Community Club – Unity Park Station

Community Action: MK went to visit the Community Club at Unity Park on Tuesday 22 October, it was great to feel welcomed and shown around the space that is a hub for multiple community organisations. The new community Club has been spreading the word about their new service – so we wanted to share with you how inviting it is and encourage you to pop in, meet the staff and volunteers. 

The Community Club has been open for 3 weeks, 10am-1pm. It is a warm and welcoming space that invites individuals to pop in, have a cup of tea, look around the charity shop, play games and meet new people. 

The volunteers working at Unity park are helpful and kind, offering you tea, biscuits and playing games with those who pop in. The space is there for anyone who wants to have a chat, ask for advice, play table tennis and other services. One of the aims of the community club is to reduce feelings of loneliness and support people. 

The team are keen to get in touch with agencies and organisations who might want to support guests. 

ALL are welcome, you can go along every Tuesday 10am-1pm. 

You can find Unity Park Station at the Old bus stop, 401 Elder Gate, MK9 1LR

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups

Free Pantomime tickets for charity performance: Thursday 19th December

Free tickets for charity performance on Thursday 19th December at 10am!

Are you still looking for that perfect Christmas outing?

Well we might just have the answer – keep reading!

RARE Pantomimes are delighted to be appearing at Stantonbury Theatre this Christmas. They will bring talented cast of professional actors and dancers together to delight you with their production of…

Beauty and the Beast!

Join Belle and the Beast in the enchanted castle. With Dame Dotty taking full control of everyone’s lives hindered by the hapless Muddles and arrogant Count George, what could possibly go wrong?

A traditional pantomime for all the family built around audience participation. A real Christmas treat!

For this special charity showing, we will be offering up to 30 tickets free of charge as a gesture of good will to the local Milton Keynes community…all we need now is you!

This unique performance will take place on Thursday 19th December at 10am.

These tickets are booked on a first come, first served basis so book now to avoid disappointment!

All we ask for in return is the promise of an image of your party having a lot of fun and a short message that we can share on our website and social media pages.

Stantonbury Theatre offers free parking for cars and coaches and disabled access for those with mobility issues.

If you have any other requirements or enquiries, please contact Emma at emmad@rareproductions.co.uk or contact the theatre directly to book at 01908 324466.

For more about RARE Pantomimes please check out our social media accounts for past production images and backstage gossip…

Facebook – @RAREPantomimes

Twitter – @RARE_Panto

Instagram – @rare_panto

Please be aware that there are only 30 tickets FREE and it will be a first come first serve basis.

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Volunteers needed: Shenley Wood ExtraCare Retirement Village

Shenley Wood are flexible with their volunteers – whatever time you can give, they will appreciate and value, for it’s the residents that will benefit from any time you have to help make sure that the activities, facilities and groups are running for them to access and participate in.

Volunteers are needed at Shenley Wood in the following areas:

Befriender

The purpose of a befriender is to share time with residents listening and chatting, encouraging them to participate in a friendly and professional manner.

Main tasks:

  • To meet with residents who may be isolated in communal areas
  • To spend time with new residents welcoming them and introducing them to village life
  • To encourage the resident to participate in village life
  • To spend time with the resident chatting, listening and responding
  • To follow standard procedures and rules of conduct
  • To work with and in consultation with the staff and specifically the Village Activity Facilitator, Wellbeing advisor and Locksmith
  • Find things of interest for the resident to talk about

Attributes/Competencies:

  • To be a good listener and have an empathy with people
  • Pleasant, friendly personality, patient with a mature understanding attitude
  • Trustworthy, honest, reliable, able to observe confidentiality
  • To work as part of a team

Gym

This role is to assist the fitness instructor in the smooth running of the gym and to ensure proper procedures are observed, and to enhance the services provided within the village.

