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.
Perfect Storm – The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on domestic abuse survivors and the services supporting them: Women’s Aid Report.
The report shows how domestic abuse has worsened during the Covid-19 pandemic. It examines the impact on survivors; how abusers use the pandemic as a tool of abuse; and how the services supporting survivors are affected. Read more.
Kickstart Scheme
As part of the government’s Plan for Jobs, the Kickstart Scheme will create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country. This includes placements at registered charities. The government’s Kickstart Scheme in Great Britain, is a £2 billion fund to create high quality 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16 to 24 who are on Universal Credit and are deemed to be at risk of long term unemployment. Read more.
Left Stranded: The impact of coronavirus on autistic people and their families in the UK
Between June and July 2020, the National Autistic Society ran an online survey for autistic people and their families across the UK to give views about their experiences of Covid-19 and lockdown. The coronavirus outbreak has impacted everyone’s life. But for autistic people and their families, it has left them completely stranded. This report highlights the often devastating impact this has had. Read more.

This work has been supported
by funding from
MK Community Foundation

Our Support Service for Groups: get in touch!  
Are you part of a voluntary or community group based in MK or thinking 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.
Record your support query inline here.
Email us at: or call: 01908 661 623
We would be really grateful if you could spare just 5 minutes of your time to share your thoughts and ideas on any areas of support  and/or training that your group / organisation would benefit from, so that we can explore ways to enable access to this support and training moving forward. Whether you are a community group or a charity, no matter how small or big, we will really appreciate your input. Have your say here.
Reporting outbreaks of coronavirus – Action Cards
The Joint Biosecurity Centre has developed Action Cards, which gives advice on how to identify, manage and report a Covid-19 outbreak. This campaign communicates advice on how to respond to an outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19) to individuals that own or are responsible for a specific organisation within the community by identifying an outbreak of Covid-19 (one or more confirmed case depending on the business or organisation), reporting to your local health protection team and working with your local health protection team to respond. Read more.
Parenting and Covid-19 – Research Evidence
Various key organisations have joined together to produce a briefing which looks at how the coronavirus outbreak is impacting parents. In the briefing, they explore the implications of their findings for Government policy, including support for mothers to remain in work, changes to lockdown policy, and support for parents’ financial wellbeing and mental health. 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.
Distributing vaccines and treatments for Covid-19 and flu – Consultation
Government consultation on Covid-19 vaccines and extended flu vaccines.The government want your views on proposed changes to the Human Medicine Regulations to help with the safe and efficient distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine and expanded flu vaccine programme in the UK, along with treatments for COVID-19 and any other diseases that become pandemic. Deadline 18th September. Read more.
The impact of Covid-19 on education and children’s services. 
The Department for Education has an opening call for evidence relating to the impact the pandemic has had on education and children’s services as a whole. This may relate to the effect of cancelling exams and the fairness of the grades awarded; on disadvantaged groups such as those eligible for free school meals and the long-term impact on the most vulnerable groups; or the support for pupils and families during closures. Read more. Deadline for submitting evidence: 30th September 2020.
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
Climate Change: Our Planet, Our Home – Milton Keynes Youth Cabinet
At Milton Keynes Youth Cabinet, their priority is to promote the interests and opinions of young people. The Climate Change campaign group was formed because of the national majority vote of young people back in October 2019, during the ‘Make Your Mark Vote’. The group is trying to bring about change on this issue throughout MK.  As part of their campaign, they have made a video to spread awareness of the devastating impacts of climate change and what people can do to help. Watch the video here. Read more.
Managing Hearing Loss and Tinnitus During Covid-19
Action on Hearing Loss have put together a pack of resources which could be useful for supporting people with hearing loss and tinnitus during the COVID-19. This pack acts as an introduction to D/deafness, hearing loss and tinnitus, including some useful links, support, equipment information and communication tips. Read more.
Help the Parks Trust grow might Oak trees from tiny acorns! 
This autumn we are seeing a bumper crop of acorns being produced within our woodlands,
and we need your help to collect and plant these so we can protect woodlands such as
Howe Park, Shenley and Linford wood for future generations. Read more.
Great Linford Community Larder
A membership-based scheme where surplus food is saved from landfill and distributed to members. The larders can be set up anywhere in the Parish and anyone can be a member. This is about surplus food not being wasted, but it can help with food poverty. This is an affordable option for residents to obtain a good variety of food on a weekly basis. Where: The Cross & Stable, Downs Barn Boulevard. When: 11am-1pm. Contact: or call 01908 606613Read more.
Heritage Open Days
Heritage Open Days are running from the 11th – 20th September. It is England’s largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,000 organisations, 5,500 events and 46,000 volunteers and is FREE. For a full list of events in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes, both online and face-to-face (adhering to social distancing), see here.
MK Play Association Summer Feedback!
Feedback about MKPA Summer fun sessions from you is highly valued! Each year, they strive to provide families in MK with different experiences and try and improve their services. To do this, they need to hear your thoughts! Please take 5 minutes to tell them your thoughts and experiences about play sessions this summer. To complete the survey, see 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.
Willen Lake welcomes new visitor attraction – the Willen Observation Wheel!
Willen Lake is welcoming a 36-metre tall observation wheel to the lake. This new visitor attraction the Willen Observation Wheel (WOW MK) will give beautiful views across the lake and onto the city beyond. Read more.
Importance of social value in planning: Article
The importance of social value in the planning process is likely to increase in the wake of the covid-19 crisis, a study by the British Council for Offices has revealed. In the report, Guy Battle states: “A number of local authorities, such as Islington and Salford, are now looking to extend the principles of social value into the planning process so that they can better understand and unlock value for the communities that they represent.” Read more.
See more Information for communities regarding Covid-19 on our website 


