#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. http://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: Buckingham Canal Society needs volunteers!

Since 1992 Buckingham Canal Society have been working on sites along the Old Stratford and Buckingham arms of the Grand Union Canal which they eventually hope to see re-opened breathing new life, recreational opportunities and environment friendly business to the area.

The society’s aim is the restoration of the Buckingham Canal to full navigable order, to promote and improve conservation, biodiversity and quality of life.

THURSDAY 6TH JUNE:  ‘HANDS ON’ VOLUNTEERING PROJECT – ALL WELCOME!

The Society are marking the National Volunteers Week by running an extra practical task on Thursday 6th June:

The Buckingham Canal Society are working to restore the disused Buckingham Canal which use to run from the village of Cosgrove to the town of Buckingham hoping that to people will join us in this exciting project for part of ‘National Volunteers Week’.

As a volunteer on the day, you will have a chance to be part of a team helping to restore part of a canal bridge or they may be helping to improve part of the towpath at Cosgrove.  This gets very muddy in winter and is almost impossible to walk along so the work is to help disabled people enjoy the canal more and also be of great assistance to other walker and boaters.  

If you want to be part of the exciting project and want more information email info@buckinghamcanal.org.uk or ring 01908 661217 or just turn up on Thursday 6th June at 10.00 in Lock Lane, MK19 7JR

You will need to wear oldish clothes and bring lunch but they will supply all tools and equipment, and training is given where necessary but no experience is needed and we are a very  friendly group and always welcome new people.

NOT AVAILABLE ON THE 6TH OF JUNE, BUT KEEN TO GET INVOLVED?

If you have an interest an interest in and passion for conservation and environmental work, the Society has a number of volunteering roles currently available. It is a great chance to help the environment whilst also enjoy the great outdoors, however administrative roles are also available!  Please follow the links below to get more details and to apply through our volunteer recruitment platform, Simply Connect:

Conservation Volunteer

Bricklayer

Committee Minutes Secretary

Trustee/secretary

Fundraising Volunteer

Nature Reserve Restoration (group volunteering opportunity!)

Planning Post (experience of writing and submitting planning applications desirable)

Publicity Officer

Social Media Volunteer

HOW TO FIND OUT MORE…

To find out more about the work of Buckingham Canal Society as well as about their history and the history of the Canal, visit their website on

https://www.buckinghamcanal.org.uk or follow the Society on social media:

Facebook: facebook.com/BuckinghamCanalSociety

Twitter: twitter.com/BCSocietyUK (#Buckingham Canal Society #BCS)

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Communities Volunteering

#VolunteersWeek: We are the hub for volunteering in Milton Keynes

How can we help you find your perfect Volunteering role?

Help make giant carnival puppets, share some time with older, lonely people in your community, balance the books for a local charity, plant wildflowers along a new canal, use your digital skills to promote local events, drive a vulnerable person to hospital, help young people gain self esteem and confidence, become a school governor – the list of volunteering opportunities in Milton Keynes is endless and diverse.

Volunteering is for everyone, whatever your age or situation. Whether you have a short amount of time, are looking for a one off opportunity or something more regular to get your teeth into, we can help you find what’s right for you.

We use Simply Connect to list all the opportunities available in Milton Keynes. It’s easy to search using your interests, skills and location and express an interest in finding out more about an opportunity.

Search for volunteering opportunities in Milton Keynes.

Community Action: MK also hold a Volunteer drop in service every Tuesday afternoon from 1pm -3pm at Acorn House, 351 Midsummer Blvd, CMK, MK9 3HP. Pop in to speak to our friendly volunteering advisors and find out about the many local volunteering opportunities you could get involved with.

How we can help your organisation promote volunteering opportunities?

Are you a local charity, community group or project looking to recruit volunteers? Advertise your volunteer opportunities for free on our Simply Connect site.

Our volunteering platform puts you in control of your volunteering and befriending services, matching people to the best role for them and increasing skills, confidence and wellbeing for all.

To find out more and to get support with recruiting, supporting and managing your volunteers, contact our team at: support@communityactionmk.org or call 01908 661 623.

