Community Action: MK Trustees breakfast

Trustees are very important to any organisation and Community Action: MK is no exception, which is why this Trustees Week we invited two of our longest serving trustees down for our group meeting to help us gain insight into the role of a trustee and how it feels to be one.  

Both Roger and Danny have been involved with Community Action: MK for years.

D Conway Aug 2017

Danny have become our Chair over his time here and has said he feels very proud to apart of Community Action: MK and the impact he has had with us. Danny himself has said that he’d rather focus on “The forest” rather than “the mushrooms”, meaning the big picture and things that should be done over a longer period of time rather than the things that are solved overnight. And this way of viewing things has helped the whole organisation think long term which has led to the best results.

Screenshot 2017-08-01 at 12.30.30

Roger started making films for Community Action: MK before eventually becoming a trustee. Roger is very supportive of what Community Action: MK strives to achieve and what they have accomplished during his time as trustee. He says that “time is an undervalued commodity” and that there never feels like there’s enough time to do everything, but everything still manages to get done. Roger loves to see change in action, and being apart of an organisation that specialises in makes that change is something he relishes when he takes part in events with us.

All in all trustees are definitely a great part of our organisation and we thank each and every one of them for being with us and helping us to make that change that is so often desired.

Community Action: MK’s breakfast with two of our trustees, Danny Conway and Roger Kitchen, during the Trustee Week 2019.

See more about our trustees: https://communityactionmk.org/about/our-trustees/

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Election guidance for small charities

Now that the election has been confirmed for 12 December 2019, The Charity Commission is issuing a reminder to all charities of their particular responsibilities in the weeks ahead.

The Commission is aware that the political context for this election is very different from that which people may have experienced in the past, which makes it all the more important that trustees read both our guidance on campaigning and political activity and the particular guidance that applies during an election (PDF, 606KB). We’ve also published lessons learned during the last election in 2017.

It is legitimate and healthy for charities to speak up for the causes they serve. But appearing to take a political position on either side could risk undermining public confidence in charity as something special, an issue which our chief executive made clear in her recent blog.

As well as your responsibilities under charity law, you need to be aware of the rules on what is called ‘third party campaigning’ under electoral law, which may affect your charity. The Electoral Commission has worked closely with charities to produce ‘Non-party campaigners: where to start’, using real-life case studies to provide advice to charity campaigners.

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Gardening with the Green Gym and TCV

On Tuesday 29 October, Community Action: MK headed down to Centrecom the local community space between North 9th and 10th Street. We were supporting the Green Gym and The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) with their ‘Plating Up’ event of the community space. Although it was chilly to start, once we got stuck in it soon warmed up and a beautiful day for gardening. The group were so warm and friendly, it was a shame more residents couldn’t make it. 

Community Action staff loved being involved and seeing how the group came together to change the whole feel of the space. This is the 2nd visit from the Green Gym to this spot, and from the pictures it is clear how much hard work has gone into it. The group are volunteers who are continually looking for new members to join them. From giving it a go we can see why people join, it is lovely to be out in the fresh air and so rewarding to see spaces transformed. The space next to Centrecom has gone from an overgrown and uninviting patch to a clear and green peaceful spot, the robins seem to like it already! 

The Green Gym meet weekly working on different projects and spaces, it is clear that the work can help you both physically and with general wellbeing.  Have a look at upcoming events here: https://plantingup.co.uk/event/intu-mk-green-gym-291019/

Before:

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We’re looking for an honorary treasurer to join our team of trustees

Community Action: MK is looking for an honorary treasurer to join our fantastic team of trustees.

The Honorary Treasurer:

  • Is a qualified accountant, with previous experience in a financial role of a commercial or not for profit organisation of similar or larger size than Community Action: MK
  • Has experience of corporate governance, preferably within the voluntary sector, either as a volunteer or as a member of staff, and with some experience of charity finance
  • Is skilled in presenting sometimes complex financial information to a variety of audiences in a clear and practical manner;
  • Can analyze proposals and examine their financial consequences.

The honorary treasurer has the following additional roles and responsibilities:

  • To oversee, on behalf of the Board, the long term financial management
  • To monitor the finances and to report to the Board at regular intervals on the financial health of the organisation, ensuring the organizations’ compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, including governing documents, and with good corporate governance;
  • To guide and oversee and advise the Board on the approval of budgets, accounts and published financial statements;
  • To ensure that appropriate accounting procedures, controls, and risk
  • management procedures are in place, and that financial resources are spent and invested, in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements and with good corporate governance;
  • To be instrumental in the development and implementation of appropriate accounting, reserves and investment policies

In carrying out the role, the Treasurer is expected:

  • To keep the Board informed about its financial duties and responsibilities;
  • To advise the Board (and the senior management) on the financial implications of any strategic plans;
  • To assure the Board that the financial resources meet its present and future needs;
  • To understand the accounting procedures and key internal controls to be
  • able to assure the Board that financial integrity is sound;
  • To ensure that the accounts are properly audited, and to provide financial
  • expertise, as appropriate;
  • To contribute to the income generation strategy;
  • To meet the external auditors independently from the staff (as appropriate);
  • To present the accounts at general meetings, drawing attention to important points in a coherent and easily understood way;
  • To work in close cooperation with senior management

The Honorary Treasurer is a member of the Executive Committee. From time to time he or she may be invited to sit on recruitment or other panels.

