Community Action: MK- Weekly Info and Updates

Supporting the voluntary and community sector of Milton Keynes
Welcome 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 2nd September) at our drop in we have Citizens Advice Milton Keynes. Come and find out about the range of free advice and support they can offer.  We will be there  from 9am – 1pm so feel free to drop by at any time! Read more about the drop-ins here.
We are recruiting!
 PA To Chief Executive

Hours: 20 hours pw
Closing date: 8th September 2021 (midday)
Come and work for us! We are currently recruiting for a part-time Personal Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer. This role is a 12-month, fixed-term contract. Find out more about the role and how to apply here.
BAME And Faith Groups Macmillan Cancer Support Research Events
Wednesday 22nd September 2021
Join us on Wednesday 22nd September in person from 10am to 12pm or online at 7pm- 8pm, where we will be joined by Macmillan, who will be talking about their work and the next steps for the project, and Community Action: MK team members, who will be talking about the research so far. There will be a chance to hear about and discuss our findings so far on the experience of cancer and cancer services among BAME communities and religious groups in Milton Keynes, and have your say on how Macmillan might be able to improve things for these groups. It will also be a great opportunity to meet other people interested in our project.
  • In person event: The Parks Trust (The Pavillion, 1300 Silbury Blvd) | 10am to 12noon. Register here.
  • Online session via Zoom | 7:00pm to 8:00pm. Register here.
To book a place please register using the links above. Places are limited, so we recommend booking your place early! If you have any questions about the event, please contact Susan Nelson at or contact us on 01908 661 623.
Drop-in sessions for volunteers and organisations 
We are around every Tuesday for an online drop-in sessions. Read more about the drop in sessions and register here. The available time slots are:
  • 11am – 11.20am
  • 11.25am – 11.45am
  • 11.50am – 12.10pm
  • 12.15pm – 12.35pm
Support for Refugees from Afghanistan 
Groups and communities in Milton Keynes are coming together to provide support in light of the Afghan crisis and we are hearing that that lots of donations have been received by local organisations and MK Council. Some organisations that will be actively supporting Afghan refugee individuals and families are:
Please contact them directly if you would like to offer help or donations. If you know of other organisations that need support, please email us. See the Government’s guidance about Support for British and non-British nationals in Afghanistan here.

MK  Community Data Tool is now live!
It is an online tool for the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes to capture social intelligence to make a positive impact. 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.
Signposting channels
Community Action: MK have a signposting page on our website, which acts as a directory of local services.  This was created during the lockdown as a way of easing access to some of the most vital services for people affected by the pandemic. We are now calling all groups and organisations to ask:
  • If you are listed on this resource and would like to update your details (e.g. about new services that you are providing, updated contact info) – please get in touch.
  • If you are not currently listed, but would like to be added -  please send us information.
We are particularly interested to hear about the inclusion and accessibility of your services, so if you have any related or specific information, then please let us know (e.g. available to or providing tailored support to individuals with additional needs such as mental health, autism, visual or hearing impairments).
Alternatively, if you think your group or organisation requires support with making your services or activities more accessible, please get in touch.
See the signposting channels page on our website here. Please send your updates, information or request to Thank you!
View our events on Eventbrite here!
ReturnMK: Save The Point Campaign
ReturnMK is a registered charity that provides a music, multimedia and life-skills service for young people, developed from years of work with young people and hopes to be a Model of Excellence of which numerous young people can benefit. Return MK has recently been on BBC news: East of England to promote the Save The Point campaign. Return MK is campaigning for The Point to be a community hub for all ages to come together and for young people to use to learn music skills. Follow the campaign’s updates on #THEPOINTMK. Read more here.

