Free course in volunteering

Would you like to gain a City & Guilds Level 1 certificate in Volunteering? Boost your CV, feel more confident, or get some experience at children’s centres… whatever your motive join us for this course FREE.

We are pleased to share that together with Moorlands Centre we will be delivering an 8 week course in Volunteering. The course will cover a variety of skills needed to take on volunteering and perhaps also employment.

The dates are as follows:

  • Tue 8th March – 9.30-11.30am
  • Tue 15th March – 9.30-11.30am
  • Tue 22nd March – 9.30-11.30am
  • Tue 12th April – 9.30-11.30am
  • Tue 18th April – 9.30-11.30am
  • Tue 25th April – 9.30-11.30am
  • Tue 3rd May – 9.30-11.30am
  • Tue 10th May – 9.30-11.30am

If you are interested you can sign up to come along to the taster session today:

Taster Session: Tuesday 1st March – 9.30-11.30am – Moorlands Centre, Beanhill

Please feel free to get in touch with any questions, just email


Blog Post Communities Communities Can (Cultural Services Review 2016) Projects Volunteering Woughton

What could we learn from the Library of Things?

Here at Community Action: MK we are supporting communities to help design their Libraries, Children’s Centres and Youth Services, as part of a project for the Community and Cultural Services Review.

We loved this idea from Sacramento’s Library in California. Could libraries become places where we borrow more than just books? Perhaps we can use libraries to share technologies, musical instruments and so much more.

We wondered what Milton Keynes thinks? Let us know your thoughts, email

Story taken and edited from

Blog Post Communities Communities Can (Cultural Services Review 2016) Volunteering

Volunteering Round Up – January 2016


Hope the first few weeks of January are going well for you? A little bit of volunteering news from us first;

We have updated our best practice guide on recruiting volunteers with some recent safeguarding updates, please follow this link to our website. Have you booked on to our free safeguarding workshop for volunteer managers next week? Sign up here! It will be useful if you are already aware of your responsibilities or if you are new in post it will introduce you to what you need to know.

We often get contacted by volunteers who live outside Milton Keynes but have seen a volunteering opportunity we are promoting within the city, via the Do-it website. Have you thought about how you might capitalise on this? It can be relatively quick and easy to create a ‘digital’ or ‘micro’ volunteering opportunity. Check out our Digital Volunteering factsheet here.

We love getting feedback from groups who we help to recruit volunteers. Buckingham Canal Society recently said;

“Without Community Action: MK’s encouragement and practical help we would never have been able to involve volunteers. They are always there to help make sure policies are in place and advise about legal issues. They promoted our opportunities which enabled us to get some really good volunteers. Our organisation is involved with the conservation and restoration of the Buckingham arm of the Grand Union Canal by organising regular work parties to carry out the tasks so it’s really important we have volunteers, we just couldn’t run without them.”

Featured Volunteering Opportunity:

Are you looking to get experience in events management? Deaf Zone MK are looking for volunteers to help make their social events really special – find out more here.

065/365: Show us your smile!

From NCVO: What challenges will volunteering face in 2016?

“Funding will continue to be an issue in 2016. While volunteering delivers enormous value it is not cost free, but this is a truism many policy makers and funders seem incapable of grasping.

Volunteer management remains a Cinderella profession and needs far greater investment and recognition if it is to deliver to its full potential. As do Volunteer Centres which will continue to feel the brunt of local authority cuts. Many are successfully re-inventing themselves to survive and thrive in the new reality, but further changes will be required if they are to continue to be able to provide the support volunteering needs at a local level.

And depressingly, given all the work which has gone into building better relations between local job centres and volunteer centres over the years, we are still hearing stories of job coaches not giving the right information on ‘volunteering while on benefits’ which is limiting the contribution volunteering can play to skills development and employability.

But to finish on a positive note. With the BBC planning a volunteering season for next year, and with London confirmed as the European Capital of Volunteering 2016, there is perhaps an opportunity to shift the media focus on charities onto a more positive plane.”

More than One Billion People Volunteer Globally

This was one of the headline findings from the UN’s State of the World Volunteerism report, published in June.

Basic Income Could Boost Levels of Volunteering

NESTA predict 2016 as a big year for the development of Basic Income. This could be a real boost for volunteering, allowing more people who want to volunteer, to spend their time doing so without being financially penalised. Read more

Volunteers are amazing!

