Volunteer Opportunity of the Week: Harry’s Rainbow

Harry’s Rainbow, a charity which supports bereaved children and their families in Milton Keynes, and surrounding areas, are looking for volunteers to help at their Christmas celebration on Saturday 26th November 12-5pm.

“This is an event for our families to have some fun and be supported through what can be a hard time of the year.”

They have lots of festive fun planned, and would like volunteers to help with craft activities, which include making reindeer food and  creating Christmas tree decorations. Volunteers are also needed to assist with serving teas and coffees, helping Santa in his grotto, and welcoming families in the reception area.

If you feel you can support this special event, then please do get in touch with Rachel, Family Liaison Officer, by:

 email rachel@harrysrainbow.co.uk or call 01908 061676.


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Volunteer Opportunity of the Week: Knife Angel Volunteer Marshals

The National Monument against Violence & Aggression (Knife Angel) is being hosted in Milton Keynes this December and January at MK Dons Stadium. Thames Valley police are seeking volunteer marshals to provide information and answer questions from the large footfall the monument is likely to attract. You can read more about the creation of the Knife Angel here. 

Can you give a few hours of your time to stand with the Angel and promote the anti-violence message? It could act as a team-building day for a workforce, or for a charity to share its own anti-violence message. A one-hour online training session and briefing pack will be provided to those who volunteer.

Marshalls Dates and Times:

Times are available between 10am-2pm or 2pm-6pm daily, between 3rd December to 7th January.

All volunteers must be 18 years or over, unless accompanied by an appropriate adult registered and authorised to volunteer for this initiative.

Venue Location:

Gate 1, Stadium MK, Denbigh, Milton Keynes, MK1 1ST.

For travel information, visit: www.mkdons.com/club/visit-stadiummk

The recruitment deadline is this Friday 18th November.

For further information, please email : knifeangelvolunteers@thamesvalley.police.uk or haydn.lewis@thamesvalley.police.uk.

Image Credit: British Ironwork Centre

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Trustees’ Week 7-11 November

We’re in the midst of Trustees’ Week, an opportunity to highlight the vital role trustees play in  charities. This year’s theme is ‘making a difference in changing times’, a reflection of the uncertain and difficult landscape faced by the sector and society as a whole. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and impact of trustees;their voluntary commitment ensures charities and groups can continue to support communities in Milton Keynes and beyond.

You can read more about the Community Action: MK trustees here. Their dedication, knowledge of Milton Keynes communities and wealth of experience provides invaluable support for the work of Community Action: MK, we’d like to thank them for their year-round efforts, including appearances as Easter bunnies (!), representing Community Action: MK on national news, supporting events, and the behind-the-scenes diligence that ensures we can strengthen the Milton Keynes community and VCSE sector. 

Thinking of becoming a trustee?

If our trustees have inspired you, and you’re interested in finding a trustee role, you can join our community on the volunteering platform DoIt. life, where you can browse opportunities by searching for ‘trustee’. You can also book a support session with our Volunteering Coordinator, who will help you connect to a role, email support@communityactionmk.org if you’d like to find out more.

Becoming a trustee has many benefits, it can provide connections, it’s also a valuable CPD opportunity. Read more about the positive impact of becoming a trustee here. 

Are you looking for a trustee?

If you have vacant trustee roles and would like our support getting to word out, we can promote the opportunity across our social media channels, on our website and in the weekly newsletter which reaches 1300 inboxes. Email support@communityactionmk.org with the role description and contact details.

Getting on Board supports the diversification of boards, providing guidance and empowering individuals from all sectors of society in becoming a trustee. They also provide guidance for organisations in their commitment to recruiting a representative board.

Their Festival of Trusteeship offers a programme of online events this Trustees’ Week, with info and panel sessions demystifying trusteeship.

Are you already a trustee, looking for resources to help you in your role?

Trustees’ Week has compiled a comprehensive compendium of resources, including links to the Charity Commission’s 5-minute reads for potential and existing trustees.

The National Council for Voluntary Action (NCVO) offers a concise run-down of the legal duties of trustees, with the Resource Centre providing a checklist of the responsibilities of management committees.  You can also find further guidance in our Information Sheets. 

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Trustees’ Week: Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre are seeking a Trustee with Legal Experience

As part of Trustees’ Week, we’re highlighting trustee roles in Milton Keynes.

Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre (MKCDC) is a Registered Educational Charity with a Trading Arm, and is a company limited by guarantee.