Bronchiolitis: keeping your little ones safe this Autumn and Winter
Campaign from Milton Keynes Hospital
Seasonal respiratory illnesses are beginning to rise in the community, and MK University Hospital is highlighting the vulnerability of infants to bronchiolitis. Bronchiolitis is caused by RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), which can be spread via coughs or sneezes. Around 1 in 3 children develops bronchiolitis during their first year of life and, in most cases, the symptoms can be treated at home and the infection usually clears up within two weeks without treatment, as with a cold. Pandemic restrictions mean that cases of bronchiolitis are expected to increase between now and winter because many young children have not encountered the RSV virus. With restrictions now being lifted within the community, parents are encouraged to continue practising infection prevention activities. However, if you’re worried about your baby, never feel like you’re burdening your doctor’s surgery. Call your GP or 111. In an emergency, always call 999.

Take a listen to your Voluntary and Community Sector! 
These are quick snapshots videos of the work that these organisations do, how they got started, help they are looking for & a bit more about how you can access their services. Contact information is linked in the descriptions.

Youth Endowment Fund: A supportive home – helping families to overcome challenges
Deadline: 1st December 2021

This themed grant round will open on 27 September, in partnership with Comic Relief. Around 5-10 programmes will benefit between them to the tune of £6 to £10 million. Focus will be on four main areas:

  • parenting programmes
  • family therapy interventions
  • programmes to reduce parental conflict
  • domestic abuse intervensions

Fund introductory workshops will run on:

Application process workshops will run on: Wednesday 29 September | 2:00 – 3:00pm

Find out more about the fund and the workshops here.

B&Q Foundation
Closing date: Monday 6th September

Over the past year, the B&Q Foundation has been supporting charities to create better, safer places for the people in our communities to feel at home. The next round of B&Q Foundation funding is now opening in September. If your organisation has a DIY or improvement project that requires funding, you can read more about the B&Q Foundation and register interest.

Government Kickstart Scheme
This is a government scheme to assist companies to kickstart their businesses post Covid-19 and help young people get into employment and avoid becoming long-term unemployed. The Government will fund the wages of all qualifying employees taken on through the scheme for up to 25 hours per week for 6 months (Based on National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage) The Government will also fund training and onboarding costs for employees taken on through the scheme with a grant of £1500 per employee, and cover costs of employers National Insurance contributions. Employers can take on any number of staff from 1 new member of staff upwards. For more information call 0203 900 1060 or find out more here.
See our dedicated funding page here
Find out how we can support your organisation here
Get Support from us with your DoIt Page on Community Action: MK Ecosystem
With over 500 volunteers signed up to our volunteering platform,, 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.
Youth Accessibility Survey
DMK Advantage are currently running a survey  (for those aged 11-25) all about youth accessibility to volunteering – they are using this information to develop an online hub for young people nationwide to access resources, opportunities and more. DMK Advantage is a project from DMK Potential which aims to enable young people across the UK to engage with volunteering and social action at a local and national level. Please share the survey with the young people you work with. You can find out more about DMK Advantage on their twitter page hereTake part in the survey here.

Is this OK?
Is this OK? is a new free and anonymous chatbot for young children and young people at risk of, or currently experiencing, sexual or criminal exploitation/abuse. It has been developed by Children in Need, NSPCC and Missing People. The chatbot supplements a specialist adviser service which runs during afternoons and evenings through the week. Available at

Vodafone: free data scheme for registered UK charities
Almost half of charities (45%) have had to give their users devices, data or support to enable them to get online and 20% said they had to cancel services because they did not have the skills or technology needed to deliver them, according to the 2021 Charity Digital Skills report. Vodafone has launched charities.connected, an initiative allowing UK charities to apply for free data. The aim is to help individuals and families supported by charities, as well as enable organisations to improve their own digital capacity. Find out more here.

Letter to the voluntary sector from HMRC’s Head of Cyber Security
In this letter – published via Charity Tax Group, Head of Cybersecurity at HMRC shares top tips for fighting fraud. Read the letter here.