Volunteers from the Skipchen organisation travelled to Lesbos in November to build a field kitchen. Sam Joseph, co-founder of Skipchen, said other bodies had seen their work and want them to repeat the project on other islands. The group had previously run a cafe in Bristol stocked with unwanted food. Via BBC.

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Communities Can (Cultural Services Review 2016) Employee Volunteering News from and for the VCS Volunteering

Volunteer in your local library

Want to develop new skills? Make new friends? Support your local library?

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Libraries in Milton Keynes welcome almost 1,120,000 visitors every year and they borrow a staggering 1,393,000 million items – that’s nearly 27,000 in an average week.

Get involved and be part of the team that make it possible for everyone to access library services.

Below are some opportunities currently available, click on the link to find out more:

Some of these opportunities are suitable for young people from the age of 13 years. You can commit as little as 2 hours or as much as you wish to lend a hand.

Blog Post Communities Can (Cultural Services Review 2016)

Local volunteers give back, by running their own groups

Case study: Moorlands Cooking Group

Children’s Centre Volunteer

Katie Goh is resident of Netherfield who regularly accessed the Children’s Centre at the Moorlands in Beanhill, with her children. She appreciated all the support she and her family had received from the centre and the activities that were available for her to attend. Katie really wanted to give something back to the centre and the community and combined with her passion for cooking, felt she could become a volunteer by starting up her own cooking based activity.

Moorlands Community Cooking Group has now been running at Moorlands Centre in Beanhill since September 2014. Katie’s hard work in registering the group and writing a funding application, in which she was supported by the Community Action: MK, paid off and Katie received a grant from MK Community Foundation.

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What services have the Group been delivering?

The group has provided a chance for Katie and other residents to new learn skills as well as share their own cooking skills and offer peer support to one another. They have also address other local issues such as healthy lifestyles and cultural segregations, by exploring secrets of various world cuisines and broadening their dietary horizons, as well as learning to work as a team and enjoy a nutritious meal together.

Moving forward

With a need to focus on other important commitments, the group is now at risk of being stopped. Katie would now like to find a new Group Organiser which she can support to take on the running of the group. She has been really pleased to see an increased engagement from two other members of the group, Alan and Ray, who share her passion for both cooking and supporting their local community, and feels a new organiser would be well supported to continue the success of the group.  

Would you like to get involved in the Cooking Group? Email Anna to find out more.


Browse through Katie’s Recipe Book, consisting of the many recipes tried at the sessions of Moorlands Community Cooking Group:


Work to support groups to deliver services is currently being carried out through our Communities Can Project, with MK Council.

Blog Post Communities Communities Can (Cultural Services Review 2016) Health & Wellbeing Projects Volunteering Woughton

Share your views for Community and Cultural Services

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WIN Amazon Vouchers by sharing your views for Libraries, Children’s Centres & Youth Services.

Community Action: MK have been commissioned to work on a pilot project that will influence the Community and Cultural Services Review (CCSR) at Milton Keynes Council (MKC). MKC want to understand ways in which Libraries, Children’s Centres and Youth Services can be updated to reflect it’s new co-operative council approach whilst best serving local communities.

We want residents to explore their own priorities relating to those services. This is your chance to have your say on how those services are delivered, plus you could WIN £20 Amazon Vouchers.

Complete the survey now.



Blog Post Communities Communities Can (Cultural Services Review 2016) News from and for the VCS Projects Volunteering

What do you value about your Libraries, Children’s Centres and Youth Services?

Communities Can: A new project for Community Action: MK

Community Action: MK (CA:MK) have been commissioned to work on a pilot project that will influence the Community and Cultural Services Review (CCSR) at Milton Keynes Council (MKC). MKC want to understand ways in which Libraries, Children’s Centres and Youth Services can be updated to reflect it’s new co-operative council approach whilst best serving local communities.

The aim of the project is to develop an insight to the kind of collaborative delivery promoted by the Co-operative Council concept. We will do this by increasing voluntary activity in Library, Children’s Centres and Youth Services; supporting residents to explore their own priorities relating to those services; and facilitate the generation of ideas around community-led activity and co-production.


This pilot project will run until March 2016, when CA:MK will deliver recommendations to the MKC Project Board. CA:MK will represent the community’s voice about these services, we will highlight the impact of this enhanced volunteering support programme and explore further opportunities for successful service delivery into the future.

To get involved and have your say contact our Project Lead, Rebecca, on

If you’d like to volunteer with these services you’ll find formal volunteering roles being updated during the project at

Blog Post Communities Communities Can (Cultural Services Review 2016) Volunteering