Community Action: MK- Weekly Info and Updates

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


SAVE THE DATE: 21st October 2021 – Community Action: MK AGM
Whitehouse Surgery | 11am – 1pm
This week (Thursday 19th  August) at our drop in we have:

  • 11am-12pm: Starting Point: mentoring young people through their journey of education and employment. Come and find out about their Volunteer Mentor role.
  • 12-1pm: DAFS, Drug and Alcohol Family Support MK: supporting families of addicted family members that might be experiencing judgement or exclusion. Come along to find out more about their work and the support available.

We will be there  from 9am – 1pm so feel free to drop by at any time! Read more about the drop-ins here.

Funding Information Session: BBC Children in Need – Small Grants
Tuesday 24th August: 10 – 11.30am (online) 

This is an online information session dedicated to the BBC Children in Need Small Grants programme, currently open for applications until the 6th October. Groups and organisations in Milton Keynes are encouraged to apply for funding. This session will be your chance to find out more about the programme and its criteria, connect with the local Grants Coordinator and ask any questions you might have. Register here.

Drop-in sessions for volunteers and organisations 

Come and have a quick chat with us and ask any questions – anything related to volunteering, using our MK Community Data Tool or any other support that your group or organisation needs. We are around every Tuesday for an online 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 and register here.

Research for BAME and Faith Groups (with Macmillan Cancer Support)
As part of our community research project, in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, we want to hear about the cancer experiences and views of individuals and groups from ethnic minority and faith communities, and would like to encourage you to complete our questionnaire or forward it to anyone who might be interested in sharing their feedback – e.g. we are keen to hear from health professionals. Read more about the research and take the questionnaire here or contact Sue at to get involved.
Get support with your Do-IT profile
With over 500 volunteers signed up to our volunteering platform, Do-It.Org, we’re keen to make sure that these volunteers can find your organisations and sign up to volunteer with you. We’re offering support with updating your Do-IT accounts – to help upload your logos or your volunteering roles, or help troubleshoot any problems you might have. Book here.


Celebrating the new pillars at MK Rose Freedom Day
The 19th July was celebrated at the Milton Keynes Rose in Campbell Park, with a special evening concert involving several local artists, attended by about 200 people. During the event, the two new pillars, which were inscribed and unveiled during the lockdown in 2020, were introduced. One relates to World Refugee Day on 20 June, while the other records Volunteers Week, marked in the first week of June each year. The volunteering pillar was introduced by Lisa Emmanuel, a trustee of Community Action: MK, who spoke of the enormous contribution that volunteers have made to the development of Milton Keynes, and continue to do so. Milton Keynes was built with the power of volunteers and this has carried on throughout our 55 years. However it has been in the last incredibly challenging year or so  that volunteers have really shone. Through the various lockdowns volunteers have been out delivering food parcels & medication, providing mental health support, working with our homeless communities, and of course helping at Vaccination Centres. In Lisa’s words to volunteers: “You are incredible and this pillar is for you”.

To find out more about the pillar, read our past blog here.


We are calling on all voluntary and community groups in Milton Keynes. Please help us make the most of the new MK Community Data Tool by sharing your insights. You can find out more about why this is really vital here.
View Our Events on Eventbrite here
We have been joined by some amazing organisations at our Community Engagement programme at Whitehouse Surgery. Take a look at the videos we’ve been making with some of them in this weeks’ spotlight. We hope this is a great way to find out more about the amazing work of our vibrant community and voluntary sector.Al’s Pals 
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SoBS) 
The Parks Trust
Depaul UK
YiS is 40!
Our Friends at YiS (YiS Young People’s Mental Health) celebrated their 40th birthday and held a celebratory AGM last Tuesday 10th August. YiS have been providing its support to young people since 1981, providing counselling, training and opportunities for young people to voice their experiences, particularly when it comes to mental health. You can find out more, including about the work of YIS in the past year, from their latest Annual Review, which includes a short video with testimonials from many of their volunteers, service users and other partners, and supporters – visit
Mind BLMK: New services in Milton Keynes

Crisis Recovery Service - it aims to provide support for individuals in crisis who would like to address their immediate mental health needs, as well as manage their wellbeing in the long term. Individuals can explore the situations affecting their mental health, and the service promotes crisis recovery by taking practical steps to reach goals in a few key areas e.g. housing, health, loneliness. Individuals can self-refer via Mind’s central website by clicking ‘Get Support’, or a referral can be made on their behalf by a third-party such as their GP.
Community Connection Service - is for people who are registered with Newport Pagnell Medical Centre, Kingfisher Surgery or Brooklands Medical Centre. The service is specifically for anyone struggling with their mental health and who need some additional support to engage with their communities to improve their wellbeing. If individuals belong to the above GP surgeries, they can speak with their GP to be referred. Find out more from the leaflet here.

