Volunteering Opportunity of the week: Victims First Emotional Support Volunteer

Victims First Emotional Support Volunteer provides free emotional and practical support to all victims of crime, witnesses of crime and family members of victims. The service is available across Berks, Bucks and Oxfordshire. They can provide help regardless of whether or not the crime has been reported to the police.

What does it involve?

  • Providing practical and emotional support to victims of crime in the Thames Valley area
  • Working to empower victims and to track and map progress by using an evidence-based outcomes tool
  • Ensuring fairness, impartiality and equality in supporting victims
  • Keeping a secure record of contact with victims and reporting to the Caseworker appropriately and in line with data protection requirements
  • Working alongside a Caseworker to ensure the delivery of a high-quality service
  • Committing to attending training, supervision, reflective practice and support sessions

Skills needed?

  • A non-judgemental attitude
  • The ability to empathise with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures
  • Listening Skills
  • Reliability and punctuality
  • Able to set and work within clear boundaries
  • Able to travel within your local area
  • Commit to a minimum period of 6 months

What’s in it for you?

  • Free training, ongoing professional development and support
  • Travel reimbursement
  • Opportunity to develop personal skills and support skills for future opportunities and employment
  • Contribute to your community in a role that has social value
  • Meet people, learn new things and gain a rewarding sense of contribution

Who are Victims First?

Victims First is dedicated to making sure that all victims and witnesses receive the support they need to cope and recover from the impact of the crime. We care about those affected by crime and work continuously to improve services and support for victims.

Services

We have a number of specialist services which include help for victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse. We may refer you to one of our specialist services depending on your needs.

Specialist services include:

  • Telephone support
  • Face to face support
  • Advocacy, including, help to access other services such as sexual health clinics, drug and alcohol services and legal services
  • Support through the criminal justice system (if you have reported the crime to the police)
  • Therapeutic Counselling

Roles are subject to reference and DBS clearance. For more information or to request an application form, please contact the VFESS Manager on 01844 487989 or email admin@vfess.org.uk

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Volunteering opportunity of the week: Supporting Xtra Special Families

Supporting Xtra Special Families is a small charity run solely by volunteers.
The group put on activities through the school holidays to help families take their children to a safe, fun and non judgemental environment. School holidays can be a difficult time for the children, as they are out of their usual routine, so Xtra Special Families does an amazing job of running these sessions to give them invaluable experiences and it allows them to share these experiences with their families – something they may not be able to do anywhere else!
This is an invaluable group that are reliant on volunteers, but would love more people to get involved enable their growing number of families to experience the best sessions they can offer!

Who are Supporting Xtra Special Families?

An xtra-ordinary group who offer support to families living with disability or additional needs in Milton Keynes and surrounding areas.

Xtra Special Families was formed in May 2014 to provide fun activities designed to develop and improve life skills for disabled children, whilst providing support for their carers and families in Milton Keynes. 
In 2016 & 2017 we ran 7 half day sessions at Broughton and Brooklands Pavilions aimed at the whole family, enabling children with special needs and their siblings to share positive experiences together. 
Activities such as Reptile Roadshow, Music and Art Workshops, and Circus Skills were bought in, together with resources of the Play Association. In addition volunteers provided craft and play activities. 
Whilst parents ourselves of children and young adults with disabilities, one of our volunteers was a special needs teacher for 30 years, thus with this wealth of knowledge and awareness we are able to deliver the best experience possible for the children and their parents during their visits.

Xtra Special Families are looking to recruit a wealth of volunteers to help them deliver more sessions to their children and families. Can you spare a few hours of your time? The more the merrier!

Volunteers are extremely well-valued here – they wouldn’t run without them! If you can spare a few hours of your time to help out during some sessions during the school holidays, then you would be letting yourself in for some of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have with these wonderful children and their families!

For more information and to enquire about volunteering, please email sxsfenquiries@gmail.com

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Jobs in the Voluntary Sector: Information, Advice and Guidance Adviser (Part-time)

Works For Us have a great opportunity available to those who are searching for ‘more than just a job‘.

