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

Report: Collapse in charity provision looms at moment of greatest need
The £10 billion charity funding gap created by coronavirus is putting an “alarming proportion” of jobs and services in the firing line in the social sector. That’s according to the latest Charity Sector Tracker published today by Pro Bono Economics, in partnership with the Institute of Fundraising and Charity Finance Group. Read more.

Guidance: charity staff restructuring and redundancies 
Shared through Association of Chairs, this is an interesting article in which Nick Hobden, Partner at Thomson Snell & Passmore LLP shares guidance on reasons for a restructure, approaching redundancies, the consultation process and what the Chair’s role in this process is. Read more.

VCSE Health and Wellbeing Fund – Starting Well
The Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and Improvement, and Public Health England are inviting applications from voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations to join the VCSE health and wellbeing fund Starting Well. Joint applications between VCSE organisations are being encouraged and interested organisations will be able to take part in webinars to hear about the fund and gather further information on what projects and programmes they are specifically interested in funding. Registration will be limited to one person per organisation, and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Webinars will take place on: 8th September 2020, 2-3pm & 10th September 2020, 2-3pm. To book a place on these webinars, please e-mail Read more.
SME & VCSE Toolkits
Earlier this month, The Social Value Portal published a Social Value Easy Guides for Buyers, SMEs and VCSE’s. These easy to read guides include advice for applying social value in 7 simple steps, as well as a collection of case studies you can use for reference. Read more.
Embracing Diversity and Inclusivity – MKIAC
In late July, Milton Keynes Islamic Arts and Culture organisation (MKIAC) ran and convened a spoken word event “Embracing Diversity and Inclusivity”. A summary video of the whole session can be viewed here.

Helping Milton Keynes “get back on its feet”
Great news for all businesses in the Milton Keynes region who are recruiting. You can advertise all of your vacancies on for FREE. Any local business can list all of their jobs during September & October 2020 for FREE. MK Jobs is a job board exclusively promoting direct jobs and training opportunities from within the Milton Keynes region. is a community interest company (or CIC). Read more.
Free tool to guide charities facing financial difficulty
Bates Wells has launched a free tool for charities, social enterprises and other non-profit entities facing financial difficulty and unsure of the next steps to take.Users need to answer up to six questions to receive a tailored report on the options. Read more.
The kids are not alright: Covid-19, mental health and young people – Article
nfpSynergy have produced an article into why the coronavirus pandemic may have a long-term impact on our younger generations, possibly for years to come, looking particularly into young people’s mental health and the role and repercussions the Covid-19 crisis plays in their lives now and in the future. Read more.
Charity Commission Webinar – Listen Again!
Last week the very helpful team at the Charity Commission presented to 80+ group representatives at a NAVCA webinar and answered a range of questions specifically for local infrastructure.
The session covered: Covid-19 Guidance, filing requirements & extensions, closing down charities, hosting AGM, reserve policies. View the recording here.

One BLMK CCG – Public Survey
Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes CCGs are planning to become one single NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). Over the next few months, we will be engaging with GP Members, our staff, local service providers, councils, other partners and our patients to listen to your views. Please read the Public Engagement Document that accompanies this questionnaire that contains more detail and can be viewed here. The link to the BLMK survey can be found here.
Article: Remote Data Collection Tips
As a result of social distancing, a lot of data collection needs to take place remotely. The article explores different options for remote data collection for evaluation and research. J-PAL has also developed a living document that aggregates crowd-sourced tips and factors to consider when conducting remote surveys (in particular phone surveys) while practising social distancing. Read more.
England’s Economic Heartland’s Draft Transport Strategy – still time to feedback 
This draft transport strategy sets out the ways to support a green recovery from COVID-19 and sustainable economic growth for our region while reaching net zero carbon emissions no later than 2050. It includes proposals on how to work with the area’s world-leading innovators to trial and deploy cleaner and smarter connectivity across the region, and champion investment in better digital connectivity to increase people’s ability to work from home, reducing the need to travel.The consultation ends on 6th October. Read more.

Other local consultations:

  • Draft Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document – closes 30th September. Read more.
  • Draft Health Impact Assessment Supplementary Planning Document 2020 – closes 30th September 2020. Read more.
  • Bletchley and Fenny Stratford Town Deal Survey – closes on 1st October. Read more.
  • Modifications to the Newport Pagnell Neighbourhood Plan – closes 12th October. Read more.
See the latest updates from the MK Covid-19 Outbreak Control Plan
Great British September Clean: 11 – 27 September
The Great British September Clean will be taking place between the 11th – 27th September 2020 (postponed from April’s Great British Spring Clean). From organising a clean up with 5 family or friends, or pledging to do your own clean-up, find out how you can get involved in the Great British September Clean here.
Local Restrictions: Areas with an Outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Here is an up-to-date list of the areas where local restrictions/lockdowns are currently occurring. This page also includes information for local authorities, residents and workers about what to do and how to manage the outbreak. Click here to view the list.
Cycle September starts this month
The initiative is back this month and is offering prizes and a chance to compete against other workplaces. Anyone can join in, and you and your workplace team can even clock up miles whether you’re cycling for leisure or as a commute. You will compete to clock up the most points competing against similar sized organisations from all over the world and in your specific industry. You can share your Cycle September team successes with us on social media using #GetCyclingMK. Read more.
Online Mental Health / Wellbeing Support Services – Updated
Please see the updated document that Community Action: MK put together for your information, that details and lists both national and local online mental health support services. Read more.
MK Yis Update
Huge congratulations to our friends at MK YIS who have been awarded a  a 5 year BACP (British and Counselling Psychotherapy) accreditation for their counselling service! They have also updated us on their other services, returning to face-to-face support, and ideas and ways that you can support them. Read more.

