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

November Networking
Thursday 26th November, 11.30am – 1pm

Join us for November Networking – lets take this opportunity to bring groups and organisations together for several reasons. We want to ensure that everyone knows what’s going on across the sector, we want to hear your updates and share any additional ones from our formal signposting sheet. We want to create space for everyone to gain further insight into the invaluable work you are doing. Read more information here, or register here.
We have a date for our 2021 AGM. Thursday 21st January 2021. We, like so many other organisations, will be hosting this online. Watch this space for more details!
Volunteer Drop In
Tuesday 24th November 2020: 11am – 1pm

We are bringing our volunteer drop-in back 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 available. First come, first serve. Register for a time slot hereRead more.

MK Together
The MK Together Partnership have released their Annual Report 2019 / 2020 that details the effectiveness of safeguarding and the promotion of the welfare of children and adults at risk of abuse and neglect, and identify improvement areas. Read the report here. Due to Covid-19, original partnership arrangements have now been revised, in light of the Covid 19 pandemic. The 2020 MK Together handbookdocument outlines the amended approach.

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.

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.
Diversity in Charity Sector Recruitment: A Hiring Guide
Are your recruitment practices inclusive enough? CharityJob have created a hiring guide that will allow you to have a toolkit for change at your fingertips. You will find everything you need to audit your organisation, build better hiring practices and inspire collaboration and inclusivity in everything you do. Read more.

Issues Made to Matter: Ethics and Leadership in the Voluntary Sector – Webinar
Friday 11th December, 12.30pm – 2pm
Recent months have provided significant challenges for leadership within the voluntary sector. Difficult decisions have had to be made and at times personal and organisational values have come under strain.
The Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership have put together an interactive webinar, which will explore the sometimes fraught relationship between leadership practice and ethics. Read more.

Community groups in a crisis: insights from the first six months of the Covid-19 pandemic
New research by community charity Groundwork has examined the worrying impact that Covid-19 had on community groups during the last six months and what this might mean as we enter a second lockdown. The report found that over 60% of community groups have closed or decreased services during Covid-19. Read the report here.

Charity Governance Awards 2021
The Charity Governance Awards is an exciting not-for-profit initiative created to celebrate outstanding governance and trusteeship in charities across the UK, allowing large and small not-for-profit organisations to inspire and learn from one another. For 2021, the Charity Governance Awards will recognise inspirational success stories of charity boards responding to the COVID-19 crisis from the frontline of the pandemic with a new category: ‘COVID-19: Embracing Opportunity and Harnessing Risk’. Read more.

10 Helpful Social Media Tools
Giraffe Social Media have put together a listing of their current favorite apps that can be used to help with your social media content and there are some handy recommendations that could help optimize your process.
Read more.

Study: Immigrant Inclusion Experiences in the Brexit and Trump Eras
A researcher from the University of Edinburgh is conducting research into how immigrant inclusion organisations in the UK and US are adapting to each national government’s approach to immigration in the Brexit and Trump eras. The research is designed to illuminate challenges and opportunities that immigrant inclusion organisations encounter and how they message, resource, and carry out their vital work during this time. Closes 12th DecemberRead more. Take the survey here.
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. You can also find useful information in thisnewsletter from Local Government Association.
Read more.
Enabling safe and effective volunteering during the lockdown
The Government have issued new guidance on volunteering during this second national lockdown. This guidance aims to help organisations and groups understand how to safely and effectively involve volunteers during the pandemic. There is also updated guidance for volunteers themselves here and how to help safely during the pandemic here.
Read more.
Government announce new winter package to support children and families
Building on support given to the most vulnerable during the pandemic, a new £170m Covid Winter Grant Scheme will be run by councils in England. Children and families will be able to get extra support this winter, with councils given new funding to ensure vulnerable households do not go hungry or without essential items.  Read more.

National Youth Agency Covid-19 guidance for England 
The National Youth Agency (NYA) has, in consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive, developed youth sector specific Covid-19 advice and guidance. The guidance will support local providers, leaders, volunteers and young people to remain safe when engaging in youth sector activities. It includes guidance on providing youth services during Covid-19 lockdowns and managing youth spaces during the pandemic. 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. Read more.
Covid-19 Information for communities
Latest from MK Covid-19 Outbreak Control Plan

Black Funding Network
Launched on the 10th November, BFN aims to help galvanise Black giving in order to contribute to self-sufficiency for Britain’s Black communities. The initiative aims to help Black-led non-profit organisations access a generous community of donors. Read more.

