tickets can be purchased for all events/shows and workshops: https://www.motusdance.co.uk/journeys

Milton Keynes Surveying Workshop

Tuesday 21 May
11:30-14:30

AccessAble’s surveying workshop is taking place in partnership with Milton Keynes Council in May. This workshop is for anyone who is interested in collecting disabled access information from local venues or anyone who would like the opportunity to get out and about for a few hours. A free lunch and a £10 gift voucher are included as a thank you for attending.

Do you have news to share?

If you work or volunteer 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.

Blog Post

26 April: Weekly Bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

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28 April  2019

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NPC launches new impact management website for charities

New Philanthropy Capital’s joint venture project Inspiring Impact has launched a new website, using National Lottery funding. The website is aimed at small and medium charities that do not have a dedicated impact management team to find practices to improve impact.
The website provides free how-to guides and self-assessment tools, and resources from the sector including research, diagnostic tools, outcome frameworks and surveys. Read more.

Free e-learning modules from the Charity Digital Code of Practice

Zoe Amar, Chair of the Charity Digital Code of Practice has teamed up with the Cornwall Museums Partnership to create an e-learning project.

This includes two e-learning modules to help organisations to use the code. The first is an introduction to the code, exploring challenges faced by charities and how the code of practice can help the VCSE sector. The second module looks more closely at the principles of the code and how they can be applied to the learner’s organisation. This includes leadership, culture, strategy, skills, managing risks and adaptability.

You can read more about this here and you can access both modules on the Cornwall Museums Partnership’s website.

Call for applications to join a virtual learning club for the voluntary sector

The Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership (CVSL) based at The Open University is looking for participants interested in undertaking the Centre’s courses onIntroducing Leadership in the Voluntary Sector and Collaborative Leadership in Voluntary Organisations.

Following a successful local learning club piloted in Milton Keynes, the Centre is looking for participants to join a virtual learning club i.e. a learning club with virtual facilitation through webinars and social media. To create a good learning environment those participating will commit to doing the courses within indicative timelines, to allow for the maximisation of the benefits of facilitation. Places on the course will be limited and will be allocated on first come first served basis. These online courses can be accessed here. Find out more

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Baring Foundation invites organisations to apply to be a sector support body for creative ageing for England

The Baring Foundation is seeking applications from an organisation or organisations to form a sector support body to act as an advocate for creative ageing in England and to encourage awareness and innovation. Up to £250,000 over 3 years is available and the application deadline is 14 May 2019. Find out more here.

Improving Health and Wellbeing Survey

NHS Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group, Milton Keynes Council and the voluntary and community sector are now working with local people to promote and support good self-care and resilience.  They have developed a survey as part of an ongoing conversation where they want to find out what self-care means to people and their communities, and learn from this to spread approaches to self-care that work.

The aim of this project is to help people across Milton Keynes use their own skills, strengths and community assets to improve their health and wellbeing.  Your views are really important.

The survey can be accessed via the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/VGVNNFP

It should take less than 10 minutes to complete the survey. All responses will be treated in strict confidence. Thank you for your support in completing this short questionnaire.

NEW GROUP: Milton Keynes Community of Practice

Friday 10th May: 09.30am – 12.00pm
MK College, Chaffron Way, MK6 5LP

Do you work with children and young people to support mental health and well-being? Are you joining up with:

  • Peer-based, collaborative learning
  • Sharing good practice and ideas
  • Creating new knowledge and understanding to advance your professional practice
  • Addressing common concerns and set of problems?

We are forming a Community of Practice (CoP) for people working (at least initially) in the Milton Keynes Voluntary and Community Sector. This will be a co-produced group, so who is part of it and what will take place as part of it will be decided by its members. Although face-to-face meetings are very important, most CoPs include online participation.

We are acting as facilitators because our research ‘Where are the safety Nets?’ (see the report here) indicated that such support would be helpful; people we have asked tell us that the proposal is sound and needed.

