Community Action: MK Action- Weekly Info and Updates

Supporting the voluntary and community sector of Milton Keynes
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Welcome to our weekly bulletin for Milton Keynes’ voluntary & community sector
Annual Review 2019 – 2020
This week our spotlight casts its light onto another one of our AGM speakers and a group that have used their natural surroundings and the growing of vegetables to keep community spirit up and feed their neighbours in an effort to create a sense of togetherness in a challenging time.
Stony in Bloom – a community group based in Stony Stratford, who work closely with York house. They have been growing vegetables to share with residents throughout the pandemic and keeping the area bright by maintaining flower beds, containers and hanging baskets.  Watch the video here.
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
Football Foundation – Football Winter Survival Package
Deadline: 14th February 2021

Grants are available to football clubs in the National League system (Steps 3-6) that have been severely impacted by COVID-19 restrictions to protect their immediate future. Read more.

SEMLEP Community Grants
Round opens on the 15th
The Community Grants programme offers Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations grant funding from £10,000 to £20,000 to deliver local projects that make a difference within local communities in the South East Midlands. Read more.

Gilchrist Educational Trust
Deadline: 28th February. 
Funds registered charities undertaking projects which fill educational gaps or make a particular aspect of education more widely available. Grants of £500 – £4,000 are available. Read more.

Coalfields Regeneration Trust – Coalfields Community Grants (England)
The Coalfields Community Grants programme in England is aimed at organisations, community groups and social enterprises that can make a positive difference in their communities. Read more.

Barchester Healthcare Foundation
The Barchester Healthcare Foundation is a registered charity that helps older people and other adults with a disability across England, Scotland and Wales. They hope that their grants will help people lead more fulfilled lives and reach their full potential. Read more.

CLA Charitable Trust 
The Trust aims to help to provide facilities for the disabled to take part in country sports and recreation, and training in agriculture and horticulture. Read more.

Covid-19 grants for businesses in Milton Keynes
MK Council is offering grants for local businesses that have been affected by the pandemic and the lockdown restrictions. Some of these grants might be available to the not-for-profit organisations. Read more.

Baily Thomas Charitable Fund
Deadline: 1st March 2021
Grants of up to £10,000 and above are available to assist with the care and relief of those affected by learning disability. There is also a small grants fund (up to £5,000) which has no deadline. Read more.

Tweed Family Charitable Foundation
Deadline: 31st March 2021

Grants are available to registered charities or not for profit enterprises with an annual turnover of less than £1m and are for work that offers life enhancing opportunities to young people under the age of 25, particularly those who are disadvantaged and in their teenage years. Read more.

The NFU Mutual Community Giving Fund
Deadline: 31st March 2021

Grants up to £1000, preferably for specific items or equipment/furniture or something that will help people over a period of time. Read more.

Masonic Charity
Deadline: 31st March (for both)

  • Later Life - local and national charities that are working to reduce loneliness and isolation in later life can apply for a small or large grant, depending on their income.
  • Children and Young People - national and local charities helping disadvantaged children and young people to overcome the barriers they face can apply for a small or large grant.
Funding page for the VCSE sector
The Charity Excellence Framework
The framework is a completely free online toolkit that enables you to health check every area of activity with its own quality mark and is the largest resource base in the charity sector. Read more.

Charity Commission Coronavirus guidance
The Charity Commission have updated their guidance to help with running your charity during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. Understandably, charities are concerned about what to do during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, so the Charity Commission have set out their response to the most commonly asked questions. Read more.

Rebalancing the Relationship
The final report into how charities can work better together to deliver commissioned services has been published by ACEVO, NCVO and Lloyds Bank Foundation. Read more.

Digital communications training for UK charities
This is a free digital communications training programme for UK charities which includes webinars, tailored resources, online digital marketing strategy workshops and spring and summer schools. Read more.

‘Something’s not right’ campaign
The Home Office, in partnership with Childline, NSPCC, Barnardo’s, the Children’s Society, the Marie Collins Foundation and the Internet Watch Foundation, has launched a new campaign ‘Something’s Not Right’, and is designed to help secondary school children in England who suffered a range of harms, such as sexual and physical abuse, during lockdown. Read more.

