Community Fridge – new project coming to Milton Keynes

Get funded to run an innovative project aiming at reducing food waste & helping people in need

What is the concept about?

Community fridges are a temporary home to unwanted food, be it surplus from retailers, eateries or households. The idea is that those who have no use for an item of food can see it go to someone who does. Money is saved and less food is consigned to the bin. Of course come with rules and food safety regulations fit for their host community.

Successful projects already under way in the UK…

The concept is simple but the implications are huge. Hubbub charity  trialled a community fridge in 2016 as a part of Sainsbury’s Waste Less Save More in Swadlincote. Within 4 months 1.3 tonnes of food was exchanged in this small Derbyshire town, reaching 277 individuals and 11 community organisations.


The fridge and accompanying freezer in Swadlincote began life under lock and key, being highly regulated by the Community Voluntary Service managing the local food bank. After fears of misuse and vandalism were allayed a second fridge, open to anyone and everyone, was launched. Food has moved through it at a rate and heartwarming stories have been collected in the fridge’s guest book.

“Even though I’m working, had large bills to pay, so helped me feed myself this month.”

“It’s a good idea, it’s nice to know people care”

Comments from the Swadlincote Community Fridge guest book….

“Although it’s early days, we can see the fridge taking root in the community and forging relations between the local businesses, organisations and householders sharing food. Reports from other founding fridges indicate that users across Europe are happy with the system and are getting to know and trust others in their neighbourhood thanks to the fridge. “

Looking to start a first Community Fridge in Milton Keynes….

HubHub are now interested in trialling the Community Fridge project in Milton Keynes and are looking for local groups and organisations, who would like to get involved.

If you are interested, please contact Anna at Community Action: MK on or you can get in touch with Tessa at: or call +44 o 20 3701 7542.

Community Action: MK will be able to support you with finding volunteers and giving you funding advice along the project.

To find out more about this new initiative, click here.





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Energage – training Community Energy Champions

Creating a network of Community Energy Champions network in Milton Keynes

We are delighted to announce that we have teamed up with the Open University to deliver a pilot project in Milton Keynes that will focus on recruiting and training community members to become volunteer Energy Champions in their neighbourhoods and communities.

The project has been made possible thanks to the funding from the Natural Environment Research Council as part of their recent funding call on ‘Engaging the UK public with the big issues of environmental science’. The Energage project is one of 18 across the UK – click here to find out more about this funding initiative.


The initiative is the result of successful collaboration and partnership-working between Community Action: MK and the Open University through the MK:Smart and CAPE, Community Action Platform for Energy, projects. It is also linked to the work of other local organisations in Milton Keynes that promote the concept of community-owned and sustainable energy. These include Transition MK, Wolverton Community Energy (through Citizens:mk) and others involved in MK Community Energy Alliance and other organisations who already provide energy training such as The National Energy Foundation and Citizens Advice Milton Keynes.

There is already a number of local volunteers who champion sustainable energy and environmental awareness in Milton Keynes, and we want to learn from their experiences. Further, we want to attract new people – anyone with an interest in energy and sustainability, and ways of helping their own communities be more sustainable is welcomed to get involved in the project, and is asked to please get in contact with Community Action: MK.


Carbon Conversations event run by Transition MK in 2015. Photo credit: Transition MK

The Energage project will develop a network of Community Energy Champions (COMECs) in Milton Keynes. One important part of the COMECs’ role will be to translate energy-based research from the Open University to the general public in a way that will help them find solutions that work to reduce their own carbon footprint. In return Open University researchers will learn better ways to engage the public with their research. This exchange of knowledge will occur through a series of co-creation workshops, facilitated by Community Action: MK.

Another important part of their role will be to grow the network through recruitment of new volunteers. Initial workshops will be followed by a ‘week of action’ in which COMECs will engage with the public. They will share their experiences amongst the community engagement specialists and Open University researchers. This pilot scheme is intended to be the start of longer term engagement between Open University energy researchers and the public.

Energage hope to build upon activities of the existing CAPE, Community Action Platform for Energy project at the Open University and lots of other energy-related initiatives across the city. The CAPE project aims to help reduce the carbon footprint of Milton Keynes by engaging the public with relevant data; it will also be linking homeowners identified as a good fit for energy saving measures (e.g. solar panels, loft insulation) with companies that can provide products, or to grant providers, such as the MK Council.