To find out more about a Community of Practice, read this short paper here.For some interesting and inspirational stories, click here.

Are you intrigued? We truly hope so. Please express your interest by signing to this event by Friday 3rd May. Sign up here

Community Action: MK live show at Secklow Sounds

Tune in to Secklow Sounds community radio on Wednesday 1st May at 1pm to hear from Anna & Julie at Community Action: MK, and other colleagues working on our community development projects on the ground. We’ll be talking to some interesting guests who are involved with the Big Local project in Conniburrow to hear how projects like this help to reduce loneliness and social isolation, and more.

A recent episode of Nesta’s podcast, Future Curious, discusses loneliness and why so many people feel less connected in the age of technology.

Listen to the episode now

“Nowadays, despite technology, we’re less and less connected to the people around us and we are no longer part of communities in the way we once were.”


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Volunteers’ Week 2019

Volunteers' Week Logo

The national Volunteer’s Week 2019 is fast approaching – 1-7 June.

Volunteers’ Week is a time to say thank you for the fantastic contribution volunteers make. During the week, hundreds of events and celebrations take place across the country, saying thank you to volunteers and recognising their invaluable and diverse contribution to the UK.

Here at Community Action: MK we have started to plan our activities to make sure we celebrate the amazing volunteers and volunteering opportunities in Milton Keynes!

We will be giving a special focus to volunteering during the week through our blogs, social media channels, and at our events.

We are calling all local groups and organisations – get in touch with us if you:

  1. Have any specific volunteering roles that you would like to promote as a ‘Volunteering Opportunity of the Day’ during Volunteer’s Week and/or
  2. Would like to share with us and publicise any inspirational case studies of your wonderful volunteers who are giving their time to support your services.

To express your interest and submit your volunteering roles/ case studies, please email support@communityactionmk.org by 17th May 2019!

To find out more about the Volunteer’s Week and access a whole range of resources to help you get involved visit: https://volunteersweek.org

Volunteering opportunity of the week

Receptionist for Clearly Speaking

Clearly Speaking is an organisation offering Specialist Children and Family Support.       

This will be a part time volunteer position (hours to suit). As a receptionist you will have a big part in helping our charity run, you will be the first point of contact for the charity and you will provide a variety of administrative support. You will be working very closely with the director and trustees of Clearly Speaking, You will handle activity club bookings and ensure messages and private and confidential information is recorded correctly.

You will be given the chance to gain valuable experience and qualifications with a very well recognized charity, previous volunteers have gone onto successful careers.

Responsibilities:

  • Greet, welcome and direct visitor and families
  • Answer, screen and forward any incoming phone calls while providing information when needed
  • Receive and sort daily mail/deliveries/couriers
  • Maintain security by following procedures and controlling access (monitor logbook, issue visitor badges)
  • Update appointment calendars and schedule meetings/appointments
  • Perform other clerical receptionist duties such as filing, photocopying, collating etc.

Find out more

Sessional Tutor & Sessional Learning Support Assistant at MK Snap

MK Snap, a leading local charity based in Milton Keynes providing education, life and work skills programmes for adults with learning differences, currently have two vacancies available:

Sessional Tutor: To lead in the planning, provision, development and delivery of activity sessions and work training skills sessions for learners across the curriculum as and when required on a sessional basis.
£12.24 per hour to include planning and essential training (£23,868pa FTE pro rata ) – fixed zero hours contract

Sessional Learning Support Assistant: To assist in the planning, provision, development and delivery of activity sessions and work training skills sessions for learners across the curriculum as and when required on a sessional basis.
£9.18 per hour to include planning and essential training (£17,901pa FTE pro rata ) – fixed zero hours contract

For more information about the roles and to apply, please visit MK Snap website: mksnap.org/current-vacancies/

If you are interested in the positions you can also call and speak to a member of the team on 01908 690 330.

Various roles at MK Gallery

MK Gallery is recruiting for a number of roles which make a significant contribution to the realisation of MK Gallery’s vision to become a world class arts centre and tourist destination.

