Community Action: MK- 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
Vulnerable People’s Partnership
We have partnered with various health, local and umbrella orgnisations to collate a list of NHS approved resources, in order to communicate vital, accurate and safe messages relating to COVID-19 and the vaccination programme to make sure information goes where it is needed. We are looking for voluntary groups who work with the listed at-risk groups to carry out outreach work to understand how these groups like to be communicated with. Read more about how you be involved.
Support sessions for groups
These sessions are to support groups in MK to get set up on our new do-it volunteering ecosystem. We would like to offer time slots for these session so that we can offer targeted support for your organisation. Read more about the support sessions. Contact to book a time slot for your selected date.
Sharing MK VCSE stories
Our Chief Executive Officer, Clare Walton, alongside Ian Revell from MK Community Foundation, recently gave evidence at the most recent Covid-19 Task and Finish Group meeting to highlight the fantastic work of our local VCSE sector during the pandemic. See the slides here#RightNow
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!
The Margaret Dobson Further Education Trust – UK
Deadline: 31st March 2021

The Margaret Dobson Further Education Trust makes grants to support people with a learning disability after they reach normal school leaving age, to learn skills to help them live more independent lives. Read more about the fund.

Jephcott Charitable Trust
Deadline: 31st March 2021

The Jephcott Charitable Trust makes grants for charitable purposes in four main areas of funding: population control, the natural environment, education and health. Read more about the fund.

Hedley Foundation
Deadline: 31st March 2021

The Hedley Foundation provides grants to smaller charities operating across the spectrum of social need. They support hundreds of small charities, improving lives and lifting people’s aspirations. Read more about the fund.

The Dan Maskell Tennis Trust
Deadline: 23rd March 2021

The Dan Maskell Tennis Trust is a tennis charity raising funds for people with disabilities who play tennis. It was formed in 1997 and named after the late Dan Maskell “The Voice of Wimbledon” who was passionate about rehabilitation through sport. Read more about the fund.

Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
Deadline: 22nd March 2021

The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust is a Quaker trust which supports people who address the root causes of conflict and injustice. This support is provided, primarily, through grant funding. Read more about the fund.

British Ecological Society Grants
Deadline: 19th March 2021

Grants for activities and research related to Ecology. Mainly to support education – teachers in schools. Read more about the fund.

Ulverscroft Foundation
Deadline: 15th March 2021

The Ulverscroft Foundation supports projects which will have a positive effect on the quality of life of visually impaired people (blind and partially sighted). Read more about the fund.

Churchcare – Conservation Grants
Deadline: 15th March 2021

ChurchCare gives grants for urgent fabric repairs and the conservation of our historic church interiors and churchyard structures in partnership with The Wolfson Trust, Pilgrim Trust, the Radcliffe Trust, the Oswald Allen Bequest, and the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths. Read more about the fund.

Heritage Trade Up Programme
A learning programme and match funding grant are available for leaders of heritage organisations in the UK. Read more about the fund.

The Lady Neville Charity
Deadline: 12th March

The charity provides capital grants for Arts and Heritage projects (UK wide). Eligible Arts and Heritage projects can include; local heritage projects which help local groups to conserve and restore their landmarks, landscape, traditions and culture; Performing and Visual Arts organisations involved in performances, art, music, and drama activities. Learn more about the fund.

Allchurches Trust
Funding in support of churches, church establishments, religious charities, charities preserving UK heritage, theological colleges, schools promoting Christian religion, charities sponsored or recommended by the church, the local community and those concerned with the welfare of the disadvantaged and disabled. Read more about the fund.

The Pixel Fund
Grants are available for UK-based charities and community interest organisations to support projects that promote the mental health and wellbeing of children and young adults. Read more about the fund.

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. Read more about the fund.

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 about the fund.

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 about the fund.

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. Click to learn more about the fund.

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 here. Click to learn more about the fund.

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.

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
Updated resources from NCVO
NCVO have updated their resources section of their website pertaining to Coronavirus in order to reflect the changing environment the government’s roadmap may bring. Read more.

Community, Connection and Cohesion during COVID-19
Community, Connection and Cohesion During Covid-19: Beyond Us and Them Report’ is the latest report from the Belong Network, looking at the effects of COVID-19 on social cohesion. Read the report here.

