Community Action: MK – Weekly Updates and Info

Welcome to our weekly bulletin for Milton Keynes’ voluntary & community sector
We would just like to mention how proud we are to be awarded a ‘Highly Commended’ for the 2020 Support Award at the NAVCA Heart of the Community Awards.
We are touched and honoured to receive this commendation!
Community Action: MK AGM 2021
Thursday 21st January, 10am – 11.30am
Join us for our first online AGM, where we will discuss what ‘togetherness’ means to us, whilst reflecting on the year just gone and we will hear from some inspirational speakers from the VCSE sector to share their stories. A great opportunity to connect across the sector and come together to reflect on our achievements over such a challenging year. Register here.
Volunteer recruitment & management in the age of COVID

Tuesday 26th January, 10am – 12pm
This free online training from our partner Community Impact Bucks will provide practical advice and guidance about key areas including steps to take before recruiting volunteers, COVID-19: implications for volunteers, what a good recruitment process looks like, and safeguarding volunteers and service users. Read more and sign up here.

This weeks spotlight is on the wonderful effort to spread Christmas joy over the festive period by Age UK Milton Keynes and their amazing volunteers … 

‘Wow what a busy Christmas we had here at Age UK MK, with the help of the local schools, businesses and individuals we received nearly 400 gifts for distribution to the older residents of Milton Keynes who were facing a lonely and isolated Christmas. Our team of volunteers spent two whole solid days wrapping and organising so many gifts. Our heartfelt thanks to all those that donated or sent letters and cards in, to ensure people knew there was someone that cared. We had tears of joy and happiness when these were delivered. Our volunteers delivered 110 five course Christmas dinners along with gifts for everyone. Our Peartree centre rivalled a major distribution centre Christmas week. We could not have delivered a smile to so many people without you or our amazing volunteers so THANK YOU all from the bottom our hearts.
If you or someone you know could benefit from our support or if you would like to volunteer for us, please do not hesitate to get in touch 01908 550700,
‘ - Paula Ayers, Age UK 

If you would like a mention in our ‘Spotlight’ feature, please get in touch at
MK Community Foundation Recovery Fund
Community Partnership Grants in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes – funded by NHS Charities Together through BLMK NHS Charities Group
Deadline: 15th January 2021

Funding is available to support the health and wellbeing of communities in BLMK by working with the wider NHS and voluntary community dealing with COVID-19. Funding will be available for projects addressing. Read more.

Jean Sainsbury Animal Welfare Trust
Deadline: 15th January 2021

The Jean Sainsbury Animal Welfare Trust was set up in 1982, by Mrs Jean Beryl Lilian Sainsbury, and is a registered charity. Since then, the Trust has given over £10 million to animal welfare charities. Read more.

The Fore
Deadline: 25th January 2021

From Spring 2021, The Fore is returning to its standard offer of grants of up to £30,000, which can be spread over up to 3 years. Read more.

Windrush Community Fund
Deadline: 12th February 2021

Grants are available for charities, community or grassroots organisations for projects in the UK which raise awareness of the Windrush Scheme (documentation), the Windrush Compensation Scheme or both. Read more.

Deadline: 21st January 2021

Grants of up to £20,000 to support the Black Community in the UK. These grants are available to Black-led grassroot organisations and projects which are working to eliminate barriers to progress for Black women and girls and driving for long-term systemic change.

Local Connections Fund from National Lottery Community Fund
Deadline: 26th January 2021
Small grants of up to £2,500 to charities and community organisations with annual incomes of up to £50,000 to bring people and communities together in safe and secure ways. Read more.

Wilkinsons – Helping Hands
Helping Hands is a community initiative where each local store has a budget to distribute to projects and schemes within the stores local community. Read more.

The Wakenham Trust
The Wakeham Trust are particularly interested in neighbourhood projects, community arts projects, projects involving community service by young people, or projects set up by those who are socially excluded. Read more.

Funding page for the VCSE sector
Keeping Well
Free, fast and confidential wellbeing and psychological support
 for health and social care staff in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes. Keeping Well are here to provide wellbeing and psychological support to all NHS staff and staff providing care to others in the community, including residential homes and VCS organisations in the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) area. The service provides rapid access to support in a variety of ways, including a ‘live-chat’ (coming soon to the site) where health and care workers can, in confidence, talk to expert clinicians about any personal or professional challenges that are impacting on their stress, anxiety or mood. Read more.

