Community Action: MK- Weekly Info and Updates

Supporting the voluntary and community sector of Milton Keynes
Welcome to our weekly bulletin for Milton Keynes’ voluntary & community sector


Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SoBS)
Whitehouse Surgery | 11am – 1pm
This week at our drop in we have SoBS!
SoBS offer peer support to those over 18 years who have been impacted by a loss to suicide. Come and drop in to chat more about their services, how they can help you and how you can get involved!
We will still be there to chat to from 9am – 1pm so feel free to drop by at any time! Read more about the drop-ins here.
Macmillan Cancer Support Research for BAME and Faith Groups
We want to understand more about the cancer needs of people in  minority ethnic and faith communities. This is because research  indicates people in these groups don’t attend screening as often as  they could, and their awareness of cancer services and support is  lower than it should be. That’s why Community Action: MK and Macmillan are working together to  help make sure everyone, regardless of their faith or ethnic group, can get  the support they need when they’re diagnosed with cancer. So we need to hear about the cancer experiences and views of individuals  and groups from ethnic minority and faith communities. Read more about the research and take the questionnaire here.
Drop-in sessions for volunteers and organisations 

We want to offer organisations and individuals the opportunity to have a quick chat with us and ask any questions – anything related to volunteering or any other support that your group or organisation needs (e.g. governance, funding, comms etc). Come and talk to us! We are around every Tuesday for a drop-in session. The available time slots are:

  • 11am – 11.20am
  • 11.25am – 11.45am
  • 11.50am – 12.10pm
  • 12.15pm – 12.35pm

Read more about the drop in sessions here.

Harry’s Rainbow Volunteer Recruitment Drive
Wednesday 21st July | 5pm – 7pm
Oaktree Centre, Shenley Brook End, MK5 7GZ

Harry’ Rainbow are currently looking for volunteers to help support our beneficiaries at their monthly Rainbow Groups. In the groups, they need friendly people to support bereaved families, including; talking to them, making tea or coffee or helping out with activities. They especially need people from childcare or education type backgrounds due to the groups changing from September.
There will be a presentation about Harry’s Rainbow that will empower anyone who attends with all with the information they need for the volunteer role and give the opportunity to meet other members of the team and ask questions. It will also act as a starting block for anyone wanting to learn more about the charity.
All those signing up to help will also receive a Harry’s Hero T-Shirt. Refreshments and snacks will be available during the evening. Visit the website for more information!
Can you help MKCDC Hit the Right Note?
Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre, based at Bradwell Abbey, are in the midst of planning an exciting Covid-19 music project! Their project will use the Cathal Smyth (formerly of Madness) song, ‘You are not alone’, and will aim to unite families and friends in the UK with families and friends overseas who have been isolated and kept apart by Covid-19 through the power of music.
They’ll be working with a diverse range of organisations and schools, reaching out to BAME, LGBQT+, dementia and music therapy groups, bringing together voices from across the community in a massed choir. This will culminate in a live streamed performance in the grounds of Bradwell Abbey this December, alongside the premiere of a ‘making-of’ documentary.
If you’d like to find out more, or have access to indoor and outdoor rehearsal space, we’d love to hear from you! Please email
If you or an organisation that deserves recognition, would like a mention in our ‘Spotlight’ feature, please get in touch at
View our dedicated funding page here!
Next Generation Fund Launched | MK Community Foundation
We have launched a next generation fund to mark our 35th birthday. The fund will focus on helping disadvantaged young people into education and employment. Read more about the fund and donate here!
SEMLEP Community Grants programme
Local funding available to support communities back into work. The South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership’s (SEMLEP) Community Grants programme, having already supported over 200 people back into work, opens for a sixth-round of applications. To date, the programme has awarded £1,179,526 to 69 projects. With £661,864 remaining, organisations that can help people to get back into work or training are invited to express their interest today via the SEMLEP website here.
MK Community Foundation Charity Car Raffle!
Find out how we can support your group / organisation here!
BBC Sport: Racism in Football – Our Stories.
10 people people share their experience of racism across all levels of the game of football, highlighting that despite the high profile racial abuse players in the England squad have received after their Euros loss, and the call for those responsible to be penalised in relation to future games, that racism in football has been occurring a lot longer, and taken all different forms within and around the game. Read more about their stories and experiences.

