Engage MK: PCSOs workshop with YMCA on supporting homeless and vulnerably-housed residents

This week a group of PCSOs, working in various parts of Milton Keynes attended our Engage MK workshop focused on supporting residents who are affected by homelessness or housing issues.

photo 4
The workshop, hosted by Community Action: MK, was facilitated by Simon Green, Director of Operations at Milton Keynes YMCA, a flagship local charity providing accommodation and support to people affected by bad housing.

The PCSOs learnt about the facilities and services offered by YMCA, including their flats, the hostel and a programme of support activities to help people get out from their housing crisis. To find out about the services offered by YMCA, please visit their website: www.mkymca.com. You can also follow their work on Twitter @MKYMCA and Facebook.

The PCSOs had a vital input into the workshop, asking practical questions on how to support people in urgent housing need, including people at risk of becoming homeless and about the services, other than YMCA, available in Milton Keynes.


The Engage MK team are creating a comprehensive list of housing & homelessness services that PCSOs and other frontline community workers can sign-post residents to, which will be uploaded on Community Action: MK website soon.

The key contacts for anyone experiencing housing issues or being at risk of becoming homeless are:
T: 01908 295600
E: admin@mkymca.com
T: free housing advice helpline: 0808 800 4444
E: info@shelter.org.uk
MK St. Mungos Broadway
T: 01908 239700
E: sue.barnett@mungos.org
Open Door MK
T: 07873 841 310
E: coordinator@opendoormk.org.uk
Street Ministers
T: 01908 234643
E: office@streetministers.org
Foodbank MK
T: 01908 322800
E:  thefoodbank@mkcc.org.uk


Engage MK runs a series of events and workshops for community organisations and frontline community workers. You can follow us at #EngageMK

Our next networking event will be on Monday 22nd of June and will be dedicated to Building e-Communities and using social media effectively to promote local causes and projects, and reaching out to wider audience. Sign up on Eventbrite here.


Blog Post Engage MK

Funding Alert: 17th June


Big Lottery Fund Launches First Ever UK Homeshare Scheme

The BIG Lottery Fund, in collaboration with The Lloyds Bank Foundation, has established the UK’s first ever Homeshare Programme. The three-year, £2 million investment initiative aims to tackle two of society’s most prevalent issues – the lack of affordable housing for young people and the growing number of older people who are lonely or isolated – by matching young people seeking affordable accommodation with older people who have a spare room. Typically, the younger party would pledge approximately 10 hours of companionship and light domestic help (not including personal care) to their host in return, and both parties would contribute an affordable monthly fee to cover the cost of the scheme and to ensure that the service remains sustainable.  The BIG Lottery Fund is keen to support a number of additional Homeshare pilot developments throughout the UK, and is currently inviting applications.Further information on the scheme is available from the BIG Lottery Fund’s website. Initial Expressions of Interest are due by 2 July 2015 (midday).

Kaleidoscope Investments Offers Funding and Mentoring for Disabled Entrepreneurs (UK)

Kaleidoscope Investments was formed by a group of venture capitalists and is aimed at giving financial backing to help disabled entrepreneurs in the UK start their own business. Kaleidoscope mentors will offer advice and guidance specifically tailored to an applicant’s health problems and their business in order to ensure they achieve success. Anyone who has a disability or special need who wishes to start up in business, and those who have a business directly linked to the disability or special need sector in the UK may apply. Applications for assistance may be submitted at any time. Click here for more information

Digital Heroes Awards 2015 Open for Applications

The TalkTalk Digital Heroes Awards, in association with Citizens Online and The Mirror and backed by Go ON UK, are inviting applications for their 2015 awards. The Awards reward 10 individuals based and working in the UK who are doing outstanding work using digital technology to bring about positive social change and improve the lives of people in their local communities.  The winner of each Digital Hero category will be awarded £5,000 while the overall Digital Hero – as selected by a panel of judges – will receive £10,000. The prize money will be used to fund both new and existing digital projects. Additionally, the Next Generation Digital Hero Award congratulates a young person that has the potential to be a technology star of the future. Not only will they win £4,000 for their chosen charity, they will also receive a MacBook Air.