Person specification

The annual time commitment is expected to be approximately 15 days plus
regular contact with other trustees and staff by email and telephone.

Get in touch!

Contact Laura Jeffery HR Manager at info@communityactionmk.org or register your interest on Simply Connect

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Become a trustee in Milton Keynes!

Trustees play a vital role, volunteering their time and working together to make important decisions about the charity’s work.

Milton Keynes has some amazing charities who are looking for new trustees. This could be your chance to make a difference in a charity, imparting your knowledge and experience and also learning new skills!

Milton Keynes Play Association: Trustee

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Time to make a difference? Time to feel needed? Time to do your bit for your community?

MKPA’s team would love to hear from you if you are interested in joining us as a trustee and can spare a few hours or even a day a week. We need even more energy flowing through MKPA to make a bigger success of our exciting plans.

You might want to consider helping as a trustee and sit on the management board, contributing to the oversight of our child-centred organisation your skills and knowledge about business finance, fundraising or marketing.
We are looking forward to welcoming you. Please email sarah@mkpa.co.uk

MKPA – Trustee Roles & Responsibilities

MKPA – Trustee Application Form

Buckingham Canal Society: Trustee/secretary

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Do you have an interest in canals and being part of a forward looking charity?

Buckingham Canal Society are lookind for a trustee/secretary to work as part of a team with the carrying out the following duties:

  • Plan and prepare agendas for committee meetings.
  • Ensure that committee and the AGM are run according to the constitution and Charity Commission Requirement’s
  • Dealing with correspondence as agreed at committee meetings.

Arts Gateway-MK: Trustees/Directors

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Have a passion for the arts? Looking for a new interest and have time on your hands? Creative thinker with a background in business? Want to contribute to the creative life of Milton Keynes? Look no further…

Arts Gateway MK is an organisation part-way through a dynamic growth which we would like you to be part of. We are looking for new trustees to help our transformation. We are open to all ages and backgrounds especially those with experience in marketing, fundraising and arts administration. We are a successful arts umbrella body for Milton Keynes. Through this organisation we offer affordable spaces where artists and creatives across different genres can work, grow, experiment and collaborate. We organise creative events and programmes throughout the year such as the annual MK Litfest, now in its third year.

Carers Milton Keynes: Trustee Board Member

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Carers Milton Keynes and its sister charity Carers Bucks are looking for new Trustee Board Members with talent and enthusiasm. If you are, have been or know someone who is a family carer, so much the better.

The charity’s work in their respective geographic areas and between them support nearly ten thousand adult and young carers. Services include advice, information, support groups and help both practically and emotionally.

Both charities have grown and developed over the past few years and between them now employ thirty staff and have a turnover of 1.4 million pounds. Among the skills and experience we are looking for are fundraising, marketing, youth work and social care.

MK Center for Integrated Living: Trustee

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MK CIL are looking for Trustees who have knowledge of finance, HR and PR/Marketing/Media.

MK CIL is an information centre which provides a very wide range of free and confidential information on any disability related issue for people with a disability, their families, carers, and anyone else with an interest in the field of disability.

MK CIL will aim to inspire, empower and enable people with disabilities, their families, carers and others. Through the provision of a range of information and services, MK CIL will support people in making informed choices, exercising their rights of full participation and to maximize their independence and potential.

Advertise your trustee vacancy with us: https://communityactionmk.org/volunteering/volunteer-management/

If you need support in finding new trustees, let us know at support@communityactionmk.org or give us a call on 01908 661623.

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First Aid for Mental Health Course – ECAF

“A key component of a company’s wealth, is in its employees having good mental health.” ECAF

Course: Supervising First Aid for Mental Health (Ofqual accredited qualification) 

Date: 19th-20th December 2019 (last one for the year)

Where: Milton Keynes

Who should attend: Managers and above, HR officials , union reps and health and safety reps from workplaces, schools, groups, faith groups and the armed forces. Anyone with an interest can also attend

Cost: £300 pp included (Ofqual accredited  level 3 qualification). There is 10% discount for charities, small businesses, any group working with children and families and social enterprises.
Bookings for any of our First Aid for Mental Health courses made between 1st November 2019 – 31st January 2020 get a 40% discount. 

To book email:training@ecafnp.com

ECAF supports the Heads Together programme, which is to bring well-being to workplaces, schools and the armed forces.

