Beanhill Clean Up Day brings local people and groups together

 

Beanhill Community Clean Up Day took place on Wednesday 13th of May.

The event was a real success, bringing together a number of local residents and groups in a joint effort aimed at tidying up the estate and raising awareness of the increasing environmental issues such as fly-tipping and overhanging vegetation.

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The initiative received support from Moorland School and Beanhill’s branch of MacIntyre, a national charity supporting children, young people and adults who have a learning disability or autism to live their life their way. A group of children from Moorland School litter-picked the area around the school and the MacIntyre groups cleaned the street signs all around the estate.

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“We really enjoyed being part of the event and had lots of lovely comments from local people. The children were very enthusiastic and felt that they were doing something worthwhile and useful for the community.” Juliet Jones, Head Teacher at Moorland School.

Serco, the cleaning contractor in Beanhill, joined the volunteers to help them carry out their litter-picking tasks and provided the necessary tools, including the litter-pickers, rubber gloves and bin bags. It was a good opportunity for residents and the Serco team to interact  and work together, sharing perspectives on keeping the estate a clean and safe place to be. Since the day, the team has visited the weekly coffee morning at Moorlands Centre to engage with the local residents further.

Robert Watson, Serco Street Cleansing Supervisor said “The level of support and community spirit shown by Beanhill residents was inspiring, thank you to Anna, her team and all of volunteers for letting us be part of such a successful day.”

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The Community & Events Group at Moorlands Centre and Beanhill Action Group also helped to make the event a success by preparing a lovely lunch for the volunteers, which was a great opportunity to relax after litter-picking and chat to fellow residents and other groups involved on the day.

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One of the volunteers who helped to run the event smoothly won the shopping-card gift voucher, which had been donated by the local Asda store in Bletchley.

Asda’s Community Life Champion came along to help with litter-picking too.

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A number of local residents who were helping out with this initiative called for a new volunteer-led group to be formed in Beanhill, which would run on-going projects and tackle any key environmental problems on the estate. One resident told us:

“It would be good to see an on going group formed for caring for the green area of Beanhill, including taking care of the parks and doing regular walk arounds.”

Some of the ideas for the group and the projects it could run included an all week amnesty of the clearing of rubbish accumulating in peoples’ car ports (and forgo the charges) and a skip week where there would be a large skip at the end of each main drag for people to put their items in.

Laura Nash, Beanhill residents and the Event’s Coordinator said:

“The Clean Up Day was a great success and it was great to see a few new faces too, wanting to get involved in where they live. I would like to say thank you to the residents that took part on the streets, to those in the kitchen and behind the scenes, and also to MacIntyre for all your hard work.”

To see more photos from the day, click here.

Blog Post Communities Volunteering

Volunteering develops leadership skills

It’s day 4 of Volunteers’ Week 2015 and all week we’ll be sharing case studies with you to highlight the many reasons people have for volunteering. We’d love you to join in too – head over to the Volunteers’ Week website to download your digital resource pack and use the hashtag #ivolunteer to share your story.

Cassandra’s Story

Cassandra (1)

As well as being Chair of the PTA at a local primary school, Cassandra helps to run an arts and crafts group in Tinkers Bridge. The group of 25 – 42 people meet each Thursday during term time and focus on different activities each time.

Cassandra was keen to find something that kept her busy, through volunteering she has found something that has allowed her to get out of the house, meet new people and learn from individuals who she would have otherwise never met. She says, “there is something really special about meeting people from different background, and not only talking with them, but also achieving things together – no matter how small the goal.”

Ultimately, Cassandra wanted to be able helping other people as much as she had been helped through her life – and volunteering provided the ideal opportunity. There have been some rather unexpected results of Cassandra’s commitment to volunteering. In the last year, she has won two awards, including the Unsung Hero Award from Langland Community School.

As well as opening her eyes to different people, her experience of volunteering has also introduced her to the local support networks with different agencies, which has enabled her to learn more. Before volunteering, she would often feel lonely, she never knew where to point people but now she has built solid relationships, she has learned more about local groups and she now knows where to signpost others to and is kept up to date with any developments.

If you’d like to find out more about volunteering, give Community Action: MK a call on 01908 661623 or come along to our drop in and speak to one of our friendly, trained advisors every Thursday morning from 10am-12noon in the reception at Acorn House, 351 Midsummer Boulevard, CMK, MK9 3HP.

Alternatively, you can search for local opportunities via www.do-it.org

Blog Post Volunteering

Volunteering: The Real Social Network

Volunteering: The Real Social Network

It’s day 3 of Volunteers’ Week 2015 and all week we’ll be sharing case studies with you to highlight the many reasons people have for volunteering. We’d love you to join in too – head over to the Volunteers’ Week website to download your digital resource pack and use the hashtag #ivolunteer to share your story.

Rachael started volunteering in her local community through connecting with her community mobiliser from Community Action:MK. She also helped at her local youth club each week. Since the beginning of 2015, she has been helping with reception and administration, and welcoming visitors and clients at Citizen’s Advice.

Through her volunteering, Rachael felt a real sense of contributing towards the wellbeing of the community, helping organise events and craft workshops that otherwise may not have happened. She met some wonderful people – some who have become lifelong friends. Rachael says, “It opened up a social network for myself and my children as we were fairly new to the area and kept us informed of all the great things we could be part of.”

Volunteering has really had a profound impact on Rachael, she continues “Back in 2006 volunteering changed me from being quiet and not knowing anyone in my community, to being a confident member of the community. Most recently it has changed my lifestyle and that of my children. I’m very proud of myself and hope this continues to have a positive effect.”

