Volunteer to help the homeless in Milton Keynes

Homelessness has become a major issue in Milton Keynes over the last few years. According to Vital Signs 2019, a report published by the MK Community Foundation, 1 in every 117 people in Milton Keynes are homeless. This figures does not take into consideration the hidden homeless, so those sofa-surfing or living in temporary accommodation.

With the number of local rough sleepers increasing year on year, how long can we continue to look the other way?

Volunteer to help the homeless:

Sanctuary Housing

Sanctuary Hosting: We need volunteer hosts across the Thames Valley –  people with an open heart and a free bed to help someone who is destitute and far from their home country. If you are interested in being a support worker – volunteers who support hosting placements to help us ensure that hosting goes well – please also get in touch: http://sanctuaryhosting.org/get-involved/


YMCA England

YMCA Milton Keynes: There are many ways to get involved, including:

  • Fundraising to help raise money for accommodation and support services for our young residents.
  • Becoming a board committee member and sharing your experience to benefit YMCA MK.
  • Participating at our events, for example assisting with general organisation or serving food and refreshments.
  • Helping us furnish 199 rooms in our new campus that opens in February 2020.

Bus Shelter MK: There are a wide variety of tasks, including feeding residents, supporting the daily life on the bus and helping residents become self-sufficient so they can move on after their time with us.


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Volunteers needed! Contact Help our Homeless to find out what volunteering opportunities they have and what donations they are looking for.



Winter Night Shelter Milton Keynes

Winter Night Shelter MK. Night owls and early risers are always especially needed. There are many different roles, both interacting with our guests and supporting behind the scenes.


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Open Door MK: Our future depends on you. Your donations, your support, and your time all help us help the homeless in MK .


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MK Soup Run: MK Soup Run is run by a group volunteers, many of which are connected to local church organisations. They are often looking for donations and people to put together winter care packages.


The Rough Sleeper Partnership: The RSP provides a combination of outreach support and assessment hubs where homeless people and people who are vulnerably house can go to access help and support. RSP operates across Milton Keynes, Luton and Bedford – there are volunteering opportunities in all these areas. 


Connection Support

Connection Support: Volunteering with Connection Support offers many exciting opportunities. There is no typical volunteer, we believe that everyone has something valuable to offer. Whether your skills are practical, admin, language-based or people-centred, we can find a role to suit you!


MK Food Bank - Sowing the seeds of Love

MK Foodbank: We have several opportunities for individuals and business volunteering. Opportunities range from a few hours, to a day volunteering in our warehouse or visiting one of our emergency food serving sessions. Interested in volunteering? Please email thefoodbank@mkcc.org.uk


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MK Storehouse: We have sessions for clothes sorting, general tidying and cleaning of the building. We also sometimes need people with large cars and strong muscles to help us move donations around. Do get in touch if you’d like to be notified when these are taking place and what you would be happy doing.


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Refugees Welcome Milton Keynes is always on the lookout for people who can help in the following capacities:

  • Administrators
  • Furnishings, books, donations:
  • Offer meaningful work placements with positive outputs
  • Assist our our first Community Sponsorship project: Refugees Welcome Wolverton
  • Be a “work mentor” to one family
  • Interpret or teach ESL for the Red Cross, teach Maths or English via Building Bridges
  • Be a “buddy” family and help with all aspects of integration
  • Organise social events that support integration
  • Offer positive links to sports/hobby groups who want to help
  • Speakers to join our ‘Talks Team’
  • Help with fostering (please visit the Milton Keynes Council Fostering page for info)

Village Carlton logo

Emmaus Village Carlton: At Emmaus Village Carlton our volunteers work alongside our companions and staff, sharing activities and responsibilities and helping to build our social enterprise together.

We always welcome support with:

  • Helping to merchandise and price items in our shops (furniture, boutique and bric and brac
  • Admin assistance
  • Fundraising
  • Drivers
  • Upcycling of furniture
  • Gardeners
  • Bistro assistance

Also please get in touch with the organisations below if you are interested in volunteering with them.

Further organisations that help the homeless

Milton Keynes Homelessness Partnership (MKHP) is working together with public, private and voluntary sector organisations for a real change. With a vision of sustainable homes for all, MKHP’s strategy is to shift the focus from managing homelessness to ending homelessness by wider engagement and a joined-up approach to provide a clear pathway to sustainable housing.


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Get advice immediately if you think you might become homeless – with the right help you might be able to stay in or return to your home. https://www.miltonkeynescab.org.uk/how-we-can-help/housing/


The Salvation Army: Fishermead Centre is a Salvation Army Lifehouse that offers supported housing to men and women experiencing homelessness who are aged 25 and over who can stay for 6 months.  For initial enquiries or a referral form please email referralsmk@salvationarmy.org.uk


Compass: A free, confidential substance misuse service for all Milton Keynes residents aged 18+. We positively welcome all those in our community who are experiencing problems with drugs and alcohol misuse and we specialise in supporting recovery.