MAKE – Designer
Learning Coordinator 
Marketing and Public Relations (PR) Manager
Administrator and Development Coordinator 
Visitor Experience Assistant

Find out more about these positions here and make applications to Kate Chadwick, Deputy Director, at kchadwick@mkgallery.org.

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Freemasons charity will now offer grants to cover core costs for small charities

The Masonic Charitable Foundation now offers small charities multi-year funding for running costs and other core funding expenses. The new grants are a maximum of £5,000 per year over three years and are available to charities with an income of £500,000 a year or less. The first round of grants for 22 small charities has already been announced. The grants are an extension of MCF’s current programme for non-ring-fenced grants for small charities, which are one-offs of £5,000 toward general charitable purposes. Find our more.

Arts Council England Invites Application to Small Capital Grants

Small Capital Grants are available for properly constituted arts and cultural organisations based in England whose capital project outcomes are arts focused and relate to the delivery of arts activity. You will need to submit an Expression of Interest between 11 April and 3 May. The application portal will then be open between 31 May and 5 July.

Government Announces New Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund

A £3 million fund to improve village halls and better connect rural communities across the country has been launched by the government. Village hall committees are now able to apply for grants of up to £75,000 towards refurbishment and alteration of their buildings, from improvement works on existing facilities through to new meeting rooms.


MK Snap Dragon Lunch and Tour

Wed, 1 May 2019
11:30 – 13:00 

Take the opportunity to return to MK Snap for a Dragon Lunch and Tour – your chance to see MK Snap in action, meet our learners and hear their stories about our transformational work.

The Dragon programme is a new initiative which we believe will harness the potential of our partnerships, boost brand awareness and have a positive impact for us all. We recognise the power of Corporate Social Responsibility and the benefits in health & wellbeing, clear business values and improved productivity possible through this collaboration.

The Dragon programme is a great new opportunity for us to work together to develop a tailored experience and I look forward to discussing with you how MK Snap can help you.

Sign up here

MÓTUS 2019 JOURNEYS festival

JOURNEYS is a diverse, twelve week festival across Milton Keynes which engages with and explores the theme of JOURNEYS. Relating to artists, individuals, young people, communities, campaigns and political narratives, it has been designed to engage the people of Milton Keynes and beyond with dance: to see how the concept can relate to each individual and their personal story/identity and how sharing our journeys can positively impact others. The wonderfully varied twelve week programme is designed to offer something for everyone and is MÓTUS’ most extensive festival programme to date. 

ROS-landscape A size - social post prima

The full line up for the festival is now LIVE on our web-site and tickets can be purchased for all events/shows and workshops: https://www.motusdance.co.uk/journeys

Milton Keynes Surveying Workshop

Tuesday 21 May
11:30-14:30

AccessAble’s surveying workshop is taking place in partnership with Milton Keynes Council in May. This workshop is for anyone who is interested in collecting disabled access information from local venues or anyone who would like the opportunity to get out and about for a few hours. A free lunch and a £10 gift voucher are included as a thank you for attending.

Do you have news to share?

If you work or volunteer 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 on our database?

If you are a new community group or an organisation in Milton Keynes and would like to join our database of local groups, please call us on 01908 661 623 or e-mail support@communityactionmk.org.

Blog Post

Call for applications to join a virtual learning club for The Voluntary Sector

Call for applications to join a virtual learning club for courses on Introducing Leadership in the Voluntary Sector and Collaborative Leadership in Voluntary Organisations

The Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership (CVSL) based at The Open University is looking for participants interested in undertaking the Centre’s courses on Introducing Leadership in the Voluntary Sector and Collaborative Leadership in Voluntary Organisations.

Following a successful local learning club piloted in Milton Keynes, the Centre is looking for participants to join a virtual learning club i.e. a learning club with virtual facilitation through webinars and social media. To create a good learning environment those participating will commit to doing the courses within indicative timelines, to allow for the maximisation of the benefits of facilitation. Places on the course will be limited and will be allocated on first come first served basis. These online courses can be accessed here.

