Local Consultation: Early Help Strategy 2019-22 for Milton Keynes

Early Help Strategy 2019- 2022

Milton Keynes Safeguarding Board and the Milton Keynes Safeguarding Board Children’s Partnership have been working on an Early Help Strategy for Milton Keynes.  

MK Together (which brings together the Milton Keynes Safeguarding Boards, Community Safety and the Health and Wellbeing Boards) are circulating the consultation document which has been prepared by a cross sector Task and Finish Group. 

 Priorities include: 

  • To target resources effectively to support children and their families as early as possible when problems arise
  • To monitor and measure the impact of the Early Help offer through assessment processes and performance management
  • To build on the strengths and capacity of families and communities to meet children’s needs through universal services where possible
  • To prevent the need for referral and thereby reduce the number of children requiring specialist and statutory support
  • To support children to thrive by intervening to improve key protective factors that help build resilience
  • To support the Early Help model to thrive through shared understanding and responsibility across partners

Please follow this link to access the consultation document.

Please submit your comments on the consultation document by Monday 8 July to MKTogether@milton-keynes.gov.uk

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5th July: Community Action: MK Summer Networking & Netwalking Event

When? Friday 5th July: 12.30-1.30pm with an optional walking tour between 1.30-2.30pm

Where? Meet at Acorn House, 351 Midsummer Blvd, MK9 3HP

Join Community Action: MK and other colleagues from the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes at our Summer Networking/ Netwalking event, which will be dedicated to the topic of the growth of Milton Keynes. The event will include a walking tour (optional to join) of some of the planned development areas in the city centre, ending up at Middleton Hall for the Milton Keynes: A Journey to 2050 exhibition and talks.

The Agenda: 

12.30pm – Arrive: registration and refreshments

12.45pm – Welcome from Clare Walton, The CEO of Community Action: MK 

12.50pm – Networking & Visiting the stalls to share feedback & find out useful information about the growth projects in the city and their impact on the sector 

1.30pm – Walking Tour (please note there might be two walking groups depending on the number of people signing up) 

2.40pm – Arrive at Middleton Hall: exhibition & talks (optional to join and explore)

The walking tour is optional (please reserve your ticket as part of the registration process) and will cover the key areas for development proposed in Centre MK, such as MK:U – a new university and Hotel La Tour, a multi-million pound development, to name a few. The walk will take up to one hour – please make sure that you wear comfortable footwear! 

The MK Futures 2050 project is putting on an exhibition at Middleton Hall, with talks from some of the key stakeholders involved in the development projects in Milton Keynes – to see the full programme, please follow this link

Once at Middleton Hall, guests can feel free to browse at their leisure before the exhibition and spend as much time as they wish there.

We very much look forward to seeing you on the day!

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17 June: Weekly Bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

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17 June 2019

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Community Action: MK Summer Networking event – Friday 5th July

Friday 21st June: A Community of Practice: All VCS practitioners welcome

This is an exciting opportunity for anyone who works or volunteers with Children and Young People in MK, offering them support for their mental health and sense of wellbeing. The second meeting of the group is taking place on:

FRIDAY 21st JUNE 9.30am – midday at Service Six, Chapter House, Coffee Hall, MK6 5EE

Please follow this link to find out more about this new group and the meeting on the 21st June.

This group is set-up for the workers/ volunteering from within the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes.

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The Stables need your support!

The Developers are back and have put in a new Reserved Matters Application no 19/01357/REM which makes no reference to the existence of The Stables nor the previous pre-commencement condition for a deed of easement.

Please support The Stables to protect this important and much loved venue for our creative and cultural city. It is vitally important that you send in comments on the proposed Reserved Matters application as a matter of great urgency.  All comments must be submitted to the Council by Wednesday 19 June.  Please see The Stables website for their Planning Development update of 6 June.

Upcoming Training sessions at MK Play Association:

MK Play Association are offering the following training courses:

  • Emergency First Aid at Work
  • 12hr Paediatric First Aid (last courses of this term)
  • Safeguarding Children
  • L2 Health & Safety (accredited with Highfield Awarding Body)

For dates and prices, and to book, please follow this link.