Main tasks:

  • Assisting with the opening and closing the gym
  • Turning machinery on and off as required
  • Carrying out daily cleaning and health and safety checks on gym facilities
  • Providing excellent customer service to gym members
  • Providing information on the operation of gym equipment
  • Operating the gym music system
  • Observing the gym (being able to raise the alarm in an emergency)
  • Filing and finding gym members programme cards
  • Promote gym facilities and memberships
  • Assisting with housekeeping tasks within the gym facilities  To observe standard procedures and observe Health and Safety and rules of conduct

Attributes/Competencies:
A people person with a pleasant and friendly personality
Trustworthy, honest and reliable
Ability to carry out their role within a team and under own initiative


Memory Group Session

The purpose of the role is to support the EOP Locksmith in delivering a reminiscence session through a person-centered and holistic approach.

Main tasks:

  • Welcoming and chatting to group members
  • Supporting residents to their seats
  • Participating in group and one to one discussions
  • Engaging with individuals, listening to their life history and respecting their life experiences
  • Providing the Locksmith with a summary of sessions and assisting them with planning future
  • reminiscence discussions
  • Assisting with group activities such as quizzes with the possibility of leading sessions
  • Making refreshments for residents

Attributes/Competencies:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Empathetic with a person centered approach
  • A good listener with a friendly and welcoming personality
  • Reliable and flexible
  • An understanding of Dementia would be beneficial to this role
  • A strong team member

Wellbeing Group – Escorter

The role of the Volunteer Escorter Coordinator is to escort, support and assist residents to and from wellbeing and the Enriched Opportunities Programme (EOP) activities and sessions within the village.

Main tasks:

  • Collect residents in a timed manner following a timetable
  • Escorting residents to activities and sessions (assisting wheelchair users if required)
  • Chatting to residents
  • Liaising with the volunteer escorter coordinator, the residents and the care team when necessary
  • To follow standard procedures and rules of conduct
  • To work with and in consultation with the staff and specifically the Village Activity Facilitator/Activity Coordinator, Wellbeing advisor and Locksmith

Attributes/Competencies:

  • Reliable and punctual with excellent time management skills
  • To be a good listener and have an empathy with people
  • Pleasant, friendly personality, patient with a mature understanding attitude
  • Trustworthy, honest, able to observe confidentiality
  • To work as part of a team

Shop Assistant

The role of the shop assistant is to ensure that you are providing good customer service to the residents in a friendly and professional manner, as well as undertaking generic shop housekeeping duties.

Main tasks:

  • Providing excellent customer service
  • Assisting customers with their purchases
  • Replenishing and Rotating stock
  • Processing sales, cash handling and operating a till
  • Processing deliveries
  • Labeling and pricing stock
  • General housekeeping duties

Attributes/Competencies

  • A pleasant, friendly personality, patient with a mature attitude
  • Trustworthy, honest, reliable
  • Able to work in a team and under own initiative
  • Experience of retail work or customer focussed activity would be advantageous but full training and support will be given

Training and development for all roles will be provided.

If you are interested in any of these roles, please contact the Shenley Wood ExtraCare Volunteer manager at natalie.sabin@extracare.org.uk or call on 01908 413035

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All you ever wanted to know about social prescribing

The King’s Fund has produced a reading list on social prescribing for anybody who would like more information. It includes everything from introductory material (such as NHS England’s Social prescribing and community-based support: Summary guide) to qualitative studies (such as Delivering a primary care-based social prescribing initiative: a qualitative study of the benefits and challenges, so there is something for everybody.

Some of the reports have a specific focus such as exercise on referral or arts and health, whereas others are more general. This highlights the complexity of social prescribing, as well as the different rates of development. If you’re working on social prescribing – or thinking about it – this is a really useful resource.

https://koha.kingsfund.org.uk/cgi-bin/koha/opac-shelves.pl?op=view&shelfnumber=133&sortfield=copyrightdate&direction=desc

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Our Autumn Networking/Netwalking Event

The weather was kind to us on Tuesday, for our networking/netwalking event that took place at the Meeting Place outside The Point amidst the Festival of Creative Urban Living.

With the venue so open plan, we used some of our refreshments as paperweights to hold down our information at our stall before it was lost to the wind – otherwise people wouldn’t know who we are, what we do, what we are working on or how we can help and support the voluntary and community sector.