The deadline for entries is 24 July, click here for more information


Morrisons Foundation

The funding is for new projects that groups would like to get off the ground but for which they have no funding.The projects should benefit the local community and can cover a wide range of areas including young people, older people, health and wellbeing and improving the local environment.

Amount: £5,000 to £20,000.

Telephone: 0845 611 4449


Creative People and Places Fund

Funding is available to projects that encourage collaboration between local communities, arts organisations, museums, libraries and local authorities.

Amount: £ 1,000,000

Deadline: 30th June


Spirit of 2012 – Get Out Get Active (GOGA)

Funding is available for a UK wide physical activity initiative designed to increase participation. It will especially highlight fun and inclusive physical activity in which disabled and non-disabled people, their families and friends can take part together on equal terms.

Amount: up to £ 4,500,000

Deadline: 30th June


Philip Bates Trust Arts Grant

Grant for individuals and voluntary and community organisations undertaking projects that encourage and develop artistic interests in young people in the UK

Amount: £ 500

Deadline: 30th June


Wolfson Foundation

The Foundation aims to support excellence in the UK, generally through the funding of capital infrastructure in the fields of science and technology, arts and humanities, education, and health and disability

Deadline: 1st July


Nuffield Foundation – Open Door Grant Programme

Financial assistance to UK projects of exceptional merit which do not fall under one of the areas of special interest funded by the Nuffield Foundation, but which are based on the idea of the advancement of social well-being, or which span more than one area of interest. Grants are mainly for research but are also made for practical developments or innovation.

Amount:  £ 150,000

Deadline: 2nd July


Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN) – Community Fund

Support for environmental and community-based projects in areas of England and Wales close to Waste Recycling Group landfill sites.  Projects must provide, maintain or improve a public park or other public amenity.

Amount: £ 50,000

Deadline: 8th July


Social Enterprise Awards

UK-wide competition to recognise and reward the performance and achievement of social enterprises.

Deadline: 10th July


SITA Trust Enhancing Communities Programme – Primary Fund

Grants are available to non-profit making organisations in qualifying areas of England, Scotland and Wales for improvements to local community facilities, historic buildings and structures, sport and recreation facilities.

Amount: up to £50,000

Deadline: 27th July

Telephone: 01454 262910



Comic Relief – International Grants Programme

Grants are available to UK-registered organisations working in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly for projects in Ebola-affected countries in West Africa. Grants are available for work under the following themes: better futures; healthier finances; safer lives; stronger communities; and fairer society.

Deadline: 22 July 2015

Telephone: 020 7820 2000



Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Funding

Recycle & Reward – raise money for your Charity

Milton Keynes Council is looking for enthusiastic local charities to take part in a recycling project that could help raise over £100,000 for local good causes.

Local charities selected will be asked to use their existing base of members / supporters to encourage residents of MK to go online and show the Council how they sort their waste by playing a simple online game. The waste sorting game, which will take only a few minutes, will then allow residents to choose a local charity to be the recipient of a £1 donation. One entry will be accepted per property in Milton Keynes. You can also encourage residents to play the game at fundraising events if you take a tablet or smartphone with you.

After a year there will also be a £1 bonus for the resident’s chosen charity for each of the following if they happen:

  •        The amount of quality recycling increases
  •        The amount of food and garden waste in green bins increases
  •        The amount of black sack waste decreases

In total, the selected charities can raise up to £4 per household that selects them, following completion of the waste sorting game. It’s as simple as that.

If your charity is registered with the Charity Commission, and serves the people or the place of Milton Keynes, then please fill in the simple online application form available at www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/recycleandreward to register before 26 June 2015.

Milton Keynes Council is looking for a broad range of local charities to benefit from the funds granted by the Department for Communities and Local Government. So whatever your cause, please consider getting involved.

