12 April: Weekly Bulletin for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes

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12 April  2019

Welcome to the weekly newsletter for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes.  

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Keep Britain Tidy – #LittleHereos Ambassadors Volunteering Programme

Keep Britain Tidy is seeking new #LitterHeroes Ambassadors to join our volunteer programme and we need your help!

During your work you may meet members of the public who want to volunteer and have a real passion for community engagement and keeping public spaces clean. We’d love you to encourage them to apply to join our enthusiastic #LitterHeroes Ambassadors in becoming community activators across the UK.

The #LitterHeroes Ambassador programme is supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery and aims to support community cohesion, improve public spaces and help benefit mental and physical wellbeing.
Please find a poster to display in your community hub at this link. All people need to do is; apply directly online via https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LHAapply2019
or email LHAmbassador@keepbritaintidy.org and we will send them a link to the application form, alternatively they can visit the website here for more information.

Applications close on Monday 6th May 2019.
Successful applicants will be notified of next steps during the week commencing 6th May.
Link to PDF here.

Community Action: MK podcasts on Secklow Sounds

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Sheila Thornton and the team from Community Action: MK will be on Secklow Sounds on the first Wednesday each month at 1pm when they’ll bring you the latest news and updates from the community and voluntary sector. Catch up on the past shows at the link below and remember to tune in each Wednesday!

Catch up on past shows here.

Giving World Launches New Website

Giving World receives goods from businesses all over the country, and advertises the items on the website for charities to request to help pass on to their beneficiaries.
The focus of the launch is to pack the website with news and features, while making it even simpler to receive goods such as clothing, toiletries, books, toys and cleaning supplies for the people you support.
The only requirement is that the charities and community groups register at www.givingworld.org.uk, there is an option to request products that would truly help the local community, completely free of charge.

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Office for Civil Society March Newsletter

You can find lots of interesting information for groups including new safeguarding funding for charities, five ways civil society organisations can prepare for EU Exit, and more. Read the full newsletter:
Office for Civil Society March Newsletter

Community of Practice for VCS Groups

Special invitation for VCS groups
Friday 10th May: 09.30am – 12.00pm
MK College, Chaffron Way, MK6 5LP
REGISTER HERE

Do you work with children and young people to support mental health and well-being?

Are you joining up with:
– Peer-based, collaborative learning
– Sharing good practice and ideas
– Creating new knowledge and understanding to advance your professional practice 
– Addressing common concerns and set of problems? 

We are forming a Community of Practice (CoP) for people working (at least initially) in the Milton Keynes Voluntary and Community Sector. This will be a co-produced group, so who is part of it and what will take place as part of it will be decided by its members. Although face-to-face meetings are very important, most CoPs include online participation.

We are acting as facilitators because our research ‘Where are the safety Nets?’ (see the report here) indicated that such support would be helpful; people we have asked tell us that the proposal is sound and needed.

To find out more about a Community of Practice, read this short paper here.
For some interesting and inspirational stories, click here.

Are you intrigued? We truly hope so. Please express your interest by signing up to this event by Friday 3rd May.
REGISTER HERE

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Growth News

In growth news, alterations and extensions to the Northern and Southern flanks of Centre:MK, either side of the John Lewis store, are currently being proposed. This would create two levels of additional trading floor space (reference number 19/00289/FUL). To find out more about this, and other proposed developments, visit MK Council’s Planning Portal to view and comment.
Read more here

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Volunteer as a trustee

Charity trustees are the people who share ultimate responsibility for governing a charity and directing how it is managed and run. Trusteeship can be rewarding for many reasons – from a sense of making a difference to the charitable cause, to new experiences and relationships.
The following organisations are currently seeking trustees in Milton Keynes:

  • Buckingham Canal Society
    Work as part of a team with the Buckingham Canal Society, a local charity. Plan and prepare committee meetings and other appropriate secretarial work. Read more.
  • Healthwatch Milton Keynes
    Do you want to make a difference to people’s experiences of health and social care services in Milton Keynes? Become a trustee for Health Watch Milton Keynes. Read more.
  • Living Archive MK
    Living Archive seeks to recruit new Board members, including a Treasurer. Financial experience would be desirable although by no means essential, as enthusiasm for our work and an eye to how we could develop in the future would also be an important factor. Living Archive collects, preserves and shares the history and heritage of Milton Keynes through the production of films, books, events and community projects based on local peoples’ stories. Read more.
  • Harrys Rainbow Charitable Trust
    As Trustee/Treasurer you will have previous experience as a Treasurer or in accounting. You will be willing to attend meetings and some key events we hold throughout the year. You must be enthusiastic, empathic and willing to muck in. Read more.

Free Easter Family Event at ABC Park
Saturday 20 April

Soroptimists Sponsored Sewathon in aid of YMCA
Saturday 27 April

The Milton Keynes branch of Soroptimists International are holding a Sponsored Sewathon on Saturday 27th April, 11am-3pm at Simpson Village Hall. Come along and Support the Stitchers thumbing their thimbles in aid of the MK YMCA.  

