Community Action: MK – Weekly Info and Updates

Welcome to our weekly bulletin for Milton Keynes’ voluntary & community sector
Annual Review 2019 / 2020
Volunteer Drop In

Wednesday 27th January | 11am – 1pm
We’ve taken our volunteer drop-in online! A chance to talk through and learn more about what volunteering roles are out there for you! Our volunteer drop-in will be hosted online for the foreseeable future to enable us to talk to you through virtual means about all your volunteering queries. Sign up here.

Foundations of a Successful Volunteer Programme

Wednesday 24th February | 1pm – 3pm
Are you new to volunteer management, or is your existing volunteer programme not up to par? This free online training from our partner Community Impact Bucks will tackle how to develop a robust Volunteering Strategy and Policy and give you practical advice and guidance to ensure that your volunteer programme actively embraces and enables diversity. You will come away with increased confidence to build a strong and effective volunteer programme and additional training resources to help you move from planning to reality. Read more.

We held our first ever online AGM last week and were lucky enough to hear from some amazing Milton Keynes based groups about how they have been adapting their services through a challenging year, and what ‘togetherness’ means to them.
Nikru Arts
Stony in Bloom
St Marks Meals
Food connect
Middleton Neighbour Support Group
All People Active
If you or an organisation that deserves recognition, would like a mention in our ‘Spotlight’ feature, please get in touch at
MK Community Foundation Recovery Fund
Woodward Charitable Trust 
Deadline: 28th January 2021
The Woodward Charitable Trust is a grant-making trust. The Trust primarily funds charitable organisations in the UK. Woodward favours charities which make good use of volunteers and encourage past and current users to participate. Read more.

Golsoncott Foundation
Deadline: 31st January 2021

The Golsoncott Foundation aims to promote, maintain, improve and advance the education of the public in the arts generally and in particular the fine arts and music. This includes providing access to the arts for young people and developing new audiences. Read more.

Tech for Good Build 2021
Deadline: 12th February 2021

Grants for not-for-profit organisations to define, test and develop digital solutions, or re-purpose existing technology in order to meet a social need or challenge in one of Comic Relief’s core issue areas. Read more.

Youth Covid-19 Support Fund
Deadline: 12th February 2021

Grants are available to community and national youth organisations in England to help mitigate the impact of lost income during the winter period due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and ensure services providing vital support can remain open. 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.

Cameron Grants for Innovation in Mental Health
Seed funding grants are available for UK based charities and other not-for-profit groups and organisations to trial new and innovative ways to support people in the UK who are suffering with poor mental health. 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.

Percy Bilton Charity
Organisations assisting disadvantaged youth, people with disabilities and older people may apply for grants towards capital expenditure. Social workers may apply on the behalf of individuals who have a disability or mental health problem, or who are over 65, for grants to purchase basic furniture, equipment and clothing. Read more.

Funding page for the VCSE sector
Wellbeing Resources for Over 50’s. Happy At Home Wellbeing Club, in response to COVID-19, are offering social prescribers, charities and local authorities their fortnightly wellbeing package at reduced rates of £2 per pack and have a number of other ways in which they can partner with organisations through their wellbeing package. Read more.

Children’s Mental Health Week – Place2Be
Children’s Mental Health Week is taking place on 1-7 February 2021. This year’s theme is Express Yourself. All free resources can be adapted for use in school, for home-schooling, online lessons or independent learning. Read more.

Runnymede Unbound – training and development opportunity
Runnymede Unbound is a new, paid training and development scheme for those committed to race equality and a collaboration-focussed method of work, which starts in February 2021. Over an 11-month programme trainees will develop skills, knowledge and experience in policy, communications, operations, partnerships and research. It is open to adults of all ages and backgrounds and will run remotely. Deadline: 31st January

The Inclusive Economy Partnership launches its third scale-up programme: BOOST 2021.
The Inclusive Economy Partnership is seeking applications from the UK’s leading scaling organisations who are ready to join their new scale-up programme: BOOST 2021. Read more.

The Road Ahead 2021
NCVO has produced their ‘annual analysis of the changing operating environment for anyone working in the voluntary sector’. It identifies and explains forces and trends that are shaping the sector and are likely to have an impact on organisations in the future. Read more.

Local Communications Toolkit
The Cabinet Office has shared this toolkit to advise people and organisations about what steps they need to take during the Brexit Transition. The toolkit includes links to specific guidance, social media advice, FAQ’s and signposting. Read more.

#KeepTheLifeline: urging the Government to keep the £20 UC uplift
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation have been campaigning amidst the pandemic to keep the Universal Credit uplist and Working Tax Credit in place as a lifeline for those low-income families that need it. It is due to end in April 2021. They have written a blog detailing what they have found in their research and why they are urging the government not to end the lifeline of the £20 UC uplift. Read the blog here.