Report: Building Back Fairer For Women & Girls
This is a joint research report from Women’s Budget Group, Fawcett Society, Women’s Aid, Young Women’s Trust, Imkaan, Maternity Action and WEN Wales. It is looking to the future and set out this vision for how the UK could build back fairer for women and girls in all our diversity and come out of the pandemic with a stronger and fairer society for all. Read more here.

British Institute of Human Rights project: Government Consultations and Human Rights
British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) has launched a new project on government consultations. They have have asked the government for information about the way that they run consultations, wanting to hear from people (who access services), staff (like social workers), communities (like support groups), and people that have lots of experience doing consultations (policy). They will be writing a report that tells the government about what people like about consultations and what could be better. Read more here.

Leicester BRC Health Fairs – does your organisation want to attend? 
As part of this project they previously ran in GP surgeries across MK they are now running a health fairs to further develop engagement and promote community investment. They also want to thank local communities who took part in very challenging circumstances. They are inviting organisations to join them for their event and share their services as a steady flow of community members attend. This is a great opportunity for organisations to promote who they are and make sure the community knows them! Click here for more details.

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.

MK Play Association: New programme of training 
MKPA 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.

Vulnerability Debt Toolkit
The Government Debt Management Function has published a Vulnerability Toolkit, so that ‘vulnerable’ citizens who are in debt to the public sector are handled with compassion and support by frontline staff. This is designed for public sector staff, but may be helpful for others to refer to. Find out more here.

Editors for Impact
Editors for Impact is a social enterprise dedicated to delivering small charitable organisations with free access to media representation. Find out how they could help your organisation 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.

Hosting any events? Get in touch here to let us know!
Online Launch of Thames Valley Cancer Alliance Patient Partnership Group (TVCA PPG)
Tuesday 7th September | 2pm – 3.30pm.
This is an event from Thames Valley Cancer Alliance Patient Partnership Group. The TVCA PPG will be the mechanism for enabling the local community voice to be brought to the Alliance and to help influence change and improve cancer services within the Thames Valley. To ensure that experiences of patients across all demographics of our region are represented and heard, we are keen that membership should cover a wide range of organisations, working collaboratively to help make a difference to cancer services. This session is being held virtually via Microsoft Teams. To join the meeting please click this link at the meeting’s start time. Read more here.

University of Bedfordshire: “How To apply for grant funding in your area”
8th September 2021 | 9am  – 11am
The Government awarded a total of £265million to the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) area from 2015 to 2021 (see more here). There is also range of funded consultancy and grant programmes offered by Local Authorities, regional agencies and the University of Bedfordshire. The event will give you an overview of what is available and help you decide which could be the best fit for your business. Find out more and register here.
Free event: World Suicide Prevention Day
Thursday 9th September 2021
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.
Al’s Pals: Afternoon Tea with West End Star Zoe Curlett
Friday 10th September 2021 |  3pm-6pm
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 07745601047 or email Tickets cost £35pp. Find out more here.
Milton Keynes: Heritage Open Days!
10th – 19th September: various locations 
Taking place over ten days from Friday 10th - Sunday 19th 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.

980 Milton Keynes Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from Dreamstime

Social Value Portal Webinar Digital: Is it going to rewire or hot-wire our planet’s future? The Road to COP26
Monday 13th September 2021 | 2pm – 3.15pm

There has been a clear shift towards digital in our lives, accelerated during the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the predominant message has been that this channel shift is good and will help people and the planet. Join The Social Value Portal for the first part of their upcoming webinar series leading up to the climate change conference COP26Find out more and register here.

Milton Keynes Intercultural Forum: Workshop 3
Tuesday 14th 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.