Family Matters Project Workers needed

Full time (37.5 hours a week) and Part time roles available
Salary £24,000 FTE
Fixed term contract until 31st December 2021

Thames Valley Partnership is seeking to appoint Project Workers to join our Family Matters Programme, working to support the families and significant friends of people who have been imprisoned or are involved in serious offending.

Reporting to the Family Matters Programme Manager, you will offer information, support and advice in the Court setting and HM Prison Visiting Centres and also accept referrals for family casework support from the Thames Valley Community Rehabilitation Company and other agencies.

Closing date for applications:   Monday 6th May at 8am

Interviews will be held on: Friday 10th May and Tuesday 14th May at the Partnership offices in Aston Sandford, Haddenham, Bucks.
A full Job Description and Application Form are available on the Partnership website at www.thamesvalleypartnership.org.uk.

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Netherfield P.H.T. Graffiti Art Event

Young volunteers from across Netherfield joined forces over the weekend of 18th & 19th March to take place in a Graffiti Art event at the local shops. The event was arranged by the People’s Health Trust Local Conversation project, to raise awareness that Netherfield has been allocated some funding through the Health Lottery, and needs to engage with residents to identify priorities at a local level. There is especially a need for young people to have their voices heard.

The young volunteer artists were supported across the weekend by local organisations including Community Action: MK, Freestyle Textile & Kitchenware, Woughton Community Council, PHT, UFA and a local Graffiti artist (Squidge) from PlayStreet.

On the Saturday there was a design workshop where young people worked together to create potential designs, as well as some other fun activities for all. Young people learnt about wider volunteering opportunities and were boosted by the arrival of pizzas (thanks to Cheska from UFA who provide NCS (National Citizen Service) in Milton Keynes.

On the Sunday the team met at the shops where they had been given permission by Irene to paint their design on to her shop security shutter. Thanks Irene! Under Squidge’s expert guidance the volunteers were quick to pick up the various skills and techniques needed, and really impressed passers by with their handiwork. Local shoppers who stopped to admire the artwork helped us to fill in questionnaires, which gave Netherfield people a chance to talk about what they like/dislike about living in Netherfield and identify something that they would like to improve.

Irene was thrilled with the finished piece, and everyone agreed that the event had been a great success. However, despite collecting lots of ideas from local residents, the PHT are really anxious to hear from  more Netherfield folk. In particular, we would like Young People to have an opportunity to see their ideas become reality. If you are a young person who wants to get involved to make a difference in Netherfield then contact Stewart Ikin at stewart@communityactionmk.org to find out more information.

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Communities Consultation Funding Health & Wellbeing Netherfield People's Health Trust Projects Volunteering

Full Programme available for MK Community Energy Conference

Exploring the PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE of sustainability and energy in Milton Keynes

We very much hope that you will be able to join us at MK’s first Community Energy Conference, which is taking place at The Chrysalis Theatre in Camphill on Saturday 25th February: 10-4.30pm.

The event is free, however booking is essential, so please register your place via The Chrysalis Theatre’s box office – here.

The lovely Camphill Cafe are providing a lunch – book yours when registering and pay £5.oo on the day.

See the full programme here and below.

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SEE YOU THERE!

Anna, Marie, Hilarie, Michael, Tim and Kevin

MK Community Energy Alliance

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8 February: Free workshop for Community Energy Champions

First workshop as part of the Energage Project: 

We are delighted to let you know that we are holding a first workshop as part of the Energage project, which aims to bring together local people interested in becoming community-based Energy Champions and who want to assist their local communities with energy-related issues. The workshop will feature a session with Richard Vale from The National Energy Foundation!

Topic: Basic Concepts related to climate change and reducing carbon footprint

Date: Wednesday 8th February: 5-7pm

Location: Community Action: MK office – 351 Midsummer Boulevard, 3rd Floor, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 3HP. Directions here.

Booking: via Eventbrite: www.energage1.eventbrite.co.uk


The workshop is open to anyone who would like to gain knowledge, skills and resources needed to assist members of their communities with energy related issues. No prior knowledge is needed. The workshops will be based on a co-design model, which means that we are keen for the attendees to share their experiences and tell us about their needs – they will be interactive!

The Champions will be introduced to CAPE, Community Action Platform for Energy, a new tool being developed for communities in Milton Keynes.

The workshop will include:

  • Networking (getting to know each other) & Refreshments
  • Introduction to the Energage Project and the format of this and the future workshops
  • Session with The National Energy Foundation – basic concepts of climate change and reducing carbon footprint, and how The National Energy Foundation engages with audiences on these issues.
  • Group exercise
  • Feedback and evaluation

Yummy refreshments will be provided!

If you have any questions about this workshop or about the Energage project, please contact Anna at: anna@communityactionmk.org or call 01908 661 623.

Join the Community Energy Movement in Milton Keynes!

LIMITED SPACES – BOOK TODAY.

We look forward to seeing you there.