If you’d like to find out more about volunteering, give Community Action: MK a call on 01908 661623 or come along to our drop in and speak to one of our friendly, trained advisors every Thursday morning from 10am-12noon in the reception at Acorn House, 351 Midsummer Boulevard, CMK, MK9 3HP.

Alternatively, you can search for local opportunities via www.do-it.org

Blog Post Volunteering

Volunteering just a small amount of time can have a huge impact

It’s day 2 of Volunteers’ Week 2015 and all week we’ll be sharing case studies with you to highlight the many reasons people have for volunteering. We’d love you to join in too – head over to http://volunteersweek.org/ to download your digital resource pack and use the hashtag #ivolunteer to share your story.

Volunteering just a small amount of time can have a huge impact
Josan volunteers as an independent visitor for children and young people in the care of the local authority. She has volunteered for years within her community, but as her children are now grown up, she wanted to do something specific and something that would use the skills and gifts she has.
Committing just a few hours a month can make a huge impact on a young person’s life. The volunteer role that she now has can give a child a little bit of happiness while their circumstances aren’t ideal. It can give them someone to talk to, someone to build trust with, and someone they know has their best interests at heart.
As well as the benefit to the child, as a part of her volunteering, Josan will gain an NVQ 3 qualification – which really adds to her CV and gives her a solid foundation from which to potentially look at others areas of working with children within the care system.
When asked about how her volunteering has impacted on her, Josan says “I feel good in myself, I had a tough childhood and this would have been great for me when I was younger.”
If you’d like to find out more about volunteering, give Community Action: MK a call on 01908 661623 or come along to our drop in and speak to one of our friendly, trained advisors every Thursday morning from 10am-12noon in the reception at Acorn House, 351 Midsummer Boulevard, CMK, MK9 3HP.
Alternatively, you can search for local opportunities via www.do-it.org
Blog Post Volunteering

Stately Home Retail Group Helps Stowe for the Day

On 20th May a volunteer army of 13 employees from Home Retail Group spent the day at Stowe painting a bridge. As a team they were able to make the bridge look its best.

Patrick Green from Stowe commented

‘The wooden bridge had not been painted for 5 years, it’s a really significant landmark, as it can been seen from many points in the gardens. Ideally it needs to be painted every year, so without the support of this team this probably would not have happened this year as we have many priorities to deal with at Stowe. The bridge now looks fantastic, which visitors will be able to enjoy. We would definitely like more volunteers in the future and have many restoration projects on the go and would love more teams to come out to help us’.

Pete Wilks, Team Leader said

‘Overall we had a fantastic day as a team. It was a great opportunity to give something back as well as an opportunity to bond together as a team. I would recommend others coming here for a team building day’

Another employee volunteer said

‘We had a great day and the staff at Stowe have been really helpful and friendly, which adds to the enjoyment of the day. Having the chance to paint the bridge showed off different people’s ability with a paint brush. Everyone got stuck in and worked hard!’

This is one example of the incredible difference that businesses can make when they work together with communities.

If you know of a group that could benefit from a range of skills and support from volunteers please get in touch with Community Action: MK.

Communities Employee Volunteering Volunteering

Volunteers’ Week – Volunteering helps people stay involved in their communities

Today is the start of Volunteers’ Week 2015 and all week we’ll be sharing case studies with you to highlight the many reasons people have for volunteering. We’d love you to join in too – head over to the Volunteers’ Week website to download your digital resource pack and use the hashtag #ivolunteer to share your story.
Volunteering helps people stay involved in their communities
 
Lynda has palindromic Rheumatoid Arthritis and sometimes when she has a flare up she can’t move and therefore is unable to work. This caused her to feel housebound and as she is an outgoing, organised person she felt wasted sat at home. She knew she could be of use to others and wanted to put something back into the community. Lynda needed something to do and as she had been a carer in her working life, knew that she wanted to support the elderly.
Lynda volunteers on behalf of Age UK Milton Keynes and helps out at Pear Tree Centre Lunch club on Wednesdays, she also lends a hand on Thursdays doing admin for handyman services. As well as that, Lynda helps at Hinton Lodge lunch club on Fridays, the Hungerford House lunch club, and at many fundraising events.
She says that she feels happier in herself and feels she is really giving something back. Lynda now says that she has “something to get up for in the mornings and now knows that she is appreciated.”
If you’d like to find out more about volunteering, give Community Action: MK a call on 01908 661623 or come along to our drop in and speak to one of our friendly, trained advisors every Thursday morning from 10am-12noon in the reception at Acorn House, 351 Midsummer Boulevard, CMK, MK9 3HP.
Alternatively, you can search for local opportunities via www.do-it.org
Volunteering

Get a free 30-minute radio profile for your organisation

Milton Keynes Community Radio Station, Secklow Sounds, was granted FM status by Ofcom in March 2015 and one of their promises was to promote the work of the voluntary sector in Milton Keynes. They are now ready to embark on the project and want to hear from local groups that would like to take advantage of this opportunity.
Through their programme ‘Focus’ you will get 30 minutes to inform listeners about the work you do, appeal for volunteers, share some of your successes and generally get a chance to raise awareness.  Reporters will come to your location to record interviews or record a live programme. It will be a good opportunity to invite some of your supporters to be part of the audience if a live programme is agreed.
The finished recording will be made available for on-demand listening and schedule airplay. You will also get the chance to link the programme to your website as well as receiving a copy of the recording for your own use.
If you’d like to take advantage of this, please email: focus@secklowsounds.org
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