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 – Call for Outreach work
We still have a few spaces left for voluntary groups who work with the groups listed here to carry out outreach work, in order to understand how these groups like to be communicated with. We have a small number of approved resources which have been developed by communities or by voluntary groups in MK which have been approved by the NHS. We ask that you test this information with the groups you work with, so information gets to where it is needed and vital conversations can be had. If you think you have already submitted an Expression of Interest form, but have not heard back, then please get in touch with us at or call 01908 661623.
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!
Calor Rural Community Fund
Deadline: 21st April 2021

The Calor Rural Community Fund has the ambition to support projects in rural communities, turning big ideas into a reality. As well as an £85,000 funding pot, Calor is working with Crowdfunder to offer a platform to raise awareness of the work you’re doing for your local area. You’ll have more tools to generate support and raise donations, to help get your community projects off to a flying start! Read more about the fund.

Church Urban Fund – Mustard Seed Programme
Grants of up to £5,000 to enable churches and faith-based organisations, working in very deprived communities, to engage in social action through supporting them to initiate or develop community work. This will then enable groups to either undertake larger pieces of work or significantly improve the existing provision. Read more.

Lloyds Bank Foundation
The Foundation’s priority is to reach those charities tackling one of 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. Read more about the fund.

BBC Children in Need
Deadline: 12th April 2021

Funding is available to organisations that are supporting children and young people of 18 years and under who are experiencing disadvantage through: illness, distress, abuse or neglect any kind of disability behavioural or psychological difficulties living in poverty or situations of deprivation. Read more about the fund.

Woodward Charitable Trust – Summer Playschemes
Deadline: 9th April 2021
Each year the trustees of the Woodward Charitable Trust set aside funds for summer playschemes for children between the ages of 5-16 years. Read more about the fund.

Football Foundation – multiple funds

  • Football Foundation – Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund. Grants are available for grassroots football organisations in England to sustain football pitches already at a ‘good’ level and to enhance pitches that are either considered ‘poor’ or ‘basic’.
  • Football Foundation – Return to Football Fund. Grants are available to enable grassroots football clubs and organisations in England to restart or deliver new activities after the period of COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Football Foundation – Small Grants. Grants are available for purchasing equipment and items to enable grassroots football organisations in England to restart activities after the period of COVID-19 restrictions.
Great Linford Parish Council Grants
Deadline: 16th April 2021

The Great Linford Parish Council awards grants twice a year and consider applications from voluntary organisations, registered charities or established community, not for profit groups. New starter organisations will be considered. Read more about the fund.

Windrush Community Fund
Deadline: 30th June 2021

The Windrush Community Fund is up to £500,000 of financial support available to charity, community or grassroots organisations across the UK to fund projects which raise awareness of the Windrush Scheme (documentation), the Windrush Compensation Scheme or both. 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.

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.

Funding page for the VCSE sector
Vaccination and testing in charity retail
The Charity Retail Association has shared its current advice around Covid-19 vaccinations and testing, as of the end of March 2021. If you operate in charity retail, you are advised to use this guidance to create a vaccination policy, ensuring that it aligns with any wider policy your charity might have in this area. Read more.

IVAR peer support for charity leaders
IVAR’s peer support sessions are lightly-facilitated, open spaces for a group of up to 12 to meet and talk about what is front of mind at that moment. Aimed at leaders of charities, community organisations and social enterprises, they are online, 90 minutes and multiple dates are available. Read more about the sessions.

Childhood Commission: A once in a generation review of the future of childhood has been announced by the new Children’s Commissioner
The review is to identify the barriers preventing children from reaching their full potential, put forward solutions and set ambitious goals for the country to achieve. The Big Ask consultation will be launched on Monday 19 April - the largest consultation ever held with children in England. Children will be asked how the pandemic has changed their lives, about their aspirations, their homes, communities and environment and how they feel about the future. Read more about the review.

Deepening diversity: Why diversity is so important in changing organisations
There is a lot of talk about diversity in the charity sector and wider society. Using examples from Charles Darwin to Oprah Winfrey, this blog suggests that organisations have to be prepared to embrace cultural change, and management challenges, that come with greater diversity. Read the blog here.

Community Power: The Evidence
Community Power: The Evidence is the first research to take a comprehensive view of what community power looks like – featuring examples from across the UK and internationally. It is also the first to collect and analyse existing evidence of the impact of community power. Read the report here.

Destination Milton Keynes offers free website listing to help visitor economy businesses
DMK is offering all businesses looking to increase footfall from visitors a free listing on its new website. Businesses can simply head to the website, upload their details and an image to create their own free listing. This will help promote the depth of choice MK has to offer both locally, regionally and nationally. Read more.

Voluntary Sector Personal Safety Survey – Suzy Lamplugh Trust
Suzy Lamplugh Trust is gathering anonymous data from charities to gain an understanding of how violence and aggression – or the threat or fear of it – affects staff and volunteers in our sector. Violence and aggression has a significant impact on charity workers and on the sustainability of an organisation’s work: with this data, the hope is to be able to make the case to some of the larger funders that support is needed to help charities protect their workforce. Access the survey here.

COVID-19 Day of Reflection: injustices must not be forgotten
As we remember and mourn the people we have lost since the coronavirus pandemic began, the day of reflection was also a time to highlight the health and social injustices it has exposed, and come together to call for change. Read the blog by Joseph Rowntree Foundation here.

