Community Action: MK ‐ Weekly Info & Updates

Welcome to our weekly bulletin for Milton Keynes’ voluntary & community sector
Annual Review 2019 – 2020
Sign up to our new volunteering platform!
We have transitioned to and created a Community Action: MK Doit.Org site as our new volunteering platform! We feel this will better suit the current needs of groups and volunteers. We are still in the process of launching, so you will hopefully hear more about the platform in the coming weeks. At this time, we are encouraging organisations and groups to create their profile page and begin upload volunteering opportunities in preparation for the official launch! Read more.
Support Session for Groups – Our NEW volunteering platform
Thursday 25th February | 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. Sign up here.
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. Find out more and book here.
Safer MK Meeting | Thursday 4th March 2021, 3.30pm
The partnership is responsible for formulating and implementing a Strategy to tackle local crime and community safety issues in the Milton Keynes area. There will be an online meeting held with Community Action: MK and stakeholders to discuss papers in preparation for the meeting that will be held 10th March 2021. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to
This week’s spotlight shines it’s light onto Food Connect and Helen Innes, Project Coordinator at Food Connect for MK Community Fridge. Helen shares the incredible work that the project and team have been doing throughout the pandemic and how they have been working hard to reduce food waste and connect the communities of MK to available food. A huge well done to all the team at MK Community Fridge and Food Connect! 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 Mad March Match! Double your Donation Challenge! Click here to find out more!
Help the Homeless
Deadline: 15th March 2021

Funding for capital projects that assist individuals in their return to mainstream society, rather than simply offering shelter or other forms of sustenance. Funds of to £5000 are available to charities.

Women Thrive Fund
Grants are available to grassroots and specialist women’s and girls’ organisations across the UK that are working to enable women and girls to improve their mental health and wellbeing and/or improve their financial resilience. Read more.

Sport England – Return to Play Fund for Flood Damaged Facilities
Emergency flood relief funding is available for community sports clubs and not-for-profit organisations to help them restore flood-damaged sport and physical activity facilities in the areas worst affected by the recent flooding caused by Storm Christoph. Read more.

Aurelius Charitable Trust
Grants are available for charitable organisations involved with conservation of culture inherited from the past and the dissemination of knowledge, particularly in the humanities field. Read more.

The Prospectory – Idea Fund
Grants are available to individuals or small groups or organisations based in the United Kingdom who have a novel technical idea which they want to try out. Read more.

The Grocer’s Hall Charity
Deadline: 9th March 2021

The fund provides one-off grants of up to £5,000 for UK registered charities working in the areas of the relief of poverty, the elderly, disability, health, military, heritage & the arts, environment and children & young people. Read 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.

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.

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.

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.
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.

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.

Funding page for the VCSE sector
COVID-19 Vaccinations
If you have ‘eligible’ health and social care staff working within your organisation, and they have not already received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, they can now ‘self refer’ to book an appointment. Read more.

When is social investment the answer? And when is it not?
Melanie Mills, Senior Director at Big Society Capital, introduces us to social investment and discusses when it should and shouldn’t be used by the voluntary sector. This is the first of a series of blogs on social investment. Read more.

COVID-19 community influencing comms pack
The government has released a new COVID-19 comms toolkit, to help those in influential positions in communities to communicate important information. 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.

Safeguarding training
Acorn offers almost 100 different courses in Safeguarding Children, First Aid, Creative Learning in the EYFS, SEND, Forest Schools, Leadership and Management, among others. Click to view the different types of training on offer.

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.

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

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.

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.

Supporting Occupational Health and Wellbeing Professionals
(SOM) and Public Health England are running a series of seminars for employers, employees, healthcare professionals and policy makers. These are free to attend. Find out more.

  • Promoting workplace health and wellbeing in COVID-19 and beyond | 24th February, 2pm-4pm
  • Developing a COVID secure health and wellbeing strategy | 3rd March, 2pm-4pm
  • Managing Change – from restructuring, redundancy to home working | 10th March, 2pm-4pm
Spring Talks 2: Artificial Traditions – Future Fossils
Thursday 25th February | 7.30pm – 8.45pm
Author and Professor David Farrier hosts a conversation with artist Andy Merritt (one half of Something & Son who realised Future Fossil ), art historian and curator Dorothea Von Hantelmann, and architectural theorist and editor Nick Axel, exploring the relationship between the tangible and intangible aspects of Future FossilRead more.
Domestic Abuse Awareness in the Workplace | MK-ACT
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. Dates below. Sign up here.

