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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We are hiring!

Community Action: MK are recruiting for a number of full and part time positions in our Community Development Team. See more information below about the positions available.


Community Development Team Member (various roles available)

  • Full or Part time opportunities available
  • £22,387 per annum (pro rata)
  • Fixed term until June 2017, with possibility of extension dependant on funding.

Here at Community Action: MK we support the amazing work happening in and around Milton Keynes’ communities. We support local people to take action in their community whether part of a charity, a community group or an individual looking to make a difference. We are looking for passionate individuals to join our Community Development Team. As a team we deliver various Community Development contracts across Milton Keynes and we are looking for people that can join a flexible team that supports a variety of projects.

Download the Full Job Description & Personal Specification.

Download the Application Form.

Read our Equal Opportunities Statement.

Download our Equal Opportunities Form.

If you have any questions regarding this opportunity please contact Julie on 01908 661623 or julie@communityactionmk.org.

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Please complete our application form and return it via post or email to info@communityactionmk.org by 4th December 2016.

Please note we do not accept CVs.

A selection event and interviews will be held on 12th December 2016.

 

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

Community Mobilisers Under Threat!

One MK have a story up about the possible effect of cuts being made to our Community Mobiliser Service. There’s a snippet below, but click here to read the full article.

Community Mobilisers, Robbie MacPherson, Tracy Whitmore & Stewart Ikin with pictures of some of the events that they have helped instigate

Community Mobilisers, Robbie MacPherson, Tracy Whitmore & Stewart Ikin with pictures of some of the events that they have helped instigate

A service which has saved Milton Keynes Council on average £2.5 million per year is set to be drastically reduced due to funding cuts.

Community Action:MK, a charity which co-ordinates voluntary events around Milton Keynes, currently provides community mobilisers to eight areas in the city – to support people and organisations and develop local groups.

But from September, areas such as Fishermead, Netherfield and Stantonbury will no longer benefit from the service.

A report by Bruce Fenning, an expert in social return on investment, in June estimated that the community mobiliser service brings a return of £8.15 for every £1 of investment.

Robbie Macpherson, chief operating officer for Community Action:MK, understands that cuts need to be made, but believes the decision will prove costly.

He said: “It is a large amount of money we are losing and it will have a huge impact on the work we do. We offer a sort of preventative service before further council services are needed.

“They do have make cuts somewhere, but I think in the longer term, they are going to have more demand on the council’s services as a result.”

To carry on reading, please click here to read the full article at One MK.

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News Round Up: Volunteers, Contracts, Newspapers, Protests and Young People

Image via MK WebVolunteers are fantastic – not the cheap option

Oonagh Aitken, chief executive of Volunteering Matters says ‘awarding public sector contracts to volunteering groups is all well and good, but it needs to be properly thought through – and costed‘.


Government can’t ask charities to compete for contracts while savaging council spending

In her blog, Kathy Evans, chief executive of Children England states that the government cannot tell charities they must compete for contracts in a market while slashing the spending power of the only paying customers, local authorities.


‘Newspapers don’t want good news stories about charities’

Two veteran newspaper journalists told an audience of charity leaders that positive stories about the sector are unlikely to attract the attention of editors.


What gets communities off the couch and on to the street to protest?

Civic mobilisation has piqued academic interest over recent decades. Among the many explanations to emerge, three themes echo loudly through the literature: grievance, efficacy and social embeddedness.


Charities ‘do not live up to young employees’ expectations

Many charities do not live up to graduate employees’ expectations, do not make the most of talented young people, and are too tolerant of bad management, a charity recruitment specialist told an NCVO conference this week.

(via NAVCA)

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