Come and join our team at Works for Us!

We are looking for an outstanding individual to provide one-to-one advice sessions to our clients to support them in obtaining employment, education, training or volunteering.

This position requires excellent communication skills and experience of working with people from a variety of social, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

The ideal candidate will have a Level 4 NVQ in IAG or equivalent. Working towards relevant qualifications with experience will be considered.

We will consider a job share.

Main Responsibilities

  • To provide high quality individual Advice and Guidance services
  • To assist with work, training and volunteer related skills
  • To contribute to the promotion of services
  • Develop and maintain work, training and volunteer related information and resources
  • To supported Volunteering/Work Experience within our services

See here for more information about each responsibility laid out above.

Hours: 28 hours per week.

Contract: 3 years fixed term contract

Salary: £23,000 pro rata (£18,400) plus additional sessional work

About Work For Us:

If you have a passion for people and want to positively impact the lives of those you support, you’re in the right place. 

​Here at Works for Us, we believe that everyone deserves to be treated as an individual. We offer our clients a safe environment to build their confidence, soft skills and understanding of the labour market so that they are equipped to move forward into training or paid work. 

We are a small but vibrant team made up of staff, tutors and volunteers who all share the same goal:
to empower our clients to be the best they can be.

We focus on maintaining an open, collaborative and positive working environment, never short of laughs (or custard creams!). And what we lack in official “perks”, we make up for in success stories. 

For more information about our services, please visit our website here.

If you require any further information then please contact:
Tracy Whitmore or Marion Cole on 01908 200186
Please return your application by email to info@worksforus.org.uk or by post to:
Marion Cole, Works for Us, The Point, 602 Midsummer Boulevard, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 3NB

Closing date for completed applications is 4pm on Thursday 22nd August 2019 

For further details and to download application form, follow this link: http://www.worksforus.org.uk/vacancies.html#

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Consultation ending SOON – MK Council Draft Transport Infrastructure Delivery Plan

Milton Keynes Council’s consultation on their Draft Transport Infrastructure Delivery Plan is due to end next week and we would encourage you to submit your comments on their identified priorities by the deadline of August 2nd.  Please see below for further information on the TIDP and links to the supporting documents and online survey.

Milton Keynes Council is now consulting on the Draft Mobility Strategy Transport Infrastructure Delivery Plan (TIDP). This plan supports the Mobility Strategy 2018-2036 (Local Transport Plan 4) which was adopted in Spring 2018. The TIDP builds on the Mobility Strategy and identifies the transport infrastructure that needs to be delivered within the short and medium term to enable growth and improve mobility for all. The draft plan has been informed by two stakeholder engagement events which were held in October 2018 and January 2019.

Alongside the TIDP we are also consulting on its Strategic Environmental Assessment Report.  Comments are invited on either of the documents or both.  The following background documents are also available which inform the TIDP: Stage 1 Evidence Review Report, Stakeholder Workshop 1 Report and Stakeholder Workshop 2 Report.

The above named documents can be found on the Council’s website here.

We would encourage people to submit their comments via this online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DPH9S3P.

Alternatively comments can be submitted in writing to transport.strategy@milton-keynes.gov.uk or Transport Policy Team, Milton Keynes Council, Civic Offices, 1 Saxon Gate East, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 3EJ.

The consultation will be open until 02/08/19.

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Cyber Protection Awareness Workshops

We are helping the Thames Valley Police deliver two workshops dedicated to Cyber Security for voluntary and community groups.

The Thames Valley Police Cyber Security Advisor will be providing two short Cyber Protect awareness sessions in October 2019 for Community Action MK in order to empower their own local voluntary and community sector groups to speak with confidence within their immediate communities of the current cyber threats that the general public may experience.

They will cover such matters as how to notice the signs of a phishing email, or an email with a damaging attachment / link, the importance of secure passwords for sensitive accounts as well as how to maintain internet connected devices. In addition; how victims of a cyber or fraud crime, can report to Action Fraud and where people can go to get additional help and support.