Street Link Logo

StreetLink: StreetLink exists to help end rough sleeping by enabling members of the public to connect people sleeping rough with the local services that can support them. If you are concerned about someone over the age of 18 that you have seen sleeping rough in England or Wales, you can use this website to send an alert to StreetLink.The details you provide are sent to the local authority or outreach service for the area in which you have seen the person, to help them find the individual and connect them to support.


If your community group or charity works in homelessness and is looking for volunteers please contact Community Action: MK at support@communityactionmk.org or 01908 661 623.

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Broughton and Brooklands Community Connectors: Community Awards Evening

Broughton and Brooklands Community Connectors Committee

On Friday evening, Peter, the Chairperson of the Connectors, celebrated the great work that has happened over the last four years by hosting a Community Awards evening to recognise and reward the nominees of the area.

The committee themselves – of Broughton & Brooklands Community Connectors – received an award for their hard work and dedication towards supporting and overseeing the other groups in the Broughton and Brooklands area. The awards were given by Milton Keynes Mayor, Sam Crooks, who came along by special invitation to present the awards to the deserving groups of Brooklands and Broughton.

One of the other groups to be awarded for their wonderful exemplary work was Supporting Xtra Special Families, who offer support to families living with disability or additional needs in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas.

Supporting Xtra Special Families Committee

Our very own Community Action: MK employee also won an award for supporting both groups over their lifetime, and was thrilled to see them awarded for all their hard work and commitment.

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Community Action: MK Trustees breakfast

Trustees are very important to any organisation and Community Action: MK is no exception, which is why this Trustees Week we invited two of our longest serving trustees down for our group meeting to help us gain insight into the role of a trustee and how it feels to be one.  

Both Roger and Danny have been involved with Community Action: MK for years.

D Conway Aug 2017

Danny have become our Chair over his time here and has said he feels very proud to apart of Community Action: MK and the impact he has had with us. Danny himself has said that he’d rather focus on “The forest” rather than “the mushrooms”, meaning the big picture and things that should be done over a longer period of time rather than the things that are solved overnight. And this way of viewing things has helped the whole organisation think long term which has led to the best results.

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Roger started making films for Community Action: MK before eventually becoming a trustee. Roger is very supportive of what Community Action: MK strives to achieve and what they have accomplished during his time as trustee. He says that “time is an undervalued commodity” and that there never feels like there’s enough time to do everything, but everything still manages to get done. Roger loves to see change in action, and being apart of an organisation that specialises in makes that change is something he relishes when he takes part in events with us.

All in all trustees are definitely a great part of our organisation and we thank each and every one of them for being with us and helping us to make that change that is so often desired.

Community Action: MK’s breakfast with two of our trustees, Danny Conway and Roger Kitchen, during the Trustee Week 2019.

See more about our trustees: https://communityactionmk.org/about/our-trustees/

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Election guidance for small charities

Now that the election has been confirmed for 12 December 2019, The Charity Commission is issuing a reminder to all charities of their particular responsibilities in the weeks ahead.

The Commission is aware that the political context for this election is very different from that which people may have experienced in the past, which makes it all the more important that trustees read both our guidance on campaigning and political activity and the particular guidance that applies during an election (PDF, 606KB). We’ve also published lessons learned during the last election in 2017.

It is legitimate and healthy for charities to speak up for the causes they serve. But appearing to take a political position on either side could risk undermining public confidence in charity as something special, an issue which our chief executive made clear in her recent blog.

As well as your responsibilities under charity law, you need to be aware of the rules on what is called ‘third party campaigning’ under electoral law, which may affect your charity. The Electoral Commission has worked closely with charities to produce ‘Non-party campaigners: where to start’, using real-life case studies to provide advice to charity campaigners.

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Gardening with the Green Gym and TCV

On Tuesday 29 October, Community Action: MK headed down to Centrecom the local community space between North 9th and 10th Street. We were supporting the Green Gym and The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) with their ‘Plating Up’ event of the community space. Although it was chilly to start, once we got stuck in it soon warmed up and a beautiful day for gardening. The group were so warm and friendly, it was a shame more residents couldn’t make it. 

Community Action staff loved being involved and seeing how the group came together to change the whole feel of the space. This is the 2nd visit from the Green Gym to this spot, and from the pictures it is clear how much hard work has gone into it. The group are volunteers who are continually looking for new members to join them. From giving it a go we can see why people join, it is lovely to be out in the fresh air and so rewarding to see spaces transformed. The space next to Centrecom has gone from an overgrown and uninviting patch to a clear and green peaceful spot, the robins seem to like it already! 

The Green Gym meet weekly working on different projects and spaces, it is clear that the work can help you both physically and with general wellbeing.  Have a look at upcoming events here: https://plantingup.co.uk/event/intu-mk-green-gym-291019/

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We’re looking for an honorary treasurer to join our team of trustees

Community Action: MK is looking for an honorary treasurer to join our fantastic team of trustees.

The Honorary Treasurer:

  • Is a qualified accountant, with previous experience in a financial role of a commercial or not for profit organisation of similar or larger size than Community Action: MK
  • Has experience of corporate governance, preferably within the voluntary sector, either as a volunteer or as a member of staff, and with some experience of charity finance
  • Is skilled in presenting sometimes complex financial information to a variety of audiences in a clear and practical manner;
  • Can analyze proposals and examine their financial consequences.