DWP’s Kickstart Scheme aims to get young people into work
The Department for Work and Pension’s (DWP’s) Kickstart Scheme provides fully-funded jobs for 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment. Read more.

Weston Communicating Climate
This is a new six-month free skills programme for small-medium climate and environmental organisations which is being supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation. Applications for Weston Communicating Climate are open and will close on Tuesday 16 February. Read more.

Headlining Mental Health
Headlining Mental Health is an exciting new programme from Media Trust for 20 small mental health organisations, running from March – September 2021. This free programme is designed to help them extend the power and reach of their communications, supporting them in their mission – whether that’s to reach people who need to access support, to normalise conversations around mental health, or to make sure the voices of people living with mental health issues are heard. Deadline: 22nd FebruaryRead more.

Community safeguarding leaflet
The current national restrictions mean that right now, vulnerable children and adults may be particularly isolated. The Home Office produced information and guidance for those who are operating in communities and may not be trained to recognise the signs of abuse or neglect earlier this year, and would like to re circulate this guidance. Read more.

Free supplies for your charity and beneficiaries
Giving World are help charities access brand new life-essentials for free. They redirect business end-of-line, surplus and discontinued stock to the most deprived communities in the UK and have a wide range of products available to support your beneficiaries, including clothing for adults and children, toiletries, baby products, toys, bedding, kitchen equipment and other household items, books, crafts and ambient foods. Read more.

Building and managing your charity (multiple languages)
Small Charities Coalition (SCC) will soon deliver training sessions on charity management in multiple community languages. My UK Charity, is aimed at breaking down inequality in the delivery and design of infrastructure support which disadvantages those who either do not speak English, or in some cases for those for whom English is an additional language.

Poetry on Prescription
Thursday 18th February 2021 | 6pm

MKIAC are hosting a Facebook Live about the accessibility and benefits of poetry. They believe that poetry can be accessible and therapeutic, and possibly the tonic needed for the loneliness and anxiety that has been felt during the pandemic. They want to dive into how it might provide a format, to respond to the changing world around us. Read more.
Free SmartWorking training for Charities
Smarter Not Harder are offering leaders and managers who work within UK charities free training to help them develop their skills and knowledge. They run regular training sessions on important subjects such as coaching, setting expectations, managing performance, delegating, motivating others and time management (in a digital age). Dates available are:

Sharing Art and Us
Saturday 20th February | 11am – 1pm

Sharing Art and Us shines a spotlight on MK Gallery’s Inclusive Practice in the Arts programme, designed with and for children with complex support needs and their families, to explore and reflect on its impact. This is a FREE event via Zoom. BSL & live captioning available. 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.
SEMLEP Community Grants Information Webinars
Do you run a project that supports local people to get on in life? If you can help people to build confidence and overcome barriers that can block them from getting into training or paid work, the Community Grants programme could help you.

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

Join JRF for an interactive webinar discussion to explore evidence and policy recommendations tailored to the impact the pandemic has had on BME communities and individuals, which have often been missing from national discussions of the pandemic. Read more.
AHA Forum: Marketing to and Reconnecting with Audiences
3rd March 2021 | 10am – 12.30pm
This forum will explore marketing to audiences and reconnecting with them. Guest speakers from The Audience Agency, and SPARC (Sheffield Performer & Audience Research Centre at Sheffield University). Read more.
International Women’s Day Celebration
8th March 2021 | 2pm – 3.30pm

MK Community Foundation are celebrating International Women’s Day virtually this year, with a series of inspirational podcasts from women from all different walks of life and professions in the week before and then an online event on the 8th, hosted by Fola Komolafe, where we can gather virtually to hear about how we can all #ChooseToChallenge this coming year. Read more.
Webinar Series – VCSEs: Winning central government contracts and the new social value model
Wednesday 17th March | 2pm-4pm

DCMS is launching a series of webinars aimed at VCSE organisations to make the most out of the new social value model. Sign up here.
Local news

