Volunteers wanted: Worktree Career WorkOuts

Volunteer in January and February by giving 1 hour of your time…

Worktree is a small employability education charity which introduces the secondary school students in Milton Keynes to hundreds of adult guests, each with their own experience of work, in a circle of 6-minute conversations.

Career WorkOut sessions are similar to the ‘Weaving Trust‘ events run by Citizens:mk, but focus on career awareness and aspirations as well as communicating with unfamiliar people.

Click here for dates and to book in.

It doesn’t matter what job you do or have done. Career WorkOut values chief executives, apprentices, stay-at-home parents and retired people equally. All have their own experience of work and have relevant answers to student questions about work.

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To find out more, contact the Worktree team at info@worktree.org or call 07966 204109.

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13-15 January: Startup Weekend in Milton Keynes

Our colleagues at the Milton Keynes office of Tech Mahindra, who work with us on the MK:Smart and CAPE projects, and support our Employee Volunteering Programme are holding a Startup Weekend in Milton Keynes. The event is being organised as part of the InnovateMK initiative.

Startup Weekend is the world’s starting point for entrepreneurship. It is a 54-hour event where designers, developers, marketers, and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, and launch startups. Tech Mahindra are organising the event with aim of fostering local entrepreneurship to strengthen local community.

The participants that attend have 60 seconds to make a pitch (optional), the pitches are whittled down to the top ideas, and then teams are formed around the ideas to come out with several developed companies or projects. Finally, the weekend culminates with demonstrations in front of an audience of judges and potential investors.

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Date and Time: 6.30pm 13th Jan to 8pm 15th Jan

Venue: InnovateMK, Tech Mahindra, 1st floor, 401 Grafton Gate East, MK9 1AT

Registration and more details:  http://bit.ly/2i4iu2L

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Volunteer Spotlight: Nhamburo Ziyenge

We’re sharing stories about amazing volunteers giving their time in Milton Keynes. This spotlight is on Zi Nhamburo, who is supporting the use of Raspberry Pi’s amongst parents.

Zi is a former student at UCMK passionate about ensuring that everyone has basic computer literacy. With mandatory computing now part of the school curriculum, he is concerned that parents will not be able to help the children with their computing homework. With that in mind he is starting to develop the Community Computing Literacy scheme which he hopes to develop into a social enterprise. Focusing around the Raspberry Pi, he is running a series of workshops across Milton Keynes to help teach parents basic computer literacy skills.

In addition to developing the teaching materials for the workshops, the project also involves surveying local schools about their computing provision and developing two demonstrator systems, highlighting the potential for sustainably-powered computers. Funded by Our MK, the first workshop took place in August 2016 and was attended by 7 people who stated they were highly satisfied and keen to attend further workshops.

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Zi demonstrating a Raspberry Pi to attendees at the community workshop at UCMK in August 2016. Photo credit: Community Action: MK

Since being granted the funding from Our MK, Zi has worked closely with a team at Community Action: MK and run a series of 6 workshop for students at the STEM Club at MK Academy, which has been made possible by the Academy teachers, Mr Brian Serridge in particular. Zi has also been invited by The National Museum of Computing based at Bletchley Park to run regular activities at the museum, starting with the Christmas Bytes Festival this December.

Having recognized a demonstrable shortcoming in computer literacy in the population as a whole, Zi has decided to do something about it. He successfully navigated the Our MK funding process and started to develop a series of workshops which he will deliver for free. Such planning involves a large investment of time and great technical skill. While the idea of running workshops around the Raspberry Pi is not unique, Zi’s scheme is free, is focused on grass-roots participation, takes students of any age and experience, and still delivers materials which are interesting, informative and focused on a sustainability agenda. As such, Zi’s scheme is highly innovative.

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Zi delivering a Raspberry Pi session to students at the STEM Club at MK Academy. Photo credit: Community Action: MK.

Find out more about Zi’s volunteering Community Computing project here.

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Interested in volunteering? Get involved in 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 New Year 2017! 

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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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Happy Christmas from Community Action: MK

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We would like to wish all our friends in the Voluntary and Community Sector organisations in Milton Keynes as well as our members and partners a very Merry Christmas!

Thank you for all your support and collaboration this year. We very much look forward to working with you and supporting you in the New Year 2017, and continuing to promote the amazing work of our communities, voluntary organisations and volunteers!

 

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Support for local family

One example of how we work with local businesses

We wanted to share with you this lovely impact story of how we managed to link local business with the local community through our Employee Volunteering Programme.

Towergate told us that they were hosting a reverse Advent. For this they asked staff for donations of nonperishable items, which would be distributed to local community groups.

Instead of this, Community Action: MK linked them with Daisy Chain Children’s Centre in Bletchley, who facilitated the hampers to be delivered to local families.

Ann, an employee at Towergate, told us:

“Staff appreciated that Community Action: MK linked them with Daisy Chain Children’s Centre. We started a reverse advent, but I had an image that it would be filled with 24 donated tins of food. Once we were given the make up of a real family that we could support it gave us something to focus on.”

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Generous donations given by Towergate Staff. Photo credit: Community Action: MK

We at Community Action: MK think that the picture tells the story of how staff got involved in giving with a sense of purpose.

If you would like to find out more about our Employee Volunteering Programme and about future corporate volunteering opportunities please click here.

If you would like further information please email ev@communityactionmk.org.

 

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Keep Active MK: lots of sport activities available

Keep Active MK – a new useful resource on physical activities available in Milton Keynes

Click here to find out more about Keep Active MK and the relevant initiatives that are currently running. Keep Active MK has been supported with funding from the MK Community Foundation.

For more information contact our Sport Development Manager on 07818 513744 or email chris.bryden@miltonkeynesleisure.co.uk.

After School Junior Programme

At term-time programme of activities, which restarts on Monday 9th January 2017 at Bletchley Leisure Centre. Includes Football with MKDonsSETSmash Up! Badminton, Basketball and DogeballStreet Golf and Indoor Tennis with MK Tennis.

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Junior Trampolining

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Netball

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If you have any questions, please contact Chris Bryden on 07818 513744 or email chris.bryden@miltonkeynesleisure.co.uk.

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