Applicants will be expected to study for independently for about 4 hours per week for 5 weeks to complete the course on Introducing Leadership in the Voluntary Sector (20 hours over a 5 week period) and/or 4 hours per week for 8 weeks to complete the course on Collaborative Leadership in Voluntary Organisations (32 hours over 8 weeks).

In addition, participants are invited to, and expected to attend 1 (if undertaking only the 5 week course), 2 (if doing the 8 week course) or 3 (if undertaking both courses) virtual 1hr 15m long supportive learning club sessions during the duration of the course. These sessions will give participants the opportunity to share their learning during the intervening period and benefit from peer learning. In the period between the virtual sessions, participants will use social media to share their learning and engage in peer support activities.

If you would like to join the virtual learning club, please upload complete the application form and a starter questionnaire (here).

Completed application forms and questionnaires should be submitted by email to Dr Fidele Mutwarasibo (fidele.mutwarasibo@open.ac.uk) at their earliest convenience. Details of the launch of the virtual learning club will be communicated with successful applicants in due course.

If you have any further query, feel free to contact Fidele by email.

Blog Post News from and for the VCS

Jobs In the Voluntary Sector: various roles at MK Gallery

MAKE – Designer Fee: £4,500

Closing date: 5pm, Friday 26 April 2019
AHA-MK are looking to commission a designer to work with children, young people and MKCEP members to develop a new identity for the relaunch of MAKE – MK’s Cultural Education Partnership. The commissioned designer will be competent in engaging children and young people as part of the design process, leading a series of sessions in partnership with MAKE members MK Gallery. Download brief

How to apply: Please submit your Expression of Interest by emailing a short statement including links to digital portfolio / website (max 2 sides of A4) to Victoria Mayes, Head of Learning, MK Gallery vmayes@mkgallery.org

Learning Coordinator Hours: Full Time Salary: £22,000

Closing date: 10am Monday 20 May 2019

Apply to: Kate Chadwick, Deputy Director, kchadwick@mkgallery.org

The learning coordinator is responsible for helping to shape and coordinate MK Gallery’s Learning Programme. The Learning Coordinator, with delivery support from a range of freelance contacts as required, develops and coordinates interpretive information, events, activities and projects in an informal and formal context that enable children and young people, parents, carers, families, schools and communities to engage with the arts.

Download application pack

Marketing and Public Relations (PR) Manager Hours: Full Time

Salary: 35,000

Closing date: 10am Monday 20 May 2019

Apply to: Kate Chadwick, Deputy Director, kchadwick@mkgallery.org

Reporting to and working with the Head of Development and Communications, the post holder will manage the marketing , communications and PR to a wide range of target markets, both B2C and B2B, from a local to national level, making a significant contribution to the realisation of MK Gallery’s vision to become a world class arts centre and tourist destination.

Download application pack

Administrator and Development Coordinator Hours: Full Time

Salary: £22,000

Closing date: 10am Monday 20 May 2019

Apply to: Kate Chadwick, Deputy Director, kchadwick@mkgallery.org

MK Gallery’s Administrator and Development Coordinator will provide a broad range of administrative support to the Director, Senior Management Team and Board of Trustees.  S/he will be responsible for the smooth running of the Gallery’s offices and provide administrative support to coordinate the organisation’s marketing and development functions.

Download application pack

Visitor Experience Assistant Hours: Full Time Salary: £9 per hour

Closing date: 10am Thursday 9 May 2019

Apply to: Kate Chadwick, Deputy Director, kchadwick@mkgallery.org

Visitor Experience Assistants support the delivery of all visitor services and building operations at MK Gallery including box office, retail and events. They also support the implementation of health and safety policy across the site under the supervision of the Duty Manager/Visitor Experience Manager. 

