Today’s guest blog is from BucksVision, who are currently recruiting for a number of volunteer roles across Milton Keynes. Read on for all the details:
We are your local society dedicated to supporting visually impaired people across Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes.
If you would like to make a difference, this is an opportunity for you to join our fantastic team of volunteers, and to be a vital part of BucksVision’s commitment to sight loss prevention and support.
Becoming a volunteer can be very rewarding and there are many ways that you can help support us. By volunteering with us you can get involved in our wide range of services such as Fundraising, Home Services, and our Social & Activity groups.
We make every effort to ensure that you receive the appropriate support and training, so that you can realise your full potential as a volunteer helping people with visual impairment.
Partridge Social Club
Peartree Centre, MK6 3EB
Volunteer Drivers and Social Club helpers needed. Meet fortnightly on a Thursday, 2.30pm – 4.30pm
Wolverton Social Club
Herons Court, MK12 6DQ
Volunteer Drivers and Social Club helpers needed. Meet fortnightly on a Tuesday, 2pm – 4pm.
SARC Offices, MK9 2AH
Volunteer Technology Support Advisers, we’re looking for volunteers who have experience with smartphones and other devices who can help visually impaired people become digitally included.
Meeting the last Friday of every month, 10.30am – 12.30am.
Walking Group (Long Walks)
Various locations across MK
Volunteer Drivers and Guides, we’re in need of volunteers to collect and guide our members. Volunteers will need to be physically able and comfortable walking for 2 hours.
Meeting one Saturday a month across the MK area.
Walking Group (Short Walks)
As above but walking for 1 hour.
Meeting 2nd Sunday of the month at 10.30am across the MK area.
For how to apply for any of these roles, click here.
Are you looking for volunteer power to help boost any of your upcoming projects? Then keep reading, as today’s guest blog comes from MK College, with more about their College in the Community Day:
MK College are planning a day of action across Milton Keynes where as many of their students and staff as possible support the community and are looking for groups to work with on this. It could be a skills-based activity or something anyone could do, for a couple of hours or the whole day, at one of our campuses or in your project setting – if you have something they could get involved in, they want to hear from you!
If you have any questions or would like to discuss project ideas, please contact Rebecca Myrie, Community Engagement Manager (email@example.com).
The picture is of Painting & Decorating students working on Woughton Community Centre in January 2020.
Poorvi has been volunteering her time with us since September 2022, and she has created this guest blog to highlight resources tackling homelessness. Many thanks to Poorvi for her much-appreciated contributions to the work of Community Action: MK!
With the winter and colder days fast approaching and the overall concerns around the Cost of Living crisis, it’s always a time when we think more about the needs of the most vulnerable people in our communities, including those that are homeless.
The cause for homelessness is commonly misunderstood as laziness. Contrary to belief, there are many socioeconomic factors that play a role in homelessness. Lack of affordable housing, rising unemployment, mental or physical health problems are just a few of the many reasons causing homelessness. People who leave prison, care or the armed forces may not have a support system and may be unable to provide for themselves.
It can be a huge struggle to get out of homeless as people search for employment. They have no home address to fill in, no phone number to give and sometimes may not have adequate qualifications. All of these problems can be difficult to deal with, especially without a warm, safe environment to go to every night. People sleeping on the street are almost 17 times more likely to have been victims of violence.
However there are many outlets all over Milton Keynes that anybody can be a part of to help the community and people that are struggling, particularly with the coldest months of the year looming.
Winter Nights Shelter MK is a year- round charity that provides services, hot meals and food supplies that can be taken away. They also have clothing, sleeping supplies and toiletries available. If you are interested in volunteering more information can be found on the website here.
Depaul’s is another great charity that improves access to education, training and employment opportunities for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. More information can be found here.
Keeping Kids Off The Streets (KKOTS) is a non-profit organisation, every Friday they cook over 700 meals for the homeless and struggling families, they also host community events, more information can be found here.
MK food bank is a great way to indirectly have a huge impact on people’s lives so any donations or volunteers would be amazing for the community!
