MK Smart project takes OurMK to local community

The MK Smart Citizen Engagement team were very excited to launch a new #MKSmart collaboration platform called OurMK last week.

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Accessible at, the platform is an interactive website available to MK citizens. Every citizen can set-up their own profile on the website and upload any ideas (or even more detailed projects) they might have for improving the following areas in MK:

  • Transport
  • Energy
  • Water
  • Health
  • Environment

In the future, some of these ideas will be developed into projects, which – if successful – will become eligible to apply for funds and turned into tangible initiatives.

Our team took this exciting new website to various events and activities taking place last week.

On Monday 22nd of June we showcased the project and the platform at the Engage MK networking event at Bradwell Abbey, which focused on the effective use of social media to drive community-based groups and projects.

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On Friday 26th of June we visited the weekly coffee morning at Moorlands Centre in Benhill, a hugely popular local community activity. We talked to residents there about the new website and updated them on the progress of the MK Smart project, following our visit earlier this year. As always in Beanhill, we received lots of useful feedback and suggestions, and two local residents have successfully created their profiles on OurMK, and uploaded their own ideas on the site – one of them on how to improve the water distribution in the city.


Raymond Wall talked to us with passion about how, he believes, preserving rain-water as part of every household maintenance would benefit the environment and our health, giving us a sense of wellbeing by working with nature.

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We loved Ray’s vision and would love to see more MK citizens sharing their ideas on OurMK! To find out more about Ray’s and many other interesting concepts already uploaded on the site, please visit

We look forward to seeing your great ideas, which will help to shift people’s approach to the local environment and, ultimately, turn Milton Keynes into a truly sustainable SMART city.

Follow updates about the project via #MKSmart and tag your ideas as #ChallengeMK.

ourmk logo

Blog Post MK:Smart

Research & Reports Round-up: VAT, Safeguarding Report, Barriers to Top Jobs, Charitable Business Plans, Engagement, Payment by Results and Sustainable Volunteering

Updated direct mail VAT guidance published

Updated guidance on VAT on direct mail has now been published by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The Charity Tax Group says that this will ‘provide certainty and clarity for charities’ following HMRC’s change of view on the issue.

How safe are our children?

NSPCC has published a report that compiles and analyses the most robust and up-to-date child protection data that exists across the UK. The report sets out 20 different indicators and each one looks at ‘how safe are our children?’ from a different perspective.

Study into non-educational barriers to top jobs published

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission has published research on ‘Non educational barriers to the elite profession evaluation‘ showing that working-class applicants struggle to get access to top jobs in the UK. The research is the product of extensive interviews with staff from 13 elite law, accountancy and financial services firms, who together are responsible for 45,000 of the best jobs in the country.

How to eliminate weak spots in a charitable business plan

Carolyn Sims, head of banking at Charity Bank, has written a blog that describes six ways to help a charity plan for the future.

Engaging people with lived experience of severe and multiple disadvantage

Shaping Our Lives and User Voice have produced a report, ‘Engaging people with lived experience of severe and multiple disadvantage’.

Payment by Results

A new report by the National Audit Office says that, without a common source of shared expertise and a strong evidence base, Payment by Results schemes may be poorly designed and implemented, and commissioners are in danger of ‘reinventing the wheel’ for each new scheme.

Society is changing in ways that have specific consequences for volunteering

An article written by Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, explains why charities need to respond to changes in society to ensure that volunteering is sustainable.

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

Get a free 30-minute radio profile for your organisation

Milton Keynes Community Radio Station, Secklow Sounds, was granted FM status by Ofcom in March 2015 and one of their promises was to promote the work of the voluntary sector in Milton Keynes. They are now ready to embark on the project and want to hear from local groups that would like to take advantage of this opportunity.
Through their programme ‘Focus’ you will get 30 minutes to inform listeners about the work you do, appeal for volunteers, share some of your successes and generally get a chance to raise awareness.  Reporters will come to your location to record interviews or record a live programme. It will be a good opportunity to invite some of your supporters to be part of the audience if a live programme is agreed.
The finished recording will be made available for on-demand listening and schedule airplay. You will also get the chance to link the programme to your website as well as receiving a copy of the recording for your own use.
If you’d like to take advantage of this, please email:
Charities & Community Groups Communities News from and for the VCS Volunteering