  • Tuesday 23rd February – 3pm – 6.30pm
  • Wednesday 3rd March 2021 – 1pm – 4.30pm
  • Tuesday 16th March 2021 – 1pm – 4.30pm
Free online training for women in politics
The Fawcett Society is running a programme of free online training for women on how to get into politics, using your voice online and getting active in the upcoming local government elections. This programme includes spaces and support specifically for groups of women who are underrepresented across politics, including Women of Colour and Disabled women. 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.
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). Find out 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.
Free Loss and Bereavement Awareness Webinar
This training is available for frontline professionals living or working in Milton Keynes who are looking to gain a basic awareness and understanding of grief, the process and where to signpost to support. Read more.

  • Tuesday 9th March: 10.15am-12.45pm
  • Thursday 11th March: 10.15am-12.45pm
  • Thursday 11th March: 2:15pm – 4:45pm
  • Tuesday 23rd March: 10.15am-12.45pm
An Introduction to Trust and Foundation Fundraising
Thursday 11th March 2021| 10.30am – 12pm

This workshop delivered on line from Citrus Consultancy will cover the essential steps you should be taking in order make the most of your applications, improve your chances of success; and target the most appropriate trust or foundation. The workshop is aimed at staff, volunteers and trustees who are new to trust fundraising. Tickets at £20. Read more.
Local news

Call to Care.The Department for Health and Social Care has put out a call to action, encouraging jobseekers, volunteers and those on furlough to register their interest for short-term care work. Call to Care is an initiative designed to provide a much needed boost to the social care workforce whilst it is under considerable pressure. Read more.

SENDactive AT HOME. SENDactive provides inclusive sport, physical activity & leadership opportunities for special schools, and have developed weekly activity cards and directory of online resources to help keep families active at home. Read more.

Plans approved for green council homesRead more.

Ageing Well Public Talks. This series of talks is in its second season. The next one is on 24th February, 11am, and will focus on Nutritional needs while ageingRead more.

Wellbeing Webinars – BLMK. 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 struggling with their mental health by people who have struggled with theirs. 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.

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 can be found here. Please return your form via: Civic Offices, 1 Saxon Gate East, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 3EJ Email:

National Consultations

Volunteering Matters
If you are interested in any of the roles below, please email us at

  • Volunteer Driver role - 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.
  • Volunteer Telephone Befriender - to provide telephone befriending to one or two beneficiaries per week for approximately 30 minutes per call. Through your conversations, you will be providing a connection to somebody who might be quite socially isolated and checking in on their wellbeing, acting as a link to accessing further support if necessary.
Join the South East Regional Advisory Committee | BBC Children in Need
BBC CIN would welcome applications for those who share our commitment to support disadvantaged children and young people across the South East region to be safe, happy, secure, and provided with the opportunities they need to reach their potential. Find out more about this volunteering role.
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
Artist opportunities (Freelance) | Closing date: 1st March 2021
IF: Milton Keynes International Festival is looking for two Milton Keynes-based artists to work with international company Kinetika on a project that will be delivered as part of the 2021 Festival. These roles offer a continuing professional development opportunity to work with Kinetika’s founder and lead artist, Ali Pretty, to create and produce 30 large-scale hand-painted silk flags that will be presented in open spaces and Festival locations in July 2021. The Festival has commissioned Kinetika to work with up to 10 Milton Keynes-based community groups to create designs for the flags. Please ensure that your application is submitted to Rachel Wright, Kinetika Project Manager by email: Shortlisted artists will be advised if they have been selected for interview by Wednesday 3rd March 2021. Interviews will be conducted online on Thursday 4th March 2021.
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:
Mental Health Project Worker / Wellbeing Advisor | Closing date: 28th February 2021
YiS Young People’s Mental Health are working on a new project with children and young people identified by CAMHS who require ongoing support and mentoring to reduce the escalation of future admissions and aid a success ‘step down’ back into the community. They are looking for a proactive individual with great organisational skills to support young people and ensure they get coordinated mental health interventions from YiS and key external partners. Read more.
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.
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