Funding Roundup

Our MK

Our MK is bringing together communities, data and enterprise to transform Milton Keynes. We want your innovative ideas for transport, energy, water, health and environment in our city, and to support you to develop these ideas into citizen-led projects.

Our MK is powered by MK:Smart, working to bring MK to the forefront of innovation, technology and data. Our MK now has funding available for your projects that could help MK achieve this. Could you use up to £5k to get your project off the ground?

The deadline for the first round of this competition funding is 16th August, and support to develop your project will be given at a series of workshops before this date. For further information about how you can apply, visit

DM Thomas Foundation for Young People

The Foundation aims to make a real difference to those most in need. It supports projects within the UK and Ireland that focus on Young People and Education, and Young People and Health.

Amount: £ 30,000

Deadline: 28th July


Anchor Foundation

Grants are available to UK-registered Christian charities for projects that encourage social inclusion through ministries of healing and the arts.

Amount: £ 10,000

Deadline: 31st July


Freemasons’ Grand Charity

The charity makes grants to Masonic and non-Masonic charities in England and Wales. Grants are broadly aimed at charitable work in the following fields: Youth Opportunities; Vulnerable People; Medical Research; and Hospices.

Amount: £ 50,000

Deadline: 31st July


Golsoncott Foundation

Grants are available to voluntary sector organisations in the UK for projects that promote fine arts and music.

Amount: £ 5,000

Deadline: 31st July


Ironmongers’ Company

Grant for projects in the UK that provide opportunities for disadvantaged children and young people under the age of 25 years to fulfil their potential.

Amount: £ 10,000

Deadline: 31st July


Radcliffe Trust

Funding is available for registered charities working in music, and heritage and crafts.

Deadline: Heritage and Crafts Scheme 31st July

               Music Scheme 31st August


Skipton Building Society – Grassroots Giving

Financial awards are available for local community groups in the UK who are passionate about making life better for others and who need a bit of help in getting their projects off the ground.

Amount: £ 500

Deadline: 31st July



Marc Fitch Fund

Grant for individuals and organisations in the UK for research and publications whose primary focus is on regional and local history within the British Isles.

Deadline: 1st  August


Weaver’s Company Benevolent Fund Grant

Grants for organisations undertaking projects involving young people who are vulnerable or may become involved in crime in the UK.

Amount: £ 15,000

Deadline: 3rd August


Starbucks Youth Action Grants

Funding to empower young people in England, Scotland and Wales to make a difference in their communities and to enable them to bring their ideas to life.

Deadline:  3rd August


Wellcome Trust – Engaging Science Programme

Funding for projects in the field of biomedical science which aim to make a significant impact on public engagement with science and its related issues. Funding is provided through the People/Society Award, Arts Award, Broadcast Development Award, International Engagement Award, Science Media Studentships, Engagement Fellowships and Capital Funding schemes.

Deadline: 7th August


Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys – Stepping Stones Grants

Grants are available to charities registered in England and/or Wales working to significantly improve life outcomes for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Amount: £ 20,000

Deadine: 14th August


Help Through Crisis Fund

Grants are available for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations in England for projects that provide immediate support to individuals currently living in crisis or at risk of crisis as a result of hardship.

Amount: up to £ 500,000

Deadline: 26th August


Renewable energy awards

The M&S Energy Community Fund is an awards scheme for not for profit organisations that want to use renewable energy to provide community benefits.They have available national awards of £40,000 and £20,000, and a regional award of £12,500.There is also a minimum funding of £15,000 which will be split between the most inspiring and innovative projects.To take part, complete the online application form. Projects will be subject to popular vote, so it will help if your beneficiaries are cute. Click here for details.

Deadline: 29th July

Guardian Charity Awards

The Guardian Charity Awards seek to recognise and encourage UK charities that make an outstanding and valuable contribution to social welfare in the community.

Deadline: 5th August

What corporate sponsors look for in a charity partnership

This article from the Guardian is worth a read if you are interested in making connections with businesses to support your work.

Sunday Soup

The Soup Grant is a grassroots model for funding small to medium sized creative projects through community meals. The basic formula is that a group of people come together to share a meal and that meal is sold for an affordable price. All the income from that meal is given as a grant to support a creative project. Grant applications are accepted up until the meal, everyone who purchases the meal gets one vote to determine who receives the grant. The grants are completely unrestricted and will be awarded at the discretion of the customers.