The honorary treasurer has the following additional roles and responsibilities:

  • To oversee, on behalf of the Board, the long term financial management
  • To monitor the finances and to report to the Board at regular intervals on the financial health of the organisation, ensuring the organizations’ compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, including governing documents, and with good corporate governance;
  • To guide and oversee and advise the Board on the approval of budgets, accounts and published financial statements;
  • To ensure that appropriate accounting procedures, controls, and risk
  • management procedures are in place, and that financial resources are spent and invested, in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements and with good corporate governance;
  • To be instrumental in the development and implementation of appropriate accounting, reserves and investment policies

In carrying out the role, the Treasurer is expected:

  • To keep the Board informed about its financial duties and responsibilities;
  • To advise the Board (and the senior management) on the financial implications of any strategic plans;
  • To assure the Board that the financial resources meet its present and future needs;
  • To understand the accounting procedures and key internal controls to be
  • able to assure the Board that financial integrity is sound;
  • To ensure that the accounts are properly audited, and to provide financial
  • expertise, as appropriate;
  • To contribute to the income generation strategy;
  • To meet the external auditors independently from the staff (as appropriate);
  • To present the accounts at general meetings, drawing attention to important points in a coherent and easily understood way;
  • To work in close cooperation with senior management

The Honorary Treasurer is a member of the Executive Committee. From time to time he or she may be invited to sit on recruitment or other panels.

Person specification

The annual time commitment is expected to be approximately 15 days plus
regular contact with other trustees and staff by email and telephone.

Get in touch!

Contact Laura Jeffery HR Manager at info@communityactionmk.org or register your interest on Simply Connect

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Become a trustee in Milton Keynes!

Trustees play a vital role, volunteering their time and working together to make important decisions about the charity’s work.

Milton Keynes has some amazing charities who are looking for new trustees. This could be your chance to make a difference in a charity, imparting your knowledge and experience and also learning new skills!

Milton Keynes Play Association: Trustee

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Time to make a difference? Time to feel needed? Time to do your bit for your community?

MKPA’s team would love to hear from you if you are interested in joining us as a trustee and can spare a few hours or even a day a week. We need even more energy flowing through MKPA to make a bigger success of our exciting plans.

You might want to consider helping as a trustee and sit on the management board, contributing to the oversight of our child-centred organisation your skills and knowledge about business finance, fundraising or marketing.
We are looking forward to welcoming you. Please email sarah@mkpa.co.uk

MKPA – Trustee Roles & Responsibilities

MKPA – Trustee Application Form

Buckingham Canal Society: Trustee/secretary

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Do you have an interest in canals and being part of a forward looking charity?

Buckingham Canal Society are lookind for a trustee/secretary to work as part of a team with the carrying out the following duties:

  • Plan and prepare agendas for committee meetings.
  • Ensure that committee and the AGM are run according to the constitution and Charity Commission Requirement’s
  • Dealing with correspondence as agreed at committee meetings.

Arts Gateway-MK: Trustees/Directors

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Have a passion for the arts? Looking for a new interest and have time on your hands? Creative thinker with a background in business? Want to contribute to the creative life of Milton Keynes? Look no further…

Arts Gateway MK is an organisation part-way through a dynamic growth which we would like you to be part of. We are looking for new trustees to help our transformation. We are open to all ages and backgrounds especially those with experience in marketing, fundraising and arts administration. We are a successful arts umbrella body for Milton Keynes. Through this organisation we offer affordable spaces where artists and creatives across different genres can work, grow, experiment and collaborate. We organise creative events and programmes throughout the year such as the annual MK Litfest, now in its third year.

Carers Milton Keynes: Trustee Board Member

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Carers Milton Keynes and its sister charity Carers Bucks are looking for new Trustee Board Members with talent and enthusiasm. If you are, have been or know someone who is a family carer, so much the better.

The charity’s work in their respective geographic areas and between them support nearly ten thousand adult and young carers. Services include advice, information, support groups and help both practically and emotionally.

Both charities have grown and developed over the past few years and between them now employ thirty staff and have a turnover of 1.4 million pounds. Among the skills and experience we are looking for are fundraising, marketing, youth work and social care.

MK Center for Integrated Living: Trustee

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MK CIL are looking for Trustees who have knowledge of finance, HR and PR/Marketing/Media.

MK CIL is an information centre which provides a very wide range of free and confidential information on any disability related issue for people with a disability, their families, carers, and anyone else with an interest in the field of disability.

MK CIL will aim to inspire, empower and enable people with disabilities, their families, carers and others. Through the provision of a range of information and services, MK CIL will support people in making informed choices, exercising their rights of full participation and to maximize their independence and potential.

Advertise your trustee vacancy with us: https://communityactionmk.org/volunteering/volunteer-management/

If you need support in finding new trustees, let us know at support@communityactionmk.org or give us a call on 01908 661623.

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