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
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!

Supporting Young People’s Mental Health
Tuesday 8th December, 11am – 12pm [Online]

Community Action: MK are proud to be able to facilitate this FREE offer from YiS Young People’s Mental Health, of a mental health and wellbeing session for those that are working to support the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. This session is aimed mainly at volunteers who support young people, but can include parents/ carers and young people themselves. Find out more and register here.
Volunteering Drop In
8th December & 15th December, 11am – 1pm
We are bringing our virtual volunteer drop-in back in December to enable us to talk to you 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.

Crime and Community Safety Small Charities Meet Up
Wednesday 25th November 2020 from 2pm - 3pm
As part of the awareness raising campaign for White Ribbon Day and Domestic Abuse we will be hearing from Tony Hyland from the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) about their services and support for survivors of domestic abuse. Suitable for staff, trustees and volunteers of small charities and not for profits working on issues of crime and community safety. Read more.
Surviving Winter 2020
Many people in Milton Keynes have to choose between heating and eating during the winter months. With the Covid-19 pandemic, this season will be even more challenging. MK Community Foundation have put together just a few ways in which you can help, or support them to help those that will need it most at this time of year. Read more.

SaferMK – VCSE Board Representatives
We are delighted to introduce you to the two VCSE representatives on the SaferMK Partnership Board - Maralyn Smith and Simon Green. Read ou to find out a bit more about them, where they have come from and why they want to make a difference and contribute to the communities of Milton Keynes through the SaferMK Partnership. Read more.
Charity leaders explore ways to add authenticity to digital anti-racism content
Female charity Chief Executives recently handed their social media accounts over to BAME supporters and staff as part of the innovative ‘Share the Mic’ anti-racism campaign.
Read more.
50 for Free 2021 – Free holidays in historic buildings for charities
This programme offers fifty midweek (four nights) and weekend (three nights) breaks in March, at selected Landmarks across England, Wales, Scotland. The Landmark Trust are continuing to welcome applications for 50 for Free 2021, hoping that Covid-19 conditions will allow the stays to go ahead in March 2021. Closing date: 3rd December 2020.

Giving Tuesday
1st December 2020, 2pm – 3pm
Every Christmas, big businesses across the country choose to partner with large national charities. Media outlets pick household names as their charity of the year. Amidst this very competitive environment, it remains very difficult for micro and small charities to be able to tap into support from business. On this Giving Tuesday, we ask what more could be done to get businesses of all shapes and sizes to better partner with small charities. Read 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. Submit your story here.
Peer support for charity leaders
The Institute for Voluntary Action Research are running FREE 90 minute zoom sessions for up to 12 charity leaders at a time from December 2020 – March 2021. You’ll hear how others are adapting to Covid-19 and have a safe space to offload any challenges you may be facing. Leaders of charities, community organisations and social enterprises are all welcome. Read more.
Mali Enterprise Leaders (MEL)* England Programme
The Mali Enterprise Leaders (MEL)* England Programme is a capacity support and development programme targeted to the needs of micro and small Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) led voluntary and community organisations who have been impacted on negatively by the pandemic. There is a range of events and webinars sharing advice, as well as access to 1-2-1 support. Read more.
Children Missing Education
The Local Government Association has published the report ‘Children Missing Education’ with evidence pointing to vulnerable children being far more likely to miss out on formal full-time education than their peers. Read the report here.
Where does organisational resilience end and where does organisational development begin?
Over the last six months, Tom Watson has been working with the Lloyds Bank Foundation to develop an Organisational Resilience programme. In this blog, he offers his reflections and where or not it ties in with Organisational Development. Read more.
The impact of COVID-19 to date on older people’s mental and physical health
Age UK has released results of their study on the impact of Covid-19 to date on older people’s mental and physical health. This study reinforces what Age UK has been frequently hearing from older people during the last six months: that many are deeply afraid of COVID-19 – and understandably so. Read more.
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.
Coronavirus guidance for the charity sector
The Charity Commission has updated its coronavirus guidance to reflect the current rules on meeting other people in England and Wales. The guidance confirms you can still hold trustee or members’ meetings in person where these meetings are necessary for providing voluntary or charitable services. The guidance has not changed in respect of holding online meetings and postponing or cancelling meetings. 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.

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

Thriving Communities Fund
Up to £50K for place-based partnerships that strengthen local infrastructure for social prescribing, to deliver a range of community-level activities that address wellbeing. Read more.

UKRI – Digital Innovation and Engagement Fund 
Up to £50k for museums and galleries to scale up and evaluate the innovations they’ve designed through the COVID-19 pandemic. Deadline: Monday 21st DecemberRead more.

Sector Challenge Programme
Grants are available for charities and civil society organisations in England for exploring digital, data and design solutions to challenges in the areas of early years; financial wellbeing; mental health and wellbeing; sexual abuse and domestic violence. Read more.

Asda Foundation Feeding Communities Grants
Grants of up to £1,000 are available for local not-for-profit organisations to help provide meals to anyone in need in the lead up to Christmas. Apply through your local Asda store’s Community Champion. Deadline 6 December. Read more.

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

Paul Hamlyn Foundation Shared Ground Fund
The Shared Ground Fund is for projects that ensure that young migrants in the greatest need can overcome the barriers that affect their ability to thrive, and to support work that will help communities experiencing high levels of migration become stronger and more connected. Read more.

Click here to view our funding page on our website
Pioneering tram system and 90,000 new jobs of the future planned for next era of MK
MK Council has published its Strategy for 2050 which describes a future for Milton Keynes as a world-renowned green city where everyone can live a decent and secure life. Read more.
Local Consultations

National Consultations

Seasonal Flu Information
MK Residents ‘most at risk’ urged to get free Flu vaccination
Flu can cause severe illness, especially for people with underlying health conditions. MK residents at high risk of Flu complications are being urged to get their Free Flu vaccination.
Read more.
Support available for care home families during Covid-19
Families with loved ones in Milton Keynes care homes are being encouraged to take advantage of a free support service to help them cope with feelings of separation, isolation or loss during COVID-19 pandemic. The service, run by Willen Hospice, has been funded by Milton Keynes Council, who have recognised the need to help families at this difficult time. Read more.
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.
12 Days of Giving
Charitable giving is at the heart of Movement for Good – a financial services group that exists to give its profits to charity. They are proud to be giving back to the communities they serve and championing the issues that really matter to them, especially in this time of need – working together to build a movement for good. Anyone can nominate a charity to win one of the £1,000 awards. And it’s quick and easy to do. The more nominations a charity receives the greater their chance of winning, so spread the word. 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.
Local campaigns to support communities
NSPCC has been working with communities across the UK to develop and deliver local campaigns and initiatives that help protect children and young people from abuse and neglect. To find out more, or to discuss a potential campaign, please email more.
Stop Loan Sharks Week Christmas Campaign
30th November 2020

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) have launched a new campaign aimed at tackling illegal money lending on the internet and warning of the dangers of online loan sharks. The campaign comes amid concerns more people are falling prey to unscrupulous lenders online as statistics show one in five victims met their lender on social media in the first half of 2020. 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?

Willen Hospice Pop-up Outlet Volunteers
”Do you have a few spare hours to help us with an exciting new retail opportunity in Central Milton Keynes?” Willen Hospice have been give a unique opportunity to open a pop-up clearance outlet on Grafton Gate East (formerly Staples) but they need your help, now more than ever!  If you are interested, call 01908 306997 / 306998 or for more information, read more here.
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.
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.

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.

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.

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