If you would like to make enquiries before you start, please call 01908 252109 or email recycleandreward@milton-keynes.gov.uk

Blog Post Funding News from and for the VCS

Small Charity Week – Big Advice Day!

Day 2 of Small Charity Week 2015 is all about advice. Community Action: MK offer comprehensive free advice for charities and we have a wide range of information sheets available on our website at https://communityactionmk.org/for-charities/info/

If you can’t find what you need, have any trouble accessing the information or would like some 1:1 support, please contact us on support@communityactionmk.org or call 01908 661623 or we have a short online form you can fill in to request support.

If you’re looking for training for your charity, Know How Non Profit are offering a great opportunity to get a bursary to access their online training resources via StudyZone. The bursary is available for small charities with 1-10 paid staff and applications close on 30th November. The first winners will be announced in July. You can have a look at the online training library and apply here.

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

MK’s 50th Birthday – your chance to get involved!

You are invited to a MK50 Presentation and Discussion Session on 8th July, 2 – 4.15pm at Acorn House.

In 2017 Milton Keynes will be 50 years old and we aim to celebrate locally, and share with the world that Milton Keynes is an amazing place to live, work and visit. MK Council is drawing together a programme for the anniversary and working with our partners to develop ideas and projects that celebrate this important milestone.

This event will provide:

  •         An overview of the aims and plans to date for the 50th anniversary
  •         Presentation of MK Council’s planned structure and strands for the year
  •         An insight into the types of activity that MK Council are planning
  •         A chance to discuss the themes and to begin to develop your own ideas that could form part of the anniversary year

Agenda for the session:

  •         2pm: Arrivals
  •         2.15 – 3pm: MK50 Presentation with Q&A
  •         3 – 3.15pm: Break; Tea and Coffee
  •         3.15 – 4.15pm: Exploration of the MK50 themes and project ideas

To book a place please email: culture@milton-keynes.gov.uk

How you can find out more:

  •         See the website: www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/MK50
  •         You can contact us now with your ideas on culture@milton-keynes.gov.uk
  •         Follow #MK50 on Twitter to keep updated.
Blog Post News from and for the VCS

#Engage MK Community Networking – Book on now!

#EngageMK Community Networking – Building Your E-Community

There is just 1 week to go before the Engage MK Networking Event on Building Your E-Community so book your place now!

Social media is a key tool to help us make connections in our communities and reach a wider audience. Come along to the Cruck Barn at Bradwell Abbey on Monday 22nd of June 3.00 – 4.30pm to get some top tips from marketing agency Jersey Road on how using social media can help to expand your networks and share your key message. Plus hear how local charity Willen Hospice use social media to reach out to new audiences.

Our friendly and relaxed event also provides a space to meet with others working in MK communities, so come along to make new contacts, or catch up with the old ones!

The Engage MK Network is a partnership project between Community Action: MK and Safer MK. Our events bring together staff, volunteers and community groups working to support MK communities.

We welcome all staff and volunteers who work with local communities in MK to join us at this event.

Summer-like refreshments (strawberries & cream) will be available.

Sign up using our eventbrite page or call 01908 661623.

Blog Post

Healthcare Review Update from Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group

The Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) issued an update on the Bedfordshire-Milton Keynes Healthcare Review on March 27th 2015.

The MK CCG have already designed and commissioned outpatient clinics providing Nurse Specialists, GPs with specialist interests and/or Consultants as clinical leads, to meet the need for care to be delivered closer to home. These are being hosted and piloted within some GP practices. This has meant that, instead of being referred by a GP to hospital or specialist care, patients in these areas who do not need to be admitted into hospital for their treatment (outpatients) could possibly be treated in a community setting.

The MK CCG’s current phase of work will be to explore, in detail, the clinical and financial implications of possible future ways of providing the healthcare services that our population will need, based around Children & Maternity services, Urgent Care, and Frail/Elderly Care. This phase is being carried out by a clinical working group and a financial working group who will ensure that all options presented to the public are both clinically and financially sustainable

For more information about the Healthcare Review, please visit www.shapingmkhealth.co.uk

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Health & Wellbeing