Download application pack

Blog Post

Jobs in the Voluntary Sector: Sessional Tutor & Sessional Learning Support Assistant at MK Snap

MK Snap, a leading local charity based in Milton Keynes providing education, life and work skills programmes for adults with learning disabilities, currently have two vacancies available:

Sessional Tutor

To lead in the planning, provision, development and delivery of activity sessions and work training skills sessions for learners across the curriculum as and when required on a sessional basis.

£12.24 per hour to include planning and essential training (£23,868pa FTE pro rata ) – fixed zero hours contract


Sessional Learning Support Assistant

To assist in the planning, provision, development and delivery of activity sessions and work training skills sessions for learners across the curriculum as and when required on a sessional basis

£9.18 per hour to include planning and essential training (£17,901pa FTE pro rata ) – fixed zero hours contract


For more information about the roles and to apply, please visit MK Snap website: mksnap.org/current-vacancies/

If you are interested in the positions you can also call and speak to a member of the team on 01908 690 330.

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Jobs in the VCS

19 April: Weekly Bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

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19 April  2019

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Hazard Alley wows BBC’s The One Show

The Milton Keynes Safety Centre, or Hazard Alley as its fondly known, was featured on the BBC programme The One Show.  Broadcast earlier this month, you can watch again here (11 mins and 30 secs in).  This filming was made possible by an NCVO project called Constructive Voices which helps Voluntary Organisations raise their profile through the media.  It’s a smashing watch, so if you have a few minutes, we recommend making a cup of tea and have a view.

Free Desks for Groups

MK Safety Centre has a number of second hand desks which are available for groups.  You must be able to come and collect them from Hazard Alley in Kiln Farm. If people are interested they could pop over to have a look having given the Safety Centre a buzz first on 01908 263009.

ella forums Milton Keynes Group – Launch Meeting on 25th April

ella forums invite you to attend as their guest, the launch of their new Milton Keynes Group on April 25th 2019, kindly hosted by and at the offices of the Community Foundation MK.

This new ella forums MK Group is a peer mentoring and experiential learning group specifically designed to inspire and develop the leaders of Social Enterprises and Charities to grow their organisation. We will come together for monthly meetings to hear the latest thinking from guest speakers, share best practice and participate in a problem/opportunity resolution clinic.

When: Thursday 25th April 2018 9.00am-2.30pm
Where: Margaret Powell House 401/407 Midsummer Boulevard Central Milton Keynes MK9 3BN
What next: To reserve your place please click here to register.
Email phil@ella-forums.org for further details or visit our website.

Conniburrow Spring Clean

On 11th April a group of partners and residents came together to pick litter around Conniburrow as part of the ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ Great British Spring Clean. The event was arranged by Big Local Conniburrow (BLC) and supported by Great Linford Parish Council who kindly provided the equiptment. We were joined by members of Guinness Housing and MK Council, including MK Council CEO Michael Bracey who came by to assist in his lunch break.

During the hour we were out, we collected a considerable amount of litter and used the opportunity to network with partners and discuss local issues. After the clean up we returned to the BLC Hub where we enjoyed refreshments and good conversation!



Everyone agreed that the event was enjoyable as well as productive and we hope to arrange another similar event soon.

We will be talking to a number of volunteers and colleagues working as part of the Big Local Conniburrow project at our next monthly radio show with Secklow Soundstune in on Wednesday 1st May at 1pm to hear their stories and experiences being involved with the project.
Find out more and listen to our previous shows here.

Various roles at Citizens Advice Milton Keynes

Citizens Advice Milton Keynes are currently recruiting for several full time positions. Please click on the links below to find out more about the roles and to apply through the Charity Job website.

Telephone Referral Officer
Senior Money Adviser
Outreach Caseworker
Administrator
Head of Service

Deadline: 26th April.
To find out more about the work of Citizens Advice Milton Keynes, please visit their website: https://www.miltonkeynescab.org.uk/.