Growing Together

Growing Together, funded by the Big Lottery Fund, is a new partnership of community and environmental sector organisations created to support local community growing groups to generate their own income. Support will be given through advice and training, with particular priorities being: crowdfunding; community shares; e-commerce;  generating income through trading: procurement; business planning; financial governance; finding and securing land.The Growing Together website is due to be launched this summer; to keep informed of the developments visit the temporary webpage , there is also a Facebook page.

What is the National Funding Scheme (NFS)?

The National Funding Scheme is a registered charity set up to enable any organisation with a charitable purpose to fundraise using digital technology. The NFS has developed a national tool of mobile giving – DONATE – which any organisation can adopt, they are not a crowdfunding platform but a risk free alternative where donations are donations and not just pledges. They pass on donor data subject to opt-in so you can build long-term relationships with donors. If you’re a charity or an organisation with a charitable purpose, you can join the DONATE by registering here today.

Evidence on benefits of physical activity

If you are wanting to show a funder that your project involving children running about will benefit their health, the evidence is in a new study published by the Government.

Training and events

Click here to download Fit4Fundings learning prospectus

Have we helped your group get funding in the past year? We regularly provide reviews and feedback on funding application and help with getting ‘fit for funding’ to charities and community groups in Milton Keynes. If your group has received funding partly as a result of our help, we’d love to hear from you so we can celebrate your success!

Please email us or call 01908 661623.

Blog Post Funding New Communities

Volunteering Round Up 24th July

Volunteering to share your ideas with your community can be just as rewarding as rolling up your sleeves and lending a hand. Why not take a moment on your lunch break to contribute your idea for making Milton Keynes a Smart city in the way we address energy, transport and water use?

We’re starting to see more and more really in-depth analysis of the complexities around volunteering and the current state of the sector and some great open discussions about the role of volunteering in a healthy society. This article, from People, Place and Policy “examines how trends in volunteering, at the organisational, operational and policy levels, may be negatively affecting the nature of volunteering itself.”

The paper finds that:

“While participating in volunteering clearly benefits the individual volunteer as well as the person or community they are helping, it is argued that a social order which prioritises benefit to the individual over benefit to the collective may cause potential long-term damage to the act of volunteering.”

The Government has published its annual Community Life survey that measures volunteering rates and giving to charities.

This year’s survey found volunteering rates are virtually unchanged from the previous year.

The survey found that 27 per cent of adults took part in formal volunteering activities at least once a month in 2014/15, the same figure as in 2013/14.

It found 42 per cent of respondents took part in formal volunteering once a year in 2014/15, an increase of one percentage point on 2013/14.

Our Volunteering Team will be at the World Picnic on Sunday at Campbell Park. Pop along and say hello between 1-6pm and find out more about the 350+ volunteering opportunities available in the city!


Make sure you respond to MK Council’s Sharing Libraries survey by 20th September. There are important questions about the role of volunteers in the future of libraries and it’s really important to give your views.

Whilst thinking about the future, don’t forget to enjoy the present, with the Summer Activities programme across the libraries. There are some amazing things going on – check the programme out!

Blog Post Volunteering

MK:Smart holds its first project advice workshop!

Exploring great ideas for MK

The MK:Smart Citizen Innovation team hosted the first in a series of advice workshops this week, organised to support MK Citizens with great project ideas to apply for funding through the Citizens Ideas Competition. The Competition is open to projects aimed at improving transport, energy, water, health or environment in MK. The successful entries will be granted funding to help them start or develop their projects in the coming months.

