Volunteering Round Up 12th June

Volunteering News

NCVO asks whether charities are failing to tap into the talent of their volunteer base to develop new trustees. If you’d like support to develop your volunteering programme, including trustee recruitment, please drop us a line on volunteering@communityactionmk.org

We love this innovative way that the Canal & River Trust came up with to reward volunteers! If you’d like to learn and share tips with other organisations who involve volunteers, come along to our Volunteer Managers’ Forum on 8th July. It’s free and appropriate for anyone supporting volunteers, even if you’re a volunteer yourself.

Volunteering data. NCVO’s 2015 Almanac has some useful facts and figures about the sector including information about the shape of volunteering in public sector service delivery.

If you’d like to tap into potential new volunteers in the expansion areas of MK, contact our growth officer Hannah. MK’s population is set to grow by 20% by 2026 – that’s lots of new volunteers!

Opportunities of the week
MK:Smart are looking for individuals with a passion and knowledge for photography who can help in the planning and organising of an MK:Smart Photo Competition which they are looking to launch by the end of September.
During this opportunity you will be volunteering closely with the MK:Smart team by assisting in planning the photo competition. Tasks will include looking into venues for hire, contacting potential judges, planning categories for the photo competition and creating flyers.
By joining the MK:Smart Photo Competition team you’ll have the opportunity to develop your organisational skills, interpersonal skills and creative abilities. Appropriate training offered if required. Click to express an interest in this opportunity.

The incredible Walking with Giants Parade returns to CMK this summer. If you want to be able to say ‘I helped make that’ check out and sign up for the makers’ camps happening over the next few weeks.

If you have free time, are a car owner and enjoy driving and would like to help people in your local area then you could become a volunteer car driver for Community Action: MK‘s new community car service – have a look at the link for more information.

MK Islamic Arts and Culture organisation are looking for volunteers for their popular summer festival taking place on the 18th and 19th July. A great opportunity to develop your skills in event organisation and support. Express an interest here.

Job Vacancy

Do Good Feel Good project manager for Arts for Health Milton Keynes.

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Volunteering friends for life

It’s the final day of Volunteers’ Week 2015 and all week we’ve been sharing case studies with you to highlight the many reasons people have for volunteering. We hope you’ve enjoyed them and perhaps been inspired to have a go yourself. There are over 370 opportunities in Milton Keynes so you’re sure to find something that takes your fancy!

Dick’s Story

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Dick Evans helps to run the Age UK Milton Keynes lunch club at Radcotte Lodge every Wednesday and also supports various fund raising events for the organisation throughout the year including supermarket bag packs, singing events at Peartree Centre or lunch clubs, providing refreshments at fetes and so on. Not only that, Dick helps to lead chair exercises during the winter and coaches short mat bowls to the residents of The Limes in Newport Pagnell on Thursday afternoons.

After being made redundant just over 3 years ago and unable to find employment Dick’s wife Rosemary saw an advert for volunteering at Age UK Milton Keynes. Over the last 3 years Dick has made many friends at the lunch club, to the extent that he has become a big part of their lives and they have become part of his. Dick says that he has observed real friendship among the members that is invaluable and comforting to them especially during times of sadness or when someone sadly passes away.

Dick says he gets tremendous satisfaction when he helps out with singing, along with the other members of his band, at residential homes of all types. He says “to see the people singing along is reward in itself and a joy to see them enjoying it.”

If you’d like to find out more about volunteering, give Community Action: MK a call on 01908 661623 or come along to our drop in and speak to one of our friendly, trained advisors every Thursday morning from 10am-12noon in the reception at Acorn House, 351 Midsummer Boulevard, CMK, MK9 3HP.

Alternatively, you can search for local opportunities via www.do-it.org

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Beanhill Clean Up Day brings local people and groups together

 

Beanhill Community Clean Up Day took place on Wednesday 13th of May.

The event was a real success, bringing together a number of local residents and groups in a joint effort aimed at tidying up the estate and raising awareness of the increasing environmental issues such as fly-tipping and overhanging vegetation.