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Volunteering opportunity of the week

Gallery Assistant Volunteer: MK Gallery

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. They provide an exceptional experience and standard of engagement to every visitor, encouraging active engagement in the MK Gallery programme.
Find out more

Works For Us

Are you looking to volunteer in a flexible and friendly environment?
Would you like to develop work skills and experience, or simply give back to Works for Us? Could you spare just a few hours a week?

If you answered yes to the above, we’d love to hear from you! We’re currently recruiting for General Office Assistants to support with a variety of tasks including: • Reception duties • Basic admin • Registering new clients

We’re a small and supportive team who rely on the kindness of our volunteers to continue to support the local community. So whether you’re looking to improve self-confidence, make new friends, learn new skills or positively impact your local community, consider volunteering with Works for Us… and see what you gain when you give!

Want to find out more? Call us on 01908 200186, send us a FB message or email Natasha on n.evans@worksforus.org.uk

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Arts Council England Invites Application to Small Capital Grants

Small Capital Grants are available for properly constituted arts and cultural organisations based in England whose capital project outcomes are arts focused and relate to the delivery of arts activity. You will need to submit an Expression of Interest between 11 April and 3 May. The application portal will then be open between 31 May and 5 July.

Education Endowment Fund Accepting Summer 2019 Applications

Have you got a high-potential project that aims to raise the attainment and wider outcomes of young people aged 3-18, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds?

If yes, we hope you will consider applying to our current general grant-funding round. We are interested in testing the effectiveness of projects through rigorous, independent evaluations. Those that show an impact we will then support to scale up to improve outcomes for other disadvantaged children and young people across England.

Government Announces New Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund

A £3 million fund to improve village halls and better connect rural communities across the country has been launched by the government. Village hall committees are now able to apply for grants of up to £75,000 towards refurbishment and alteration of their buildings, from improvement works on existing facilities through to new meeting rooms.

Free Easter Family Event at ABC Park 
Saturday 20 April

Citizens:MK Accountability Assembly

WHEN: 25th April 2019 @ 6:30 pm – 8:15 pm
WHERE: Church of Christ the Cornerstone
CONTACT: Tom Bulman 7962838685

‘Fair Welcome, Fair Work’ :listening to testimonies of social injustice and holding power holders to account. for Refugees Welcome, Fair Work and good Relationships between young people and police

RSVP to info@citizensmk.org.uk or book online at eventbrite/citizens:mk
Ssupported by funding from MK Community Foundation.

Click here to book your seat.

Milton Keynes Surveying Workshop

AccessAble’s surveying workshop is taking place in partnership with Milton Keynes Council in May. This workshop is for anyone who is interested in collecting disabled access information from local venues or anyone who would like the opportunity to get out and about for a few hours. A free lunch and a £10 gift voucher are included as a thank you for attending.


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Do you have news to share?

If you work or volunteer 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

Blog Post

Jobs in the Voluntary Sector: various roles at Citizens Advice Milton Keynes

Citizens Advice Milton Keynes are currently recruiting for several full time positions. Please click on the links below to find out more about the roles and to apply through the Charity Job website.

Deadline: 26th April.

Telephone Referral Officer:

https://www.charityjob.co.uk/jobs/telephone-referral-officer/630062?tsId=8

Senior Money Adviser:

https://www.charityjob.co.uk/jobs/senior-money-adviser/630058?tsId=8

Outreach Caseworker:

https://www.charityjob.co.uk/jobs/outreach-caseworker/630057?tsId=8

Administrator:

https://www.charityjob.co.uk/jobs/administrator/630054?tsId=8

Head of Service:

https://www.charityjob.co.uk/jobs/head-of-service/629953?tsId=8

To find out more about the work of Citizens Advice Milton Keynes, please visit their website: https://www.miltonkeynescab.org.uk/.

Blog Post Jobs in the VCS News from and for the VCS

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

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12 April  2019

Welcome to the weekly newsletter for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes.  