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Community Pit-Stop

Do you have news to share?

If you work or volunteer for a local group or organisation in Milton Keynes or have an interesting project going in your community and have news to share, please feel free to get in touch with us. You can e-mail your updates to support@communityactionmk.org. To receive our weekly newsletter and other updates and news about the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes, please follow this link.

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Volunteers Week 2019 as seen by Community Action: MK

Read our blog with a summary of the activities we run and visited during this year’s Volunteers’ Week! Huge thanks again to all of the fantastic groups and organisations that engaged with us this year! Please follow this link to read the blog.

Volunteering opportunity of the week:

Volunteering Sessions at Salcey Forest and Silverstone Woodlands

If you enjoy the outdoors, want to learn new skills, meet new people and help the team look after the nations forest, these volunteering opportunities are just for you. Please follow this link to find out more and to get involved!

We are hiring! Join Community Action: MK as a Trainee Community Mobiliser

Please follow this link for more information and to apply to this exciting community development role, supporting the work of Big Local Conniburrow.

Closing date for applications: 17:00 on 21st June 2019

Macintyre Children’s Homes – Support Worker (Wingrave, near Aylesbury)

Please follow this link to find out more and apply.

Other Roles:

For information on other recent job openings, including at YMCA, Thames Valley Partnerships and Scouts, please follow this link.

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Nationwide Building Society – Community Grants

Max value:  £50,000

Application deadline: 05 July 2019

Grants are available to charities, Community Land Trusts and housing co-operatives for projects that tackle a housing problem in local communities in eligible parts of England.

Please follow this link to find out more and to apply.

Carers Innovation Fund to announce support for unpaid carers

The government has launched the £5m Carers Innovation Fund, which plans to help unpaid carers within communities.

The funding will be used to improve support across the country and help build more carer-friendly communities. Applicants will need to demonstrate their idea is a fresh approach that is better than existing provision, and it will benefit the local community and can be expanded and replicated.

Please follow this link to find out more about the fund and the applications process.

Support for organisations through Doit.Foundation

Doit.Foundation are inviting small and micro voluntary and community groups to register interest in their small grants pilot, which aims to explore how digital can be used to make it easy for small organisations to access funding and other support.

If your organisation has an income of £100,000 a year or less then all you need to do is complete a short survey and register your details for the pilots that will take place later in the year.

Doit.Foundation is the new charity foundation of Do it Life Social Enterprise, the home of the Do-it.org volunteering service. The charity’s aim is to utilise Do it Life tech to make it easy for small voluntary and community organisations to access small grants and other support.

For more information about the Foundation visit their website Doit.Foundation.

World Refugee Day

20th June

Join Refugees Welcome Milton Keynes and partner groups in celebrating World Refugee Day with a programme of events on Thursday 20th June.

Armed Forces Flag Raising

24th June

Big Lunch at Conniburrow Orchard

29th Jun

Come and join us for our Big Lunch in Conniburrow on Saturday 29th June at 1pm – please bring your own lunch or a dish to share.


29th June

Join this fun event being organised by Wolverton Community Orchard. Please follow this link to find out more.

Parade of Colours – Art at the Lake Festival

29th June

Get Involved with ‘Parade of Colours’. We are setting off for the best Multi-Cultural Parade as part of this year’s Art at the Lake Festival on Saturday 29th June 2019. If you wish to take part or require more info contact simon@routecanalarts.org.uk

Charity Walk for Peace 2019

30th June 2019

This year this flagship event will be held in Milton Keynes, in association with MK DONS Football Club and the MK DONS SET Charity, on 30th June 2019. It is free to participate.
Find out more and register

MK Futures 2050 – Summer Exhibition

4th-7th July at Middleton Hall

Please follow the link to find out more.

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21st June: A Community of Practice: All VCS practitioners welcome

Do you work / volunteer with Children and Young People in MK? Do you offer support for their mental health and sense of wellbeing?