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The initiative received support from Moorland School and Beanhill’s branch of MacIntyre, a national charity supporting children, young people and adults who have a learning disability or autism to live their life their way. A group of children from Moorland School litter-picked the area around the school and the MacIntyre groups cleaned the street signs all around the estate.

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“We really enjoyed being part of the event and had lots of lovely comments from local people. The children were very enthusiastic and felt that they were doing something worthwhile and useful for the community.” Juliet Jones, Head Teacher at Moorland School.

Serco, the cleaning contractor in Beanhill, joined the volunteers to help them carry out their litter-picking tasks and provided the necessary tools, including the litter-pickers, rubber gloves and bin bags. It was a good opportunity for residents and the Serco team to interact  and work together, sharing perspectives on keeping the estate a clean and safe place to be. Since the day, the team has visited the weekly coffee morning at Moorlands Centre to engage with the local residents further.

Robert Watson, Serco Street Cleansing Supervisor said “The level of support and community spirit shown by Beanhill residents was inspiring, thank you to Anna, her team and all of volunteers for letting us be part of such a successful day.”

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The Community & Events Group at Moorlands Centre and Beanhill Action Group also helped to make the event a success by preparing a lovely lunch for the volunteers, which was a great opportunity to relax after litter-picking and chat to fellow residents and other groups involved on the day.

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One of the volunteers who helped to run the event smoothly won the shopping-card gift voucher, which had been donated by the local Asda store in Bletchley.

Asda’s Community Life Champion came along to help with litter-picking too.

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A number of local residents who were helping out with this initiative called for a new volunteer-led group to be formed in Beanhill, which would run on-going projects and tackle any key environmental problems on the estate. One resident told us:

“It would be good to see an on going group formed for caring for the green area of Beanhill, including taking care of the parks and doing regular walk arounds.”

Some of the ideas for the group and the projects it could run included an all week amnesty of the clearing of rubbish accumulating in peoples’ car ports (and forgo the charges) and a skip week where there would be a large skip at the end of each main drag for people to put their items in.

Laura Nash, Beanhill residents and the Event’s Coordinator said:

“The Clean Up Day was a great success and it was great to see a few new faces too, wanting to get involved in where they live. I would like to say thank you to the residents that took part on the streets, to those in the kitchen and behind the scenes, and also to MacIntyre for all your hard work.”

To see more photos from the day, click here.

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Volunteering develops leadership skills

It’s day 4 of Volunteers’ Week 2015 and all week we’ll be sharing case studies with you to highlight the many reasons people have for volunteering. We’d love you to join in too – head over to the Volunteers’ Week website to download your digital resource pack and use the hashtag #ivolunteer to share your story.

Cassandra’s Story

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As well as being Chair of the PTA at a local primary school, Cassandra helps to run an arts and crafts group in Tinkers Bridge. The group of 25 – 42 people meet each Thursday during term time and focus on different activities each time.

Cassandra was keen to find something that kept her busy, through volunteering she has found something that has allowed her to get out of the house, meet new people and learn from individuals who she would have otherwise never met. She says, “there is something really special about meeting people from different background, and not only talking with them, but also achieving things together – no matter how small the goal.”

Ultimately, Cassandra wanted to be able helping other people as much as she had been helped through her life – and volunteering provided the ideal opportunity. There have been some rather unexpected results of Cassandra’s commitment to volunteering. In the last year, she has won two awards, including the Unsung Hero Award from Langland Community School.

As well as opening her eyes to different people, her experience of volunteering has also introduced her to the local support networks with different agencies, which has enabled her to learn more. Before volunteering, she would often feel lonely, she never knew where to point people but now she has built solid relationships, she has learned more about local groups and she now knows where to signpost others to and is kept up to date with any developments.

If you’d like to find out more about volunteering, give Community Action: MK a call on 01908 661623 or come along to our drop in and speak to one of our friendly, trained advisors every Thursday morning from 10am-12noon in the reception at Acorn House, 351 Midsummer Boulevard, CMK, MK9 3HP.

Alternatively, you can search for local opportunities via www.do-it.org

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Volunteering: The Real Social Network

Volunteering: The Real Social Network

It’s day 3 of Volunteers’ Week 2015 and all week we’ll be sharing case studies with you to highlight the many reasons people have for volunteering. We’d love you to join in too – head over to the Volunteers’ Week website to download your digital resource pack and use the hashtag #ivolunteer to share your story.

