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


Volunteer Counsellors offer of support for Volunteers
Volunteer wellbeing and mental health is often forgotten or even discounted by volunteers themselves in favour of the extraordinary work and commitment they give to others. We heard more evidence of this through our Collaborative Action Groups. We have had an offer from volunteer counsellors to offer support in the form of either support groups or 1-2-1 sessions. We hope that these support groups and individual sessions can act as a space where volunteers can meet each other, as well as a dedicated space for talking about their experiences through Covid-19. If you have a group of volunteers, or know of someone you think might benefit from this, find out more information here. Please let us know by the 21st September 2020 at the latest.
Our Support Service for Groups: get in touch  
We have been awarded funding from MK Community Foundation towards our Infrastructure Support Programme for local VCSE groups. Are you part of a voluntary or community group based in MK or thining about starting one ? Do you have any questions about the way that you group is being run/governed or how you could develop it? Do you need help with funding  (e.g would like us to run a tailored funding search for your group) or would you like to recruit volunteers?We would love to hear from any local groups and help with their support-related queries. Complete this short online form to record your support request or email us at: You can also call the CA:MK Team on 01908 661 623
Community Resilience Survey: We still want to hear from you!
This form is dedicated to ‘Community Resilience’, something that has come out of the Collaborative Action Groups, and we would be really grateful if you could spare just 5 minutes to share your thoughts on any areas of support that your group / organisation would benefit from so that we can explore, and help to put in place, ways to enable access to this support and training moving forward. Click here to access the short survey. This survey is for ALL groups to complete if you can!
One BLMK CCG – Public Survey (UPDATE)
Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes CCGs are planning to become one single NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in line with the NHS’ long term plan. Please read the Public Engagement Document that accompanies a questionnaire that contains more detail and can be viewed here. The link to the BLMK survey can be found here. They have also produced an Easy Read version of the survey and will be attending a zoom session with Access Bedfordwhich will be interpreted in British Sign Language (BSL) for the D/deaf community on Tuesday 8 September at 7:30pm. Read moreSurvey closes 13th September 2020.
Charities Against Hate: One month on
A number of charities have instigated a boycott of Facebook, over what they see as an insufficient response to hate speech on the platform. Find out more about the reasons and rationale regarding this campaign, and what you can consider for your group/ organisation. Read more.
Charity Commission for England and Wales – Annual Public Meeting
Thursday 1st October, 11am. 
At the Charity Commission’s annual public meeting they will report on their work over the past year and update charities on how they are delivering support and services through the current pandemic. Read more.
Article: Pandemic is seeing lower income / higher income household divide.
Pandemic is seeing lower income households turn to borrowing, while higher income households increase their savings. Lower-income households are twice as likely as high-income households to have increased their use of consumer credit during the crisis, and are 50 per cent more likely to be saving less than usual, leaving them particularly exposed to the ongoing economic crisis, according to a major new Resolution Foundation report. Read more.
Relaunch of Health and Wellbeing Alliance: Calling all Charities!
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has asked charities to join the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance to ensure the lived experiences of the people they represent are reflected in the development of health policy. The Health and Wellbeing Alliance is a key element of the Health and Wellbeing Programme, the aim of which is to promote health equalities and reduce health inequalities across the UK. The alliance ensures the voice of lived experience is incorporated early in policy development, and that important health and public health announcements and messages are shared through reaching communities who may be directly impacted via direct consultation. Read more.
Social Prescribing – new insights and recommendations from the VCSE sector
Webinar: Wednesday 9 September, 10am. National Voices and The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) invite you to the joint launch of their new reports on social prescribing. Read more.
Addressing Severe and Multiple Disadvantages in LGBT Communities
LGBT Foundation’s new report unveils some of the profound disadvantages and stark inequalities faced by LGBT people across their lives. The report makes six recommendations aimed primarily at commissioners, policymakers, employers and public sector bodies to help overcome the disadvantages experienced. Read more.
Safeguarding Children Training
Acorn offers almost 100 different courses in Safeguarding Children, First Aid, Creative Learning in the EYFS, SEND, Forest Schools, Leadership and Management, DSL Training and Safe Recruitment, among others. For a full list of courses and training, see here. Read more.
Report: Access to Justice for Women & Girls during Covid-19 Pandemic. 
Report into impacts of pandemic on family and criminal courts for victims and survivors of Violence Against Women & Girls (VAWG) in England & Wales, calling on the Government to show curiosity and leadership to alleviate these, alongside resourcing and measures to keep children safe. Read more.
Take Action: Ask your MP to defend our planning system from harmful reforms
See the latest campaign from Friends of the Earth. The government is about to push through changes to the planning system that could seriously harm our communities, local democracy and environment. In areas without special protected status, developments could be rushed through with little, or no consideration for their impacts on the local environment. They won’t have to be approved by elected local councillors and communities could lose their right to have a say on plans for their area. Take action now.
Lakes Estate regeneration to be greenest development in MK
The Lakes Estate regeneration is taking the next step forward, which will see some of Milton Keynes’ most environmentally friendly homes. The major regeneration project will be among the first to meet MKC’s sustainability standards set out in Plan:MK and be an example of affordable zero carbon living. Read more.
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
Heritage Open Days – The Parks Trust Events
The Parks Trust have put together an inspirational programme of heritage events as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days. Heritage Open Days is a community heritage festival that takes place over ten days and celebrates all things heritage that can be found across the UK. You can find almost 100
events in Milton Keynes to take part in from 11 – 20th September, including several offerings
from The Parks Trust. Read more.
MK Museum has reopened!
MK Museum is reopening! Visitor numbers will be limited during these times, and all tickets must be pre-booked. Tickets for September are on sale now. Click here to book.
Reminder: 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.
Big Soup Share - Monday 5 October and Sunday 11 October 2020
Whizz up your home-grown veg and turn them into soup to enjoy with others! Whether you want to host a socially distant Soup Share or get together for a dish digitally, there is a whole heap of resources to help you on the way. As well as helpful resources and activities, there will be a fun filled line-up of online goodies for you to enjoy throughout the week from the comfort of your own home! Read more.
World Suicide Prevention Day – Working Together to Prevent Suicide
September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide prevention remains a universal
challenge. Every year, suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for
people of all ages. It is responsible for over 800,000 deaths, which equates to one suicide
every 40 seconds. Read more.
Spin launches fleet of e-scooters in Milton Keynes
Spin recently launched their e-scooters in Milton Keynes and as they are new to MK, naturally there will be questions on how to safely used them! The Spin Safe Digital campaign is here to answer your questions! With five short safety videos — on everything from how to start and end your journey to how to stay safe on the road — and a safety quiz, all available on their website. If you take the quiz and get a perfect score, you can get £5 in free ride credit for your account. They will also be holding safety events in the weeks to come, with in-person training and free helmet giveaways — stay tuned!
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 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.
Volunteer for your Community and for Wildlife!
Why not come out and join TCV intu Green Gym MK on their upcoming September projects? Volunteers are needed throughout the year to help care for green spaces and wildlife in Central Milton Keynes. The Green Gym provides a great way to meet new people, get healthy outdoor exercise, be part of a community and make a lasting difference. BOOKING ESSENTIAL!  Please call 07740 899633email: for further information or to reserve a place. Read more.
Become a remote volunteer with Citizens Advice
Volunteers play a vital role at Citizens Advice branches across the country – giving information and advice to help people find a way forward with the problems they face. As a remote volunteer, you’ll give advice and information remotely from wherever you are in England and Wales. You will receive all the training you need – no experience necessary. It’s flexible, will help you learn new skills and you’ll be helping people when they need it most. 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
September Spectacular is on
This is a match-funding initiative from MK Community Foundation run through the Local Giving fundraising platform. Until the 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. Read more.
Masonic Charitable Foundation grants programmes

