Netherfield: An Update.

There’s been a lot happening in Milton Keynes this summer, but we at Community Action: MK have been working with the local residents on Netherfield Local Conversation, to engage and entice the local community to get involved with what’s happening in Netherfield.

Let’s catch up on what’s been going on!

The Community Garden

The Community Garden in Netherfield is blooming, with more volunteers from all different walks of life and all ages, working together and involving themselves to make the garden a clean, calm and colourful place to be.

This picture demonstrates the wonderful level of community engagement. These planters have been adorned with plaques made and vibrantly decorated by the local children, making the planters more attractive to look at and it will give the children pride to see their work displayed so publicly in the garden.

The garden has now also acquired a sign for recognition of where the garden is and now the locals of Netherfield know where to go if they want to do a spot of gardening or enjoy the beautiful flowers and plants planted and maintained by their own local residents.

From old to young, so many residents have dedicated their time and effort to the garden and have enjoyed doing so. If you want to get involved in helping out the local community in Netherfield, whether you are a resident, group of employees or gardening enthusiast or just keen on helping a community in any capacity, then email support@communityactionmk.org or call 01908 661623.

Love Rocks

MK Play Association liaised and worked with the NLC Steering Group to put together a crafts event for children to celebrate all things rock!

The event took place in the ever growing and beautifully maintained Community Garden in the summer holidays in Netherfield.

The children enjoyed a sunny afternoon of painting and getting creative with rocks of all different shapes and sizes; painting the rocks, making a variety of creatures and animals and getting messy creating their own pictures to take home.

If you would like to get involved in volunteering down at Netherfield to support them and engage with the key issues prioritised by the local residents, then as mentioned above, contact us here at support@communityactionmk.org or call 01908 661623.

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Jobs in the sector: Homeless Shelter Support Worker

The Bus Shelter MK is a much loved local charity which provides a temporary home – and much, much more – for people who would otherwise be sleeping on the streets.

We provide accommodation on a converted double decker bus and reclaimed building site units based on a former car park in central Milton Keynes.

Since we opened in March 2018 we have accommodated 43 people and advised more than 100 others.  Ages of our guests has ranged from 19 to 73 and the average stay is three to four months. 

We are now seeking an additional team member to assist our Shelter Manager in supporting our guests and also ensuring the site remains a pleasant environment both physically and in atmosphere.

The personal qualities of the successful candidate will be more important than formal qualifications, but if you have experience in working with homeless people or expertise in benefits or housing that would be preferred. The duties will be varied and it is likely that no two days will be the same.

What will you need to be?

  • Confident and able to make sensible decisions in unexpected situations.
  • Kind and caring but not a pushover! You will often be working alongside volunteers so will need to understand how that creates a different dynamic than when working with fellow staff members or service users.
  • Computer literate and able to research and understand various regulations and guidelines.
  • Presentable and able to communicate with all types of people as you will be representing the charity to visitors and external organisations in the course of your duties.

Pay and conditions

The role is for 20 hours per week but full time or job share considered for the right applicant.

There will be a lot of evening and weekend working but not overnights. There will also be some lone working.

The role is permanent and the salary offered will depend on your skills and experience.

Holidays offered will be 36 days (including bank holidays).

Our Service Users

Our guests are people who would otherwise be sleeping on the streets and who need a helping hand to return to mainstream life.  Often the role will involve convincing guests their lives can improve and helping them unravel the red tape and hurdles that make it so difficult for them to move on.  At any one time, 50% of our usual guest cohort of eight will be working. We do not accept guests with drug or alcohol addictions as we do not have the facilities to help them. 

Former guests have described being on the bus as “five star homelessness” and attested to the kindness of staff and volunteers as changing their lives.

Why not join us as we provide hope and a route out of homelessness?

To apply please send a CV and a covering letter to: info@thebussheltermk.org  

Please put Support Worker Application in the subject line. The successful candidate will require an Enhanced DBS Check in line with our safeguarding policy.

