Funding for Citizen Innovators

Would you like to get funded to run a project in Milton Keynes?

Our MK, a crowdsourcing website for Milton Keynes, is launching a new funding competition for local citizens. We would like to fund innovative ideas that could improve transport, energy, water, health and environment in our city, and are offering our help and support in developing these into projects.

Our MK is powered by MK:Smart, a city-wide project working to bring MK to the forefront of innovation, technology and data. Our MK now has funding available for your projects that could help MK achieve this.

Our MK are offering awards of up to £5,000 for groups of citizens to develop technology-centred ideas which could have an impact on issues of sustainability around Milton Keynes. In addition to the funding, we can also provide help with technical support and advice on running community projects. Project ideas need to involve some form of digital technology and must be based around the key issues of Energy, Water, Transport, Health and the Environment.

The deadline for our final round of applications is the 30th October 2016.


If you aren’t sure about your project idea, take a look at the projects we have already funded since the launch of Our MK here and come to our Information Event at Gallery 200 at MK College on Thursday 13th October. To find out more about this free event and to book your place, click here.


Follow updates about the competition and the MK:Smart project on social media: / @MKSmartProject. Find out more on our project page here.

If you have any questions, please contact Clare at


Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Funding MK:Smart Projects

Lloyds Bank Foundation – Transform Programme

Lloyds Bank Foundation – Transform Programme

Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales today launched Transform; a new policy, practice and infrastructure focussed grants programme designed to strengthen and support the domestic and sexual abuse sectors. The Foundation is inviting bids from charities who have a track record of innovative work in these sectors and can propose projects that will have a long-term, strategic impact. Prospective applicants for Transform grants must be registered charities with an annual income of between £25,000 and £2m and display a relevant track record. Partnership bids are encouraged.

Grants of up to £100,000 will be awarded to up to 10 charities that can demonstrate plans to:

  • Influence policy at a local, regional or national level
  • Build the evidence base through research and analysis around needs and identification of effective interventions
  • Develop and share new models to help small and medium-sized specialist providers strengthen, grow and replicate
  • Develop and support effective partnerships within and across sectors

The panel has a particular interest in proposals presenting innovative ways for small and specialist services to make greater impact. It will also prioritise projects which show the greatest potential in sharing learning and have a clear plan to achieve it.

Transform grants will not be awarded for service delivery or to support the development of individual organisations – charities should continue to apply to the Foundation’s Invest and Enable programmes for such work.

The Transform programme is part of the Foundation’s £3m commitment over three years to strengthen the sectors and improve responses to domestic and sexual abuse. It builds on the work the Foundation began last year, through funding Women’s Aid Federation of England, Imkaan and Welsh Women’s Aid to support small and specialist providers to prepare for competitive commissioning and supporting the Drive perpetrator project in partnership with SafeLives, Respect and Social Finance to seek to better tackle and reduce domestic abuse at source.

For Transform programme enquiries contact:

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New funding for local community groups now available

European Social Fund

Nearly £1 million is now available to grassroots voluntary and community groups based in the South East Midlands.

Grants are between £5,000 and £20,000 and are specifically for projects that help engage and progress ‘hard to reach’ individuals towards the labour market. Groups eligible to apply must be based in the SEMLEP area, with an annual turnover of less than £300,000.

The funds are being managed by ‘Futures Advice Skills and Employment’ and jointly funded by the Skills Funding Agency and European Social Fund.

The types of projects this funding can support include:

• Initial help with basic skills
• Taster work experience including voluntary work
• Training, advice and counselling
• Confidence building
• Job search assistance including the provision of equipment and other help necessary to secure employment
• First contact engagement activities

Applications open for the first round of funding open today (14th July) and close on Tuesday, 2nd August at 4pm. The grants will be allocated during the week commencing Monday, 15th August 2016.

Find out more about the events and the funding by emailing

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

Free training: co-operatives

Are you starting or thinking of starting a new ethical business? Would you like to find out if a co-operative model could be right for you?

Community Action: MK is teaming up with The Hive, a business support programme from Co-operatives UK, to deliver a workshop in Milton Keynes for people who would like to find out more about benefits of setting up a co-operative business.

What is it?

A free one-day development workshop for small groups of people considering starting up a business to:

  • determine whether the co-operative option is right for them;
  • establish what further work they would need to do before registering as a co-operative.

Who’s it for?

Early new start businesses (and potentially employee buyouts and conversions) and people interested in learning more about co-operatives.

What will it be like?

The cluster session will be structured as a one-day workshop and  will be tailored in response to the needs identified during the registration process. More information can be found on The Hive’s website here.

How will this be organised?

If you would like to take part in the workshop, please complete the registration of interest form here. You will then be contacted with details about the workshop. Please note that we will only be able to run the session if a sufficient number of people register their interest.

Screenshot 2016-06-21 at 12.16.19

If you have any questions, you can e-mail us at: 

Read our information sheet about co-operatives here.

In collaboration with:




Blog Post CAPE, Community Action Platform for Energy Funding MK:Smart

Share your views…

18-30’s Community Involvement Survey


Are you 18-30 years old? Do you live in Milton Keynes? If so, we would love to find out about your attitude towards and perceptions of community involvement. We are particularly  interested to find out about young people’s motivations and barriers to community engagement. Please help us by completing the short survey below.

Screenshot 2016-06-13 at 09.06.14

Thank you!

Blog Post Communities Conniburrow Funding

Funding Opportunities by Unltd for Social Entrepreneurs


Unltd are the leading supporters for social entrepreneurs in the UK.

Unltd are seeking social entrepreneurs with great ideas. If you are a social entrepreneur seeking funding or wanting to test out an idea, Unltd have awards that may be right for you. There are three options they currently offer:

  1. £500 – Try It Award
    This is a one-off award if you are attempting something for the first time.
  2. £5,000 – Do It Award
    This Award is to help you tryout your idea.
  3. £15,000 – Grow It Award
    This Award focuses on helping you on your venture to help make it sustainable.

Recipients will gain funding and a package of support.

*These rewards are not rolling. 

For more information and to find the right award for you, visit:

We, at Community Action: MK, would love to hear your ideas. Contact Tariq at

Blog Post Funding MK:Smart

Funding for community projects from Bags of Help

Tesco is urging local community groups and good causes across Milton Keynes to get their applications in to bag a share of its £13million carrier bag charge fund.


The supermarket has once again teamed up with Groundwork to launch its Bags of Help initiative, which sees grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to environmental and greenspace projects.

Applications for the next round of the funding opened on 18 April – and with the deadline of 3 June – Tesco is urging groups in Milton Keynes to apply now and avoid missing out.

All interested charities and community groups have to do is apply online at or call the helpline on 0121 237 5780.

Read the full story in OneMK


Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Funding