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

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.

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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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Community Life: Run for Charity in 2018

Running for a charity gives you additional motivation. It increases your focus on those long winter nights and when the training gets tough it makes completing the MK Marathon even more rewarding.
Every charity will offer you incentives to help you reach your fundraising goals, as well as invaluable support and advice in the lead up to, and on your big day.

If you are a Charity and would like to see how you can benefit from the event then please download the MK Marathon Charity Pack 2018 here.

Which Charity will you decide to run for? Have a look at which MK Charities are looking for your support.

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Community Life: Flu Prevention


Under the national Flu Immunisation programme of 2017/18, free vaccination is now available to the following people:

  • People aged 65 and above
  • People from 6 months of age to 65 years with one or more long term diseases which include; Chronic respiratory disease, heart disease, kidney disease,liver disease, neurological disease including stroke and transient ischaemic attack, diabetes, splenic dysfunction and a weakened immune system due to disease such as HIV or cancer treatment.
  • People who are morbidly obese (defined as BMI of 40 and above) are also eligible.
  • People residing in residential or care homes
  • Pregnant women
  • Carers who are in receipt of carers allowance or are main carers of a vulnerable adult or a child
  • Children 2 to 8 years of age are also offered vaccination using a nasal spray; 2-3 year olds are vaccinated by their GPs and 4-8 year olds (reception class, year 1, 2, 3 and 4 students) will be vaccinated by their school nursing team.

For more information including where to get your jab, visit MK Council’s Public Health page.

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Community Life: Offline Festival 2018; Building Community Businesses

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Offline Festival was the first ever festival focused on building community and sharing knowledge about community business was a roaring success.

The Hounslow Hall field in Milton Keynes provided a unique balance between conference-style workshops and talks, balanced with a well-being approach to business and community. This unique unconference in the countryside was thought up and organised by Project Dirt with the collaborative efforts of Power to Change and The Eden Project Communities, and took place over the weekend of 15-17 September.

The festival setting stripped away the staged atmosphere of typical networking events; stuffy conference halls were traded for an open field with colourful marquees and campfires.

The intimate festival gathered over 350 people from committed community projects, social enterprises, and organisations investing in their local community to discuss the needs, gaps and opportunities in working together to invest in community. Networking conversations with peers and leaders in the field happened organically, over a roasting marshmallow over the fire or after a bustling ceilidh, unlike other standard networking events.  People sparked new connections to grow their plans, to inspire new projects and to ignite new ideas.

The traders who contributed to the festival were all community businesses and social enterprises who are live examples of successful community-minded businesses. Branch Out MK’s floral displays added a splash of wilderness and wonder.

The organisers, Project Dirt, are keen to invite local Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire community minded projects and organisations to get involved in next year’s event. If you’re interested in curating a space, holding a workshop, trading, volunteering or have other ideas they’d love to hear them.

Contact Melanie on melanie@offlinefestival.org.uk

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Community Life: World Mental Health Day today


It is World Mental Health Day today. The theme this year is workplace health.

World Mental Health Day is observed on 10th October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues.

During our adult lives, a large proportion of our time is spent at work. Our experience in the workplace is one of the factors determining our overall wellbeing. Depression and anxiety disorders are common mental disorders that have an impact on our ability to work, and to work productively. Globally, more than 300 million people suffer from depression, the leading cause of disability. More than 260 million are living with anxiety disorders. Many of these people live with both.

It is important to create a culture in a workplace that promotes positive attitudes towards mental health. Further information on World Mental Health day can be found here.

A free Mental Health and Wellbeing Workplace event is running in November in MK as part of the Work Well MK workplace programme. Further information is available here.


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