We will be actively promoting the project in the next few weeks and updating you about its further plans. If you are interested in getting involved, please click here to register your interest or contact Anna at Community Action: MK on:

01908 661 623/ 07710 967131




Funded by:


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Community Action MK Funding Alert

Funding Alert

December 2016

Welcome to your December Funding alert, with details of grant funding and awards, general funding news, learning and events and funding publications. We hope you find something useful.

If you don’t find anything that suits your group, please get in touch with us to arrange a free funding 1:1 appointment. We will run funding searches for you and give advice on the completion of funding applications.Drop me a line or call 01908 661623 to make your appointment.

Happy Reading




Eranda Foundation

Grant for charities undertaking projects for research into medicine and education, encouraging the arts and supporting social welfare in the UK.

Deadline: 31st December


The Ironmonger’s Company

Grants for registered charities in the UK that provide opportunities for disadvantaged children and young people to fulfil their potential.They are particularly interested in enabling primary age children to develop a strong foundation for the future. Projects could, for example, support special educational needs, address behavioural problems or promote citizenship, parenting or life skills.

Amount: £4,000 – £10,000
Deadline:  31st December

Angling Improvement Fund

A Fund to help increase the availability of funding for angling through reinvestment of part of the proceeds of coarse and non-migratory rod licence sales in England in projects directly benefiting anglers.

Amount: up to £ 20,000
Deadline: 5th January


Wolfson Foundation

The Foundation aims to support excellence in the UK, generally through the funding of capital infrastructure in the fields of science and technology, arts and humanities, education, and health and disability

Deadline: 5th January


Scott Bader Commonwealth Global Charity Fund

The Global Charity Fund aims to provide grants to charitable organisations around the world whose purposes support the following charitable objects:

  • To help young or disadvantaged people, especially anyone suffering deprivation and discrimination, such as poor, homeless and vulnerable women and children.
  • Minority communities, particularly where people are affected by poverty, a lack of education, malnutrition and disease.

Amount: up to £ 25,000
Deadline: 9th January


Epic Awards

The Epic Awards are designed to draw attention to the work taking place within the voluntary and amateur arts and crafts sector in the UK and Ireland. There are four categories: Engagement, Partnerships, Innovation and Creativity.

Amount: £ 250
Deadline: 12th January


BBC Children in Need – Main Grants Programme

Grants for not-for-profit organisations that are working with disadvantaged children and young people who are 18 years old and younger living in the UK.

Amount: up to £ 120,000
Deadline: 13 January


Masonic Charitable Foundation – Community Support Grants

Grants are available for charities registered in England and Wales for support in the following areas: financial hardship, health and disability, education and employability, and social exclusion and disadvantage

Deadline: 13th January

Sylvia Waddilove Foundation UK

Grants for registered charities in the UK working in the following areas: education; the visual and performing arts; medical research; the relief of disability and severe illness; the preservation of buildings of architectural or historical significance; the accommodation of those in need; and the skills based training of young people.

Amount: up to £ 12,500
Deadline: 13th January


Jean Sainsbury Animal Welfare Trust

Grants are available for projects or activities in the UK which benefit and protect animals, relieve the suffering of animals, address the conservation of wildlife or encourage a greater understanding of animals

Deadline: 15th January

Elephant Trust

The Trust awards grants to artists, small organisations and galleries within the United Kingdom to make it possible for artists and those presenting their work to undertake and complete projects when frustrated by lack of funds.

Amount: £ 2,000
Deadline: 16th January


DCLG – Communities Fund

Grants and other support are available for local authorities working in partnership with community led groups to deliver solutions to entrenched social issues.

Amount: up to £ 70,000
Deadline: 16th January


Esh Charitable Trust

The trust is Esh Group’s in house charity which receives a certain percentage of profits to each year. It makes grants up to £1,000 to projects which demonstrate ability to have a positive impact on their community.

Deadline: 27th January 2017.


Tampon Tax Fund

For organisations who work to improve the lives of disadvantaged women and girls, including those who have been affected by violence, are invited to submit bids.