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Keep Britain Tidy – #LittleHereos Ambassadors Volunteering Programme

Keep Britain Tidy is seeking new #LitterHeroes Ambassadors to join our volunteer programme and we need your help!

During your work you may meet members of the public who want to volunteer and have a real passion for community engagement and keeping public spaces clean. We’d love you to encourage them to apply to join our enthusiastic #LitterHeroes Ambassadors in becoming community activators across the UK.

The #LitterHeroes Ambassador programme is supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery and aims to support community cohesion, improve public spaces and help benefit mental and physical wellbeing.
Please find a poster to display in your community hub at this link. All people need to do is; apply directly online via https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LHAapply2019
or email LHAmbassador@keepbritaintidy.org and we will send them a link to the application form, alternatively they can visit the website here for more information.

Applications close on Monday 6th May 2019.
Successful applicants will be notified of next steps during the week commencing 6th May.
Link to PDF here.

Community Action: MK podcasts on Secklow Sounds

Community Action:MK - show cover

Sheila Thornton and the team from Community Action: MK will be on Secklow Sounds on the first Wednesday each month at 1pm when they’ll bring you the latest news and updates from the community and voluntary sector. Catch up on the past shows at the link below and remember to tune in each Wednesday!

Catch up on past shows here.

Giving World Launches New Website

Giving World receives goods from businesses all over the country, and advertises the items on the website for charities to request to help pass on to their beneficiaries.
The focus of the launch is to pack the website with news and features, while making it even simpler to receive goods such as clothing, toiletries, books, toys and cleaning supplies for the people you support.
The only requirement is that the charities and community groups register at www.givingworld.org.uk, there is an option to request products that would truly help the local community, completely free of charge.

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Office for Civil Society March Newsletter

You can find lots of interesting information for groups including new safeguarding funding for charities, five ways civil society organisations can prepare for EU Exit, and more. Read the full newsletter:
Office for Civil Society March Newsletter

Community of Practice for VCS Groups

Special invitation for VCS groups
Friday 10th May: 09.30am – 12.00pm
MK College, Chaffron Way, MK6 5LP
REGISTER HERE

Do you work with children and young people to support mental health and well-being?

Are you joining up with:
– Peer-based, collaborative learning
– Sharing good practice and ideas
– Creating new knowledge and understanding to advance your professional practice 
– Addressing common concerns and set of problems? 

We are forming a Community of Practice (CoP) for people working (at least initially) in the Milton Keynes Voluntary and Community Sector. This will be a co-produced group, so who is part of it and what will take place as part of it will be decided by its members. Although face-to-face meetings are very important, most CoPs include online participation.

We are acting as facilitators because our research ‘Where are the safety Nets?’ (see the report here) indicated that such support would be helpful; people we have asked tell us that the proposal is sound and needed.

To find out more about a Community of Practice, read this short paper here.
For some interesting and inspirational stories, click here.

Are you intrigued? We truly hope so. Please express your interest by signing up to this event by Friday 3rd May.
REGISTER HERE

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Growth News

In growth news, alterations and extensions to the Northern and Southern flanks of Centre:MK, either side of the John Lewis store, are currently being proposed. This would create two levels of additional trading floor space (reference number 19/00289/FUL). To find out more about this, and other proposed developments, visit MK Council’s Planning Portal to view and comment.
Read more here

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Volunteer as a trustee

Charity trustees are the people who share ultimate responsibility for governing a charity and directing how it is managed and run. Trusteeship can be rewarding for many reasons – from a sense of making a difference to the charitable cause, to new experiences and relationships.
The following organisations are currently seeking trustees in Milton Keynes:

