Community Action: MK- Weekly Info & 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
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.
Inclusive Communications Session | Sensory Advice Resource Centre
Thursday 8th April 2021 | 10.30 am – 12.30pm

This FREE training and awareness raising session will be focused on sharing practical tools that can allow your organisations to be more inclusive of those with sight and hearing loss. Read more about the session and how to sign up.
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!
Co-operative Bank Customer Donation Fund
Deadline: 31st March 2021

The Co-operative Bank offer all their Community Directplus account holders the opportunity to apply for up to £1000 from the Customer Donation Fund to support special projects and fundraising activities. Read more about the fund.

The Hilden Charitable Fund
Deadline: 16th April 2021

The Hilden Charitable Fund includes as its UK priorities, community based initiatives for disadvantaged young people aged 16 to 25 and asylum seekers and refugees. Grants, of average size £5000 are awarded to community level organisations that can demonstrate a charitable purpose and with income levels under £550,000 and can cover general running costs. Read more about the fund.

Youth Endowment Fund
Deadline: 14th May

The Youth Endowment Fund exists to prevent children and young people becoming involved in violence. A new £20 million fund will launch on 19 April, but details of the fund are available now, along with details of grant workshops on 17th and 25th March. Read more about the fund.

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.

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 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.

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.

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. 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
Unequal impact? Coronavirus and BAME people
This report is from the House of Commons’ Women and Equalities Committee. It explores pre-existing inequalities experienced by Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) people across a huge range of areas, including health, employment, accessing Universal Credit, housing and the no recourse to public funds policy, and how these have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Read the report here.

Guidance on handling safeguarding allegations in a charity
Every organisation that delivers charitable activities has a responsibility to safeguard people from harm or abuse, whether they are staff members, volunteers, or other people you come into contat with through your work. This tool will help charities in England to handle the reporting of safeguarding allegations about the behaviour or actions of a person in their charity. Read more about using the tool here.

How do CRM databases work?
Charity Digital have put together an article to answer you’re unanswered questions around your databases, what they do and why they are needed. Read more about the article and CRM databases.

#YoungAndBlack Campaign
UK Youth has come together with other youth organisations My Life My Say, The Diana Award and activist Jermain Jackman to launch the #YoungAndBlack campaign. A space to share, listen and learn from the experiences of young black people. They want people to share their experiences of growing up black in Britain using the hashtag #YoungAndBlack, and you can sign up to the campaign and receive a resource pack to show your support. Read more about to get involved.

NHS launches ‘Op Courage’ veterans’ mental health service
Armed forces veterans suffering a mental health crisis will receive specialist care as part of a new Op Courage service. The Op Courage service will provide therapy, rehab services and, in extreme cases, inpatient care to hundreds of former soldiers, sailors and RAF personnel each year. Read more about the Op Courage mental health service.

Charities and Partners Toolkit
5-minute guides for charity trustees and a partner toolkit. The Charity Commission’s new 5-minute guides are designed to help trustees provide the best possible oversight to their charity. Read more about the toolkit here.

NSPCC Learning – Children and Young People’s Mental Health
Three new videos from NSPCC learning look at how mental health can become a safeguarding concern, the impact of abuse and neglect; and ways professionals can support children and young people who are experiencing issues with their mental health. Read more and watch the videos here.

The Not-for-Profits Programme brokers legal advice to small not-for-profit organisations on a wide range of legal issues, to support the continuation and expansion of their services to people in need. The advice is given for free (pro bono). Read more about LawWorks services.

COVID-19 Barometer Survey
The COVID-19 Voluntary Sector Impact Barometer is the largest UK study exploring the impact of COVID-19 on the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector. The latest round to the survey is now open until 22 March. The more organisations that complete this the more impact it has. It will take 10-15 minutes. Read more about the survey.

Psychological First Aid Course – Supporting children and young people
Enrol in this FREE course in Psychological First Aid training, funded by Public Health England, to support children and young people’s mental health during emergencies and crisis situations. Read more about how to sign up.