Deadline: 27th January



18th Annual Charity Times Awards: Celebrating best practice in the UK charity and not-for-profit sector

• To honour the outstanding professionals in the many and varied fields of charity management
• To recognise, celebrate, and promote best practice
• To support continuing professional development
• Contribute towards raising the standards of charity management
• To promote and raise the profile of the charity sector
• To provide recognition for those who are providing effective support to the sector.

Deadline for entries: 9 June 2017

Funding News

Ask Charity

Charities seeking media coverage should consider signing up to AskCharity. This free service is designed to help journalists and charities work together. Charities can use it to build their media contacts and coverage.Journalists use it to find case studies, spokespeople and information from a wide range of charities. Click here for more information.

Commissioning in Crisis

A new report published by Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales finds that central and local government are using shockingly complicated and inappropriate contracting and commissioning processes to secure vital public services. The experiences of small charities taking part in commissioning processes reveal a system in crisis which leaves charities threatened with closure and the future of public services, including homelessness, domestic abuse and mental health support, at risk. Commissioning in Crisis highlights some of the worst examples of poor commissioning practice reported by small charities include:

  • Poor scrutiny: a charity being marked down during the tender process for not explaining the process it would use to get its services accredited – because it already had the accreditation.
  • Irrelevant requirements: a charity being penalised during the procurement process for not having a hard-hat policy despite bidding to deliver mental health support.
  • Forced mergers: a charity being told it was a requirement to merge with another organisation simply to be able to bid for the work.

The report is available here

Active Ageing Fund

Sport England have launched their Active Ageing Fund. They want to work with partners to understand more about supporting inactive older adults. In particular, to test new ways of tackling inactivity, and find approaches that could be replicated across the country that make a significant difference to many more people’s lives.

If you have a great idea of how to tackle inactivity in this diverse audience, send in an expression of interest by midday on 13 February 2017. They expect to give grants of £50,000 – £500,000. Click here for more information.

Government Launches New £2.5m Communities Fund

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is inviting bids to its new funding and support programme which will be delivered in two phases over the next two years.The new £2.5 million Communities Fund is intended for community groups including neighbourhood associations, parish councils and charities to work closely with councils and deliver new services that help those with multiple needs in their communities. Joint bids from local authorities/other service providers and community-led groups will be considered. The Government is keen to work with partnerships that can begin to implement quickly and be underway in 2016/17.

The funding will be targeted depending on local pressures, and could be used to help those facing domestic abuse, to provide support for disabled children’s services or to support those facing long-term unemployment. Bids should be for new projects or to extend an existing project into another area but not to prop up an existing approach. The funding can be used for upfront costs and to monitor implementation.

The deadline for completed bids is 16 January 2017. Click here for more information.

Big Society Capital and Partners Launch Crowd Match Fund

Big Society Capital has joined with three partners to announced a ‘unique’ £10 million Crowd Match Fund to allow the public to invest directly in charities and social enterprises. The new £10 million fund will provide individuals with an opportunity to invest directly in charities and social enterprises through three of the fastest growing crowdfunding platforms. Crowdfunder, Ethex and ThinCats (through Community Chest) will list social sector organisations that want to raise debt and equity finance. This investment will then be match funded by Big Society Capital.

A Nesta report (‘Pushing Boundaries’) published earlier this year shows that the UK alternative finance sector grew by 84% in 2015 with £3.2 billion in investments, loans and donations. The report is the part of an annual series of reports from the Nesta and the University of Cambridge, which tracks the size and development of online alternative finance, such as P2P lending and crowdfunding, in the UK. Full details of the Crowd Match Fund can be found on the Big Capital Society website

Charity Commission Seeks Views on Digital Services

The Charity Commission for England and Wales has launched a new public survey about its digital services. The Charity Commission would like the public’s input on what it can do to improve the range and quality of its current digital offering and changes or additions that would improve the overall user experience. The survey includes questions on users’ priorities when speaking with the Commission and their preferred methods of communication. Responses will be analysed and used to help shape the Commission’s future digital communication tools and projects. The survey will close at 5pm on 18th January.



How to succeed with your crowdfunding campaign

(an old article, but still worth a read!)