Health and Wellbeing Board
The Health and Wellbeing Board in Milton Keynes meets next week.  The papers are here. We will have an open Zoom Room for an hour on Tuesday 12th January from 3-4pm if you wish to speak to our VCS Representatives on the Health and Wellbeing Board and feed in comments or ideas on agenda items to Peta and Tim. The details are as follows:
Join Zoom Meeting here.
Meeting ID: 892 1205 3338 Passcode: 897669

Join the virtual ‘Town Hall’ to discuss setting up a BAME infrastructure group in MK
This event on 18th January is a space for those from a BAME background who would like to share their insights, experiences and be involved in or share their views on the creation of a dedicated space / group committed to supporting and raising awareness for issues facing BAME communities. If you are interested in attending the virtual town hall event you should register by emailing more.

Made By Sport is launching a #ClubsInCrisis Competition to create a platform for clubs to share their stories and to help to continue to raise awareness of the massive social value of our local sports clubs and organisations.  Read more.

Ways humanity won in 2020
Despite all the darkness in 2020, there were moments where humanity shone through. Here are just some of the moments that brought us hope this year from Amnesty International UK. Watch the video here.

New government funding for tackling loneliness
The Government has announced a £7.5 million funding package to help tackle loneliness over the winter period. It will mainly support sectors that bring people and communities together, including the arts, libraries and radio. Read more.

Respond, recover, reset: the voluntary sector and COVID-19
The Centre of People, Work and Organisational Practice (CPWO) have published a report from the second wave of their barometer survey which provides  key insights into how the sector is responding to the pandemic and its wider social impacts. Read the report here.

Webinar Series – VCSEs: Winning central government contracts and the new social value model
DCMS is launching a series of webinars aimed at VCSE organisations to make the most out of the new social value model. See the dates below:

  • Wednesday 20 January (2pm-4pm)
  • Wednesday 3 February (2pm-4pm)
  • Wednesday 17 March (2pm-4pm)

Sign up here.

Domestic Abuse – Awareness in the workplace | Friday 15th & Monday 25th January, 9.30am – 1.30pm
Join the free virtual training sessions delivered by MK-Act, a specialist Domestic Violence Support Service for Milton Keynes. This workshop is for businesses of all sizes, employers, HR professionals, line managers and front-line staff working in Milton Keynes. Read more and register here.
Inspiring Impact England Online Regional Workshop Series | Various dates

Local news

  • Getting Together Matters tablet and data SIM loan project: The scheme is designed to help older people who would otherwise have no access to a device and or internet connection and are likely to be more isolated because of this. Read more.
  • Great Linford Parish Community Larder still open for members! Read more.
  • Broughton and Milton Keynes Parish council are running a Food bank service from the Oakgrove Parish office. Tuesday & Thursday, 2:30pm – 4pmRead more.
  • Village Hall Week 2021: 25th – 29th January. Join ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) as they celebrate the resilience of village halls. Read more.
  • Increasing data allowances on mobile devices to support disadvantaged children. The Government has launched a scheme that increases data allowances for mobile phone users certain networks, so that children and young people can access remote education if their face-to-face education is disrupted. Read more.
  • The Big Knit 2021. Age UK Buckinghamshire uses the money raised by its Innocent hat knitters to help fund the Befriending Service, which provides comfort to older people who are lonely or socially isolated by providing regular companionship. Read more.
  • NewFutures: MK. Are you seeking employment or additional work? MK College has partnered with MK Council to provide support to MK residents of all ages who need help finding work. Read more.
  • MOTUS Dance group NEW family show research - how you can help.
Coronavirus news

Information for communities
Local Consultations

National Consultations

Volunteer Drop-In | Wednesday 13th & 27th January 2021, 11am – 1pm
Register here
Community Fridge Volunteers Needed! | Big Local Conniburrow
Volunteers needed at the Conniburrow Community Fridge. They are looking for people to cover one (or more) 2 hour shifts from either 11am-1pm or 1pm-3pm. Backup volunteers are also required. The application process can be done in person in less than 15 minutes and no DBS checks or references are required. It is busy and fun and preventing tons of food going into landfill each week. Please contact for more information.

Food Bank Xtra vacancies
Food Bank Xtra has immediate vacancies for public-facing volunteers at a new food collection centre in Central Milton KeynesThe vacancies are for slots on Monday – Friday between 2pm – 4.30pm and require a commitment of at least one afternoon per week. A number of different roles are available. Limited seated roles are also available. If you are interested please fill in this expression of interest by 5pm on Wednesday 13 January 2021. 

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

Decision-making tool for volunteers
GROW Trainees (Bedford or Milton Keynes) | Community Led Initatives
Deadline: 17th January 2021
Community Led Initatives are looking for 2 X GROW trainees for their Support, Advice, Mentoring and Advocacy Service in Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes. The positions provide opportunities for those with ‘lived experience’ to develop a broad range of skills and experience in a paid role. Read more.
Useful links

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