Funding Fair goes down a treat with local community groups

Yesterday Community Action: MK hosted our Funding Fair, in partnership with Engage MK. The fair was a chance for voluntary groups, charities, social enterprises and community development practitioners to meet funders, explore new ideas for generating income, and learn some new skills at our workshops.

The event was attended by nearly 90 people, representing organisations from across MK. These included Middle Eastern Cultural Group, MK SNAP, Joint Civic Aid Corp, Friends and Families MK, Carers MK, RNLI MK, Bosom Pals, Works for Us and many, many more……


Thanks to all those who came along – we hope you found it useful. And a massive thank you to those funders who had stalls or ran workshops….

  • Big Lottery Fund
  • Heritage Lottery Fund
  • Everyclick
  • MK Community Foundation
  • Groundwork
  • Macmillan
  • MK Soup
  • Swan Credit Union
  • Lloyds Bank Foundation
  • Globalgiving UK
  • Our MK

If you are part of a voluntary group or charity and would like support with finding and applying for funding, or help with preparing your group to look for funding, please get in touch with our Support Team at or call 01908 661623.

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

Community Action: MK Funding Fair – 30th March

We warmly invite you to our Funding Fair on 30th March, between 10am – 2pm at Irish Centre, Manor Field, Bletchley, MK2 2HX.

Funding Fair 1
Pop along to meet our funding stall holders, or attend some of our workshops (optional). A full list of workshops is available below.

Places can be booked via eventbrite or by calling 01908 661623.

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

Introduction to Committee Skills Workshop – Spaces Available!

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We have some spaces available for our ‘Introduction to Committee Skills’ workshop on Thursday 3rd March (2-4pm).

This informative and interactive session is designed to provide committee members with an overview of the roles and responsibilities of a management committee.

By the end of the session participants will:

  • have a better understanding about the roles and responsibilities of committee members
  • learn about the roles of Chair, Treasurer and Secretary
  • identifying how good agendas and minutes can make meetings more effective
  • learn some techniques on how to run effective meetings

The training will be useful for both new trustees and committee members and those looking to develop their understanding of how committee function.

Click here to book your space or call Hannah on 01908 661623.

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Second Hand Furniture

We are vacating two rooms in our office and are looking to clear out furniture for a small donation to charities or groups that may be in need of them. Please find attached a list and photos of what we have on offer.

Office Furniture Donations

If you are interested in any of the items listed please contact Marie Wyatt by email, or on 01908 661623


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

Volunteering Round Up – January 2016


Hope the first few weeks of January are going well for you? A little bit of volunteering news from us first;

We have updated our best practice guide on recruiting volunteers with some recent safeguarding updates, please follow this link to our website. Have you booked on to our free safeguarding workshop for volunteer managers next week? Sign up here! It will be useful if you are already aware of your responsibilities or if you are new in post it will introduce you to what you need to know.

We often get contacted by volunteers who live outside Milton Keynes but have seen a volunteering opportunity we are promoting within the city, via the Do-it website. Have you thought about how you might capitalise on this? It can be relatively quick and easy to create a ‘digital’ or ‘micro’ volunteering opportunity. Check out our Digital Volunteering factsheet here.

We love getting feedback from groups who we help to recruit volunteers. Buckingham Canal Society recently said;

“Without Community Action: MK’s encouragement and practical help we would never have been able to involve volunteers. They are always there to help make sure policies are in place and advise about legal issues. They promoted our opportunities which enabled us to get some really good volunteers. Our organisation is involved with the conservation and restoration of the Buckingham arm of the Grand Union Canal by organising regular work parties to carry out the tasks so it’s really important we have volunteers, we just couldn’t run without them.”

Featured Volunteering Opportunity:

Are you looking to get experience in events management? Deaf Zone MK are looking for volunteers to help make their social events really special – find out more here.

065/365: Show us your smile!

From NCVO: What challenges will volunteering face in 2016?

“Funding will continue to be an issue in 2016. While volunteering delivers enormous value it is not cost free, but this is a truism many policy makers and funders seem incapable of grasping.

Volunteer management remains a Cinderella profession and needs far greater investment and recognition if it is to deliver to its full potential. As do Volunteer Centres which will continue to feel the brunt of local authority cuts. Many are successfully re-inventing themselves to survive and thrive in the new reality, but further changes will be required if they are to continue to be able to provide the support volunteering needs at a local level.

And depressingly, given all the work which has gone into building better relations between local job centres and volunteer centres over the years, we are still hearing stories of job coaches not giving the right information on ‘volunteering while on benefits’ which is limiting the contribution volunteering can play to skills development and employability.

But to finish on a positive note. With the BBC planning a volunteering season for next year, and with London confirmed as the European Capital of Volunteering 2016, there is perhaps an opportunity to shift the media focus on charities onto a more positive plane.”

More than One Billion People Volunteer Globally

This was one of the headline findings from the UN’s State of the World Volunteerism report, published in June.

Basic Income Could Boost Levels of Volunteering

NESTA predict 2016 as a big year for the development of Basic Income. This could be a real boost for volunteering, allowing more people who want to volunteer, to spend their time doing so without being financially penalised. Read more

Volunteers are amazing!

Volunteers from the Skipchen organisation travelled to Lesbos in November to build a field kitchen. Sam Joseph, co-founder of Skipchen, said other bodies had seen their work and want them to repeat the project on other islands. The group had previously run a cafe in Bristol stocked with unwanted food. Via BBC.

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Soup-er News for Small Groups in Milton Keynes

MK Soup is a social enterprise which supports social enterprises- with soup!

Based on the Detroit Soup model, MK Soup is a meeting place for people who would like to make the world a better place- whether through food, community action, sustainability or another idea. MK Soup is organised by the MK Food Revolution and the MK Christian Foundation. On the night of MK Soup you buy a £5 ticket for a bowl of soup and in return, you get to listen to four people pitch their community ideas. At the end of the night, the crowd votes for its favourite idea and the winner takes the profit of the night. Two months later, the group then hears back about what has been achieved with the money.

However, the Soup project is much more than just a crowdfunder for social projects. It offers you the opportunity to meet other people who would like to make a difference, raises money in a very organic way and emphasis what brings us all together: Good food! Recently the BBC has written a great article about Sheffield Soup. MK Soup are currently looking for people who would like to raise money for their projects so make sure to register here!

The first MK Soup is currently being planned for January 22nd at 7pm at MK Christian Foundation in Wolverton. If you are a local charity, community group or social enterprise, submit your project above and MK Soup will let you know a week before the event whether you have been selected to speak on the evening. You get 10 minutes for your pitch and can hand out flyers on the night, too. They can only ever select four projects so if they are not able to include you for the January soup, they might be able to fit you in in the future! If you have any questions get in touch via MK Food Revolution.


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