Such work is rewarding but can be demanding. We know that within the Voluntary and Community Sector in MK there are many groups working in this field and over 20 of us met last month to discuss forming a Community of Practice.

The second meeting will take place on:

FRIDAY 21st JUNE 9.30am – midday at Service Six, Chapter House, Coffee Hall, MK6 5EE

A Community of Practice is where people expand their knowledge and personal development of a certain topic or focus through meeting (face- to- face and on-line) to learn together, share information and be challenged, enjoying occasional presentations and workshops and doing whatever they decide to expand their professional understanding and influence.

On FRIDAY 21st JUNE we will be planning a programme based on the themes identified at our first session .

1.Promotion – how do we promote our services and understand more about what other organisations are delivering in our area in order to co-operate  and make new relationships? What are the variety of, and best practice, methods for getting our messages across and influencing future plans within our service and across agencies?

2.Quality Standards – what does co-produced ‘best’ look like? How can we co-produce plans and services with CYP? How could we use data, models and knowledge we co-produce with young people to influence commissioners, funders and inter-agency debate so that high quality holistic services can happen?

3.The Local Offer – how can we use experience, knowledge, data and research to foster resilience in young people experiencing physical and/or mental challenges?  How can we build CYP confidence and ability to contribute to co-produced support?

Whilst the primary goal of a CoP is to expand individual knowledge and practice, only if people at a strategic level are involved in some way can individuals try out and embed their ‘new’ knowledge, and influence change. So we will be planning how to involve people at a strategic level, such as managers and trustees. Managers and trustees – do come and join us!

A closed Facebook (somewhat darkly called a “secret group”) where you can raise questions, issues and contribute to discussion before (and after) June’s Workshop is also being set up.

Please do get in touch if you want to know more or want to come along on Friday 21st June.




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#VolunteersWeek: Grandmentors


Grandmentors is an innovative volunteering project where older volunteers use their lifetime of skills and experience to support and mentor vulnerable young people leaving the care system. It is a flagship national programme that has won multiple national awards.

The programme is run by Volunteering Matters, a national charity working to fulfill their vision of a society where everyone can participate in their local community through volunteering and social action.

These young people who are out of employment, education or training (NEET) often need a guiding hand and role model to support them to find work, continue their education or begin training – ultimately giving them the skills and self-belief to lead successful and independent lives.


Volunteers meet with a young person each week to boost their confidence and work towards goals which are unique to each young person. Volunteers support where they can to help these young care leavers find their feet and reach their full potential. All volunteers are given full support and training throughout their time on the project.


  • Be aged 50+
  • Good people and communication skills, patience
  • DBS (criminal record) check will be performed
  • Long-term commitment (min. one year)
  • Based in Milton Keynes


As a volunteer you’ll receive:

  • Full training
  • Ongoing support including monthly mentor support meetings
  • Reimbursement of your expenses Expenses


Through using my wisdom, experience, patience and creative mindset my mentee and I were able to focus on their new direction in life


The Grandmentors project appealed to me as it gives me the opportunity to work with young people who both need and want support.  In a role where I would be able to share my knowledge and experience. I also hope that in doing so I will inspire others to volunteer.


I decided to become a Grandmentor in order to give myself a feeling of renewed pride as well as giving me the opportunity to have an involvement in the local community where I live



Our Grandmentors give their mentee the pen and let them write their future



You can access the role through our Simply Connect volunteering platform – please follow this link to apply.

You can find out more about this innovative volunteering programme on: volunteeringmatters.org.uk/opportunity/grandmentors-mk or follow Volunteering Matters, including Kelly Israel, Volunteer Manager of the programme in MK, on  social media.

Facebook: facebook.com/volunteeringmatters
Twitter:   @volunteering_uk

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#VolunteersWeek: Sailability MK needs volunteers – Can you help?

Enabling the freedom of sailing to all at South Caldecotte Lake, Milton Keynes

Sailability Milton Keynes aims to promote and encourage recreational and competitive sailing for people with disabilities, with the objective of improving their quality of life. Their volunteers help people of all ages to participate and enjoy sailing. They are based at Milton Keynes Sailing club, South Caldecotte Lake. Your donations help provide boats, equipment and support their volunteer instructors. They welcome people of all abilities: sailors and non-sailors.