Rachael started volunteering in her local community through connecting with her community mobiliser from Community Action:MK. She also helped at her local youth club each week. Since the beginning of 2015, she has been helping with reception and administration, and welcoming visitors and clients at Citizen’s Advice.

Through her volunteering, Rachael felt a real sense of contributing towards the wellbeing of the community, helping organise events and craft workshops that otherwise may not have happened. She met some wonderful people – some who have become lifelong friends. Rachael says, “It opened up a social network for myself and my children as we were fairly new to the area and kept us informed of all the great things we could be part of.”

Volunteering has really had a profound impact on Rachael, she continues “Back in 2006 volunteering changed me from being quiet and not knowing anyone in my community, to being a confident member of the community. Most recently it has changed my lifestyle and that of my children. I’m very proud of myself and hope this continues to have a positive effect.”

If you’d like to find out more about volunteering, give Community Action: MK a call on 01908 661623 or come along to our drop in and speak to one of our friendly, trained advisors every Thursday morning from 10am-12noon in the reception at Acorn House, 351 Midsummer Boulevard, CMK, MK9 3HP.

Alternatively, you can search for local opportunities via www.do-it.org

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Volunteering just a small amount of time can have a huge impact

It’s day 2 of Volunteers’ Week 2015 and all week we’ll be sharing case studies with you to highlight the many reasons people have for volunteering. We’d love you to join in too – head over to http://volunteersweek.org/ to download your digital resource pack and use the hashtag #ivolunteer to share your story.

Volunteering just a small amount of time can have a huge impact
Josan volunteers as an independent visitor for children and young people in the care of the local authority. She has volunteered for years within her community, but as her children are now grown up, she wanted to do something specific and something that would use the skills and gifts she has.
Committing just a few hours a month can make a huge impact on a young person’s life. The volunteer role that she now has can give a child a little bit of happiness while their circumstances aren’t ideal. It can give them someone to talk to, someone to build trust with, and someone they know has their best interests at heart.
As well as the benefit to the child, as a part of her volunteering, Josan will gain an NVQ 3 qualification – which really adds to her CV and gives her a solid foundation from which to potentially look at others areas of working with children within the care system.
When asked about how her volunteering has impacted on her, Josan says “I feel good in myself, I had a tough childhood and this would have been great for me when I was younger.”
If you’d like to find out more about volunteering, give Community Action: MK a call on 01908 661623 or come along to our drop in and speak to one of our friendly, trained advisors every Thursday morning from 10am-12noon in the reception at Acorn House, 351 Midsummer Boulevard, CMK, MK9 3HP.
Alternatively, you can search for local opportunities via www.do-it.org
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Volunteering & Wellbeing

During Spring 2015, Community Action: MK held an Inquiry into the Impact of Volunteering on Community Wellbeing.

We heard from a number of local groups about how volunteering plays a part in personal and community wellbeing.

The Inquiry identified a number of key wishes for the future that build on our 2013 Volunteering Strategy:

  • That volunteering moves higher up everyone’s agendas for positive reasons; the strengthening of the social fabric of our communities rather than the disintegration of public services.
  • That volunteering gives people the connections, skills and confidence to participate in the economy.
  • That all forms of volunteering are well funded because of their roles in improving health and wellbeing and reducing inequalities in health.
  • That volunteering is supported as a vital opportunity for increasing the wellbeing of young people.
  • That everyone has the opportunity to volunteer.
  • That best practice in volunteer management is boosted whilst encouraging all forms of informal and unmanaged volunteering.

“We will use the report of the Volunteer Commission as a springboard for improving our services, with an expectation that we, in Milton Keynes, can achieve the aspirations captured in the strategic recommendations. Community Action: MK cannot do it alone through, and we look forward to continuing old, and making new, partnerships along the way. Thank you to all those groups and individuals who have contributed to the work of the Commission; your time and effort has created the foundation for the next phase of robust action planning and delivery.”

Sheila Thornton, Chair, Community Action: MK

Download the Inquiry report here.

Please email volunteering@communityactionmk.org for more information.

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