Volunteer Opportunity of the Week, Youth Education Volunteer

This week’s opportunity involves leading interactive workshops with 10-19 year olds. Read on for more about this varied and dynamic role!

Who are The British Red Cross?

The British Red Cross helps millions of people in the UK and around the world to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies, disasters and conflicts. Their volunteers and staff help people in crisis to live independently by providing support at home, mobility aids and transport. They also teach first aid skills and are part of the global Red Cross and Red Crescent humanitarian network. 

Youth Education Volunteer Role

The British Red Cross needs volunteers to lead interactive workshops for young people to build on their humanitarian values and to develop their personal, social, emotional skills.

Some workshops will be about migration. You will challenge assumptions about migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, help them to develop empathy about migrants’ motives for moving and understand the obstacles they face in their new homes.

Other workshops will focus on first aid. You will help them learn skills so that they can use the everyday objects around them to help when someone is injured or ill.

You will get the satisfaction of developing young people’s skills and abilities and seeing them grow in confidence.

For all the details and how to apply:

https://bit.ly/RedCrossYouthVol

Blog Post Volunteering

Mental Health Alliance

Mental Health Alliance:

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

Aims of the Mental Health Alliance:

The aim of the Mental Health Alliance is to support the voluntary and community sector to work as collaboratively as possible and to play an active role in the delivery and design of mental health services in MK. It also aims to ensure that the lived experience of a range of people in the City is heard and understood, and that funding is accessed and used to help those that most need mental health support in a way that works for them.

Contact us:

We’re really keen to ensure that as many groups as possible are part of the Mental Health Alliance, so if you’re a group carrying out activities that improve health and wellbeing, and are interested in joining the Alliance, please get in touch.

To contact us please email: support@communityactionmk.org or info@communityactionmk.org

Blog Post

Tips for Tackling Loneliness

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

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

Read below to find our top tips for tackling loneliness:

1) Reach out

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

2) Join a local community group

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

3) Do Things You Enjoy

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

4) Volunteer

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

5) Take Yourself Out

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

6) Share your feelings

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

Blog Post

Mental Health Awareness Week – Signposts

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

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

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

Local Organisations

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

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

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

National Services

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blog Post

Volunteer Opportunity of the Week YiS Young People’s Mental Health

Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, and our Volunteer Opportunity of the Week comes from a local charity supporting young peoples’ wellbeing.

Who are YiS Young People’s Mental Health?

YiS Young People’s Mental Health is a long running independent charity that works in Milton Keynes to help young people as well as the people that support them. They provide BACP Accredited Counselling, 1:1 Wellbeing Coaching, Education & Outreach, and more to improve mental health and wellbeing of young people in the local area.

The YiS Volunteer Role

YiS Volunteers is an ongoing opportunity for those who wish to join YiS throughout the year for big or small activities, projects, events, and overall Education and Outreach support. Previous opportunities have included, but are not limited to, Event Ambassadors, Event Coordinators, Project Leads, Social Media Content Producers, Street Fundraisers, Outreach Attendants, and many more.

YiS provides:

– Access to a variety of training opportunities.

– Reasonable expenses are covered for travel (up to £10 for a return journey)

– Community of like-minded YiS Volunteers.

Being a Volunteer with YiS is a flexible commitment. 

To read more and register your interest:

https://bit.ly/YISVolunteer

Blog Post Strengthening Groups Volunteering

Volunteer Opportunity of the Week, SOFEA Warehouse Assistants

Read on to find out more about our Volunteer Opportunity of the Week, a chance to help tackle both food poverty and food waste.

What is SOFEA?

SOFEA is an education, training, employability, and well-being charity for young people. They  run two large food redistribution operations in partnership with FareShare in Oxfordshire and Milton Keynes that support 150 charities and vulnerable communities across the Thames Valley. 

The Warehouse Assistant Role

The role involves selecting food from the warehouse to fulfil requests by local charities and vulnerable groups. This food is surplus supplied by Tesco, Waitrose, Asda and others, thus reducing food waste and reducing poverty.

For more information and how to apply: https://bit.ly/SOFEAVol

Blog Post