Community Action: MK – Weekly Info & Updates

Welcome to the weekly bulletin for the voluntary and community sector of
Milton Keynes
Click here to see the full version of the newsletter
Community Resilience in Milton Keynes
Last week we held a community resilience meeting which was joined by various VCSE groups that have been part of our Collaborative Action Groups (CAGs) project. The meeting created space for groups to share what they had been up to, look towards the future and highlight envisioned challenges as well as continue to offer their support to each other and make useful connections. A key finding from both the CAG’s and the  meeting is tailored support and training needs, which is something that we want explore more, so we can tailor our support programme. Please complete this short form to tell us about your organisation’s support/ training needs.
Covid-19 Innovations: Branch- Out MK
We have asked the local VCSE groups to share with us their experiences of how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected their work and how they have been able to adapt to this incredibly difficult reality. We are delighted to share with you the case study from Branch-Out MK, a local social enterprise providing floristry services and supporting adults with learning disabilities & autism. Read more.
Milton Keynes Charities finalists in £1mln fund
We’re thrilled that The Henry Allen Trust and MK Play Association have been shortlisted as finalists in the Persimmon Homes’ Building Futures scheme. You can support by casting an online vote. Read more.
Small Charity Cyber Security Guide
The National Cyber Security Centre have produced guidance for keeping charities and their staff/volunteers safe from cyber attacks and crime while working from home. Read more.
Genuine Social Media Activism: A Guide for Going Beyond the Hashtag
An interesting resource from HootSuite, the social media management platform, highlighting the importance of inclusive and honest communications in light of the racial justice issues and the #BlackLivesMatter movement in particular. Read more.

A Go Ahead for business events and conferences 
Business events and conferences will be permitted to resume from 1 October provided rates of infection remain at current levels. See the latest guidance from the Government.
Read more.

The NCVO Almanac : data about the VCSE sector
First published in 1996, the UK Civil Society Almanac has data on the state of the voluntary sector. Drawing on a range of sources, the Almanac provides a snapshot of what voluntary organisations do, their income and spending, workforce, volunteering and its impact. This year, during a time of global crisis and uncertainty, understanding the role the sector plays to support society is more important than ever.
Read more.

DevicesDotNow Initiative 
Supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the DevicesDotNow campaign is asking businesses to donate tablets, smartphones and laptops, as well as connectivity in the form of sims, dongles and mobile hotspots, urgently needed to get the most vulnerable people in the UK online. The initiative is hoping to target the 1.9 million households who don’t have access to the internet and are digitally excluded. Read more.
Technology support for children and schools during the pandemic
The Government’s guidance for local authorities, academy trusts and schools on how to get digital devices, internet access and support to provide remote education and access to children’s social care during the pandemic. Read more.
New rules for planning applications
The Government are introducing new laws to extend homes upwards and revitalise town centres. Full planning applications will not be required to demolish and rebuild unused buildings as homes. You can find out more from the latest MK Councillor’s Newsbulletin. Read more.

Danny Kruger MP Review of Civil Society’s role in the Covid-19 recovery 
The Prime Minister has tasked MP Danny Kruger to undertake a review into how the Government can empower & strengthen communities long term, and build on the wave of voluntary and community action during the Covid 19 Pandemic. Community Action: MK have compiled a response (see it here), supported by the feedback gathered from the local VCSE sector through our Covid-19 response programme, including our Collaborative Action Groups. which we sent to Danny Kruger on 17th July 2020 to be included in the final report for the Prime Minister. Read more.

Nominate NCVO board members
NCVO are a national membership body championing the work of charities and volunteers, community groups and social enterprises, and providing them with the support they need to make a bigger difference. They are looking for new board members and are keen to hear from candidates from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives, particularly those that come from traditionally underrepresented groups. If you are an NCVO member organisation, you can put forward your nominations by Monday 17th AugustRead more.
Charities and delivery of public services
This is an interesting article exploring some research and attitudes into the charity sector taking on the delivery of public services, particularly in the light of the Covid-19 crisis. Read more.

Workplace public health survey 
(We apologise that there was no link to the survey in our previous newsletter!)
This survey is designed for anyone who works in Milton Keynes (or across the Bedford Borough) and would like to share their experiences of how Covid-19 has affected their health and wellbeing at work. Closing date Sunday 6th September. 
Read more.
See the latest updates from the MK Covid-19 Outbreak Control Plan
Wear a mask campaign: #WhyWeWearOurs
It’s really important that people follow national guidance and wear face coverings. Daisy, who’s 18 and soon to go to University to study nursing, made a short video explaining that she wears her face covering to protect her family and friends from coronavirus – you can see Daisy’s video here. You too can help raise awareness of the importance of wearing masks during the pandemic by following the #WhyWeWearOurs social media campaign.
Community Mobilisation: Unlocking The Potential of Community Power
A new research report from the New Local Government Network exploring the value and power of community-led activity, and its potential to bring about change. This report offers a how-to guide for organisations interested in community mobilisation, illustrating a range of potential strategies to build active, networked and powerful communities. Read more.
Local Survey: Climate emergency 
MK Council are participating in a climate change study designed to gain insight into attitudes across the country and see how local authorities can be part of the solution for the climate emergency. At this point the research is purely an information gathering exercise and does not reflect future council plans.  The survey is open to both homeowners and businesses in Milton Keynes. Read more.

