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
Lockdown updates – Let’s stay connected
We are asking groups to give us an update of their services in light of the second national lockdown. We are updating our signposting channels, and would like them to be as accurate as possible in order to share it with our audiences and wider communities. If you have any immediate changes in services or wish to let us know the adaptations you will be making, please let us know asap at info@communityactionmk.orgor call 01908 661623. We at Community Action: MK thank you in advance for your cooperation and hope that you stay safe and well during what will be a difficult period for many.
Learning, Awareness and Anti-Racism at Community Action: MK
Here at Community Action MK we have been taking some time to share and learn as a team, what it means to be an organisation committed to social and racial justice.  As part of Black History Month, we made time to discuss how important it is that we move forward with a genuine desire to change the systems that affect Black individuals and communities. Our wonderful colleague, Danielle, has put together an insightful and eye-opening blog around what we have discussed, learnt and the steps we are taking as a community-focused organisation to raise our awareness, learn and become actively anti-racist. Read the blog here.
AHA MK: Report Launch
16th November 2020, 5:15pm – 6:45pm

Arts Heritage Alliance will be launching their report: “Rethinking Cultural Inclusion and Diversity” on Monday 16th November through an online event. The report, the work on which has been commissioned by MK Council, looks at how well our arts and heritage sector engages with the diverse communities of Milton Keynes, with particular reference to gender, disability, race, religion or belief, class, sexual orientation and social mobility. Read more.
Volunteer Drop In
Tuesday 17th November 2020: 11am – 1pm
Tuesday 24th November 2020: 11am – 1pm

We are bringing our volunteer drop-in back for 2 dates this November to enable us to talk to you through virtual means about all your volunteering queries. We can hopefully help you to locate a role through our database and what organisations and local groups send to us through our internal communications. We have 4 x 30 minutes times slots on both dates. First come, first serve. Register for a time slot hereRead more.


Grant Application Workshops – MK Community Foundation
Friday 20th November 2020 10am – 11.30am
Thursday 10th December 2020 11am – 12.30am