#FlexibleFunders: Two practical ideas to increase unrestricted funding
The William Grant Foundation has signed up to IVAR’s eight commitments for open and trusting grant–making. In a blog post, the Foundation’s Chief Executive, Nick Addington, shares two practical ideas to increase the unrestricted funding flowing from funders to the voluntary sector. Read more.

Launch of rural revitalisation campaign
The campaign calls on Government to fairly fund rural areas and to ensure that Government policies are developed and implemented in ways which take into account the particular needs of rural communities. Read more about the campaign.

UK Charities Join Together to Boost Vaccine Drive
Sixteen frontline charities have formed a new partnership to encourage those with long-term health conditions and their carers to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Read more.

Government Publishes a Prospectus for the New UK Community Renewal Fund, Levelling Up Fund and Community Ownership Fund
The UK government has launched three new investment programmes to support communities right across the country. All share common challenges and opportunities, which the UK government is determined to address in collaboration with local partners. Read more about the prospectus for the funds.

SEMLEP COVID-19 Response: Project Call in South East Midlands
Closing date for applications: 30th April 2021

Call to run a project providing help to people with multiple and complex barriers to support them to engage in work or in education or training in the South East Midlands SEMLEP area. Read more about the project call and the funding available.

Upcoming digital training for groups
These online training courses are being run as part of the “All about Digital” programme run in partnership by Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CVSs, led by Action Hampshire, and include topics such as ‘Social impact videos: storytelling with your mobile’, ‘Digital Essentials for Community Development Workers’ and ‘Volunteer Re-engagement’. Read the full list of training.

The impact of COVID-19 on England’s youth organisations
A new publication from UK Youth reports that COVID-19 is having a significant, negative impact on young people and 66% of participating youth organisations are experiencing an increase in demand for their services. Read more about the research.

The 2021 Budget – A briefing for small charities
Despite, the best attempts of so many agencies and the #RightNow campaign, the Government has offered nothing directly for charities in this most recent budget. The Small Charities Coalition have highlighted key points in the 2021 budget and where they think charities may want to look at opportunities they can take advantage of. Read more.

Co-Op Foundation: Call for young people to help build this year’s Lonely Not Alone campaign
The Co-Op Foundation are searching for young people aged 13 to 22 years old to help develop year three of our Lonely Not Alone campaign so we can make it bigger, better, bolder and brighter than ever. Read more about the campaign here.

Nesta is changing
Nesta have released a new 10-year strategy setting out a roadmap for the designing, testing and scaling of new solutions to society’s biggest problems, changing millions of lives for the better. It aligns their effects behind three missions: fairers starts for every child; a healthy life for all; and a sustainable future where the economy compliments people and planet. Read more about Nesta’s strategy.

Spatial framework illustrates Government commitment to supercharge Oxford-Cambridge Arc
Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher has set out how Government will work with local partners to create an ambitious plan to transform the Oxford-Cambridge Arc into one of the world’s premier growth corridors and a world-leader in sustainability. Read more about the spatial framework.

Mental health in the workplace for comms people webinar
Friday 19th March | 12pm 
Women in Public Affairs is hosting a webinar for communications professionals on supporting mental health in the workplace, with David Beeney. Read more about the webinar and how to sign up.
Using need and demand data to inform decision making
17th March | 10am 

With Find: The Local Needs Databank, charitable organisations like Turn2UsButtle UK, the British Gas Energy Trust and NPC have joined forces to create interactive tools and analysis that could assist users to unpack how and where needs are changing and evolving. Read more about the webinar.
Lines of Lockdown Event
Tuesday 23rd March

A traditional open mic night which offers 5 minutes to each poet to read their poetry to the group. This is an opportunity to showcase those verses you have been putting together during Lockdown 3! Hosted via Facebook Live. Read more about the event.
Future Producers Launch Event
Monday 22nd March | 2pm

Future Producers will kick off with a virtual launch event which coincides with the call for applications.
The event will last 45 mins and feature the following:

  • Future Fossil Engagement Producers officially launch the new competition
  • Presentation by Future Producers Ambassador Hannah Olarewaju
  • Presentation by MK College
  • Q&A

