21st June: A Community of Practice: All VCS practitioners welcome

Do you work / volunteer with Children and Young People in MK? Do you offer support for their mental health and sense of wellbeing?

Such work is rewarding but can be demanding. We know that within the Voluntary and Community Sector in MK there are many groups working in this field and over 20 of us met last month to discuss forming a Community of Practice.

The second meeting will take place on:

FRIDAY 21st JUNE 9.30am – midday at Service Six, Chapter House, Coffee Hall, MK6 5EE

A Community of Practice is where people expand their knowledge and personal development of a certain topic or focus through meeting (face- to- face and on-line) to learn together, share information and be challenged, enjoying occasional presentations and workshops and doing whatever they decide to expand their professional understanding and influence.

On FRIDAY 21st JUNE we will be planning a programme based on the themes identified at our first session .

1.Promotion – how do we promote our services and understand more about what other organisations are delivering in our area in order to co-operate  and make new relationships? What are the variety of, and best practice, methods for getting our messages across and influencing future plans within our service and across agencies?

2.Quality Standards – what does co-produced ‘best’ look like? How can we co-produce plans and services with CYP? How could we use data, models and knowledge we co-produce with young people to influence commissioners, funders and inter-agency debate so that high quality holistic services can happen?

3.The Local Offer – how can we use experience, knowledge, data and research to foster resilience in young people experiencing physical and/or mental challenges?  How can we build CYP confidence and ability to contribute to co-produced support?

Whilst the primary goal of a CoP is to expand individual knowledge and practice, only if people at a strategic level are involved in some way can individuals try out and embed their ‘new’ knowledge, and influence change. So we will be planning how to involve people at a strategic level, such as managers and trustees. Managers and trustees – do come and join us!

A closed Facebook (somewhat darkly called a “secret group”) where you can raise questions, issues and contribute to discussion before (and after) June’s Workshop is also being set up.

Please do get in touch if you want to know more or want to come along on Friday 21st June.




Blog Post Charities & Community Groups

1st June: Celebration of Citizen Innovation & Launch of Crowdfunding

Kick of the Volunteers’ Week with a celebration of citizen-innovation projects in Milton Keynes!

We are delighted to invite all community members in Milton Keynes (and around) to a free celebratory event, which will take place on the first day of the national Volunteers’ Week!

When? Thursday 1st of June: 5.30-7pm

Where? The Chrysalis Theatre, Camphill Communities, Japonica Lane, MK15 9JY.

What? The event will be dedicated to celebrating the amazing work of local volunteers and groups in Milton Keynes who have run their citizen-innovation projects as part of the Our MK website, which is powered by the MK:Smart project. Those volunteers and their projects have been making a real difference to various communities across Milton Keynes!


Franzi Florack, Owner of the first Our project supported by Our MK – ‘Food Passport’ – just one of the amazing Our MK Volunteers!

Click here to watch a short video our the Our MK initiative.

We are also delighted to announce that at the event we will be launching a new exciting feature on the Our MK website – CROWDFUNDING! You will not only be able to find out more about this new opportunity for local communities to get involved with and raise funds and reach out for support through. You will also have a chance to pledge your support to a few Milton Keynes based projects that will be launching their own crowdfunding campaigns on the day! More information about this will follow soon, so please tune in and follow this blog and the #OurMK hashtag on Twitter and Facebook.

Please join us at the event to:

  • Speak to previous citizen innovation projects and find out how their initiatives have improved their communities in Milton Keynes
  • Learn more about the new crowdfunding tool on Our MK and how you take advantage of it!
    Explore how to fund your next great idea through Our MK to improve your community
    Network with lots of interesting local people full of passion for making Milton Keynes a smart and sustainable place to live!

Please join us to celebrate the passion for citizen innovation in Milton Keynes and the amazing work of local volunteers!

The Chrysalis Theatre is an amazing local venue and we are delighted to celebrate the project there! Yummy and locally – sourced refreshments will be provided!

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We look forward to seeing you there!

Follow: #OurMK and #volunteersweek



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Blog Post Communities MK:Smart Projects

CAPE – Community Action Platform for Energy

CAPE, Community Action Platform for Energy is a new project that Community Action: MK is a partner of.

The project is developing an interactive website that will allow citizens and communities in Milton Keynes to start and run projects that will make their energy use cheaper, more effective and more sustainable. It will make use of the latest technologies such as the internet, social media, satellite imaging and data matching.


The aim of the project is to enable an effective collaboration between the citizens and community groups, local authorities, and suppliers. This, as a result, will help to bring about a step change in energy distribution in Milton Keynes. In addition to this, the project has a real potential to achieve further goals, including:

  • Reducing  carbon footprint
  • Helping individuals and families out of fuel poverty
  • Supporting the local economy, including creating local jobs and engaging local suppliers
  • Generating profits that can be invested back into local communities
  • Increasing citizens’ understanding of  how energy is generated and how they consume it

Part-funded by Innovate UK, the project that will last eighteen months is being delivered as a collaborative initiative between Community Action: MK and a number of key partners: Smart Klub, The Open University, Milton Keynes Council, Tech Mahindra, Satellite Applications Catapult.