Screenshot 2015-07-23 at 15.23.30

The workshop featured an opening presentation from Gerd Kortuem and Daniel Gooch at the Open University, and Rebecca Brown from Community Action: MK, who deliver the Citizen Innovation work-package within the MK:Smart project. The session covered the key facts about MK:Smart project and its objectives, and explained the process behind the MK:Smart Citizen Innovation Fund.

photo (4)

This introductory part was followed by interactive sessions with a number of advice stations for the attendees, offering information and advice in the areas such as:

  • Community Enterprise
  • Starting up a new group
  • Involving Citizens
  • Bid writing tips
  • Our MK: technical support

The attendees had a chance to ask questions, browse the materials showcased at each of the advice stations, and take some resources with them. The session was also a great opportunity for them to network and chat about their ideas to fellow citizens, identifying areas of synergy and potential for collaboration. Rebecca, from Community Action: MK said “We heard a range of different project ideas from the citizens and we were able to offer them guidance on how to make their ideas a reality using this opportunity”. Ten Citizens attended this workshop from groups such as Wolverton Community Energy and Transition MK, as well as individuals across the city. We expect a similar number and range of people again next week.

photo (5)

We were delighted to see a wide range of interesting projects being represented at the workshop: from the Urban Farm concepts to community energy and white-coated rooftops generating renewable energy. We are now looking forward to seeing some of these ideas developed into projects and entered into the competition officially. You can see all the project ideas on our new interactive website, OurMK.

photo (6)

The feedback from the attendees has been very positive and we are already aware of some of the project owners talking to one another to connect their ideas and find areas of synergy.

The next advice workshop is taking place on Wednesday 29th of July and we are encouraging all citizens who have ideas for projects to submit them on OurMK and come along to the workshop to find out more about the competition and the MK:Smart project in general. Sign-up via Eventbrite here.

You can follow our MK:Smart updates through #MKSmart #ChallengeMK or sign up here to receive our monthly newsletter.


Voluntary role: Prison Collection Workers with New Leaf

New Leaf seeks Prison Collection Workers

The Thames Valley Partnership manages several projects including programmes around the needs of families of offenders, work in the field of domestic abuse, support for victims, restorative justice, community cohesion, mental health issues, early interventions & initiatives around young people and arts related projects.

The New Leaf project is a community chaplaincy project offering through the gate volunteer mentoring and practical support to offenders returning to Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes. They currently require 3 x Prison Collection Workers to work as a team collecting offenders on the day of their release and liaising with the project manager and external agencies to offer suitable support, ensuring the offender’s immediate needs are met.

Closing date for applications is Friday 14th August and interviews are scheduled for 20th August at the Partnership offices in Chilton, Bucks.

Full details can be found on the New Leaf website

Blog Post Volunteering

Carbon Monoxide Awareness – Free training on 15th September in Milton Keynes

From the Gas Safe Charity (

“The charity is running a project with the aim of raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning to front line staff and volunteers of charities who provide services in the homes of vulnerable people e.g. home carers, befrienders, handy-person services. Over the last few months we have worked with national charities such as Age UK, Red Cross, Royal British Legion, RVS and Alzheimers’ Society all of which have agreed to come onboard and support the project.
By briefing frontline staff and volunteers on the signs and symptoms of CO poisoning, they can raise awareness of CO with the clients they work with, be additional eyes and ears with their clients looking out for signs that CO may be present and the charity also meets its “duty of care” as they are making staff/volunteers aware of a potential risk which they may face in the course of their work/volunteering.
We have a range of materials that are available for charities to use with their staff/volunteers i.e. a 15 minute presentation that can be part of an induction programme or team briefing/training. As a result of the success of this, we have been asked to develop a training session for people in a charity who can lead on ensuring CO awareness is mainstreamed into the induction/training offered by the charity.
Age UK Milton Keynes have been a supporter of the project and have agreed to host a training event for people interested in ensuring CO awareness is mainstreamed into their organisation’s work.  The training is being held between 10.00-1.00 on Tuesday 15th September 2015 at Age UK Milton Keynes’ Peartree Centre, 1 Chadds Lane, Peartree Bridge, Milton Keynes, MK6 3EB. It’s free to attend and lunch is provided. The event is called “Carbon Monoxide Awareness”. Further details about the event and to register for it is via “
Blog Post

Job Advert: Sector Development Manager for Action4Youth

Salary: £28,000 – £36,000 pa

Terms: Permanent

Closing Date: 17 August 2015

Location: Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes

Action4Youth is a leading youth infrastructure charity in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes.  They are looking to recruit a full time Sector Development Manager to work as part of the Senior Management Team.  They will be responsible for supporting sector organisations across Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes to create and sustain excellent models of youth provision.

The successful candidate must be an outstanding communicator with vision and drive and they must be passionate about developing the potential of young people.

For a job description and person specification click here

Blog Post Jobs in the VCS