YiS Feedback Forum Report
YiS wanted to make sure that the services being offered to young people were aligned with what young people need and delivered in the way young people want. Thanks to funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, YiS were able to create the Feedback Forum. The aim of the YiS Feedback Forum is to work proactively with young people in developing youth led initiatives, awareness campaigns, evidence-based activities or events that improve young people’s mental health in Milton Keynes. Read the report here.

BLMK Digital inclusion review
There is still an opportunity to provide information to the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes digital inclusion review until Wednesday 21st July. Even if you provide informal support to your service users or the public, such as internet connectivity, the information you provide will be valuable to the review and help ensure equality of access to healthcare and other public services for those who are digitally excluded. Complete the survey here.

Setting up a committee for your nonprofit group
When running a community group, club or charity, it is good practice to make sure a formal management committee is in place, even if your organisation or project, is too small to register as a charity. So this new post from Zurich Insurance is a useful read as it shares some tips and resources about setting up a committee. Read more about the resources here.

Unequal pandemic, fairer recovery: The COVID-19 impact inquiry report
The COVID-19 impact inquiry publishes a comprehensive review of the factors that fuelled the UK’s COVID-19 death toll. The report shows there is extensive evidence that poor health and existing inequalities left parts of the UK vulnerable to the virus and its devastating impact. Read the report here.

Socially excluded older people and their access to health and care services
Age UK has published a report which brings together a series of case studies from professionals who are working with socially excluded older people, including older people who are homeless, former prisoners, living in poverty, or living with severe mental illness or addiction. It offers an insight into the challenges these older people are facing and provides best practice examples of services making a difference to older people’s lives. Read the report here.

Pay and Progression of Women of Colour Focus Group Questionnaire
Be part of a focus group on the pay and progression of women of colour. The Fawcett Society is inviting women of colour to take part in a focus group about pay and progression. To put yourself forward, please complete their form talking about yourself and your work, and how they can contact you to take part in a focus group. Complete the form here.

Free PPE for the voluntary sector
The Department of Health and Social Care is offering free PPE (personal protective equipment) for use by voluntary sector organisations. You can express your interest in this free PPE by completing a short form with a few details and then a representative of DHSC will contact you to arrange delivery. Complete the form here.

Hosting any events? Get in touch here to let us know!
IF: Milton Keynes International Festival
10th – 30th July 2021

IF: Milton Keynes International Festival is now a major landmark event in the cultural calendar. Engaging around 500,000 people, the Festival presents a world-class, multi-arts programme over 10 days which includes large-scale and family events.  The programme features The Stables Spiegeltent, home to a programme of concerts, comedy and circus, an Acoustic Stage as well as installations placed in unusual locations across Central Milton Keynes, including parks, public squares and boulevards, as well as in the digital realm. The Festival is supported by Arts Council England, Milton Keynes Council, sponsors and partners. Read more about the festival here.
Keeping Well webinars
Friday 23rd July | 2pm – 3pm

Keeping Well BLMK are running a monthly webinar series to help key workers who are experiencing difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic or previous mental health conditions that have resurfaced over the last year. The webinars are an opportunity for staff to ask questions and find out how the service can support with any difficulties they may be experiencing. Read more about how to join here.
Summer of Fun | The Parks Trust
This summer, The Parks Trust are back hosting an exciting programme of large events in Campbell Park featuring festivals and live music. Head to our website for the full line-up which includes:

  • International Festival – 10th – 30th July
  • World Picnic – 25th July
  • Magic of Thailand – 7th – 8th August
  • Milton Keynes Reggae Festival – 14th August

Read more about the programme of events here.

New parenting webinars | BLMK
A series of virtual wellbeing webinars from BLMK continue to be available, and this month some new sessions are being introduced supporting new parents and guardians across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes. Read more here.
HSBC @ Home Fraud Awareness webinar Invitation
HSBC will like to invite you to our ‘Together Against Fraud’ – HSBC@Home Session run by your local HSBC team in Milton Keynes on the dates below. They will take you through the main types of financial fraud you might come across and also tell you about some of their digital banking tools. The session will last around 30 minutes, and you’ll have the chance to ask any questions you may have about financial scams and staying safe. If you are interested in attending these sessions or have any questions, please email for more information

  • Wednesday 28th July 2021 | 1.30pm
Wenta Webinars for social media
Wenta, a not for profit social enterprise supporting businesses is offering ‘Let’s be social!’ a series of FREE webinars to support those wanting to develop their social media based skills. Click the links below for more information:

Local news
York House Centre Summer fun days – Mondays: 26th July, 2nd, 9th & 16th August, 2 – 4pmRead more about the summer fun days here.