The Festival of Creative Urban Living were kind enough to host us and even entertain us and our guests on a tour of the Festival, exhibiting some of their unique architecture and concepts, with one of our own team getting her idea of a beach in Milton Keynes on one of their models!

We were also joined by AccessAble. AccessAble have been working with Milton Keynes Council for a number of years to create over 350 Access Guides for the area. These Guides contain over 1,000 pieces of access information with a pan-disability approach so that residents and visitors with a disability can make independent and informed decisions about where they would like to go out. For more information, visit their website or contact them to find out how you can utilise their services and Guides!

Then some of our networkers ventured on our netWALK into Conniburrow to see how Big Local Conniburrow have helped to shape and enhance the local community assets. There was a walk around Friendship Park, a visit to the Big Local Conniburrow Hub, as well as a visit to the Pond, the Little Library and the Community Orchard. Our guests were impressed with all of Conniburrow’s hidden gems and how utilised these are by residents and the local community. Our team and guests even had a little laugh and a dance under the Sonar Arch in Friendship Park to show another way the space could be used!

We thank all our attendees and visitors to our Networking Event for coming along and for your ongoing support at our events.

If you would like to see what events we are hosting and that are coming up, sign up to our mailing list here.

Our next event is our ‘Let’s Talk Good Finance’ Event, organised in collaboration with the teams at NAVCA and Good Finance. There will be speakers, the hot topic of the REACH Fund and the promise of refreshments. Please see here for more details.

If you would like to know more about what we do, how we can help or if you have simply got news to share with us, then contact us at info@communityactionmk.org or call on 01908 661623.

We already have our ‘SAVE THE DATE’ for our next networking event! See below for more details.

We look forward to seeing you there! #lovemk #welovemk #networking #voluntaryandcommunitysector

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Mental Health – Tips and Tools

Here at Community Action: MK we wore yellow as part of the #HelloYellow campaign supporting children and young people’s mental health. We had a range of yellows and various items, socks, jumpers, flowers – but we have to say the most creative was from one staff member who turned a yellow summer dress into a lovely scarf! 

We’ve been looking at the different mental health campaigns and came across loads of useful tips and supportive messages raising awareness for mental health and how important it is to talk and share.

This Quiz from Every MInd Matters – gets you to answer 5 questions and then gives you a Mind Plan. You are then given different tips and techniques that can support you and your mental health. It’s a great resource and one we have shared around the office. 

This ‘Reading well’ booklet – recommends reading to help you understand mental health and look after your mind.  

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Big Local Conniburrow upcoming events

Join Big Local Conniburrow for their community events:

Halloween Gathering

When is it: 30th October (Wednesday) 6pm – 8pm (FREE)
Where is it: BLC Hub, 34 Bramble Avenue, MK14 7AP.

What will be happening: Crafts, Snacks, Games and More!
Who is it for: All Ages.

Art Exhibition

When is it: 9th November (Saturday) 10am – 2pm (20p Entry Fee)
Where is it: BLC Hub, 34 Bramble Avenue, MK14 7AP.

What will be happening: Paintings by Sid Burgess, a resident, will be available for viewing and sale.
Who is it for: All Ages.

Yoga

When is it: Weekly on Tuesday, 10:30am – 11:45am (FREE)
Where is it: BLC Hub, 34 Bramble Avenue, MK14 7AP.
Who runs it and how does it work: Trevor Heale does a relaxing session with a focus on breathing and light stretches designed to give the same results as a hard yoga routine.

Coffee Morning

When is it: Weekly on Friday, 10am – 12am. (FREE)
Where is it: BLC Hub, 34 Bramble Avenue, MK14 7AP.
What is available: Free hot drinks, Newspapers and WIFI. Playing cards and darts available as well and we will happily play with you!
Who is it for: Everyone.

Crafty Cuppa

When is it: 9am – 9:30am (Free Breakfast) 9:45am – 11am (Crafty)
Where is it: 1 Germander Place, MK14 7DU (The School)
What happens: Crafty Activities, like knitting for example, around other people for a lovely social environment and cohesion. 
Who is it for: All Ages. Towards Parents.

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