Charity sector calls for emergency support package
Civil society leaders are once again calling on the government to develop an emergency support package for the not-for-profit, charity and social enterprise sector. Read more.

Barometer survey: impact of Covid-19 on VCSE organisations
Read ‘Respond, recover, reset: the voluntary sector and COVID-19′ – the January report from the Barometer survey findings here. The latest round of the survey is now open. Read more.

VCSEs: A guide to working with government
DCMS have created a guide aimed at bringing more charities and social enterprises into public sector supply chains. Read more.

Ubele Initiative - The Emergency Conversation Part 2: Lockdown, Vaccines and the Virus
Thursday 28th January 2021 | 6pm – 8pm
This event aims to offer BAME communities an opportunity to:

  • Reflect on the devastating impact of Wave 2 including high levels of critical ill health and deaths in BAME communities
  • Receive up to date information on the national COVID-19 guidance and vaccine roll out
  • Consider the effects of community based and government messaging on vaccine take up rates
  • Put questions to senior government officials, clinicians and researchers about Covid-19

Read more.

Free Mind BLMK Virtual Learning Webinars
Mind BLMK are offering several free webinars to support you if you are experiencing loneliness and learning opportunities to develop tools and techniques which support and enhance wellbeing. If you would like to attend one of these free webinars please email or telephone: 0788 1248 780. Read more.
Fundraising Regulator’s annual event 2021
Monday 8th February 2021 | 10am – 11am

This event is your opportunity to hear from the Fundraising Regulator’s Chair and Chief Executive about their impact over the past year and learn about their plans for the future. Read more.
Safeguarding, A Trustee Responsibility
Tuesday 23rd February | 10.30am – 12pm

What are the resposnibilities and duties of charity trustees when it comes to safegurading? An online course from Green Pepper Consulting. £12 per delegate. Read more.
Free funding webinar is a free, safe and pandemic proof funding option for your organisation in 2021. Join the free webinar to find out how it works, see a live demo, get advice on how to make the most of it and ask the easyfundraising team questions. Plus, there’s the chance to win a £50 donation for your organisation.

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 3rd February (2pm-4pm)
  • Wednesday 17th March (2pm-4pm)

Sign up here.

Ethnicity and COVID-19: Addressing the impact of the pandemic on Black and Minority ethnic people
Thursday 25th February 2021 | 10am – 12pm

From higher Covid-19 infection and death rates, to being harder hit economically, BME people have faced more insecurity and have borne the brunt of the harshest impacts of this pandemic. In a society like ours, this is simply wrong. Join JRF for an interactive webinar discussion to explore evidence and policy recommendations tailored to these issues, which have often been missing from national discussions of the pandemic. Read more.
Inspiring Impact England Online Regional Workshop Series | Various dates

Free Gas Safe Charity Workshop
The Gas Safe Charity offering free, online Zoom workshops aimed at front line staff and volunteers who visit or work in the homes of vulnerable people. The workshop lasts about an hour and explains the sources, signs and symptoms of high and low level carbon monoxide risks in the home and includes relevant scenarios to explain what steps to take if carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected. Read more.
Women’s Voices 2021 – International Women’s Day
8th March 2021 | 10am – 3pm

If your charity supports women, girls or those who identify as female, and is looking to reach new audiences, develop a campaign or raise awareness about your cause, then you may wish to apply for a place at Media Trust’s Women’s Voices, in celebration of International Women’s Day. Read more.
Local news

  • FREE Online Business School. From the 1st – 12th February 2021, Milton Keynes Council have funded an online business school where experts will share advice on setting up a business. Read more.
  • Cold weather alert issued by Public Health England. Regular updates on cold weather and how to stay well during low temperatures. Read more.
  • Remote employment service for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people in England. Read more.
  • Offset Projects. Offset Projects nourishes the creativity of children & young people, giving them the tools to respond to today so they can better shape their tomorrow. We design and deliver projects for children & young people aged 0 – 25. Offset also supports the education and cultural sectors through consultancy and facilitation services. Read more.
  • MK Open 2021 - Open for submissions. Milton Keynes Open is all about championing local creatives so Westbury Arts Centre are inviting all artists to apply. Deadline: 4th May 2021Read more.
  • Arthritis Action Group. People with Arthritis are given the opportunity to meet others online who have the condition to share their hints, tips and experience about how they manage their pain and associated symptoms with confidence. Read more.
Coronavirus news

Information for communities
Local Consultations

National Consultations

Volunteer Mentor | Community Led Initatives
Become a mentor, change a life. Community Led Initiatives are currently recruiting for volunteer mentors to help people to turn their lives around by providing mentoring and group support for people in recovery from substance misuse and gambling addiction. No qualifications or experience is required – they invest in training and supporting mentors within the role. Read more.

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.

Decision-making tool for volunteers
Useful links

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