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Jobs in the Sector: Community Inclusion Project Manager – The Stables

The Community Inclusion Project Manager will play a pivotal role in creating new connections between The Stables, IF: Milton Keynes International Festival and D/deaf and disabled people. He/she will be responsible for creating connections within Milton Keynes and ensuring that The Stables and the Festival are appropriately prepared for these new partnerships.

This role will support the delivery of a new project funded by MK Community Foundation which includes an extensive programme focussing on and enhancing the organisation’s approach to working with D/deaf and disabled people as participants, audience members and performers.

The successful candidate will need to:

  • demonstrate an ability to work with a good degree of independence and responsibility whilst maintaining ongoing communication to keep in touch with the team.
  • an understanding of accessible arts, inclusion, working with disabled people, project management and ways to engage a wide range of people is central to the role.
  • Communication skills are key, along with an ability to maintain the big picture as well as retaining high levels of attention to detail.
  • require a flexible yet methodical approach with a ‘can do’ attitude.
  • the ability to absorb information quickly, integrate into an existing team and organisational culture, and work with established systems and processes to ensure a joined-up approach is essential.
  • it will be important to build relationships with local networks, so a good knowledge of / connection with the Milton Keynes area is desirable.

A more detailed role description can be found here

Who are The Stables?

The Stables in Milton Keynes is one of the UK’s leading music organisations, presenting over 400 concerts across all music genres, and delivering 250 learning and participation projects per annum, including the National Youth Music Camps.

It also produces IF: Milton Keynes International Festival, a biennial multi-artform festival which engages people with extraordinary events in unusual spaces and in unexpected ways. Part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio, The Stables is preparing for its 50th birthday celebrations in 2020 by looking to expand the impact of its work locally, regionally and nationally.

Salary: Up to £20,000 depending on experience and availability

Contract: Freelance, temporary

Term: 1 year  

Based: The Stables, Wavendon

Please submit your CV and up to 2-pages of A4 outlining your suitability for the role. Your submission should set out how you would seek to tackle the project and how much time you would commit to ensuring its success.

Alternative formats to written applications are accepted as a reasonable adjustment.

Application Deadline: Monday 23 September, midday (12 noon)

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News: Congratulations! YMCA Milton Keynes secures £498,849 grant from the National Lottery!

“We will use this grant over a 3-year period to fund staff and services to improve the well-being of our residents, including 3 personal development coaches and a significant resident activities budget to help their young people belong, contribute and thrive.”

Youth social housing provider and independent homeless charity, YMCA Milton Keynes, is celebrating today after being awarded £498,849 in National Lottery funding to support its work with local young people. The charity will use the cash over a 3-year period to fund staff and services to improve the well-being of its residents, including 3 personal development coaches and a significant resident activities budget to help their young people belong, contribute and thrive.

YMCA Milton Keynes has helped over 10,000 young people since it opened its doors in 1981. The charity’s current site is cramped and no longer fit for purpose, so it has embarked on an ambitious journey to build a new £19M campus to provide supported housing to young people in Milton Keynes. YMCA Milton Keynes’ new campus, which is due to open early in the new year, will give 199 young people access to affordable accommodation, a dedicated pathway of support, including training and employment opportunities, well-being services and a number of social enterprises, including a café and a nursery that will provide its residents with work experience and employment opportunities.

The National Lottery grant will focus on supporting 225 young people over a 3-year period with mental and physical health, employment, education and training giving them access to a sustainable future.

Each outcome will be tracked through monitoring mechanisms and short and long-term outcomes. This will show how the services delivered contribute to a chain of results leading to the intended outcomes.

Simon Green, CEO of YMCA Milton Keynes, says:

“We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way. Now, thanks to National Lottery players we will be able to press on with our plans to broaden the range of support and opportunities available to young people here in Milton Keynes. This grant is vital as it enables us to deliver the dedicated support, activities and training needed to enable our young people to achieve their full potential.”

Find out more about YMCA Milton Keynes by following this link

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