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.

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Community Mobilisers Under Threat!

One MK have a story up about the possible effect of cuts being made to our Community Mobiliser Service. There’s a snippet below, but click here to read the full article.

Community Mobilisers, Robbie MacPherson, Tracy Whitmore & Stewart Ikin with pictures of some of the events that they have helped instigate

Community Mobilisers, Robbie MacPherson, Tracy Whitmore & Stewart Ikin with pictures of some of the events that they have helped instigate

A service which has saved Milton Keynes Council on average £2.5 million per year is set to be drastically reduced due to funding cuts.

Community Action:MK, a charity which co-ordinates voluntary events around Milton Keynes, currently provides community mobilisers to eight areas in the city – to support people and organisations and develop local groups.

But from September, areas such as Fishermead, Netherfield and Stantonbury will no longer benefit from the service.

A report by Bruce Fenning, an expert in social return on investment, in June estimated that the community mobiliser service brings a return of £8.15 for every £1 of investment.

Robbie Macpherson, chief operating officer for Community Action:MK, understands that cuts need to be made, but believes the decision will prove costly.

He said: “It is a large amount of money we are losing and it will have a huge impact on the work we do. We offer a sort of preventative service before further council services are needed.

“They do have make cuts somewhere, but I think in the longer term, they are going to have more demand on the council’s services as a result.”

To carry on reading, please click here to read the full article at One MK.

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Mobilisers Bring in £9 for Every £1 MK Council Fund Us!

We recently asked Bruce Fenning, an expert on Social Return On Investment (SROI), to have a look at the difference our Community Mobiliser service makes in Milton Keynes. There’s lots of interesting he came back with, including that the return on the Council’s investment over is over £9 for each pound they spent. Over five years, the financial impact adds up to over £10 million! To read the full report, click here to download it.

Blog Post Communities Eastern Expansion Area Lakes Estate Netherfield News from and for the VCS Western Expansion Area Woughton