  • gentlespaces support Zoom sessions. gentlespaces, run by MK Mission Partnership, have now adapted their bereavement support groups to online. Read more.
  • MK Council extends key worker rapid testing to MK shopworkersRead more.
  • MK CIL is still working. The office is open Mon. Wed and Fri. They are giving advice and assisting people with form filling for disability benefits over the Phone or Zoom. Contact 01908 231344 or
  • LGBT+ History Month 2021: Calendar of events. February is the month for learning more about the LGBT community – past and present. Read more.
  • Protospace. Protospace is a new initiative that invites the tech community in MK to connect, collaborate and share knowledge. Read more.
  • MK Museum: We are MK, Too Engagement. MK Museum invites contributions for its 2021 exhibition ‘We are MK, Too’. Email: more.
  • #DrugsKnowMore 8th – 21st Feb. Let’s Talk Drugs is an awareness campaign run by young people for young people. Read more.
  • Creativity Helped us Cope! MKIAC want your views on how creativity has helped you cope through the pandemic. Email: for more information.
  • Taking Part In The 2021 Census. Read more.
  • Bake the Best of it. From the 26th January – 19th February,  local charity Ride high has launched an online baking competition to help raise some dough to support the most vulnerable children in Milton Keynes. Read more.
  • MK Arts Centre Workshops. Read more.
  • Future Fossil Free Online Spring Talks Series. Future Fossil have organised a series of online activities including a Free Spring Talks Series, inviting you to join artists, academics, researchers, activists, architectural theorists, writers and ecologists in exploring the ideas and themes of the project. Read more.
  • Autism Internship Programme with the Civil Service. An exciting work experience opportunity in the Civil Service is being offered to young people with autism, aged between 18 – 25. Read more.
Coronavirus news

Information for communities
Local Consultations.

Draft South East Milton Keynes – Strategic Urban Extension Development Framework Supplementary Planning Document | Deadline: 19th April 2021, 5pm
Milton Keynes Council has published the Draft South East Milton Keynes – Strategic Urban Extension Development Framework Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for consultation and invites comments from members of the public, organisations and other stakeholders for a 10-week period. The Plan:MK South East Milton Keynes Strategic Urban Extension allocation is located to the south of MK on land adjacent to Wavendon, Walton, Woburn Sands and Bow Brickhill, straddling the East West Rail railway line. It is allocated in Plan:MK for around 3,000 homes, associated uses, a secondary school, two primary schools, Gypsy and Travellers site and other supporting social and green infrastructure.
The draft SPD has been prepared to support the implementation of the following policies:

The preferred method for submitting comments is on a Consultation Response Form which can be downloaded here. Please return your completed form via: Civic Offices, 1 Saxon Gate East, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 3EJ Email:

National Consultations

Volunteer Driver | Volunteering Matters
As a Volunteer Driver you will offer your time to transport a diverse client group using your own vehicle. Our client group includes registered older passengers who access the service via a paid membership and children/young people and families who are referred to the service by Milton Keynes council. Read more.
KidsOut Volunteer
KidsOut are looking for volunteers to help with auditing, categorising and toy box packing at our Milton Keynes site (address below)  This will involve light manual work. Ideally the hours are 10am – 4pm on any weekday, but part-time is also available. Masks and social distancing guidelines are adhered to (no more than 6-8 volunteers at any one time (in bubbles). Please bring your own lunch, but light refreshments are provided. If interested, please ring Sandra Doherty on 07934 535437 or email:
Address: Noble House, Capital Drive, Linford Wood, Milton Keynes, MK14 6QP
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.
Decision-making tool for volunteers
Communication & Audience Development Coordinator (part-time) | Deadline: Friday 26th February 2021, 5pm.
Rate of pay: £21,000 pro rata. Milton Keynes Arts Centre (MKAC) is seeking a highly motivated and efficient Communications & Audience Development Coordinator. This role will be fundamental to the smooth running of MKAC’s programme of exhibitions, live events and educational activities. How to apply: Please complete an Equal Opportunities form and submit along with a CV and covering letter outlining relevant experience and why you are interested in joining the Milton Keynes Arts Centre team via:
Useful links

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