Here at Community Action: MK, we believe in offering support of all kinds to our groups and friends in the voluntary and community sector.

The workshops will be held on the following dates and times:

Tuesday 8th October: 11am – 1pm

Thursday 24th October 11am – 1pm

Venue: Grant Thornton, 199 Avebury Blvd, Milton Keynes MK9 1AU

*Grant Thornton will be offering someone with specialist Cyber Security expertise on hand after the workshops to answer any questions or offer further support if necessary*

If you would like to attend or have an interest in attending, then please register here on eventbrite (limit to 2 tickets PER PERSON)

For any more information, please contact Community Action:MK at info@communityactionmk.org or call 01908 661623

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Summer Networking Event 2019

A huge thank you to everyone who came to Our Summer Networking Event last Friday 5th July. It was brilliantly attended by new and old friends from the Voluntary and Community Sector. It was great to share information about the growth of Milton Keynes and enjoy seeing some real life examples on our CMK walking tours!

As well as our own interactive stall about how the growth of Milton Keynes will impact the Voluntary and Community Sector, we had an information stall from the Wildlife Trust, who are working with us as well as with CMK Town Council, conservation volunteers (working on the Green Gym projects) and local residents on improving the green spaces in CMK.

Our colleagues from MK Community Foundation were also in attendance, promoting their Vital Signs initiative. Here at Community Action: MK we are supporting the Vital Signs community consultation programme this year by running a focus group on Wednesday 31st July at 3pm at our office in Acorn House. Please click here to book your place if you would like to take part and share your views about the life in Milton Keynes.

After the networking, we set off on the walking tour of the developments of Central Milton Keynes, with the weather on our side! If you would like to experience an audio version of the walk, please follow this link. Here you can see the list of the key new developments visited on the tour.

The walk culminated at Middleton Hall for the MK Futures 2050 Exhibition – ‘Milton Keynes: A Journey to 2050‘. It was really interesting to view designs for MK:U, the new university being built in CMK, and meet and greet the robot that could answer back! There was also talks led by key stakeholders involved in the growth of Milton Keynes.

Stay tuned for information about our next Networking event, which will be held in Autumn 2019. Any questions or information about our events can be asked through info@communityactionmk.org.

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Volunteering: Sid’s Story

Volunteer Case Study: Sid Burgess

Sid Burgess is avidly involved in Big Local Conniburrow, volunteering most of his time to organising events for the residents of Conniburrow to bring the people together and promote the feel of community. We wanted to help him share his story with you …

Sid Burgess is now the Chair of the Social and Involvement Task Group for the BLC through his time volunteering with them.

My wife Doreen and I moved to Conniburrow about 8 years ago. Sadly I lost Doreen nearly 3 years ago after 46 years of marriage.
I’d heard about Big Local Conniburrow from a friend of mine. He told me they do a coffee morning on a Friday. I’m always looking to meet new people and make new friends so come Friday I was off to the coffee morning. I got to know the staff and as time went by they got to know me. 
I told the team that I had arranged events in the past, birthday parties, Christmas parties and much more.
To cut a long story short, I am now the Chair of the Involvement and Social task group. The team arrange events for residents of Conniburrow. I am happy doing things like this as I like to see people enjoying themselves.
The first event I organised was a treasure hunt around Conniburrow for children and parents. It was a good turn out with nearly 60 people attending. Not bad for my first time as an organiser!
I intend to do my best as Chair now and in the future. It may be early but I am making notes for next years events already. I always like to think ahead in what I like to do! 

Sid Burgess

With Sid’s involvement there are plenty more events lined up for the residents of Conniburrow. He was also involved in the Building Connections project, a project funded by the Co-Op to help loneliness and isolation in children and young people through the utilisation of community spaces.

Sid recently attended our CA:MK Volunteer’s Lunch, to say a big ‘THANK YOU’ to all our wonderful volunteers and to let them know how much we appreciate all their efforts in helping communities come together and grow!

For more information about opportunities to volunteer in your area, visit our volunteering platform, SimplyConnect or contact us at info@communityactionmk.org.

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