MK Community Foundation are running grant application workshops over the next few weeks to introduce their new grants policy. Places are limited. To book contact: more.
Share your story!
Covid-19 has affected us all and we are asking you to tell us how it has affected your organisation and how you may have adapted to reach out to your beneficiaries to continue to support them during these challenging times. We are asking for a simple short paragraph describing what you have done, or are doing for them. We are working on a short publication which will hopefully highlight the vital support and role our wonderful Milton Keynes VCSE sector has had in response to the pandemic. Submit your story here.
Young and Black: The Young Black Experience of Institutional Racism in the UK
This report by YMCA Youth Advisory Group England and Wales have put the The Young and Black report  together to expose the true nature of what it is like to be a young Black person growing up in the UK today. Read the report 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.
The Age of Inclusion
Between 2016 and 2020, Nesta and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) supported 36 organisations to develop more age-inclusive and age-friendly practice for their social action innovations. They were able to draw a report from their practice and findings that offers great insights on how other organisations may also become more inclusive. Read the report here.
Women’s Participation in Local Politics
This is a report of research on women’s participation in local politics in Milton Keynes, with a focus on Milton Keynes Council. The research was carried out by Milton Keynes Fawcett Society. It has benefited from consultation with members of political groups on Milton Keynes Council, Council officers, members of local political parties, the national Fawcett Society, and others working in related areas. Read the report here.
Media Request – Animal Sanctuaries
Freelance writer, Bella, is working on a story about the animal sanctuaries which need our help this Christmas. All animal sanctuaries have been impacted by lockdowns (plural!) and less fundraising opportunities. For this piece, she is specifically looking for sanctuaries who offer an ‘adoption’ programme – not for people to take animals home but for people to sponsor an animal at the sanctuary (like the WWF / sponsor a panda programme, but for British sanctuaries) Please contact her by email:
Click here to find out how Community Action: MK can support your group
Click here for Government Coronavirus guidance
Guidance on National Restrictions
The Government have published clear guidelines for what you can / cannot do within the second national lockdown, with further information to be published and clarified in the coming days. You can also find useful information in this newsletter from Local Government Association. Read more.
Lockdown 2 Planning and Mobilising
England has entered a second, four-week lockdown period from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December. This MK Council note sets out our plans to respond. Prior to lockdown Milton Keynes was rated a Tier One (Medium) area and it is the aim to return to this position in early December. Read more.
Volunteering Guidance – How to help safely
Existing GOV.UK coronavirus volunteering guidance pages will be updated in line with the new announcements later this week. The government are also working to bring forward the launch of new guidance for volunteer-involving organisations and groups and publish it as soon as possible. Additionally, the Government’s guidance around how to help safely during Covid-19 has been updated, which you can access here.
Protect vulnerable works during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic
‘As an employer, you have a legal duty to protect workers from harm. You should make sure you consider the risk to workers who are particularly vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19) and put controls in place to reduce that risk.’ Read the guidance here.
New Statement from the Fundraising Regulator and the Chartered Institute of Fundraising
The Fundraising Regulator and Chartered Institute of Fundraising have released a statement on the new national restrictions and its impact on fundraising – it reflects their expectation that charities are to pause public fundraising activities for the duration of the new restrictions. The Fundraising Regulator has also released useful information on ways in which charities can improve their fundraising reporting. Civil Society News have published an article sharing some of the best ways charities can continue to raise funds virtually. Read more.
Support groups exempt from restrictions
Some venues will be allowed to remain open for support groups. Support groups that are essential to deliver in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes support to victims of crime, people in addiction recovery, new parents/ guardians, people with long-term illnesses, people with issues relating to sexuality or gender, and bereavement support. See sections 4.’Businesses and Venues‘ and 5.’ Weddings, civil partnerships, religious services and funerals’. We expect more clarification in the coming days. Read more.
See Covid-19 Information for communities on our website
Latest updates from the MK Covid-19 Outbreak Control Plan
Localgiving Coronavirus Fund
Localgiving Foundation
 is delighted to announce that it is accepting applications for £1m grant funding available for organisations who are delivering critical work to support people and communities in response to COVID-19Read more.
Sylvia Waddilove Foundation UK – COVID–19 Emergency Fund
Grants are available for small to medium sized not-for-profit organisations in the UK who are struggling to manage the financial impact of COVID-19 either because of increased demand for their services or from loss of income. Read more.
The Global Majority Fund
Grants for new intermediary technical partners with the ability, expertise, networks and knowledge to distribute rapid funding to further Covid-19 response work with communities experiencing racial inequality in the UK. Deadline: 30th NovemberRead more.
The Alec Dickson Trust
Grants are available for projects in the applicant’s local area that involve local people and can demonstrate that through volunteering or community service they can enhance the lives of others, particularly those most marginalised by society. Read more.
Andy Fanshawe Memorial Trust
The Trust gives grants that allow disadvantaged young people to take up opportunities to experience the great outdoors. They usually support programmes run by schools or youth groups, mostly within the UK. Read more.
Increasing Access Fund
The fund is targeted to support organisations to develop new services that respond to the Covid-19 situation, or to adapt existing services to meet local and national needs. Funding strands included are below. Read more.

  • Digital Healthcare Breakthrough Grants
  • Digital Good Causes Grants
  • Adapted Good Causes Grants
Click here to see more funding opportunities on our website
Local Consultations

Conservation Areas in Milton Keynes
Following initial engagement with ward members, parish councils and stakeholder groups, we are now seeking feedback on the draft conservation area review documents for Castlethorpe, Hanslope, North Crawley and Stoke Goldington. Feedback can be sent to: Closes: 11th December 2020. Read more.
National Consultations

Seasonal Flu Information
FREE Information Sessions
The Sensory Advice and Resource Centre are offeringFREE online information sessions for those people that may be struggling to manage their sight and hearing loss. See below for sessions available. Read more.

