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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Find out about the new Festival of Creative Urban Living and how you can get involved…

Please RSVP to Ursula bedsunited.afcul@gmail.com

Details of A Festival Of Urban Living:
Get Involved Information Evening

Tuesday 16th July 6- 7.30pm
MK Gallery Project Space, MK9 3QA

Meet raumlaborberlin who are co-curating the festival, transforming Midsummer Boulevard, bringing together; artists, architects, designers, urban planners, thinkers, creatives and many others to deliver a free programme of exhibitions, events, creative workshops, performances and much more.

Find out about BEDS UNITED a unique project which aims to celebrate the huge diversity of city, inviting our citizens to host a festival guest for one night only. Sign Up HERE

Find out about other projects including BIKE SCHOOL which will promote and celebrate cycling in many ways. Bike School will rise to the challenge of making MK the Greenest city yet. 

More about the Festival A Festival of Urban Living Sep 26 – 13 Oct Join us on Facebook Twitter #Creativeurban Instagram

Copyright © 2019 A Festival of Creative Urban Living, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
A Festival of Creative Urban LivingMilton Keynes CouncilCivic Offices, 1 Saxon Gate EastMilton Keynes, MK9 3EJUnited Kingdom

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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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Netherfield P.H.T. Graffiti Art Event

Young volunteers from across Netherfield joined forces over the weekend of 18th & 19th March to take place in a Graffiti Art event at the local shops. The event was arranged by the People’s Health Trust Local Conversation project, to raise awareness that Netherfield has been allocated some funding through the Health Lottery, and needs to engage with residents to identify priorities at a local level. There is especially a need for young people to have their voices heard.

The young volunteer artists were supported across the weekend by local organisations including Community Action: MK, Freestyle Textile & Kitchenware, Woughton Community Council, PHT, UFA and a local Graffiti artist (Squidge) from PlayStreet.

On the Saturday there was a design workshop where young people worked together to create potential designs, as well as some other fun activities for all. Young people learnt about wider volunteering opportunities and were boosted by the arrival of pizzas (thanks to Cheska from UFA who provide NCS (National Citizen Service) in Milton Keynes.

On the Sunday the team met at the shops where they had been given permission by Irene to paint their design on to her shop security shutter. Thanks Irene! Under Squidge’s expert guidance the volunteers were quick to pick up the various skills and techniques needed, and really impressed passers by with their handiwork. Local shoppers who stopped to admire the artwork helped us to fill in questionnaires, which gave Netherfield people a chance to talk about what they like/dislike about living in Netherfield and identify something that they would like to improve.

Irene was thrilled with the finished piece, and everyone agreed that the event had been a great success. However, despite collecting lots of ideas from local residents, the PHT are really anxious to hear from  more Netherfield folk. In particular, we would like Young People to have an opportunity to see their ideas become reality. If you are a young person who wants to get involved to make a difference in Netherfield then contact Stewart Ikin at stewart@communityactionmk.org to find out more information.

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Communities Consultation Funding Health & Wellbeing Netherfield People's Health Trust Projects Volunteering

Tea & Coffee Afternoon – Downs Barn

It’s that time of the week again where we stick the kettle on at the Cross & Stable Church & Community Centre. Come along and meet members of your community, have a cuppa, and maybe a biscuit. If the rain holds off and the ground is dry…maybe even come and join us in the spring sunshine bathing the garden.

Cross and Stable Church and Community Centre
Downs Barn Boulevard
Downs Barn
MK14 7RP

These events are sponsored by the Cross and Stable Church.

This is a great opportunity to meet those in your community and have a wonderful time.

We are also currently seeking volunteers. Please see the poster below for more information.

 

Blog Post Charities & Community Groups Communities Great Linford Volunteering

Full Programme available for MK Community Energy Conference

Exploring the PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE of sustainability and energy in Milton Keynes

We very much hope that you will be able to join us at MK’s first Community Energy Conference, which is taking place at The Chrysalis Theatre in Camphill on Saturday 25th February: 10-4.30pm.

The event is free, however booking is essential, so please register your place via The Chrysalis Theatre’s box office – here.

The lovely Camphill Cafe are providing a lunch – book yours when registering and pay £5.oo on the day.

See the full programme here and below.

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SEE YOU THERE!

Anna, Marie, Hilarie, Michael, Tim and Kevin

MK Community Energy Alliance

Blog Post CAPE, Community Action Platform for Energy Charities & Community Groups Communities Engage MK MK:Smart News from and for the VCS Projects Volunteering