Virtual Volunteer: Sainsbury’s Food Donation Programme – Fareshare
Sainsbury’s is launching a digital version of their existing in store Food Donation Programme from Wednesday 26 August until Friday 16 October in support of FareShare. This is why they need your help! They would like your help to raise awareness of the Food Donation Programme to encourage more people to donate online if they are able to. Will you support Fareshare by becoming a Virtual Volunteer? Read more.
Are you willing, able and safe to volunteer? Complete the expression of interest form here
Commonwealth Foundation Grants Programme
The Commonwealth Foundation Grants Programme is launching grant funding in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The focus will be on supporting national initiatives that aim to engage constructively with the government in strengthening relevant institutions, policies and practices as communities and countries seek to recover and rebuild. Deadline: 18th September 2020, 1pm. Read more.
LGBTQ + Covid-19 Fund
Grants are available for grassroots, local groups and organisations who can support LGBTQ+ communities through the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. Max value: £15,000. Deadline: 22nd September 2020. Read more.
Disabled People’s Organisations COVID-19 Emergency Fund
The £1.5m National Emergencies Trust (NET) funding will support grassroots Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) across the UK, who have found it difficult to access funding, to respond to the COVID-19 needs of Disabled people. The funding will be administered and distributed through a partnership of DPOs across the UK. Deadline: 5th October. Read more.
Chapman Charitable Trust
Grants are available for charities that support wellbeing, the natural environment and the arts through activities located in North Wales, London or South East England. They have a page dedicated to a grant summary of previously funded projects for your interest. Read more.
Future Fossil Events – September 2020

  • 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.
Tackling Youth Violence: 16th September
What should statutory and other organisations be doing to prevent the escalation of violent crime? The causes of youth violence are many – the landscape is complex at times filled with stereotypes and misconceptions. There are facts and figures which support approaches to prevent and reduce young people’s involvement in crime. However, a need to find effective and coordinated approaches to deal with the issue is in the interest of all that is involved and impacted. 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.
See more funding opportunities on the Community Action: MK website
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