MKCDC are based at the beautiful Scheduled Ancient Monument medieval site of Bradwell Abbey, with several medieval buildings in situ, and 13 acres of woodland and landscaping. Their site and business are a hidden gem within the modern city of Milton Keynes.

They have recently completed a conservation project, and as a result, are ready to action the parts of their Business Plan that will see the site developing into an operational heritage attraction. 

They are now looking for a new Trustee with legal experience, to start immediately once interviews and checks have taken place. The role is voluntary, but expenses are offered:

Trustee with Legal Experience

Reports to: The Board

Purpose of the role:

In partnership with the Director to advise on and ensure the legal compliance of the organisation

Advise on appropriate legal matters where necessary

Main duties:

Advise as necessary/appropriate on legal matters affecting the organisation

Communicate with relevant staff and other committee members so as to maintain a clear picture of the legal compliance of the organisation as and when necessary

With the Director, advise on appropriate organisation policy and procedure

Key qualities:

A knowledge of legal requirements for charities and trading bodies

Ability to communicate and advise on legal practice relating to charities and trading bodies

Any legal background considered, although property, and/or staff and/or contract experience is desirable.

Please contact the Director, Noël James, via email if you are interested: 

Director@mkcdc.org.uk, attaching CV and cover letter, or alternatively post to Dr. Noël James. MKCDC, Bradwell Abbey, Alston Drive, Milton Keynes,MK13 9AP.

Please call 07951 997334 if you would like to discuss before applying.

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Volunteer Opportunity of the Week: The Winter Night Shelter Milton Keynes

This week’s Volunteer Opportunity of the Week comes from The Winter Night Shelter Milton Keynes:

“Originally set up to help the homeless during the coldest months of the year, The Winter Night Shelter MK now operates all year round, due to the demand and increase in need for our services. We provide welfare support, enabling our guests to access drug and alcohol support services, obtain housing advice, move on to longer-term accommodation and to find work. We also provide overnight accommodation to homeless and vulnerable people who would otherwise be rough sleeping in Milton Keynes during the coldest months of the year (November–March).

We work in partnership with churches and community centres across the city who offer their facilities as an overnight venue and operate with teams of trained volunteers to provide beds and overnight supervision. This winter will be our 12th year of running our overnight accommodation.”


The Night Shelter will be hosted at the following venues on the following days:

Mon pm – Tue am: Loughton Baptist Church

Tue pm – Wed am: Newport Pagnell Baptist Church

Wed pm – Thu am: The Ridgeway Centre (Wolverton) & Shenley Christian Fellowship – alternative fortnights

Thu pm – Fri am: Stony Stratford Community Church & The Ridgeway Centre (Wolverton) – alternative fortnights

Fri pm – Sat am: St George’s Church (Wolverton) & MK Christian Foundation (Wolverton)

Sat pm – Sun am: Christ the Vine Community Church (Coffee Hall) & Church of the Holy Cross (Two Mile Ash)

Sun pm – Mon am: St Mary’s Church (Woburn) & Whaddon Way Church (Bletchley)

Opening the doors of The Winter Night Shelter to those who need a warm welcome would not be possible without the help of dedicated volunteers.

If you’d like to join the volunteer team, or would like to read further details of the varying roles, including welcoming guests, forming part of the Nightwatch, or preparing refreshments, click here:

Volunteer | Winter Night Shelter Milton Keynes (winternightsheltermk.org)

Images: The Winter Night Shelter

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Volunteer Opportunity of the Week: British Heart Foundation Shops and Stores 

This week’s guest blog comes from the British Heart Foundation Shops in Bletchley and Leighton Buzzard, who are looking for new volunteers to join the team:

British Heart Foundation Shops & Stores

In the UK, 1 in 4 of us die from heart and circulatory diseases – conditions like heart disease, stroke  and vascular dementia. The British Heart Foundation funds research to find ways to prevent, treat  and perhaps one day cure these conditions. This research is as urgent and vital as ever, but it is only  possible thanks to public donations and the time given by volunteers. Our shops are the face of  British Heart Foundation in the community, helping to raise funds and spread awareness of our  work.

The Role

Shop Volunteer 

Our shop volunteers are the first point of contact for customers when they enter our shops. You will provide invaluable help through the running of the shop, keeping it stocked and attractively displayed.  

You can get involved as much or as little as you like by sorting out stock; putting your own stamp on the shop  displays or getting trained to serve customers at the till. 

Being part of a huge retail team to raise funds is very motivating, you provide the best service possible for the local community and raise as much money as possible for the organisation. You even  get a 25% discount on donated goods. 