If you or an organisation that deserves recognition, would like a mention in our ‘Spotlight’ feature, please get in touch at
Funding Information Session:
BBC Children in Need – Small Grants
Tuesday 24th August: 10 – 11.30am (online) 

We are inviting you to an online information session dedicated to the BBC Children in Need Small Grants programme, currently open for applications until the 6th October. Groups and organisations in Milton Keynes are encouraged to apply for funding. This session will be your chance to find out more about the programme and its criteria, connect with the local Grants Coordinator and ask any questions you might have. Register here.

Energy Saving Trust: £400,000 eCargo Bike Grant Fund
This programme is funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) and administered by the Energy Saving Trust. Organisations across all sectors can access grants towards the purchase of eCargo bikes for their delivery staff in England.  Grant funding will be 40% of the gross cost (total amount including VAT) of each ecargo bike, up to a maximum of £2,500 for two-wheel models and £4,500 for three-wheel models. Applications will be capped at five bikes per organisation. Larger applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Deadline for applications: 14 December 2021Read more here.
See our dedicated funding page here
MK Community Foundation Charity Car Raffle!
Find out how we can support your organisation here
MK Play Association: new programme of training 
MK Play Association have a revised programme of training for September 2021 – July 2022 available to people working or volunteering in Milton Keynes. The programme includes a huge variety of topics – from first aid, and safeguarding to a range of SEN (Special Education Needs) courses, and more. Bespoke training sessions can also be facilitated. Find out more from their training brochure here.

New Governance App has launched
DSC (Directory of Social Change) have a launched a new app, which aims to provide a free and easy way for boards of trustees to review and improve their governance, together. Based on the Charity Code of Governance, this is an online tool that any Board can use to review their governance – and turn it into collective action and improvement. Read more here.

Digital Candle: free digital advice 
This is a service facilitated by Catalyst & Platypus Digital, offering one free hour of expert digital advice for charities. Community Action: MK have benefitted from this support and have recently signposted other local local VCSE organisations, who shared very positive feedback about the service. Find out more and register here.

The National Disability Strategy
The strategy sets out the actions the government will take to improve the everyday lives of all disabled people. You can access the strategy in a variety of formats here. However, some of the national disability organisations have reacted to the strategy describing it as ‘disappointing’- you can see a recent blog from Disability Rights UK here. If you are interested in sharing your feedback, you can contact MKCIL (Milton Keynes Centre for Integrated Living) - you can find out more from their latest newsletter here.

MK Homelessness Partnership: statutory homelessness statistics 
The Government’s latest statutory homelessness statistics have been released, covering the period between January and March 2021, illustrating how Covid has reduced the numbers of those who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, in Milton Keynes. Get more updates, including how more people are becoming vulnerable to homelessness because of the pandemic and anoute the increased reports of domestic abuse incidents -  find out more from the MK Homelessness Partnership latest newsletter here.

Centre for Homelessness Report: “Women and homelessness advice: what works?”
This recent report from Centre for Homelessness Impact (CHI) and the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) argues that better support is needed for women who become homeless because of violence. Read more here.

New Homeless Prevention Toolkit
Commitment to Collaborate (C2C) toolkit has been developed for a wide range of organisations, not only specialist homelessness organisations and their partners, to help prevent and relieve homelessness. It aims to help organisation consider how they can support existing projects and programmes that provide people with a secure home, steady job and to stay safe and healthy. Read more and download the toolkit here.

NCVO Report: Levelling up: the role of charities and volunteering
NCVO has published a report on the role of charities & volunteers in Levelling Up. It talks about the work of charities, outlines a shared vision as a sector, and provides recommendations for the upcoming white paper. Read more here.

Community Life Survey results
DCMS (The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) has published the results of the Community Life Survey 2020-21. This is a national annual survey of adults (16+) in England that aims to track the latest trends and developments across areas that are key to encouraging social action and empowering communities. The data in the survey might be used as supporting information for funding bids. Read more here.

Resource: helping parents understand online risks
Ann Craft Trust (ACT) and The Marie Collins Foundation have collaborated to produce a resource to help parents and children understand various online risks. See the publication here.