Book free tickets to join the launch event

Choose to challenge
Tuesday 16th March | 11am – 12.15pm
This event brings inspirational community leaders and our future leaders together to discuss how women in our community are using creative ways to build a more inclusive world and forge women’s equality. Read more about how to sign up.
2021 Funding Fair Online
Wednesday 24th & Thursday 25th March
This is your opportunity to hear the latest news from local and national funders and get details on how to apply. Participating funders will each have a session, using Zoom, to explain what funding they have and also how their application process works. Read more about how you can sign up.
Contact workshops for parents / carers
Contact are hosting a range of FREE online workshops for parent carers of children with additional needs in and around Bedfordshire. Learn in a supportive, non-judgemental space and hear other parents’ experiences. Read more about the workshops and dates.
Domestic Abuse Awareness in the Workplace
Tuesday 16th March 2021 | 1pm – 4.30pm
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.
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.

  • Thursday 11th March: 10.15am-12.45pm
  • Thursday 11th March: 2:15pm – 4:45pm
  • Tuesday 23rd March: 10.15am-12.45pm
Local news

Nightstop MK and Reconnect Referral Guidance. Reconnect MK offers impartial, professional support and mediation for young people aged 16-25 at risk of or currently experiencing homelessness. Nightstop MK provides emergency accommodation for 16 to 25 year old young people in the homes of vetted and trained volunteer hosts. Read more.

BLMK Vaccination Sites. An up to date list of the vaccination sites in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes. This also includes a weekly updated table showing the days that vaccination centres are open. Read more.

Green New Deal Rising – Youth Leadership Programme. A fully funded 6-month training programme for 30 people aged 16-30 from 6 places across the UK. Green New Deal Rising will build your skills and leadership, and help you to kickstart Green New Deal campaigning in your community.  The programme is designed to fit in around work and other commitments. Read more about the programme and how to apply.

Future Fossil – Future Producers 2021 Competition Media Launch. Future Fossil are very excited to announce the media launch of Future Producers, a new engagement initiative by Future Fossil for young people. Read more.

Census 2021 is here! Read more about what you need to do.

Multi-million pound investment approved for Bletchley and Fenny Stratford. Read more.

Food and garden waste collections restart on Monday 15th March. Read more.

Homelessness charities welcome reduction in number of people sleeping rough in Milton Keynes. Depaul UK and Milton Keynes Homelessness Partnership (MKHP) have welcomed new Government statistics indicating a 49 percent reduction in the number of people sleeping rough over the last 12 months in Milton Keynes, but have reiterated the need to do more. Read more about the efforts to reduce Milton Keynes homelessness.

Imagine MK Creative Ideas Competition – Transition Town MK. This competition is a chance for you to share your ideas about how living in MK in 2030 could be better for people and more in harmony with nature and our environment for a more sustainable future. Read more about the competition.

Looking for Work? Let Works for Us help. Their completely free service offers support, advice and a range of different skills courses and is open to anyone living in Milton Keynes. All their services are currently being provided remotely (via phone, email and zoom). They can also provide digital support if you need help getting online. Read more about Works For Us support.

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.

Wellbeing Webinars – BLMK. Read more about the March sessions.

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

Stepping Stones | Volunteering Matters
This brand new project was developed, and will be delivered, collaboratively with the Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group and Service Six, addressing the need to support children and young people transitioning from long-term inpatient mental health units back into the wider community. This volunteering role requires flexibility and understanding and commitment to organisational values. The key purpose of the volunteering role is to support children and young people to transition successfully back to the community after long-term inpatient stays and to reduce the readmission rates back into unit. If you are interested please let us know and we can put you in touch with the project coordinator at Volunteering Matters. Contact:
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. The 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.
Volunteer Branch Community Support (BCS) | Royal British Legion
Deadline: 28th March 2021

The Royal British Legion are looking to recruit a Volunteer Branch Community Support (BCS) Communications Volunteer to help share all the fantastic work branches across the county are doing with their communities. This is an exciting role for someone to help with assisting the BCS team with promoting and increasing Branch awareness to both internal and external audiences including helping build our social media platforms such as Yammer etc. The role will also require to research stories and content for use on Legion and membership intranet pages. For more information or to express an interest, please contact: 07729105731 or Read more about this volunteering role.
Decision-making tool for volunteers
Useful links

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