Homelessnes has so many different forms – it’s not just those that are forced to live on the streets, but also individuals and families that are living in temporary accommodation such motels or B&Bs and those that are sofa-surfing, or the Refugees that had to flee from places affected by war or other political/ economical upheavals. According to Shelter, the national housing and homelessness charity, there are currently over 115,000 children who are homeless in the UK and the cost of living crisis is posing a great risk of even more individuals and families becoming homeless in the coming months. There are a number of national and local organisations that campaign for and provide advice, support and volunteering opportunities to support individuals and families that are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Shelter, mentioned above, is one of them. In Milton Keynes, MK Homelessness Partnership is coordinating the work and related to supporting the local homelessness community and you can find out more about their work here. You can also access useful signposting information on our website here.
We’re currently collating feedback to inform our next Five Year Plan (2023-28), and we need the voices of the Milton Keynes’ Voluntary and Community Groups and Organisations.
We’re focusing on how Community Action: MK can best support MK groups to:
Access funding and other opportunities for growth and collaboration
Develop and maintain a thriving volunteer community
Help position the VCSE in Milton Keynes as a strategic partner within the local decision and policy making in the City
With this in mind, we’re posing two questions for consideration:
What should our priorities in the above areas be? Are there any gaps we have missed?
How can CA: MK share the impact of Milton Keynes’ Voluntary and Community Groups and Organisations?
You can answer these questions via this Google Jamboard, a virtual flip chart, where you can add ‘sticky notes’ using the menu found on the left hand side of the page.
Sharing your thoughts will take around 5 minutes, and your opinions will be anonymous.
The Jamboard will be open until the first week of December. You can also read our current Five Year plan here, and the responses to the two questions gathered during our October 2022 AGM here.
Many thanks for taking the time to complete the board, your insights will be invaluable in ensuring we can continue to strengthen groups, communities and the VCSE sector in Milton Keynes. If you would like to discuss any of the topics in more detail, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a support session with a member of the team.
Diabetes UK Milton Keynes aim to provide help and support to people living with or who are affected by diabetes in our area.
Their monthly peer support meetings provide a safe and friendly environment, and are usually held on the third Thursday of the month, at Centrecom Meeting Place in the City Centre. Meetings start at 7pm and are usually finished by 9pm.
The Volunteer Opportunity
Diabetes UK Milton Keynes are looking for a volunteer to help facilitate meetings by helping set out chairs and tables, plus making tea or coffee. and ideally help clear up after meeting.
This involves a volunteer commitment of approximately 3-3.5 hours per month.
The increases in the cost of living are ever prevalent, but there are both local and national organisations that can provide help and support.
Cost of Living Payments
If you are claiming a low-income benefit and think that you are entitled to a Cost of Living Payment, you don’t need to do anything. You’ll get the payments automatically. The first instalment of the £650 Cost of Living Payments will be paid automatically to eligible people, between 14 – 31 July. The remaining £324 will be paid in autumn. To find out more visit Cost of Living Payment .
ACEVO, the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations has compiled a range of links to reports, surveys and data sources to support civil society leaders to understand the impact of the Cost of Living crisis.
A round up of advice, including Winter Fuel Payments, Cold Weather Payments and links to energy suppliers who offer grants to their customers. CAB also provides links to support if you’re struggling with living costs.
Offering free confidential money advice and resources to anyone in the Milton Keynes area. Their services are provided by a team of trained volunteers who give advice in accordance with the training provided by Community Money Advice.
A national charity that helps people struggling with bad housing or homelessness, or the costs of housing, through advice, support and legal services. They have a comprehensive resource bank on their website and a free emergency helpline, open Monday to Friday, 8am – 8pm and 9am – 5pm on weekends and bank holidays: 0808 800 4444.
MK Melting Pot aims to help young people, vulnerable families and individuals overcome hunger and integrate, empowering people from diverse cultures with new skills to overcome hardship. Some of their services include: Food Donations, Online Cooking, Employability & Training, Money Management and a Children Club. Contact details: phone – 01908 585537 email – email@example.com
Girl Pack MK – Girl Pack is for anyone who is in need of sanitary towels and underwear just so they can go to school or work (not means tested). Available in schools, community/children’s and family centres and local council offices all over MK. A list of venues can be found on their Facebook page.
Charity shops are good places to find a bargain and a wide variety of stock. With the cost of living crisis leaving the people with less disposable income, second-hand shopping might be a good money-saving option. Just type in ‘charity shops near me’ into your search engine to find your local charity shops.