Eden Project – Virtual Community Camp (1-2 October): open for applications
The Community Camp is an initiative that brings together people who care about community – to share, connect and learn from each other’s recent experiences and to build confidence to take small steps to do good things where they live. Delivered by educational and environmental charity, The Eden Project, in partnership with National Lottery, it is a free virtual event. Deadline for applications: Wednesday 17th September. Read more and apply here.

Hosting any events? Get in touch here to let us know!
Introduction to digital marketing for small businesses
24th August: 10 – 11am 

This free webinar is a ‘back to basics’ look at digital marketing specifically aimed at small businesses who want to better understand how to use digital marketing to find new clients whilst building better relationships with existing customers. Register here.

Free event: World Suicide Prevention Day
Thursday 9th September

Suicide prevention remains a universal challenge. Every year, suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for people of all ages. Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy. This event is for those who live or work in, Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes. Find out more and book your place here.

University of Bedfordshire and Partners Webinar: “How To apply for grant funding in your area”

8th September 2021: 9 – 11am
This is a free event for businesses and here are some benefits of attending it:

Find out more and register here.

Al’s Pals: Afternoon Tea with West End Star Zoe Curlett

10th September, 3pm-6pm, tickets £35pp
Join Al’s Pals, a local cancer support charity, for a fabulous afternoon of tea, cakes and scones accompanied by songs from Zoe Curlett, the  star of West End Musicals. To book, call 07745 601047 or email Find out more here.

Milton Keynes  Open Heritage Days 

10th – 19th September: various locations 

Taking place over ten days from Friday 10 to Sunday 19 September, the events will be celebrating the heritage of Milton Keynes. The event’s programme includes 150 guided walks, historic talks, cycle rides, workshops, craft events, open days, exhibitions and performances – all free to attend this is a great opportunity to explore places is such as Milton Keynes Museum, MK Gallery, Great Linford Manor Park, Westbury Arts Centre, Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre, The Stables Theatre and the Cowper & Newton Museum in Olney. Find out more from the event’s full brochure here or from the Living Archives’ website here.

Milton Keynes Intercultural Forum: Workshop 3
11th September, 6pm – 8pm
Christ The Vine Church, MK6 5EG
The last of 3 workshops that MKIF (MK Intercultural Forum) have been running around Mental Health and engaging BAME communities in MK. They are inviting diverse communities of MK and Mental Health Service Providers to join in reflecting, planning and sharing. Please share the poster with neighbours, family, friends and networks, and register here to attend.
Alina Orchestra Concert: Mozart: Symphony no.41
11 September at 7.30pm: The Venue, Walton High
Join Alina Orchestra for its inaugural concert and be part of something special as Musical Director, Hilary Davan Wetton, takes you on a journey featuring a famous Mozart Symphony, classical favourites and Scala Radio ‘Young Artist’ Cristian Grajner de Sa. To book,  visit: Alina Orchestra – The Venue MK.
The Great Big Green Week: 18th – 26th September
In September communities across the country will join together for the Great Big Green Week. Great Big Green Week community hubs will celebrate local activity, raise the profile of climate change and show why it is relevant to your community and local decision makers. National organisations, institutions, businesses and media outlets will join in, getting more people involved up and down the country, and putting pressure on the UK Government to up its game on climate change. Find out more and get involved here.
Gas Safe Charity Webinar: Think CO workshop
Multiple dates available between August and September 

The purpose of this virtual workshop is to raise awareness of carbon monoxide risks for people who work in the homes of vulnerable people. You may not really have thought about carbon monoxide risks in your day to day work, both to your client and to you. There is a duty of care to both of you. This online, hour long workshop is aimed at front line staff from social care, NHS, FRS, voluntary and private sectors working in the UK. Book a session here.
MK University Hospital: Be Seen In Green 2021 

4th October – 17th October
The Hospital’s annual Be Seen In Green fundraiser is back – and the hospital want you to help make it even bigger and better for 2021! The concept is simple – help raise money for the coming year at Milton Keynes University Hospital. Host your own fundraising event, take on a personal challenge or join one of the exciting events going on in Milton Keynes or online during the Be Seen In Green fortnight. You can find out more on their website or through our DoIt site.

Eventbrite blog: What to consider when going back to ‘in person event’
Read this blog if you are planning or organising an event. It will give you useful prompts about what you should consider and access to a checklist for re-opening events and activities here.
Sign up to our volunteering platform here!
Opportunity of the Week!
Starting Point – Mentor 

Are you passionate about investing in local young people? Do you have one spare hour a week to share your knowledge, skills, and expertise?