UK Youth Fund – Covid Relief
The UK Youth Fund – Covid Relief has been created to support youth organisations who have not had access to the crisis funding they require to survive the Covid pandemic. Youth organisations with an income of under £250,000, that are based in, and deliver their work in England are eligible to apply for up to £50,000. Read more

The Henry Smith Charity
The Henry Smith Charity aims to bring about lasting change to people’s lives, helping them to benefit from and contribute to society. They achieve this by funding organisations that work with people to reduce social and economic disadvantage.
Read more.

Innovation Continuity Loans: Strand 3 (November 2020) New Project Competition
Innovation continuity loans are available for SMEs and third sector organisations in the UK that are at risk of not continuing planned or existing innovation activity due to a sudden shortage or even unavailability of funds directly related to COVID-19. Read 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.

Click here to view our funding page on our website

Covid-19 impact inquiry: Call for evidence
The Health Foundation are gathering evidence from a wide range of sources across the UK that consider how experiences of the pandemic have been influenced by people’s existing health conditions and inequalities. Read more.

Local Consultations

National Consultations

Seasonal Flu Information
Getting Together Matters
Volunteering Matters have put together a FREE programme of activities for those aged 50+, both online activities and over the phone to make them more accessible. Please also see this months calendar of activities here.
Read more.
Winter Wellbeing – Managing wellbeing for the whole family
Sunday 22nd November, 11am – 12pm

Winter is usually a time where we see well-being suffer. Our mood might dip slightly, we might find it difficult to get motivated. So Arthur Ellis: Mental Health Support has teamed up with the Milton Keynes Self Care Group to bring you a practical, easy way to learn about the different elements of our well-being. Read more.
WorksForUs Support
Are you looking for work? WorksForUs have a FREEadvice service and a variety of online workshops that are open to everyone. Get in touch today to register for their courses or to discuss your next steps with their advisers. Read more.
Can you help York House?
Can you help develop the all-weather games area at York House by shopping with the Co-op? The project would provide protective netting and games equipment to complete our artificial turf play area, providing sports and exercise for all the local community. Read more.
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. Read more.
Barratt Homes Donation to The Henry Allen Trust 2020
Barratt Homes has donated £1,000 to The Henry Allen Trust, a Milton Keynes charity dedicated to helping children and families affected by childhood cancer as part of its Community Fund scheme.
Read more.
Help for Unemployed Universal Credit Claimants during COVID [UPDATED]
Unfortunately more people are losing their jobs or be made redundant. Age UK are here to offer their support. They will be opening up face to face sessions by appointment only at Stony Stratford Library. If you are a Parish or Town Council, MKC Officer, Housing Officer you can refer individuals over to our Building
Better Opportunities project. Read more.
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. Complete the survey here.
Donate to the Covid-19 Recovery Appeal here
Thinking about volunteering during the November lockdown?
Winter Night Shelter Urgently Need Volunteers!
Winter Night shelter are looking for volunteers to support them in their new way of running this winter. Due to Covid-19, plenty of adaptations have been made. The Winter Night Shelter will now support service users by running a day centre at Unity Park. This is vital support and they are urgently looking for volunteers to support them with the delivery of this service. Read more.
Volunteering Matters
We are supporting Volunteering Matters to source vital volunteers. These are the 3 main roles available:

  • Telephone befrienders
  • Community car drivers
  • Grandmentors

If you are interested and would like to know more, please get in touch with us at

Volunteers wanted for outdoor activities!
Bletchley Green Gym are looking for volunteers for gardening, planting, nature conservation and more! You’ll learn new skills and there is no experience needed! All equipment is provided and it’s all FREE! Every Thursday 10:45am– 1.30pm, Leon Recreation Ground, Bletchley. Contact or call 07740 899633 / 01234 217553Read more.

Volunteer Mentors Needed
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. Read more.
Trustee Roles Available
We have had numerous trustee roles through for us to advertise. Please see below for the list of roles available:

Are you willing, able and safe to volunteer? Complete the expression of interest form here

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.

Festival of Discovery
20th – 21st November 2020
The Festival of Discovery is all about exploring what a better future might look like – for individuals, communities and our planet. The Festival is designed to connect people from across the UK through lively discussions, fun demonstrations and inspiring stories covering topics from climate change and food security to inclusive communities, wellbeing, resilience and much more! Read 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.

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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