MK Money Lifeline Scavenger Hunt
Saturday 18th September | 5.30pm

The first MK Money Lifeline Scavenger Hunt will be held on Saturday 18th September from 5.30pm, at St Mary’s Community Centre, Bletchley. Challenges will be set to take photos and collect items from around the city, ending with some delicious BBQ food provided by Andersons Catering. It’s not aimed for children but families are very welcome to take part and work together as a team. We are excited to add that Mark Niel our resident Poet Laureate will be adding some little poetry to the challenge clues. Tickets are £10 per person and teams can be as many as you can fit in your vehicle. Please come along and join in all the fun. Bring your own drinks. To book a team, email

Bosom Pals Charity Gala
Tuesday 12th October at 6.30pm
(Please express your interest by the 20th September) 

Bosom Pals would like to invite you to their Charity Gala. A proportion of the ticket price will go to Bosom Pals. Tickets are £25 and include a 3 course dinner. Take a look here for more information. If you are interested in attending please contact -

HSBC Webinars: @ Home Fraud Awareness
Wednesday 8th September | 11am
Tuesday 28th September | 1.30pm
This session, run by the local HSBC team in Milton Keynes, will take you through the main types of financial fraud you might come across, from fake emails to callers pretending to be from your bank. They will also tell you about some of the ways they are making your money more secure, with sophisticated – yet easy-to-use – digital banking tools. The session will last around 30 minutes. If you are interested in attending these sessions or have any questions, email

HSBC Logo | Symbol, History, PNG (3840*2160)

Challenge Poverty Week
4th – 10th October
Challenge Poverty Week is designed to highlight that poverty is a problem we can solve, and to showcase solutions we can all get behind.  The week is an opportunity for to raise your voice against poverty and unite with others in calling for a more just and equal Scotland. Find out more here.
MK Afro Diaspora Awards
Saturday 16th October 

M & G Productions, a voluntary organisation in Milton Keynes, is carrying out its 2nd Afro /Caribbean Diaspora Awards Night in Milton Keynes. As a group they support, promote and organise events for unemployed over 18’s with Creative Media skills within the MK community. MK Afro Diaspora Awards 2021 is an annual event which promotes achievements, commitments, and contributions made by Black Afro Caribbean individuals, companies and associations within the Milton Keynes community. These outstanding individuals will be awarded based on their credits, hard work and popularity by votes casted by their supporters. Find out more and book your tickets hereYou can stay up to date by following .
Climate Cafe re-launch
Saturday 13th November 2021 |  3pm – 5pm
MK’s Climate Cafe is being relaunched this November! There will be a Green Fair with stalls, speakers and a workshop. Help the Climate Cafe raise awareness about the climate emergency in MK! Contact for more information or to get involved.
As our local group, Planting Up MK, describes them: Climate Change Cafes offer a starting place to break the mould of isolation and confusion caused by these desperate and tragic times by giving us a discussion group to help address our feelings of isolation, where we can discover our common ground and get together to talk in a safe, guilt-free environment.

Sign up to our volunteering platform here!
Opportunity of the Week! 
Branch Out MK  - Director 
Are seeking someone with experience in the VCSE sector with an emphasis on strategic planning and/or fundraising. The aim of the role is to focus on helping Branch-out MK CIC to recover from the pandemic and to further grow and develop. More info by contacting: or calling 07900882740.
Vaccination Volunteers | Communities 1st
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.
Thames Valley Cancer Alliance – Opportunity to join the Executive Board
Closing date: Friday 17th September 2021
The Thames Valley Cancer Alliance are looking for a Patient/Carer representative, to join their Thames Valley Cancer Alliance Executive Board (TVCA EB). If you would like to influence the transformation of cancer services and deliver real improvements in cancer care for patients in Thames Valley, then why not get in touch? An involvement payment from NHS England will be offered for this role, in addition to all reasonable out of pocket expenses. Find out more about the role here.
CMK Green Gym – get involved! 
Next week (7th September) Green Gym CMK will be working at Fred Roche Gardens. Do you know anyone who might want to join Green Gym CMK to help in the various CMK gardens? Please let your friends know about this opportunity – they don’t have to commit to coming every week (although we won’t complain if they do). They’re most welcome to come along for a session just to see what we do!To book your space, phone or text Charles on 07905200334 or email
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