  • How to cope with sight loss - Wednesday 18th November, 1pm – 3pm
  • How to cope with hearing loss - Wednesday 25th November, 1pm – 3pm
  • How to get the best out of your hearing aids- Tuesday 1st December 1pm – 3pm
  • Certificate of Visual Impairment (CVI) and the Registration Process - Thursday 3rd December, 1pm – 3pm
Your mental health and wellbeing during Covid
Milton Keynes Mental Health Services is undertaking a piece of work to look at how as a member of your local community in Milton Keynes, have looked after your mental health and wellbeing during Covid-19, and how local mental health services can better support you, your families and your communities. Your feedback / comments will enable an opportunity to work with you / your community representatives to help identify and respond to any mental health themes and trends highlighted; and continue to empower all to break the stigma around mental health. Complete the survey here.
Support families to eat more healthily, be more active, feel happier and lose weight. FREE 10-12 week weight management programmes for eligible adults, mums to be, new mums, children and their families living within Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes. Read more.
Where can your child get mental health support online during lockdown?
parentinfo have shared an article detailing various elements of the affects Covid-19 can have on children and young people’s mental health and where to go to get support through online means.
Read more.
gentlespaces – PAUSED
In the light of national lockdown, Milton Keynes Mission Partnership have decided to pause the project for the period of lockdown. They will be reviewing their position towards the end of the lockdown period with the hope and intention that they can open properly at an appropriate time after this lockdown has ended.
Online Sensory Process Awareness Training
Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust are offering a FREE online resource for parents/ carers and those working with children, young people and adults who have sensory processing difficulties. Read more.


Understanding the psychological and social impact of the pandemic – Covid Social Study
The study by UCL has been collecting data for 32 weeks now and receiving great feedback. They are still looking for participation from the following groups:

  • Young people aged 13-21 from BAME groups
  • Parents aged 18-28 years old who have young children
  • Key workers from BAME groups (public transport workers, postal workers, delivery drivers, police officers, funeral service workers)

If you identify with any of these groups, or if you know anyone else who does and who would like further information about the telephone interview study, please contact Alex Burton.

Donate to the local Recovery Fund 
MK Community Foundation have been funding the work of the local Voluntary and Community Sector groups to help them support our most vulnerable communities during the pandemic and  recover from the impact of the Coronavirus crisis. You can contribute by donating to the Covid-19 Recovery Appeal. Read more.
Thinking about volunteering during November lockdown?
Trustee Roles Available
We have had numerous trustee roles through for us to advertise. Please see below for the list of roles available:

Our experience of becoming Volunteer Hosts – Sanctuary Hosting
This week we have been lucky enough to hear from a volunteer at Sanctuary Hosting. Sanctuary Hosting is a charity that support refugees, migrants and asylum seekers who need somewhere to stay. We hear from one volunteer family in MK, as they open up about their journey and experience of hosting. Take a look and why not consider becoming a volunteer host yourself? Contact: for more information. Read the blog here.
Volunteer Mentors – Community Led Initiatives
Community Led Initiatives (CLI) are recruiting volunteer mentors for their SAMAS project. You will be supporting people in recovery from substance misuse and gambling addiction. This role requires 2 day’s training via zoom. Click here for an application form, or contact: or call07872069673Read more.
intu Milton Keynes Green Gym Monthly Programme

  • Community Gardening - Tuesday 17th November, 10.45am – 1pm: Fred Roche Gardens
  • Ready, Steady, Grow! Bulb Planting for Spring - Tuesday 24th November, 10.45am – 1pm: North 9th Street Gardens

Booking Essential! Volunteering will continue through the lockdown following social distancing guidelines. Contact or call 07740899633.

Are you willing, able and safe to volunteer? Complete the expression of interest form here
Custody Intervention Coach – DIVERT / MK DONS SET
DIVERT is an intervention programme to reduce re-offending. It is delivered in police custody suites and aims to divert young adults aged 18 – 25 years away from crime. MK Dons SET is recruiting a worker to provide early intervention within MK Custody Suite and signpost individuals to support needs including employment programmes, education and support.Closes: 12th November 2020. Read more.
Citizens Advice MK
Citizens Advice MK are hiring! Please see what positions are available below:

Please refer to the Citizens Advice MK website for more information and to apply. Read more.

Flu – How was it for you?
Tuesday 10th November 2020—19.30 to 20.30
Thursday 12th November 2020—13.00 to 14.00

Healthwatch MK want to hear your experiences of getting the flu vaccination in their monthly online discussion groups. Have you faced any barriers? If you are eligible for the free flu vaccination, have you been contacted by your GP? If it matters to you, it could matter to someone else too. Contact: with the date you want to attend. Read more.
ella forums NEW Trustees Leadership Development Group
ella forums will be launching their first Trustee forum on December 1st 2020 - 10am-12pm. Our theme for
the first taster session is Better Relationship Management, and will be exploring the boundaries between the Trustee Board and senior management. The aim is to establish a group that will help Trustees add value to their organisation and have a positive impact on society, whilst at the same time, gaining personal and professional growth. Read more.
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