The role of Community Action: MK in this city-wide initiative is to engage and involve citizens and local community groups in Milton Keynes in the process of developing CAPE website and supporting them in organising their own community energy projects. To find out more about the roles of other CAPE partners, visit the website: www.capeproject.co.uk

We are reaching out to local citizens and community groups and hubs across the city to seek feedback, ensuring that it is reflected in every stage of the project. To be part of this exciting project, whether you are an individual or a group interested in exploring the benefits of community energy, do get in touch with Anna on: anna@communityactionmk.org or telephone: 01908 661 623.


Click below to find out more about a couple of initiatives related to CAPE project

MK Community Energy Alliance – an alliance of local organisations working towards accelerating community energy projects in Milton Keynes

Energage MK – a pilot project developing a Community Energy Champions Network in Milton Keynes

Blog Post CAPE, Community Action Platform for Energy Communities Projects

New Home Energy Assessment Scheme for households Milton Keynes

My Home Energy Planner 



It’s often difficult to get hold of trusted and tailored advice when improving the energy efficiency of your home. The National Energy Foundation, a local charity based in Knowlhill, is working with Carbon Co-op to offer innovative My Home Energy Planner surveys to householders in Milton Keynes.

The surveys are carried out by professional energy specialists and provide accurate, comprehensive and usable information on the current and potential energy performance of your home. My Home Energy Planner provides a tailored action plan for the installation of various energy efficiency improvements, together with a selection of costed options that can be adapted to your personal needs and priorities.

To find out more, register your interest and enter a prize draw to win a wireless energy monitor, please call 01908 354547 or visit www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MHEP10.



Blog Post CAPE, Community Action Platform for Energy MK:Smart News from and for the VCS Projects

Volunteer Spotlight: Tariq Raja

We’re sharing stories about amazing volunteers giving their time in Milton Keynes. This spotlight is on Tariq Raja, who has been volunteering at Community Action: MK.

Tariq started supporting Community Action: MK in May 2016 and has been incredibly helpful since that time. Tariq’s main role has been in supporting the development of the type of support we offer to citizens in Milton Keynes, this has involved doing background research about social enterprises and other models, meeting other local organisations, getting to know people we have already supported locally and helping some of them to take their ideas further. Rebecca Brown, a member of our Community Engagement Team has said:

‘Tariq has really used his fresh pair of eyes and an outside perspective to advise and help us to improve our service.’

Tariq has also helped out with other activities such as community engagement, our website and communications, and he has been actively supporting some of the citizen projects funded and supported by the Our MK platform.


Tariq helping to deliver a Raspberry Pi session to students at the STEM Club at MK Academy as part of the Our MK – funded Community Computing project. Photo credit: Community Action: MK.

Tariq makes conscious effort to take himself out of his comfort zone in order to benefit the wider society. As a Muslim he has found that there is a large cultural divide between organisations such as ours and the people within his religious group. Therefore he is striving to bridge the gap. He is now starting to support Community Action: MK to reach out to minority groups by supporting the delivery of an equality workshops for those harder to reach ethnic groups and his insight is proving very valuable. Tariq hopes to understand where his skills fit into the Voluntary Sector and use this to support communities.


Tariq delivering leaflets and engaging with residents in Broughton Gate about the Water Monitor project as part of MK: Smart. Photo credit: Community Action: MK.

Our team at Community Action: MK absolutely enjoys working with Tariq and we thoroughly appreciate his volunteering support – thank you Tariq!

Interested in volunteering? Get involved in with lots of roles available via Community Action: MK. Search our bank of MK Volunteering roles now to find your place and explore the brand new Volunteering Platform for Milton Keynes – Volunteer Connect

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

13 November: Launch of Amnesty International Milton Keynes

New group launching in Milton Keynes

Come along to the launch of this new group and find out more about Amnesty’s work in promoting human rights, and how you can contribute.

Sunday 13 November: 6-9PM: St Michael’s Priory at The Well, MK15 9AA


To find out more, click here or contact the group directly on: amnestymiltonkeynes@gmail.com 

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

New Job: Netherfield Drug and Alcohol Outreach and Engagement Worker

Work with local stakeholders to help tackle some key issues in Netherfield

Compass and Netherfield Local Conversation Steering Group have partnered to create a role to address the specific needs of the Netherfield community in Milton Keynes.

They are seeking one full time or two part time drug and alcohol engagement workers to work intensively within the estate of Netherfield. Through the People’s Health Trust Local Conversation project, supported by Community Action: MK, the post has been developed by the residents themselves as a solution to local drug and alcohol related issues in order to bring about positive outcomes for service users and their families, as well as the wider community.

The role will be extremely varied and will involve direct work with drug and alcohol users in Netherfield, supporting them to access specialist services within Compass as well as encouraging their involvement in the wider community through volunteering opportunities. It will also involve educating Netherfield residents and professionals working in the area to embed a greater understanding of effects related to drug and alcohol issues and support available. The successful candidate will work in partnership
with the resident-led steering group to develop and implement a local action plan.

You will need to be an approachable, flexible and committed individual who enjoys developing creative solutions, as well as being an exceptional communicator with the ability to work positively and collaboratively.

A good understanding of the Netherfield area is desirable.

You will share our commitment to safeguarding children, young people and
vulnerable adults.

As part of the safer recruitment process, an enhanced DBS check will be undertaken before appointment can be confirmed.

For more information visit: www.compass-uk.org/recruitment
Closes 18th November / Interviews 28th November
Compass is committed to equal opportunities.


Blog Post Communities Jobs in the VCS Netherfield