About First Aid for Mental Health 
First Aid for Mental Health courses help raise awareness of various mental health conditions and how to spot the signs and give initial help and support, until clinical help can be given. They also help reduce sickness/absence among staff and promote well-being in the workplace.
First Aid for Mental Health is evidenced based and is Ofqual regulated and accredited with certificates at level 1, level 2 and level 3. It complies with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Mental Health Policy of your organization.

While there are no specific duties placed on employers to reduce the risk of exposure to work related stress, the general duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 apply equally to mental well-being, as they do to physical injury and health, making First Aid for Mental Health courses as equally important as First Aid at Work.

What is First Aid for Mental Health?This allows a person to give immediate help, support and signposting information to someone at the onset, in or at the end of a mental health crisis, until clinical help and intervention can be given to the person. It acts in the same way as First Aid at Work and CPR. The courses help to improve the understanding, knowledge and attitude of individuals towards mental health conditions. This in turn helps to improve performance, reduce sick days and create a healthy work environment. Participants learn the signs of some mental health conditions and how to start a conversation and apply the four step C.A.R.E plan around it. It supports early intervention, prevention and treatment, with the correct signposting for clinical help. When early help is given, recovery is often quicker, making sickness absence shorter or not at all in some instances.

The Benefits
Staff get a good understanding of various mental health conditions and how to spot the signs of each. They learn how to support themselves and each other, leading to an open and transparent work culture that destigmatizes mental health conditions, making it easier for those with these conditions to attend work and thrive.

Managers, well-being champions, union reps  and health and safety reps learn how to  take care of their own mental health, as they support colleagues in a range of issues, which can at times can be stressful.
Mangers and HR officials get a good understanding  of various mental health conditions  and how to spot the signs of each. They learn how to support staff who have mental health conditions or who have family members with mental health conditions, when having to manage sickness/absence, work capability, performance and reasonable adjustments of employers.

We offer qualification and non qualification training courses:

Level 1 half day First Aid for Mental Health Awareness

Level 2 one day First Aid for Mental Health First Aid

Level 3 two day Supervising First Aid for Mental Health

Did you know?

  • 1 in 6 people experienced a mental health issues this week
  • Mixed anxiety and depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain
  • 1 in five working days are lost each week due to mixed anxiety and depression
  • Mental health problems are sometimes hidden and not visible causing those who live with them to do so in silence, often without the correct help and support
  • 1 in 10 children aged 5-16 have a diagnosable condition
  • 1 in 2 of all mental health problems are established by age 14
  • 3 in 4 of all mental problems are established by age 24

Mental Health Foundation

About Us: We are a community interest company. We deliver training and programs that fund activities around children and families (after school homework help, holiday play and learn schemes, soft skills personal and social development and parenting courses for parents.) We support activities in local communities that empower and inspire children and families. 

See the website for more information about ECAF (please note prices on the website may differ to those offered above due to an outdated website)

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Trustees’ Week: the importance of good governance

Community Action: MK is committed to providing support and advice to local community groups and organisations to help them run in an effective, transparent way, with the aim of making the local Voluntary and Community Sector as strong and resilient as it can be.

As an organisation, we are fully committed to the principles of the The Code of Governance for Charities, which is a practical tool to help charities and their trustees develop high standards of governance.

What is the Charity Governance Code?

The Charity Governance Code is not a legal requirement, however it represents a standard of good governance practice to which all charities should aspire. Charity Commission recommends that all charities read, follow and apply it proportionately to their circumstances, and we encourage all not-for-profit groups to refer to its recommendations.

How do you start in reviewing your governance?

Trustees week (running from 4th -11th November) is a great opportunity for the existing board of trustees or group committees to review their own governance structures and reflect on the seven principles of the Code of Governance, which are as the below diagram illustrates:

If your board is interested in taking on this exercise, Community Action: MK can offer an easy online governance self-assessment tool, which we have developed over the past year with support from MK Community Foundation, and tested for the benefit of numerous local groups and organisations (please follow this link to see an example).

To complete the self- assessment, please follow this link to an online form, which will take you through some key questions based around the principles of The Code of Governance. Completing the form will take up to 15 minutes, however we recommend that the self-assessment is undertaken as a group exercise for your board or a committee – e.g. as part of your meeting.

What happens after the self assessment?

The form will give you and your fellow trustees some useful prompts to discuss the strengths of your organisation, and identify areas of improvement, and – based on this discussion – you will be able to score your performance.

Once you have submitted the form at the end of this process, we will take time to explore your answers and look into your governance documents.
If necessary:

  • we will come back to you to clarify any gaps in knowledge and, following this assessment;
  • We will provide you with a set of recommendations, including a number of useful resources to refer to and training opportunities;
  • We will consider how we can help you to improve your governance structures by providing support, 1-2-1 sessions and/or sign-posting you to other specialist services.

To find out more about the self-assessment tool , please follow this link to our Good Governance project page. Alternatively, if you have any questions or would like to speak to a member of our team, please either e-mail us on support@communityactionmk.org or call us on 01908 621 661.

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