Kooth platform for young people
Kooth is a free online mental wellbeing community for young people aged 11-19, offering confidential & anonymous support service designed specifically for young people. If your staff team would like to know about Kooth in more depth, they offer a 30-45 min Kooth professional zoom presentation that can be delivered at a convenient time. Read more.
Community Learning
In response to the Covid-19 restrictions, Community Learning MK are offering a programme of taster workshops and short courses online over the summer and into the Autumn term 2020. Topic include: IT and Digital Media, Family Learning, Arts, Crafts and Well-being, Languages and Maths and English. Read more.
GCSE Advisory Days: 20 Aug 2020 – 2 Sep 2020 
This is a great resource from MK College – an on- demand virtual open event, where you  can tour the college facilities, hear from the tutors and find out more about the range of study programmes available at MK College. This might be particularly useful to any NEET students struggling to access support due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Read more.
Article: Importance of social capital 
We have found an interesting blog from Dr Matthew Agarwala at The Bennett Institute for Public Policy, illustrating how the response to the coronavirus pandemic has revealed social capital as one of the most important, durable assets underpinning modern life. Read more.
Fear of rise in disability hate crime
We’ve seen some worrying headlines about the rise in disability crime, particularly in relation to the social-distancing regulations during the pandemic. You can find out more from this Neighbourhood Watch article. We also encourage you to refer to our recent blog on Combating Coronavirus Stigma and Discrimination.
See more Information for communities regarding Covid-19 on our website 
Food Connect Courier (x2 positions) 
Food Connect is a pioneering new approach to redistributing food that would otherwise have been wasted. The project is currently looking to recruit enthusiastic riders/drivers to join their small but passionate team. Closing date for applications: 14th August 2020, but they will be assessed on a rolling basis. Read more.

MK Play Association are urgently seeking a new Chair of Trustees
An exciting volunteering opportunity to help sustain and lead the work of one of the oldest independent charities in Milton Keynes, dedicated to developing the health and wellbeing of children through play, which will see you working closely with its Board of Trustees and the Chief Executive. Read more.

Age UK MK – Volunteer Befrienders and Shop Assistants 
Age UK Milton Keynes provide services and support, which have been particularly crucial during the pandemic, to thousands of people living in the borough of Milton Keynes every year. They are looking for telephone befrienders and volunteers willing to help out at the charity shops in Kiln Farm and Stony Stratford. Read more.

Force for Good: Tech Volunteering Programme
As part of this pro-bono volunteering programme from the company J.P. Morgan, organisations selected to participate will be aligned with a team of up to 10 highly-skilled technologists who will dedicate approximately 4 hours per week over an 8 month period to the project. They will be working to deliver a technical solution to a problem your organisation is facing. Read more.
Are you willing, able and safe to volunteer? Complete the expression of interest form here
During the emergency phase of their Covid-19 grant programme, Milton Keynes  Community Foundation has supported local community groups with a total of 102  grants to the value of almost £500,000 for a range local Covid-19 emergency response  projects. The emergency appeal moving into the next phase and grants will now be available through the Recovery Fund. Read more.
September Spectacular!
This is a match-funding initiative as part of which during 1st - 15th September your group could have up to £500 in donations matched, or £1,000 if you are working to support people with disabilities and/or mental health problems. In order to take part, you need to register with Localgiving, a platform which will allow you to raise money online (it is recommended to do it in plenty of time). Read more.
The Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage
This £92 million fund is now open with grants from £10,000 – £3 million available for heritage organisations in England. The deadline for this fund is Monday 17 August 2020Read more.
Important Update from the National Lottery Community Fund
The Coronavirus Community Support Fund is closing to applications on Monday 17 August 2020 at 12 noon. Read more.

Thomas Wall Trust 
Grants up to £5,000 towards specific projects or core activities that support literacy, numeracy, digital and additional skills for learning that are likely to assist employment prospects. The Trust recognises that the future of the labour market will become increasingly competitive, with employers placing greater emphasis on transferable skills. Read more.

Magic Little Grants Funding
Localgiving is working with Postcode Community Trust, a grant giving charity funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, to offer charitable organisations the opportunity to apply for grants of £500. The Magic Little Grants Fund provides charitable organisations the opportunity to access funding to deliver engaging physical activities which help to overcome barriers to participation.
Read more.
Emergency Grassroots Music Venues Fund
Grants supporting  grassroots live music venues, including community venues, that are at imminent risk of insolvency owing to the coronavirus outbreak and resulting lockdown. Closing date for applications: 3rd August. Read more.
See more funding opportunities on the Community Action: MK website
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