Community Action: MK – Weekly Info and Updates

Supporting the voluntary and community sector of Milton Keynes
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PLEASE NOTE: The link advertised on the promotion for our ‘Support Sessions for Groups & Organisations’ will not take you to sign up for our Community Action: MK do-it . org ecosystem. Please contact us directly if you would like to sign up ( or come along to the event tomorrow via clicking the ‘Read more’ option below. Please accept our apologies for any confusion.
Welcome to our weekly bulletin for Milton Keynes’ voluntary & community sector
Annual Review 2019 – 2020
Support Session for Groups to join our site
Wednesday 17th February 2021 | 2pm

We want to ensure all groups and organisations have the support they need to join our new volunteering ecosystem on This FREE session for groups will support those that wish to set up on our Community Action: MK ecosystem on the volunteering platform. Please note: this session is for groups and organisations in Milton Keynes. Read more.
International Women’s Day Festival of Events
Sunday 7th March 2021 | 1.30pm – 9pm

The newly formed Voices of Women MK have created a patchwork of FREE online events to mark International Women’s day (8th March).  There will be events and activities running from 1.30pm through until 9pm and you can book as much or as little as you like. Each session has a series of activites which you can dip in an out of. Watch this space for booking details! Read more.
This weeks spotlight celebrates the profound and vital services of St. Marks Meals.
St Mark’s Meals are a local charity that supports children to access food and ensure no child goes hungry. They work locally across a vast network of schools in MK. You can listen to their response to our AGM 2021 theme of ‘togetherness’ and listen to the wonderful work they’ve been carrying out during the pandemic to support families and children’s access to food in these challenging times. Watch there 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 Mad March Match! Double your Donation Challenge! Click here to find out more!
National Lottery Community Fund UK Portfolio – Growing Great Ideas Programme.
Funding for not-for-profit organisations working together to test new ideas, new approaches that experiment with how to do things differently with a focus on supporting transformational and longer-term change. Read more.

Peter Cruddas Foundation
Deadline: 1st March 2021

The Peter Cruddas Foundation aims to benefit disadvantaged and disengaged young people in our society here in the UK by ensuring their funding reaches those most in need. Read more.

SEMLEP Community Grants
The Community Grants programme offers 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. Webinars for interested applicants can be booked here and hereRead more.

Kelly Family Charitable Trust
Deadline: 1st March 2021

The Kelly Family Charitable Trust is interested in funding charities whose activities involve the whole family in initiatives that seek to tackle problems that face one or more of its members, and whose aims include the strengthening of family bonds by helping all elements of the family unit to grow together and support each other. Read more.

National Churches Trust – UK
Deadline: 1st March 2021

The National Churches Trust has supported important projects at a wide range of places of worship through its grants programmes. They consider applications from listed and unlisted Christian places of worship throughout the UK. 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. They hope that their grants will help people lead more fulfilled lives and reach their full potential. Read more.

MSE Charity
Deadline: 26th February 2021

The MSE Charity gives grants to UK not for profit organisations that deliver activities which make a lasting impact on how people think, behave and manage their money. Read more.

Marc Fitch Fund
Deadline: 1st March 2021

The Marc Fitch Fund makes small grants towards the costs of publishing scholarly work in the fields of British and Irish national, regional and local history, archaeology, antiquarian studies, historical geography, the history of art and architecture, heraldry, genealogy and surname studies, archival research, artefact conservation and the broad fields of the heritage, conservation and the historic environment. 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 - for local and national charities that are working to reduce loneliness and isolation in later life.
  • Children and Young People - for national and local charities helping disadvantaged children and young people to overcome the barriers they face.

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.

Funding page for the VCSE sector
#RightNow is a social media campaign that is encouraging supporters of the voluntary sector to share a post on Wednesday 17th February outlining what they, or the voluntary organisations they support, are doing right now to support communities and make a positive difference. Read more.

The Covid-19 Voluntary Sector Impact Barometer Survey
This survey looks at the Pandemic’s effect on organisations’ finances, operations, employees and volunteers. The survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. 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.