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#EnergageMK

www.facebook.com/groups/EnergageMK/

 

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

Energage – training Community Energy Champions

Creating a network of Community Energy Champions network in Milton Keynes

We are delighted to announce that we have teamed up with the Open University to deliver a pilot project in Milton Keynes that will focus on recruiting and training community members to become volunteer Energy Champions in their neighbourhoods and communities.

The project has been made possible thanks to the funding from the Natural Environment Research Council as part of their recent funding call on ‘Engaging the UK public with the big issues of environmental science’. The Energage project is one of 18 across the UK – click here to find out more about this funding initiative.

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The initiative is the result of successful collaboration and partnership-working between Community Action: MK and the Open University through the MK:Smart and CAPE, Community Action Platform for Energy, projects. It is also linked to the work of other local organisations in Milton Keynes that promote the concept of community-owned and sustainable energy. These include Transition MK, Wolverton Community Energy (through Citizens:mk) and others involved in MK Community Energy Alliance and other organisations who already provide energy training such as The National Energy Foundation and Citizens Advice Milton Keynes.

There is already a number of local volunteers who champion sustainable energy and environmental awareness in Milton Keynes, and we want to learn from their experiences. Further, we want to attract new people – anyone with an interest in energy and sustainability, and ways of helping their own communities be more sustainable is welcomed to get involved in the project, and is asked to please get in contact with Community Action: MK.

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Carbon Conversations event run by Transition MK in 2015. Photo credit: Transition MK

The Energage project will develop a network of Community Energy Champions (COMECs) in Milton Keynes. One important part of the COMECs’ role will be to translate energy-based research from the Open University to the general public in a way that will help them find solutions that work to reduce their own carbon footprint. In return Open University researchers will learn better ways to engage the public with their research. This exchange of knowledge will occur through a series of co-creation workshops, facilitated by Community Action: MK.

Another important part of their role will be to grow the network through recruitment of new volunteers. Initial workshops will be followed by a ‘week of action’ in which COMECs will engage with the public. They will share their experiences amongst the community engagement specialists and Open University researchers. This pilot scheme is intended to be the start of longer term engagement between Open University energy researchers and the public.

Energage hope to build upon activities of the existing CAPE, Community Action Platform for Energy project at the Open University and lots of other energy-related initiatives across the city. The CAPE project aims to help reduce the carbon footprint of Milton Keynes by engaging the public with relevant data; it will also be linking homeowners identified as a good fit for energy saving measures (e.g. solar panels, loft insulation) with companies that can provide products, or to grant providers, such as the MK Council.

GET INVOLVED

We will be actively promoting the project in the next few weeks and updating you about its further plans. If you are interested in getting involved, please click here to register your interest or contact Anna at Community Action: MK on:

anna@communityactionmk.org

01908 661 623/ 07710 967131

#EnergageMK

www.facebook.com/groups/EnergageMK/

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Funded by:

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Blog Post CAPE, Community Action Platform for Energy Charities & Community Groups Communities Communities Can (Cultural Services Review 2016) Community Car Service Connecting Communities Conniburrow Consultation Eastern Expansion Area Employee Volunteering Engage MK Funding Great Linford Health & Wellbeing Jobs in the VCS Lakes Estate MK:Smart Netherfield New Communities News from and for the VCS Newton Leys People's Health Trust Projects Simpson & Ashland Volunteering Western Expansion Area Woughton

Volunteer Spotlight: Paul Johnson

We’re sharing stories about amazing volunteers giving their time in Milton Keynes. This spotlight is on Paul Johnson, who is working tirelessly for the community of Netherfield.

Paul maintains the local shrubbery and bushes in Netherfield and has cut down over 30 tonnes of unwanted and dangerous shrubbery already. Paul started volunteering with the Local Conversation steering group and learned that overgrown shrubbery had been identified by local people as one of the biggest negative issue on the estate. Wheelchair users and parents with prams could not use some paths as they were blocked by overgrown bushes, overgrown landscaping was also making it difficult for children crossing the road to see oncoming traffic, and affecting drivers’ sightlines. The overgrown shrubbery was also attracting dumped rubbish and hypodermic needles.

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Paul getting his hands dirty tidying up Netherfield’s Landscape. Photo credit: Local Conversations Steering Group in Netherfield.

Paul decided to take immediate action to solve the issue. Using the People’s Health Trust funding, equipment was bought and Paul liaised with the local Council to gain permission to start a volunteer landscaping team. Using the steering group’s Facebook page he responded directly to local landscaping needs and issues. He has transformed the look of the estate and made it a much safer and pleasant environment to live in. A landscaping course has now been run on the estate so that Paul and other volunteers have learnt how to use other landscaping tools and techniques so more people can get involved and make greater improvements going forward.

Paul has shown a huge initiative in direct response to an issue in his local community. He has taken an idea and made it a reality, putting in a huge amount of hard work and hours. Paul has worked tirelessly to make his community a better place to live and to make the differences his neighbours want to see. Paul is leading the way in community activity on the estate, inspiring others to see that they too have the power to change things they don’t like and make a positive difference. The training is the next step in expanding the volunteer team to make the initiative more sustainable by the community as a whole.

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

HAPPY CHRISTMAS! 

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