Children and Young People Grants Programme: for organisations supporting disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people (up the age of 25 years) to overcome the barriers they face in order to achieve the best possible start in life.
Later Life Inclusion Grants Programme: for organisations working to reduce loneliness and isolation in later life.
Closing date for both funding programmes: 31 October 2020. Read more.

Resourcing Racial Justice -Alternative Funding Opportunties
With over 1400 + applications, the Resourcing Racial Justice Fund were unable to fund every incredible application received. They have compiled a list of other grant opportunities that are linked to the themes and geographies of the applications received but unable to fund. Read more.
Ockenden International Prize
Cash prizes for registered charities with projects that focus on promoting self-reliance among refugees and/or displaced people anywhere in the world. Closes 30th November 2020Read more.
Money Saving Expert (MSE) Charity
Grants are available to not-for-profit organisations in the UK for projects that relate to the delivery of financial skills to different defined groups. Max value: £7,500. Closing date: 25 September 2020. Read more.
Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust
Grants are available to UK registered charities for projects that address specific categories set out by the Trust each year. They aim to give grants to those in society who face the greatest challenges and whose opportunities are most limited. Closes 30th September 2020. Read more.
Future Fossil Events – September 2020

  • Future Fossil Walk & Talk FREE – Sunday 13th September from 12pm – 2pm An informal opportunity to meet Something & Son artist Andy Merritt and explore the natural environment of Oxley Park. Booking Essential. Read more.
  • Future Fossil: Imagine the Space [Online] - Friday 18th September from 10am – 11.30am. Get involved in creating a new performance and community space. Book your place here.
  • Footprints & Future Fossils: Reading, In Conversation & Q&A – Tuesday 22nd September from 7.30pm – 8.45pm. Andy Merritt, Future Fossil artist, and Professor David Farrier, author of Footprints: In Search of Future Fossils, talk to Fiona Boundy, Future Fossil Commissioner. Read more.
Free artist-led workshops – Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th September 2020 
Milton Keynes Arts Centre currently works with eight artist leaders in delivering a wide range of courses and workshops in disciplines including ceramics, textiles, sculpting, printing, painting. Explore their programme of events, including those scheduled as part of the Heritage Open Days 2020. Read more.
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.
See more funding opportunities on the Community Action: MK website
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