Translated: Doctors of the World Vaccine Information
Doctors of the World, in partnership with the British Red Cross, has produced translated coronavirus vaccine guidance for migrant and other excluded communities in England, Scotland, and Wales, to ensure everyone can access essential information about the coronavirus vaccines. Read more about how you can share the information.

Misogyny Hate Crime: What it is, what it’s not, and what’s next | Citizens UK
Misogyny now classified as a hate crime – tireless work of community members and voices have come together to shape national changes to law. Take a look at how the campaign has developed over the last 5 years and what this new change means. Read more.

Strategic communications training for small charities
If you’re a communicator or campaigner working on poverty and inequality, this training is for you. These workshops are particularly aimed at small voluntary sector organisations and those with lived experience of poverty or inequality are particularly encouraged to attend. Read more about the workshops and how to sign up.

Runnymede has launched a new public engagement initiative, addressing the shared problems of the working class. The campaign calls on the government to urgently bring into force Section 1 of the Equality Act, and to stop inciting division between vulnerable working-class communities by engaging in the ‘politics of blame’. Read more about the initiative.

Blog: The reality of school uniform costs
The Children’s Society have written a blog depicting the issues that school uniform can bring, for both children and families, particularly low-income families. They are campaigning to cut the cost of school uniforms. Read their insightful blog here.

How will the public mood shape care after the pandemic? The Health Foundation
Thursday 15th  April 2021 | 11.45am – 1pm

Drawing on polling taken before and during the pandemic, up to the present, a panel will consider shifts in public attitudes to care, including; satisfaction with and expectations of the NHS; the biggest priorities facing health and social care; and satisfaction with how the government managed the pandemic. We will discuss the key questions: are there significant shifts in public opinion? Why? Are they likely to be permanent? And what do they mean for the government, national leaders in the NHS and social care and clinicians in the recovery period? Find out how to sign up.
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.

  • Trade Up level – Wednesday 31st March | 10.30-11.30am
  • Scale Up level – Friday 19th March | 10.30-11.30am
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.
Local news

Vaccinations save lives: please book yours. MK residents who are eligible for their COVID-19 vaccination are being urged by MK Council to book a slot without delay. Read more.

Because we all care: people with a learning disability or autism. Read more about how to get involved and express your views.

MK Easter Bank Holiday Pharmacy Opening TimesRead more.

Ramadan Safety GuidanceRead more.

Keeping Well Webinar. Read more about you can join and find out more.

Carbon reducing green bus shelters to be installed in Milton Keynes. New living green bus shelters capable of extracting harmful carbon emissions are being installed across MK as part of a pilot project. Read more.

Arthur Ellis Easter Egg Hunt 2021. Find out more and how you can get involved here!

Equality Council UK (ECUK) Projects. Find out how you can become involved.

  • Milton Keynes Organ Transplant Awareness Initiative. This aims to give reliable information to BAME community and faith groups in Milton Keynes, so they can make informed decisions about organ donation and be encouraged to become organ donors.
  • Women’s Healthy Lifestyle. This aims to promote and deliver Health and Wellbeing workshops and exercise classes to women from community/faith groups in Milton Keynes and encourage the adoption of a healthier lifestyle.

MK Community Boat News. Read more.

The Warmth and Wellbeing Service – Better Housing Better Health. This non-for-profit project helps vulnerable residents and those living in fuel poverty to free access advice and support. Read more about the service here.

Digital Skills Service – Citizens Advice MK. Citizens Advice offer support for you to improve your digital skills and develop confidence using the internet and other online services. They can provide 1-2-1 support over a series of appointments via a digital coach or partner agencies. To refer or find out more, contact Stuart on 07975021253. Read more about the digital skills service.

MILTON KEYNES OPEN 2021. Deadline: 4th May 2021. Find out more about how you can enter here.

GentleSpaces. Gentlespaces is run by MK Mission Partnership. If you have recently lost someone, you can join these spaces to find support and meet others. They are currently being held on zoom. Read more about gentlespaces.

Mystic Ring. A magic club that puts on shows for the general public and for worthwhile causes. Currently operating via Zoom. Read more about their services.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Coronavirus news


Information for communities
Local Consultations

National Consultations

Community Representatives | MK Community Foundation
MK Community Foundation currently have two vacancies on their Community Grants panel board. They are seeking applicants with knowledge, skills and/or lived experience of one or more of the following:

  • Child poverty
  • Disability
  • Issues affecting LGBTQ+ community
  • Issues affecting the Middle Eastern community

If you would like to have an informal chat with MKCF to find out more about the role and the commitment it requires please contact Michaela: / 01908 690276Read more.

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. Read more about the role in our blog! If you are interested please let us know and we can put you in touch with the project coordinator at Volunteering Matters. Contact:
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.
Decision-making tool for volunteers
Volunteer Coordinator | DePaul
Closing date: 9th April
Salary: £20,859 + pension and benefits
Depaul UK are currently recruiting for a full time Volunteer Coordinator to recruit, train and support volunteers as well as working with young clients accessing the service. You will also be responsible for providing support to guests accessing our suitable move on accommodation. This role will be based in our new Nightstop service, a prevention service, in Milton Keynes. Read more about the role.
SAFE! Support for Young People Affected by Crime
Closing date for all: Wednesday 14th April.

SAFE! are currently recruiting for 3 roles. Read more about each role here.

Useful links

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