Community Action: UK – 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
Click here for the Government Coronavirus guidance 
What support do you need? 
Help with communications (shining light on the work that the local voluntary and community groups are doing) as well as funding have come up as high priority needs in our survey related to the support and training needs within the local VCSE sector. Are these relevant for your group or do you have any other support/ training needs? Tell us by completing a short survey here.
Click here to find out how Community Action: MK can support your group
Save the date: 14th October- 10.30am
Funding Session for groups 

We will be running a free online session for groups, which will include an overview of funding opportunities and some key tips on how to make your funding applications successful. More details to follow in our next newsletter and on social media – tune in.

Collaborative Action Groups – what we learned and where are we heading? 
We wanted to share with you an update from the project we have developed and run as part of our Covid-19 emergency and recovery response programme. This is a collaborative initiative, bringing together a number of local groups and stakeholders, to share knowledge about what is happening in various neighbourhoods across Milton Keynes, identify issues and gaps, and explore ideas to tackle them. Read more.

Safeguarding portal: Call for charity user testers 
In January, Office for Civil Society (part of DCMS) published an online tool to help charities handle the reporting of safeguarding allegations about the behaviour or actions of a person in their charity, working with volunteer user testers over the past few months to improve the service. The next user testing sessions will be on Friday 25 September and are seeking feedback particularly people working in smaller/ micro charities (turnover approx. <£100,000). You don’t have to work in a safeguarding role to take part. Contact Patrick McKenna if you would like to help test the tool.
Milton Keynes Task and Finish Group: Interim Report of the response to the Covid-19 Crisis in MK
The Task and Finish Group (TFG) was established by the Scrutiny Management Committee on 9 June 2020 to scrutinise the response by the Council and its partners to the Covid-19 Pandemic in Milton Keynes.The purpose of this report is to give a brief overview of the lessons learned so far and present the Group’s recommendations from Phase 1 of this review. The TFG is now moving to a phase 2 and aiming to provide a full report to Council on 25 November 2020. Read more.
Local planning and consultations:

  • MK Council Plan: 2016-2022 (see the latest updated version here)
  • 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.
Consultation: Serious Violence Reduction Orders
The Home Office has launched a public consultation relating to the detailed design of Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs) and would like to gather the views of VCSE organisations on how this tool can be used appropriately to empower the police to stop and challenge those who are known to carry knives.Deadline: 8 November 2020Read more.
Reminder: The impact of Covid-19 on education and children’s services
Deadline: 30th September 2020.

A call for evidence from The Department for Education relating to the impact the pandemic has had on education and children’s services as a whole. Read more.
See the latest updates from the MK Covid-19 Outbreak Control Plan
Coronavirus guidance on the ‘rule of 6′
From Monday 14 September, when meeting friends and family you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) you must not meet in a group of more than 6, indoors or outdoors. The Government guidance sets out exceptions where groups can be larger than 6 people, including when it is for work, or the provision of voluntary or charitable services. Read more.
Heads Up Toolbox – Helping men stay happy
Heads Up have developed a toolbox for individuals to measure levels of their wellbeing and delve into support tools and resources for why they might be experiencing different emotions or behaviours.
Read more.
Junction 14: Virtual ‘Love to Sing’ Sessions
Junction 14, a ladies a cappella (unaccompanied) chorus based in Milton Keynes, are offering 4 online singing sessions for women, who love to sing, but don’t get a chance to do so. These free sessions will be run via Zoom, starting on 15th October: 8-8.45pm. Read more.
Climate Week: 21-27th September
Climate Week NYC is the biggest climate summit taking place this year featuring a programme of interesting online events. As the focus shifts to how to rebuild after COVID-19, Climate Week NYC 2020 explores what lessons we can learn in the pursuit of a net-zero future through just transition. This is a NYC- led campaign, run in coordination within coordination with the United Nations, which has a global reach (see here). Read more.
Report: Foodbanks forecast to provide six emergency food parcels every minute this winter 
A new report from the Trussell Trust shows a huge increase in reliance on foodbanks during the pandemic, with the families and children being hit the hardest. The report also forecasts that during winter they’ll give out six emergency food parcels a minute, which represents a 61% increase in food parcels needed across its UK network in October to December. Read more.
Click here to find out about the work of MK Foodbank and what support is needed
Benefits and Coronavirus
Providing fast, easy access to accurate information, AskCPAG saves you time and offers solutions when it comes to working out benefit entitlement and challenging unfavourable decisions. They have developed some tools, resources and signposts around benefits and coronavirus for your interest. Read more.

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.

National Stop Loan Sharks Week – Short Story competition 
As part of the National Stop Loan Sharks Week this year (1st-7th December) the England Illegal Money Lending Team are running a short story competition. There are 7 categories and the winner of each category will have their story turned into a podcast for Stop Loan Sharks week. The competition is open to everyone and is aimed at adults, although young people can enter. The closing date is 16th October. Read more.

Organic September
Since this week is the Climate Week, we wanted to share some useful resources from Soil Associationwho are running the ‘Organic September’ campaign, raising awareness about the need to change our food systems and the links to climate change, and how organic farming is better for people, plants, the planet and farm animals. Read more.
See more Information for communities regarding Covid-19 on our website 
MK Yis are looking for counsellors!
Due to a huge increase in young people needing support with their mental health, MK YiS are looking for some qualified counsellors to join their team of volunteers to work online from home or at numerous places in MK. Read more.
Virtual Volunteer: Sainsbury’s Food Donation Programme – Fareshare
Help to raise awareness of the Sainsbury’s Food Donation Programme to encourage more people to donate online if they are able to. Through this virtual volunteering roles you will support Fareshare, UK’s largest food redistribution charity that has been supporting people in need throughout the Covid-19 crisis and beyond. The programme closes on the 16th October. Read more.
Are you willing, able and safe to volunteer? Complete the expression of interest form here

KFC Foundation Community Grants Scheme
The KFC Foundation provides grants to support grassroots organisations in the communities where KFC’s restaurants are located. Grants are intended for organisations who are empowering young people in the UK to fulfil their potential by providing safe social spaces, mentoring or work, and social skills. The Foundation aims to fund work that helps young people create firm foundations, by addressing their needs through early intervention. Deadline: 25th September 2020. Read more.

Census Support Service: contracts available
Good Things Foundation, a digital inclusion charity, has contracts available (including in Milton Keynes) for partners to support the delivery of the 2021 census, looking for organisations who can deliver support to people wishing to complete the census between March and May 2021. The census will be ‘digital first’ and accessible through an online platform, but with 11.9 million people in England and Wales lacking essential digital skills, support will be needed to help people to complete it online. Deadline: 5pm on 2nd OctoberRead more.

Green Recovery Challenge Fund
A short-term competitive fund for environmental charities and their partners to kick-start environmental renewal whilst creating and retaining a range of jobs in England. Deadline: 24th September 2020Read more.

DM Thomas Foundation 
The Foundation gives grants to registered charities helping disadvantaged young people in the UK. Core costs can not be funded. Grants of up to £10,000 are available, and in some circumstances more. Note – a signed hard copy of application in addition to an electronic copy must be received. Deadline: 6th October 2020Read more

L&Q Placemakers Fund
The Place Makers Fund is offering grants to local groups, organisations and charities which share the passion and commitment to changing lives and enhancing communities. The fund is run by L&Qs grant management partners, Rocket Science, using funds from the L&Q Foundation. Applications to the Place Maker Counties Fund (including Milton Keynes) are now live. You can apply for up to £5k if you deliver the work within the key priority areas. Read more.
Future MK and the Post-Covid City: Reinventing Neighbourhoods.
Wednesday 23rd September: 1-2pm

This event, from Academy of Urbanism, is part of the special short series in collaboration with Milton Keynes Council and of interest to all towns and cities grappling with issues magnified by Covid-19. Read more.

Plant for Nature and create Habitat Areas
Tuesday 22nd September 2020

Join intu MK Green Gym at Secklow Mound, Central Milton Keynes for a great green workout and to help sowing wildflower seed, working on our habitat areas and carrying out general green maintenance tasks. Email: or call 07740 899633 for further information.
Small Charities Coalition Children’s Education Meetup
Wednesday 23 September 14:00 – 15:00. Free.
An event suitable for trustees, staff and volunteers of small charities working in children’s education. Register here.
See more funding opportunities on the Community Action: MK website
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