Starting Point MK has opportunities to mentor local young people who are currently not in education, employment, and training.
Starting Point supports and provides mentoring for young people aged 15-25 throughout their journey of attaining, sustaining, and thriving within education and employment and training.

We have a huge variety of Volunteer Roles listed on our Do-It Community and Volunteering Platform - sign up and start volunteering today! And don’t forget we’re here to help, you can come along to our virtual support sessions on Tuesdays or see us Thursday mornings at Whitehouse Surgery.

  • Access Point  - Volunteer Online Tutor - offer  1 hour a week online to support disadvantaged young people through the The Access Project. Training will be provided. Find out more here.
  • Big Bold Youth CIC - Fundraising Coordinator, Teaching Assistant, Administrative Assistant & Volunteer Coordinator. Take a look at their roles and apply here
  • Age UK, Milton Keynes - Retail & Furniture Warehouse Assistant, IT Support, Ladies Walking assistant football coach. Take a look at their roles and apply here.
  • Church of Christ The Cornerstone - Catering Assistant & Receptionist / Shop Assistant. Take a look at their roles and apply here.
  • Headway Milton Keynes - Social Media & Fundraising Event organiser roles. Take a look and apply here.
  • 26th Milton Keynes Scout Group - Scout Leaders, Cub Scout Leaders & Beaver Scout Leaders. Take a look and apply here.
  • Depaul MK - Could you host a young person who are at risk of homelessness? Take a look at the Host role and apply here.

There’s lots of other roles and organisation to take a look out - so browse away! :) 

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.

Notice of Data Breach from Communities 1st: 
We have been notified by Communities 1st about a security issue involving one of their email accounts. Find out more from their notice here, including what to do in case you receive a phishing email.

Vision for Volunteering 
Vision for Volunteering‘ aims to bring together people and organisations across England, collaborating and creating a long-term vision and shorter-term objectives, to change our communities for good. We’ll work together to set out the ambition for volunteering over the next decade, with a clear and optimistic plan for the future. You can join the collaboration and share your insights – sign up here. It is a collaboration across the voluntary and community sector, led by NAVCA, NCVO, Volunteering Matters and the Association of Volunteer Managers.
Decision-making tool for volunteers
Local news

Milton Keynes Centre for Integrated Living: check out MK CIL’S latest (July) newsletter for recent updates from their work, including the Disability Awareness Day, an award for their trustee, the national Disability Strategy and the new enhanced support for D/deaf patients to contact the Primary Care services, and more.

The Green Gym have revised their programme of activities for August. Next Week (24th August), they will be working at the Fred Roche Gardens. To book your space, contact Charles on 07905200334 or email To receive regular updates about the Green Gym’s activities, sign up to their newsletter here - you can see the latest edition here.

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

MK Council has secured nearly £1million financial support for the local care sector, with funding available for Care homes and regulated community providers. Read more here.

Other local activities and events: 

Coronavirus COVID-19: parking concessions for health, care and volunteer workers NEW 
Government Guide: Working safely during coronavirus (Covid-19- UPDATED 

England’s Step 4 of the road map from 19th July 2021 - UPDATED
Easing of restrictions – guidance for charity shops
Risk management  checklist for event organisers

Keep Life Moving campaign
This Government campaign encourages people to continue healthy behaviours to reduce the spread of COVID-19, such as wearing face coverings, social distancing, taking regular COVID-19 tests and making sure enclosed spaces are well ventilated. Read more here.

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

*Recent Policy paper: National Disability Strategy

View all national consultations here
Healthwatch MK – Project Coordinator for Enter and View Programme (correction about the duration of the contract)
 £22,400 pa (£11,200, 18.75 hours per week pro rata)
Deadline: Monday 23rd August
Healthwatch MK are currently recruiting for a Project Coordinator to develop and deliver their Enter & View activity across Health and Social Care Services. This is a contract role until March 2023. View the Job Description and Person Specification here or visit the website on:
Arts and Heritage Alliance Cultural Traineeships for Young People from Diverse Backgrounds
Funded by Milton Keynes Council, AHA-MK is working with six arts and heritage partners (MK Gallery, Milton Keynes Arts Centre, Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre, Bletchley Park, InterAction MK and The Parks Trust) to deliver a number of cultural traineeships. All training will be delivered by Milton Keynes College, and the trainees will have 70+ hours work experience in one of the above cultural organisations. Find out more at Arts and Heritage Alliance here.
Useful links



Print Friendly