  • Buckingham Canal Society
    Work as part of a team with the Buckingham Canal Society, a local charity. Plan and prepare committee meetings and other appropriate secretarial work. Read more.
  • Healthwatch Milton Keynes
    Do you want to make a difference to people’s experiences of health and social care services in Milton Keynes? Become a trustee for Health Watch Milton Keynes. Read more.
  • Living Archive MK
    Living Archive seeks to recruit new Board members, including a Treasurer. Financial experience would be desirable although by no means essential, as enthusiasm for our work and an eye to how we could develop in the future would also be an important factor. Living Archive collects, preserves and shares the history and heritage of Milton Keynes through the production of films, books, events and community projects based on local peoples’ stories. Read more.
  • Harrys Rainbow Charitable Trust
    As Trustee/Treasurer you will have previous experience as a Treasurer or in accounting. You will be willing to attend meetings and some key events we hold throughout the year. You must be enthusiastic, empathic and willing to muck in. Read more.

Free Easter Family Event at ABC Park
Saturday 20 April

Soroptimists Sponsored Sewathon in aid of YMCA
Saturday 27 April

The Milton Keynes branch of Soroptimists International are holding a Sponsored Sewathon on Saturday 27th April, 11am-3pm at Simpson Village Hall. Come along and Support the Stitchers thumbing their thimbles in aid of the MK YMCA.  

Family Matters Project Workers needed

Full time (37.5 hours a week) and Part time roles available
Salary £24,000 FTE
Fixed term contract until 31st December 2021

Thames Valley Partnership is seeking to appoint Project Workers to join our Family Matters Programme, working to support the families and significant friends of people who have been imprisoned or are involved in serious offending.

Reporting to the Family Matters Programme Manager, you will offer information, support and advice in the Court setting and HM Prison Visiting Centres and also accept referrals for family casework support from the Thames Valley Community Rehabilitation Company and other agencies.

Closing date for applications:   Monday 6th May at 8am

Interviews will be held on: Friday 10th May and Tuesday 14th May at the Partnership offices in Aston Sandford, Haddenham, Bucks.
A full Job Description and Application Form are available on the Partnership website at www.thamesvalleypartnership.org.uk.

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21st June: A Community of Practice: All VCS practitioners welcome

Do you work / volunteer with Children and Young People in MK? Do you offer support for their mental health and sense of wellbeing?

Such work is rewarding but can be demanding. We know that within the Voluntary and Community Sector in MK there are many groups working in this field and over 20 of us met last month to discuss forming a Community of Practice.

The second meeting will take place on:

FRIDAY 21st JUNE 9.30am – midday at Service Six, Chapter House, Coffee Hall, MK6 5EE

A Community of Practice is where people expand their knowledge and personal development of a certain topic or focus through meeting (face- to- face and on-line) to learn together, share information and be challenged, enjoying occasional presentations and workshops and doing whatever they decide to expand their professional understanding and influence.

On FRIDAY 21st JUNE we will be planning a programme based on the themes identified at our first session .

1.Promotion – how do we promote our services and understand more about what other organisations are delivering in our area in order to co-operate  and make new relationships? What are the variety of, and best practice, methods for getting our messages across and influencing future plans within our service and across agencies?

2.Quality Standards – what does co-produced ‘best’ look like? How can we co-produce plans and services with CYP? How could we use data, models and knowledge we co-produce with young people to influence commissioners, funders and inter-agency debate so that high quality holistic services can happen?

3.The Local Offer – how can we use experience, knowledge, data and research to foster resilience in young people experiencing physical and/or mental challenges?  How can we build CYP confidence and ability to contribute to co-produced support?

Whilst the primary goal of a CoP is to expand individual knowledge and practice, only if people at a strategic level are involved in some way can individuals try out and embed their ‘new’ knowledge, and influence change. So we will be planning how to involve people at a strategic level, such as managers and trustees. Managers and trustees – do come and join us!

A closed Facebook (somewhat darkly called a “secret group”) where you can raise questions, issues and contribute to discussion before (and after) June’s Workshop is also being set up.

Please do get in touch if you want to know more or want to come along on Friday 21st June.

sheila@comunnityactionmk.org

BLCChair@gmail.com

anna@communityactionmk.org

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups