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
Click here to find out about the temporary Covid-19 testing centre in Milton Keynes
Click here to find out how Community Action: MK can support your group
What’s the latest? – Group Updates
A lot has been going on in the VCSE sector these past few months with adaptations, changes, joint working and different services happening as a result of the pandemic. We want to hear from you about how you’ve been doing, and your plans for the coming winter months. We do have specific questions, but a general update will also help us know what’s going on in the VCSE sector in Milton Keynes. Contact us at: or call: 01908 661623
Charity So White: Survey of the Sector
#CharitySoWhite is a POC (‘People of Colour’) led campaign group dedicated to tackling institutional racism within the charity sector. They have recently launched a survey of the sector, which has been tailored for both BAME and WHITE organisations. The surveys aims to build a better understanding of the sector as a whole, and those working towards creating a more equal and anti-racist sector. Take part here.
Share your story with us: 
We are asking groups and charities in MK to share with us stories of how Covid-19 has affected your work and how you have adapted to reach out to your service users/ beneficiaries to continue supporting them during these challenging times. We are asking you for a short paragraph describing what you did or have been doing in the past few months. We are currently working on a publication which will highlight the vital role of our local VCSE sector in the Covid-19 response, and we would love to shine the light on as many local groups and charities as possible under the #NeverMoreNeeded campaign. Please submit your story here.
Volunteer Support
Have you been supporting others during the pandemic? It is important that you also take care of yourself! The Wellbeing Therapy Centre are offering FREE 1-2-1 and group sessions for volunteers to support them in their role as a volunteer. If you know of any volunteers, or you yourself are a volunteer, then please get in touch for more information at or call: 01908 661 623. Read more.
Vital Signs 2020
Vital Signs aims to identify significant research that reflect the vitality of Milton Keynes, measuring several areas critical to the quality of life in the city. Vital Signs MK is an annual publication designed to round up the most current research on the communities of Milton Keynes, a short summary version of the report and the long report are available to download. Read more.
How to get the most from Giving Tuesday
Webinar: 15th October 2020, 11am
Giving Tuesday is rushing toward us – December 1st – are you ready? This is a dedicated day for the sector; a day of generosity and giving back, to balance the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In this webinar, Third Sector Editor, Emily Burt, hosts an hour-long discussion alongside senior fundraising figures from Myton Hospice, Sightsavers, and Tiny Tickers. Click here to register.
Achieving racial diversity on the board
A blog from Malcolm John, trustee at Association of Chairs and founder of Action for Trustee Racial Diversity: Achieving racial diversity on the board. Read more.
Rethinking the Economy for an Inclusive and Sustainable Future
This report by The Women’s Organisation offers an evidenced-based set of recommendations for action and investment on four specific priority sectors: the social economy, the self-employed and micro businesses, the care sector, and the green economy. Read the report here.
Carers Discussion Group for informal Carers
Has your caring role been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic? Have you got a positive experience of services or support that that providers could learn from? There is a virtual meeting Friday 23rd October, 10:30am – 11:30am. If you would like to attend, please email for details about how to join. Read more.
Good Governance in a Time of Crisis
Locality have produced a useful resource detailing good governance practice within your group / organisation at this unprecedented time of crisis and uncertainty. Read more.
Rethinking Cultural Inclusion and Diversity: A Call to Action for Milton Keynes
A report by AHA-MK, in partnership with Milton Keynes Council. Commissioned by Milton Keynes Council and researched and written by AHA-MK, the report can be found on the AHA-MK website here. It will be officially launched in the coming weeks..
Guidance for Providers of grassroots sport and gym/ leisure facilities
Guidance for people and organisations who work in grassroots sport and gym/leisure facilities. Read more.
Click here for more Government Coronavirus guidance
Social Investment Unpicked – Online Course
‘Social Investment Unpicked’  is a free online interactive course run by Good Finance, for anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of social investment. It’s designed for anybody who wants to be able to explain social investment to others and answer questions about it. It will also be helpful to anybody generally wanting to learn more about social investment. Read more.
Charity Fraud Awareness Week: 19th – 23rd October 2020
All charities, NGOs and not-for-profits are susceptible to fraud and can be targeted. Those providing services and supporting local communities may be especially vulnerable to fraudsters attempting to exploit current national and global crises to carry out fraud and cybercrime. This means that now – more than ever – charities need to be fraud aware and take steps to protect their money, people and assets from harm. Read more.
Better Housing Better Health
Better Housing Better Health (BHBH) is a longstanding service working to reduce the number of people in fuel poverty and improve domestic warmth & wellbeing. Read more.
Mental Health Partnership Board – Information Sharing
The Mental Health Partnership Board have put together a round up of updates and information about local mental health services for your interest, including information about CNWL, Rethink, Social Pescribing, Relate MK (see link) and Learning Disability and Autism services, among others. Read more here.
Click here to read the latest update about our Collaborative Action Groups
Postcode Recovery Fund from Postcode Dream Trust
Grants of £500,000 to £1million for projects that address a systemic societal issue relating to educational inequalities, homelessness, domestic violence, health and wellbeing, social exclusion and isolation and/or poverty and can demonstrate a clear link to the effects of the pandemic. Deadline: 30th October. Read more.
Architectural Heritage Fund
The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) have been working since 1976 to promote the conservation and sustainable re-use of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK, and do this by providing advice, information and financial assistance in the form of early project grants and loans for projects undertaken by charities and not-for-private profit organisations. Deadline 30th October. 
Read more.
Magdalen Hospital Trust
The fund benefits vulnerable children and young adults, especially those at risk of sexual and other forms of exploitation. Deadline 31st October. 
Read more.
NFU Mutual Charitable Trust 
The trust makes one off donations and grants to charitable initiatives connected with agriculture, the countryside and the insurance industry. The trust is looking for initiatives with a significant impact on the rural community, and is particularly interested in initiatives in the areas of education of young people and relief of poverty, within rural areas. Deadline: 30th October. Read more.
AB Charitable Trust
AB Charitable Trust supports charities that defend human rights and promote respect for vulnerable individuals whatever their circumstances. The Trust is particularly interested in charities that work with marginalised and excluded people in society, with a focus on: migrants, refugees and asylum seekers prisoners and penal reform human rights, particularly access to justice. Deadline 31st October. Read more.
Local Nature Grants – Linnean Society
Grants for youth-led projects in the UK, aiming to increase access to local natural spaces and encourage a deeper appreciation and understanding of nature.Closing date: 1st November 2020Read more.
Music For All

  • Individual Grant: This grant process allows us to help people fulfil their musical dreams. Young, old, regardless of personal or life challenges, we truly want music to be for all.
  • Community Project Funding: Many projects and initiatives take place that aim to bring music to their community and would benefit from a “helping hand” to fulfil their potential in becoming truly sustainable music programmes.

Deadline: 1st November 2020. Read more.

Weston Culture Fund
Grants are available for mid- to large-scale cultural organisations in the UK to help them restart important work, refresh activities, and develop plans to rebuild audiences following closures due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis. Deadline: 9th November. Read more.
Click here to see more funding opportunities on our website


Enabling an active generation consultation event – Leap
Wednesday 14th October (11am-12:30pm) 
Children and young people face a series of challenges in modern life. Leap are keen to hear more about these from partners and see how they could work together to help tackle some of these challenges through physical activity. This consultation session will bring together community and education practitioners as well as keynote speakers, Sport England, to discuss how we can collaborate to create joined up solutions. For more information, click here.
Draft Milton Keynes Biodiversity Supplementary Planning Document
The Biodiversity will provide technical guidance throughout the planning process and supplements the policies within the Environment, Biodiversity and Geodiversity chapter of Plan:MK. Consultation on the document commenced on Monday 28 September 2020 and comments must be received no later than Monday 23 November 2020, 5pm. Read more.
Proposed Amendments to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme
The scheme itself reduces the council tax bill for people on a low income. The amendment seeks to introduce a tolerance rule on all working age cases. Closes: 26th November 2020. Read more.
Mental Health Partnership Board – Upcoming Meetings

  • Service User Meeting: Wednesday 14th October, 1pm-2pm - his meeting is for service users only. If you would like to attend please respond to this email or email and you will be sent the Zoom link. Read more.
  • VCSE/Third Sector Meeting: Wednesday 21st October, 2pm-3pm - This meeting is for anyone in the VCSE/Third sector.
  • Professionals (by invite only): Wednesday 4th November, 2pm-3pm.
National Consultations

See the latest updates from the MK Covid-19 Outbreak Control Plan
The Grand Union Canal in Milton Keynes 
The Parks Trust are pleased to launch a new, illustrated map of The Grand Union Canal which runs through Milton Keynes. The Trust have designed the map to be used by boaters, walkers and cyclists, to help them enjoy using the picturesque canal corridor as a means of finding their way to the many fascinating places along the route. See the map hereRead more.
Local residents support the proposal to form one CCG in BLMK
Local residents have shown support for the proposal to bring together Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to form one CCG according to a recent survey.
Read more.
Sexual Health Support
The Terence Higgins Trust, in partnership with iCaSH, are providing sexual health education, support and outreach services within Milton Keynes. This includes community-based sexual health services, screening and testing, relationships and sex education (13 – 24 year olds) and free training for professionals who work with young people in Milton Keynes. Read more.
No Place Left Behind
The Create Streets Foundation is launching ‘No Place left behind’, the Commission into Prosperity and Community Placemaking. It focuses on under-valued areas and takes as its mantra that no place should be left behind. Read more.
BMK Waterway Park – An update
Find out the latest news shared by BMK Waterway Park, including information about their achievement to secure funding for the new Milton Keynes Community Boat, with the hope that it will enable them to run successful cruises in 2021. Find out more here.
The Henry Allen Trust Virtual Balloon Race 2020
To mark Henry’s 7th Angel anniversary, Team Henry have chosen to do a virtual balloon race to try and raise awareness of childhood cancers and Henry’s Angel Anniversary. The Henry Allen Trust virtual balloon race launches at 3.15pm on Tuesday 20th October from Chepstow Park, Henry’s favourite place. The race finishes at 3:15pm on Tuesday 27th OctoberRead more.
Advent of Change
The Advent of Change campaign launched on the 8th October, aimed at supporting 47 other charities doing incredible work. From advent calendars to festive candles, each product bought will help support the vital work of charities across the country. Read more.
See more Covid-19 Information for communities on our website 
MK Community Foundation Trustee
MK Community Foundation are looking for highly motivated people who are passionate about philanthropy to join their Board of Trustees to play an important strategic role in increasing their impact and reach in the communities of Milton Keynes. They are particularly looking for applications from people from diverse backgrounds. Please express your interest in writing to by 26th October or call 01908 714206 for an informal discussion with the Chair of Trustees or Chief Executive. Closing Date: Monday 2nd November, 9am . Read more.
Are you willing, able and safe to volunteer? Complete the expression of interest form here
Outreach and Inclusion Workers – Victims First Specialist Service
Victims First Specialist Service
 now have vacancies for 3 x Outreach and Inclusion Workers to work specifically with BAMER communities to improve their experiences of accessing and receiving support if they are affected by sexual violence and/or other abuse. Closing date: 30th October 2020. Find out more.
YiS MK Mental Health Project Worker
MK YiS are looking for someone passionate and dedicated to improving young people’s mental health in MK to join YiS and help us work more closely with young people to develop and deliver innovative mental health and wellbeing projects, campaigns and activities. Read more.
Crowdfunding – Webinar
Tuesday 20th October, 12pm. Crowdfunding can often be daunting and confusing for charities, especially if they have never Crowdfunded before. As a result of this, Aviva have decided to host a FREE one hour webinar on 20th October in partnership with Crowdfunder. Find out more and register here.
How to Improve Inclusion, Diversity and Belonging in Milton Keynes?
Online Event: 22nd October 2020, 6.30pm – 8pm. 
MK Gallery is hosting an online event on 22nd October surrounding inclusion and diversity within the Milton Keynes communities. You can register for this event here.
Feminist leadership
Webinar: 23rd October 2020, 10am. This FREEonline training introduces feminism, intersectionality and power through a combination of theory and exercises where the participants will get an opportunity to discuss and explore different concepts and terms. This webinar is part of a special programme of training and support offered to small voluntary organisations that are set up to provide gender-specific services to women. Read more.
Action4Youth Conference 2020
3rd November- 5th November 2020.
Action4Youth are hosting a conference that will allow organisations working to support young people and those from the wider charity and statutory sectors to come together to talk about the impact COVID-19 is having on young people, education and charities. Book your place hereRead more.
TCV intu Green Gym Milton Keynes – Monthly Programme

  • Autumn Garden Tidy! - Tuesday 20th October, 10.45am – 1.30pm
  • The Big Community Bulb Plant – Tuesday 27th October, 10.45am – 1.30pm

Please email: or call 07740 899633 for further information. Booking essential.

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