Bridging the Gaps Minority Ethnic Groups and the Charity Sector – what has the Covid-19 Pandemic Shown Us?
This blog looking at the ways in which minority groups and those supporting minorities are being disproportionately affected by Covid-19. The lack of funding and lack of recognition for the need of the work has left many vital organisations, whose service demands have increased on the brink of closing or infact having to close. Read more.

Eu Settlement Scheme
The Home Office would appreciate your support in reminding parents, families and young people that if they are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, they and their family members may be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). Deadline: 30th June 2021. Read more.

Princes Trust Annual survey report
Worst ever findings have been reported from the Princes trust annual survey of happiness and confidence, with warnings of the “devastating toll” on young people’s mental wellbeing as a result of the pandemic. More than half of those surveyed, reported either always, or often feeling anxious. This rose to 64 per cent for NEET young people. Read more.

Global Good Awards 2021 – Open!
GGA are an all-inclusive awards programme and will recognise and reward organisations of all shapes and sizes that are making strides towards a better world for people, the planet and the global economy. Read more.

Calling for research participants: Research being conducted by the Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership.
The Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership are exploring Black and Ethnic Minority (BEM) Leaders and the interactions with policy makers and the Police to address racial inequalities. We would like to invite any Black and Ethnic minority leaders to get in touch with the research groups primary contact Dr Fidele Mutwarasibo. Contact: for more information or contact

The Ubele Emergency Conversation: Lockdown, vaccines and the virus roundup by Natalie Armitage
On January the 28th, The Ubele Initiative hosted a conversation around the virus, vaccine and lockdown’s impact on our community. The conversations were a safe for Black, Asian and ethnic minorities to raise issues, questions and concerns to a panel of experts regarding the covid-19 vaccine and information. Read more.

Feeling heard – report on the importance of partnership working in addressing needs of children with mental ill health.
A deep dive investigative study which looked at how local partnerships and services were responding to children and their families when children were living with mental ill health, used findings from six local authority inspections – including neighbouring Milton Keynes – to look at how multi-agency partnerships identify and respond to children with mental ill health. Read 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.

Events Cycle
Events Cycle take unwanted event waste and give it a second life. They repurpose and redistribute items you no longer need to charities and community groups as well as back into the events industry. Read more.

Keeping Well
Free, fast and confidential wellbeing and psychological support
 for health and social care staff in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes. Keeping Well 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. Read more.

How do minority ethnic audiences engage with charities?
This report looks at the engagement of minority ethnic audiences, for which research shows that volunteering among BAME populations in the sample are much higher than the general public. Read more.

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.
Invitation to the launch of the African and Caribbean Arts and Heritage Union
Friday 26th February | 4pm – 6pm

Celebrating equality, inclusion and diversity. The ACAHU hope you will be able to join them as they launch the 1st coming together of African and Caribbean brothers & sisters. Read more.
Ethnicity and COVID-19: Addressing the impact of the pandemic on Black and Minority ethnic people
Thursday 25th February | 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.
The Procurement Green Paper: A charity response
Thursday 25th February | 2.30pm – 4pm
A discussion about the sector’s response to the Government’s Procurement Green Paper. Join Children England, Clinks, Locality, NAVCA, NCVO and Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales to talk about how to ensure the Government’s new approach to procurement works for charities and those they support. 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

  • Over 65s in Milton Keynes to start receiving COVID-19 vaccinations this week. Read more.
  • Vaccination in the UK amongst Central and Eastern European communities. Please air your views by participating in this short online survey. Survey for adults. Survey for parents.
  • Poets In. A charity created for people strugglings with their mental health by people who have struggled with theirs. Read more.
  • Home care company wants to let elderly Milton Keynes residents know that they are here for support. Read more.
  • 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.
  • Creativity Helped us Cope! MKIAC want your views on how creativity has helped you cope through the pandemic. Email: for more information.
  • MK Arts Centre Sessions. 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. Next training dates: 2nd / 3rd March 2021. 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:
Family Liaison Officer | Closing date: 8th March 2021
Harry’s Rainbow recognise the need for a dedicated person to provide support to bereaved families and are therefore seeking a Family Liaison Officer. As the first and main point of contact for all enquiries, from members of the public, schools, and other professional services relating to bereavement support for children and their families, you will have a minimum level 4 qualification as well as experience in working children and families. Read more.
Useful links

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