Art of Raising Money

Professor Ian Bruce CBE
ISBN: 978-0-7199-1802-5

Theories and techniques developed in the commercial world will help you to transform your fundraising and income generation so that it is sustainable, integrated and rewarding. The ideas and tools in this fun and engaging publication are as relevant to income from donations as to contracts or trading, and are suitable for anyone who is unfamiliar with marketing theory and who needs to raise funds.

Click here for more information


Blog Post Funding

We are hiring!

Community Action: MK are recruiting for a number of full and part time positions in our Community Development Team. See more information below about the positions available.

Community Development Team Member (various roles available)

  • Full or Part time opportunities available
  • £22,387 per annum (pro rata)
  • Fixed term until June 2017, with possibility of extension dependant on funding.

Here at Community Action: MK we support the amazing work happening in and around Milton Keynes’ communities. We support local people to take action in their community whether part of a charity, a community group or an individual looking to make a difference. We are looking for passionate individuals to join our Community Development Team. As a team we deliver various Community Development contracts across Milton Keynes and we are looking for people that can join a flexible team that supports a variety of projects.

Download the Full Job Description & Personal Specification.

Download the Application Form.

Read our Equal Opportunities Statement.

Download our Equal Opportunities Form.

If you have any questions regarding this opportunity please contact Julie on 01908 661623 or


Please complete our application form and return it via post or email to by 4th December 2016.

Please note we do not accept CVs.

A selection event and interviews will be held on 12th December 2016.


Blog Post CAPE, Community Action Platform for Energy Charities & Community Groups Communities Communities Can (Cultural Services Review 2016) Community Car Service Connecting Communities Conniburrow Consultation Eastern Expansion Area Employee Volunteering Engage MK Funding Great Linford Health & Wellbeing Jobs in the VCS Lakes Estate MK:Smart Netherfield New Communities News from and for the VCS Newton Leys People's Health Trust Projects Simpson & Ashland Volunteering Western Expansion Area Woughton

18 November: MK Soup – groups invited to pitch for funding

Take 5 minutes to showcase your project at the next MK Soup event and get a chance to win funding on the day!

Friday 18th November: 7pm Christian Foundation House, Wolverton.


To find out more about the event that is open to everyone or to register your project or a group to deliver a short presentation, visit: www.mkfoodrevolutionorg/mk-soup.

You can also contact the organiser directly on:

Join MK Food Revolution and MK Christian Foundation at this community-driven event: have a bowl of delicious home-made soup and help to make a real difference happen in Milton Keynes by voting for your favourite project showcased at the event.


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Pepperhill & Stanton School: MK Lightning Ice Hockey Tickets

Do you and your family fancy seeing the MK Lightning ice hockey match at Planet Ice on Saturday 21st January 2017.


If the answer is ‘Yes!’, then please book your tickets through Stanton School and have a fantastic evening’s entertainment, followed by the opportunity to take to the ice after the match for a skate. The after match skating is free of charge, but any skate hire will cost £2.20 per person, payable on the night in the reception area of the rink from the 1st period break.

These have arranged before and they have only ever had positive feedback. As half the ticket price paid goes back to the school, the event is a school fundraiser too!

There is a simple process to follow:                            

  • Please complete your ticket needs in the attached form, and send them back to school with your payment. To check the deadline for this please contact Stanton School
  • Your names and ticket numbers are then forwarded to the venue; you simply turn up by 6.30pm at the latest: Planet Ice Milton Keynes, 1 South Row, Milton Keynes, MK9 1DL: and collect your tickets from our ticket collection gazebo , in  the car park just outside our main reception.
  • The match starts at 7pm. Visit: for details.
  • Cost: per family ticket (4 people) £10, per adult £5  and per child £3

All tickets must be paid for in advance to the school, and not on the door.

The School hopes that as many families as possible will support this event and enjoy an exciting game too!


For any further details please contact Stanton School on 01908 221 242.

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Grow Your Tenner

From 18th October 2016 there will be £345,000 of match funding available through Localgiving: now also matching one-time donations!

Loalgiving can help  you connect with people and fundraise online. If you are not part of localgiving get in touch, Milton Keynes Community Foundation will pay for your first year!

Click here for more information

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Funding News from and for the VCS