Please follow this link to our Information Sheets for useful information regarding volunteering and more.

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#VolunteersWeek: Wolverton Community Orchard, a volunteer-led tranquil place for the local community

HOW DID THE PROJECT COME ABOUT?

Wolverton Community Orchard was founded in 2003 with a vision to provide a place of peace and tranquility for the whole community to enjoy. A place for all age groups to practice skills and develop new ones, to enhance and raise awareness of the importance of caring for our environment and the wildlife that share that environment with us, to encourage an appreciation and love of wildlife and the natural world in the children who visit.

Yvonne Galuszka came up with the original idea for Wolverton Community Orchard back in 2003, determined to rescue it from being a disused allotment site which had also become a rubbish tip. She imagined it as a potential site for a community area for all to enjoy, then polled the neighbours for their input, applied for grants and pulled together a small group of friends who wanted to get involved in creating a community space that could be used by everyone.

The local residents expressed their support for the idea. After clearing the area, work proceeded in setting out the various sections of the site, planting hedges and fruit trees and creating a “sensory” garden full of colour and scents. Part of the site was retained as allotments and has successfully involved local schools who provide the children with after-school outdoor experiences.

HOW HAS THE ORCHARD DEVELOPED OVER THE YEARS?

The orchard now boasts over 50 productive fruit trees including apple, pear, cherry, plum and damson. It’s enclosed by a mixed hedge of native species and incorporates a child-safe covered pond, a coppiced hazel “secret” pathway, a willow dome and an impressive rosemary hedge. Other hidden surprises are mentioned later in this document. Over the years, increasing numbers of nesting boxes have been installed – these and the pond are productively used by the local wildlife most years.

The Orchard does not use any harmful chemicals across the site, thus protecting wildlife and humans alike.

Wheelchair-friendly pathways and raised beds have been installed from early on, providing accessibility for less able visitors and volunteers. Open every day of the year during daylight hours, the orchard plays host to locals and Mums/Toddler groups who might be found relaxing in the orchard, playing or picnicking.

To read the full story of this amazing local volunteer-led project, please follow this link.

Here is what the group has said about its founder and volunteer, Yvonne Galuszka

Yvonne Galuszka, whose imagination and enthusiasm initiated the project 15 years ago, is still the orchard committee chair and an inspiration for us all with her continuing energy. As a volunteer group, we are proud of our achievements and continue to plan for the future. We believe that we make a positive contribution to Wolverton’s community and the comments we regularly receive from visitors encourage us onward and continue to make us feel appreciated.

To read the Volunteer Case Study of Yvonne Galuszka, please follow this link.

HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED & SUPPORT THE ORCHARD?

Apart from grass-mowing performed regularly by the local Council’s caretakers, it’s entirely maintained by a small group of volunteers who have weekly work sessions on Tuesdays where anyone is welcome to join in. On a site of almost half an acre, there’s never any shortage of tasks for people of any ability and experience and we’re always looking for new talents.

If you would like to volunteer with the orchard, contact them on:
1908 320 405 or e-mail yvonnegalu@gmail.com. You can also follow the group on Facebook.

Location: alleyway off Woburn Ave, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5AY, United Kingdom. For map and directions, please follow this link.

Come along to the Orchard on Tuesday 4th June between 11am-12.30pm when we will be running a Volunteering Pop-Up, a volunteering information session for anyone interested in finding out about volunteering opportunities across Milton Keynes! All WELCOME.



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#VolunteersWeek: Yvonne Galuszka, a volunteer with energy & ideas that inspire many

Volunteers’ Week 2019 is here and we are marking the start of it with this inspiring case study of a local volunteer. We will be posting blogs throughout the Volunteers’ Week with special focus to volunteering, so tune in…

Yvonne Galuszka came up with the original idea for Wolverton Community Orchard back in 2003, determined to rescue it from being a disused allotment site which had also become a rubbish tip. She imagined it as a potential site for a community area for all to enjoy, then polled the neighbours for their input, applied for grants and pulled together a small group of friends who wanted to get involved.