Say hello to the team 

Funding for researchers begins at your local charity shop. Now, more than ever, we are in urgent need of  public support to enable us to continue our life saving research and help the 7.4 million people in the UK living  with heart and circulatory diseases. This wouldn’t be possible without our fantastic volunteers. 

Our team is welcoming and friendly, and we love meeting people from all walks of life. Typical tasks include: 

• Serving customers & providing good all-round customer service 

• Promoting our campaigns to customers  

• Promoting instore sales 

• Working on window and shop displays 

• Keeping the shop tidy, clean and well organised 

• Interacting with the general public 

You get a lot from volunteering too: 

• A chance to work in a friendly team, to make new friends and meet a diverse group of people

• The opportunity to make an invaluable contribution to British Heart Foundation goal of beating heartbreak forever 

• The time to develop your confidence and interpersonal skills 

• The ability to gain valuable work experience to add onto your CV and to learn new skills

• Flexibility to fit with your lifestyle 

• The chance to gain valuable retail experience 

Here’s a little bit more about us:

The BHF is here to Beat Heartbreak Forever. We are working towards a world free from the fear of heart and  circulatory diseases. 

By 2030, we want to see advances across the spectrum of heart and circulatory diseases; we want to prevent  these conditions from developing and we want those with existing conditions to have better, longer lives.

To find out more…

Leighton Buzzard Store:

Contact name Claire or Kim

01525 214786

Email l31@bhf.org.uk

Bletchley Store:

Contact Name Jude

01908 374090

Email b11@bhf.org.uk

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Volunteer Opportunity of the Week: FoodCycle

This week’s guest blog comes from FoodCycle, a charity who tackle food waste and loneliness through community dining, providing opportunities for great food and conversation.

FoodCycle are looking to serve a weekly community meal at 12:30pm on Fridays at the Old Bath House in Wolverton

“We are currently recruiting for Project Leaders to organise and oversee the Food Surplus, Cooking and Hosting teams. Our Project Leaders supervise the team of volunteers for at least 1 session per month and benefit from training in Food Safety, Allergens and Safeguarding and we need to complete a DBS check. 

Alongside our Project Leaders, we will also need a team of volunteers to help with food collection, cooking and hosting. 

The Roles: 

Food Collection

Project Leader – required Thursday afternoons. We have weekly food collections arranged with various suppliers. As Surplus Food Coordinator you will organise a team of volunteers to pick up the food, ensure it is delivered to the venue, and weighed/recorded ready for the cooking team.

08:30 – 09:30 Friday

Volunteers – Do you hate food waste? So do we! Why not sign up to volunteer with us and become a food waste hero, collecting surplus fruit, veg, bread and other goodies from our many supporters across Milton Keynes? We have a few different collection routes and will contact you the day of your shift to confirm arrangements. You can start your route from home and head to our venue when your route is finished, or if we are lucky and your car is too full! Note: you will need a car for this collection route, and you will need to complete FoodCycle’s volunteer driver form.

Cooking Team 09:30 – 13:30

Project Leaders – You’ll be leading a team of volunteers to turn our haul of surplus food into a tasty community meal. You’ll work with your team to come up with a menu and prepare dinner for our guests. Think of yourself as head chef, FoodCycle style.

Volunteers – As part of the cooking team, you’ll be working with other volunteers to turn our haul of surplus food into a nutritious meal, which you will then get a chance to sit down and enjoy. Bring your best chopping skills and plenty of enthusiasm!

Hosting Team 11:30 – 14:30

Project Leaders – Our hosting volunteers are the friendly face of FoodCycle, As Hosting Project Leader, you will lead a team of volunteers in setting up the venue ready for the meal and welcoming our guests with a smile and a cup of tea! You will also organise/lead the serving of the meal and clearing away afterwards.

Volunteers – We need keen volunteers to help us set up the tables/get the hall ready for when our guests arrive, then to help us serve the meal and clear up afterwards! You will play a vital role in making our guests feel welcome and comfortable.

How to apply to be a Project Leader

We ask that this form is completed and submitted:  Food Cycle | Become a Project Leader we then make contact to discuss the role and start the Project Leader induction.

How to sign-up

Both Project Leaders and Volunteers will need to register for an account, here’s the link for this: https://volunteer.foodcycle.org.uk/ 

Once an account is activated, volunteers can access our volunteer portal (or for Project Leaders a Leader Portal).

Image: FoodCycle

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