Parks Trust Summer Activities. The Summer School Holidays are almost here! The Parks Trust have got an exciting programme planned for families so you can keep your children entertained whilst enjoying MK’s fantastic green space. Read more about the activities here.

More than 100,000 hours of FREE activities available to MK children and young people this summer. Read more about MK Council’s Summer of Play, or view the programme here.

New watersports centre now open at Willen Lake. Milton Keynes’ most popular park has now opened the doors on its incredible new watersports centre which offers fantastic views across the lake. Read more about the new watersports centre.

Free Level 2 distance learning courses – MK College. Read more about what’s on offer.

Courses at MK Arts Centre this summerView the range of courses available here.

CMK Green Gym newsletterRead the latest newsletter and find out how you can volunteer here.

Laura Knight: A Panoramic View at MK Gallery, 9 October 2021 – 20 February 2022. The exhibition at MK Gallery will be the largest overview of her work in over 50 years, with 160 drawings, paintings, ceramics, pieces of jewellery and costumes. Read more about the exhibition here and about their crowdfunding campaign here.

Open University Environmental research study call – Netherfield and Woolstone residents! Researchers from the Open University would like to recruit some volunteers from the Netherfield and Woolstone areas for a paid study that aims to explore how community-led self-investigations could help tackle the environmental issues. Read more about how to take part here.

No recourse to public funds survey. National Citizens Advice is working with the polling agency Savanta ComRes to gather data about the experiences of people with limited leave to remain who have No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF). The survey should take between 15-20 minutes to complete, and participants will be given a £10 bank or PayPal transfer, or a £10 voucher as a thank you for taking part. As well as English, the survey is available in multiple languages commonly spoken by people with NRPF who have migrated from a non-Anglophone country: Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Albanian and Mandarin. Read more about how to participate and view the survey here.

Fair space MK. MK Community Foundation’s co-working space is now open. You can call to book a viewing appointment to see the new space available now! Read more about the space and how to book here.

Young adult support group – Harry’s Rainbow. Harry’s Rainbow are delighted that with the help of some of the young people who were growing out of their youth group, they will soon be ready to provide a service to young people and adults wanting extended support. Read more about the group here.

MK Reading Adventure. Young readers of all ages in Milton Keynes can join the MK Reading Adventure this summer and escape with a book. Register for the challenge at any MK Library or complete the whole challenge online and download resources. Read more about the challenge here.

Bands available free of charge for community and charity events.

  • The Free Peace Band – vocal harmony trio, no drums, will fit into a small space. Can play background music or a dance set with music from 60′s to 00′s.
  • Crossroots – 5 piece with drums for larger concerts. Can do a pop or dance set. Mainly pop, rock and country from 60′s to 90′s.

Contact Marcus at for more information

England has moved to Step 4 of the road map – 19th July 2021.
Vaccination information

Organisations – useful information

Information for communities
If you know of any consultations that are happening – get in touch here!
Local Consultations

National Consultations

View all national consultations here
Sign up to our volunteering platform here!
Opportunity of the Week!
Stepping Stones Milton Keynes | Volunteering Matters
Volunteer Mentors sought to support young people to transition from long-term inpatient mental health settings back into the community of Milton Keynes. You will support young people aged 18 – 25 years with a range of mental health challenges, and provide 1-1 mentoring using holistic goals to develop resilience, support networks and life skills. Read more about the role here.
Vaccination Volunteers | Communities 1st
Calling all 16-17 year olds! Milton Keynes needs you!
Help fight coronavirus at your local vaccination centre. To sign up as a Vaccination Centre Volunteer contact 020 3940 4865 or email  If you are interested in volunteering, read more here or visit their website to find out more and to register.
Decision-making tool for volunteers
Useful links



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