Soon the digger moved in and levelled most of the site while removing broken glass and much other rubbish. After clearing the area, work proceeded in setting out the various sections of the site, installing railings, planting hedges and fruit trees and creating a “sensory” garden full of colour and scents.

In addition to the 50+ fruit trees which are now extremely productive, part of the site was retained as allotments and Yvonne liaised with local schools, Milton Keynes College and other organisations to provide children and young people with outdoor experiences. From the outset, the orchard has been designed as wheelchair-friendly and raised beds have been installed over recent years to make gardening accessible to all.

Yvonne’s approach is to encourage volunteers and other helpers with varied interests; not just gardening but musicians, artists and more, many of whom can be seen at our regular community events throughout the year. No decisions are made on new features of functions without the agreement of the majority of volunteers.

Her tireless efforts have transformed the site into a peaceful and productive area which is appreciated by many and she still works tirelessly as committee chair as well as cooking cakes and more for our events.

Yvonne is an inspiration for us all through her energy and ideas.

Said another member of Wolverton Community Orchard.
Yvonne Galuszka, whose imagination and enthusiasm initiated the project 15 years ago, is still the orchard committee chair and an inspiration for everyone involved with the ORchard with her continuing energy.

To find out more about Wolverton Community Orchard and how you can get involved as a volunteer, look out for our next blog…

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The Stables: a crucial MK Council meeting on 4th April

On behalf of Arts and Heritage Alliance Milton Keynes (AHA-MK),

Please show your support for the future of The Stables by attending a crucial MK Council planning meeting at 7pm on Thursday 4th April

As you will know, live music venues across the country have been threatened by the arrival of new housing development in their vicinity. The Stables face this very issue with the proposed housing development plans on their western boundary in Wavendon. This important venue could be threatened if the right planning agreements are not put in place. AHA-MK members were very supportive when this first came to light; indeed local objection resulted in the Planning Department’s email box seizing up and The Stables is keen for you to show your support again by letting Milton Keynes Council know we need them to resolve this in a positive way.

Having understood that more time was required to resolve outstanding concerns, at the Development Control Committee meeting on 7th March councillors voted to defer the decision until June to provide more time to allow further discussions to take place. However the Council informed everyone on 20th March that the decision has been brought forward at the request of the developers to this Thursday 4th April, providing insufficient time to resolve all the concerns – and in particular to further explore the idea of a deed of easement.

The Stables have sought expert legal advice and have provided a summary of the current position, which you can read in full here.

The Planning meeting on Thursday 4th April is a public meeting held at 7pm at the Civic Offices. Please come if you can and so demonstrate the importance of The Stables to MK and to our cultural landscape. Letters to MK Council and its Councillors in support of our world class music venue, The Stables, would also be very valuable but must be received by 12 noon on Wednesday 3rd April setting out any concerns or comments arising from the report (available on the Milton Keynes Website Planning Portal www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/publicaccess or by visiting the Civic Offices, Saxon Gate East, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 3EJ).

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Community Life: Bucks Festival – Artisan Craft, Food and Drink in MK

Following the  success of the first festival earlier this summer, Bucks Festival are back on 23rd September with an Artisan Craft, Food and Drink Festival for the whole family.

This free event will take place at Westbury Arts Centre in Shenley Wood. The festival gives you the chance to listen to talented local performers whilst trying some of the best locally produced craft beer and artisan cuisine. There will be face painting, a bouncy castle, as well as beautiful handmade crafts to admire or acquire.

This series of not-for-profit small business events has been organised to give a platform to emerging local businesses, providing them with a chance to promote their products.

The festival brings together makers and bakers, chefs and growers from in and around Milton Keynes alongside a programme of speakers covering health and well-being, localism and sustainability.

Screenshot 2017-09-12 at 09.49.01.png

If you have an idea for a project that could increase the sustainability of your own neighbourhood, community or a group, please visit the Our MK website, a dedicated crowdfunding campaign for Milton Keynes supported by Community Action: MK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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