Lloyds Bank Foundation
Lloyds Bank Foundation are offering around 190 charities an unrestricted two-year grant of £50,000, which will give charities they partner a greater level of flexibility of how they use their resources. The priority is to reach those charities tackling one of the 11 complex social issues, such as homelessness, trafficking and domestic abuse, with a proven track record of helping people achieve positive change in their local communities. The Foundation is hosting a Grants Q&A webinar on March 30th, 2pm – 3.30pm. Read more about the fund and how to register for the webinar.

Writing for the web: developing voice, tone and editorial structure
Developing engaging content for your website demands a thoughtful approach to both structuring and choosing your words. Fortunately, best practice guidelines can help you ensure your ideas stand out and your writing is clear and compelling. Storytelling have advised on some best practices to ensure your web copy is clear and compelling. Read more about writing for the web.

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.

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.

Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneurs Programme
Once you’ve chosen what level is right for you, join an online information session to find out more and ask questions. Deadline for applications: Friday 16th April 2021, 1pm. Read more about the programme and how to apply.

  • Start Up level -  Wednesday 24th March | 10.30-11.30am
  • Trade Up level – Wednesday 31st March | 10.30-11.30am
  • Scale Up level – Friday 19th March | 10.30-11.30am
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

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.
Free Loss and Bereavement Awareness Webinar
Tuesday 23rd March | 10.15am-12.45pm

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.
Local news

Easter Egg S’mile. Milton Court Care Home want to give back to their local community by taking Easter Egg donations and trying to make a mile long trail! These eggs will then be donated to local MK children! Read more about how to donate here.

Restart grants planned for MK businesses. Read more.

Mental health support for care workers. The Care Worker’s Charity have set up a programme that will offer applicants a series of up to ten support sessions with a qualified therapist, to support care workers who are struggling with their mental health. Read more about how to apply.

Walton Parish Easter Window Competition. Do you live in Walton Parish? Why not join in with their Easter Window Competition! Read more about the competition here.

Contributing with Children. Contributing with Children is a network that celebrates and encourages opportunities for parents or carers to volunteer with their children. Read more about how you can become involved with the network.

Milton Keynes residents asked to take part in National Day of Reflection for COVID-19 victims. Read more.

Council to roll out a better, faster and greener way to get around MK. MK Council is rolling out a new demand responsive transport system (DRT) as a more efficient, cleaner and greener way to get around the city. Read more about MK’s transport system.

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.

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

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.

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

Coronavirus news


Information for communities
Local Consultations

National Consultations

Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme
RSVP – Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme – is a distinctive part of Volunteering Matters, set up in 1988 to enable people aged 50 and over to contribute their energy, enthusiasm and experience for the benefit of their communities. RSVP projects are led by over-50s volunteers, taking a lead role in setting up and managing volunteering activities. The purpose of the role is to research and reconstruct the RSVP Project Directory. The directory is an important organisational and operational tool. It contains the essential details of RSVP projects and organisers across all regions. Read more about the role.
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
Part Time Homeless Shelter Support Worker – 2 Posts | Bus Shelter MK
Closing date: 22nd March 2021

The Bus Shelter are seeking two part time team members to assist their Operations Manager in supporting guests and ensuring the site remains a pleasant environment both physically and in atmosphere. One role is for 25 hours per week – normally 3pm to 8pm. The other role is for 20 hours per week – normally 9am – 1pm. Read more about the role here.
Engagement Manager | Volunteering Matters
Closing date: 26th March 2021

The Engagement Manager will lead the day-to-day work of the Stepping Stones Project. This includes working alongside volunteers, young people and families, partner organisations and statutory services to maximise impact. Part of this role also includes piloting new approaches to engaging with beneficiaries, local business development research and identifying potential funding opportunities.
Salary: £24,000. Read more about the role.
Useful links

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