Why does the community needs Sailability MK?

When people are impacted by a life changing accident, or illness or if they have learning or visual impairments, Sailability MK can help these people establish independence and freedom. People of all ages are able to enjoy sailing in Milton Keynes. Thanks to generous donations and sponsors, they have 8 boats especially designed to be stable and suitable for people with range of abilities. Their special hoist can make getting into a boat simple and straightforward.

Sailability MK’s impact on the community

Sail days provide a mixed social group where all participants, including volunteers, have an enjoyable time, providing a medium for greater confidence in the wider community. Through our links with the Royal Yachting Association, they can offer development and support for people who want to achieve excellence to international level, or simply potter around in their boats. www.rya.org.uk/sailability

Volunteers needed

Help rig, launch and sail our boats on Saturdays and some Wednesdays. Contact Tim on 0791 008 6743 or e-mail: sailabilitymk@gmail.com

To find out more about Sailability MK, visit their website: www.mksailability.com. You can also follow them on social media

Twitter: @SailabilityMk

Facebook: facebook.com/SailabilityMK

You can also watch videos on their YouTube channel – here.

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#VolunteersWeek: Volunteer your home as a sanctuary

Sanctuary Hosting service Coordinator, Elaine, came into the office the other day, and said this:

‘I introduced a guest to a new host today and it never gets old after so many times and years, it blows me away every time when a volunteer host family says to a complete stranger: ‘My home is your home, help yourself to anything in the fridge’.

That is it really – in a nutshell.

Sanctuary Hosting offers the chance for homeowners in the Thames Valley to give a bed to someone seeking a new life in our community. And they do.

Since they started in 2015, 80 people have volunteered to open up their spare room to a stranger. Sometimes for a few nights, sometimes for a few months- it’s up to the host. And for them, it’s a question of humanity and the recognition that we all need a safe place to lay our head, and some of us who have it can offer that to others who don’t.

Madeleine has hosted nine ‘guests’ since 2015 when the refugee crisis hit a peak, with the terrible images of a little Syrian boy washed up on a Mediterranean beach. She said it was a tangible way to help:

It’s more than just ‘doing good’. It’s quite deep. It’s about equality and respect, and all those things. You’re living it a bit, rather than just reading about it or thinking about it.’

Of course – like having any guests – there can be difficult moments, and many of the guests are traumatised by their past experiences, but there are also moments of magic.

‘It’s amazing being able to laugh about things with people from a different culture. I love that- when you find so much difference, but you find something you can both giggle about, or do together. Humour is a really big positive. Seeing a guest become more confident and more ‘in themselves’ is wonderful’.

Aside from hosting, Sanctuary Hosting also offer other volunteering roles as a guest or host support worker that usually take a couple of hours a week to help hosting placements run smoothly and be a support for the guests and hosts. If you are unable to host or volunteer, consider giving £10 per month. Such support goes a very long way in our dynamic small charity. Please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!

Sanctuary Hosting is a registered UK charity that provides shelter to homeless vulnerable migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, many of whom are destitute. They work across the Thames Valley to match guests to generous people who have a spare room to accommodate them temporarily.

The idea for “Sanctuary Hosting” came at the Refugees Welcome demonstration in Oxford, in July 2015. In his speech to the crowd our founder Wyon Stansfeld asked, who would be willing to open up their home to a refugee or migrant in need? The response was startling. Many people volunteered. And so their service began. Thanks to the Big Lottery and Oxford City Council, they work in partnership with the British Red Cross and Citizens Advice Reading to holistically support their guests.

You can apply to volunteer with Sanctuary Hosting through our online volunteering platform, Simply Connect:

Volunteer Guest Support Worker
Volunteer Host
Volunteer Host Support Worker

To find out more about Sanctuary Hosting, visit their website: sanctuaryhosting.org. You can also follow them on social media:

Twitter: @SanctuaryHUK

Facebook: facebook.com/SanctuaryHUK/

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