Future Fossil: Imagine the Space - Webinar 
Friday 18th September from 10am  – 11.30am
Join for a free presentation from Andy Merritt (Something & Son) followed by small group discussions inviting contributions, and exploring collaborative opportunities for seasonal events and activities in this brand-new area of public realm. Open to individuals, arts, heritage & community organisations. Book your place here – a zoom link will be sent to you once you have registered for the event. Read more.
See more Information for communities regarding Covid-19 on our website 
Hazard Alley Seeks New CEO
The Safety Centre/Hazard Alley is looking for a new CEO. Hazard Alley has also reopened for business! The Trustees are looking for an influential and inspirational leader with a strong external focus and natural ability to engage to take over the helm. If you have both the ambition and the ability to lead at Hazard Alley and want to know more, visit their website for more information here.

The Green Gym MK
The Green Gym MK would like to invite anyone wishing to volunteer through their programme of activities for September to get involved. Volunteers will be helping to improve wildlife (e.g. typical activities include hedge laying, clearing ponds, building poly tunnels, and more), while learning new skills and improving their health and wellbeing. Booking in advance is essential – you can book by emailing Jennifer at or by calling on 07740 899 633.No experience is necessary as all training and tools will be provided. New volunteers always welcome! Read more.

Victims First Emotional Support Service Volunteer
Victims First Emotional Support Service provides free emotional and practical support to all victims of crime, witnesses of crime and family members of victims. The service is available across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and can provide help regardless of whether or not the crime has been reported to the police. Read more.

Become an MK Explorer
There are lots of opportunities for Milton Keynes residents, community organisations, and schools to get involved in the New Town Heritage Explorers programme, including by becoming a Virtual MK Explorer, an exciting volunteering role through which you will help others learn more about the heritage where you live, what you think about it and what you might want to see in future. Find out more on how you can get involved. Read more.
Are you willing, able and safe to volunteer? Complete the expression of interest form here

Economic Recovery Package – Milton Keynes Council
Milton Keynes Council is set to provide almost £2.2million of funding to local groups and businesses to help drive growth, create new green and creative jobs and help people into the workplace as part of a COVID-19 economic recovery package. This includes a £500,000 Green Business Recovery Fund to drive sustainable recovery schemes and behaviour.
Read more

LGBT+ Futures: National Emergencies Trust Fund
There is a delivery of a new Grants Programme for the diverse organisations that make up the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans + (LGBT+) Sector. Thanks to the National Emergencies Trust, a total funding pot of £350,000 is available to LGBT+ non-profit groups, organisations and projects. The funding is available to address the additional needs of LGBT+ people and communities most adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and to support and strengthen LGBT+ organisations that have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more.

Lloyds Bank Foundation: Infrastructure Fund
A total of £480,000 is available to support local and regional infrastructure organisations that provide organisational development support to, and advocate for small and local charities. The Foundation anticipate making 16 one-off grants of £30,000, which will be available for core costs and can be used over 1-2 years. 25% of the grants for this programme will be ring-fenced for infrastructure organisations that are specifically supporting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic-led charities and that are led by members of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.  Closes 9th October 2020, 5pm. Read more.
Covid-19 Digital Response Fund
A mix of direct grants and support from digital agencies are available to not-for-profit organisations in England whose work has been affected by COVID-19 for developing the digital capabilities that allow them to continue to deliver essential services.
Read more.
True Colours Trust – Small Grants UK
The True Colours Trust aims to focus on the major barriers and challenges expressed by families, children and young people in the UK with complex disabilities and/or life-limiting and life-threatening conditions. Grants are available to UK registered charities and organisations with charitable status that are working to make a difference to the lives of disabled children and their families in the UK. Deadline 21st September. Read more.
Tesco Bags of Help COVID-19 Communities Fund
A new fund to support local communities, including a streamlined application and payment process to make it easier to get funds out quickly. The programme will provide a single payment award of £500 to organisations who are supporting vulnerable groups, as part of their emergency response in supporting local communities. Closing date for applications: 18th September 2020Read more.

Braiding and its significance’s in an Ephemeral Life
MK Arts Centre would like to invite you to join their team and the African Diaspora Foundation for an online workshop about Braiding in Ephemeral Lives. This workshop is the second workshop with the African Diaspora Foundation as part of their newly formed partnership in Ephemeral Lines with artists Elmira and Ramona Zadissa, aka the Zadissa sisters. Tuesday 8th September, 6:00pm – 7:30pm. To book your place and find out more, click here.

AHA-MK September Forum
The next Arts and Heritage Alliance (AHA MK) forum will held on the 16th September, 10am -12.15pm via Zoom. It will be themed around Cultural Education and Creative Thinking. The aim of the event is to situate where cultural education in Milton Keynes is now and in what direction it can head, and will feature a talk from Gary Fox, an Innovation Consultant, Ecosystem Designer and Doctoral Researcher at the Centre for Competitive Creative Design at University of Cranfield. Read more.

Restored By Grace – conference for parents with special needs children focusing on Autism & ADHD
The Milton Keynes-based christian charity is organising a conference on Saturday 5th September themed “RBG Conference for Parents with Special Needs Children focusing on Autism and ADHD” from 2pm-6pm. will be a virtual conference held on Zoom platform.The initiative is bringing together some of the world’s leading experts on Autism and ADHD to share, amongst other insights, how we can best support children and adults with special needs in our society. They would like to invite  the local charities who work with special needs children can also benefit from this. Read more.
See more funding opportunities on the Community Action: MK website
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