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
Whitehouse Surgery | 9am – 1pm
This week joining us at Whitehouse Medical Centre we have MK YiS and DAFS (Drug & Alcohol Family Support MK). Come along and speak to the groups to see what they do and how you can get involved. MK YiS are a local charity working with young people (aged 11 -21), providing counselling, education, training, coaching! DAFS are a small team of volunteers who focus on supporting and empowering families of addicted loved ones without judgement or exclusion. Come and meet the groups to find out more! We will be there from 9am – 1pm with any other support needs or queries you may have!
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 12pm. 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
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!
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.

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.

Health inequalities in a nutshell
Health inequalities are avoidable, unfair and systematic differences in health between different groups of people. Health inequalities are experienced between different groups of people and are often analysed across four main categories: socio-economic factors (for example, income); geography (for example, region); specific characteristics (for example, ethnicity or sexuality) and socially excluded groups (people who are asylum seekers or experiencing homeless). The effects of inequality are multiplied for those who have more than one type of disadvantage. Read more about health inequalities here.

The pay and progression of women of colour – a literature review
Fawcett’s ‘Pay and Progression of Women of Colour Literature Review’, has for the first time, brought into focus vast research and evidence into the multitude of barriers women of colour (WoC) face in the workplace. This report highlights that whilst WoC are severely underrepresented in management and senior leadership positions, the structural oppressions and systemic disadvantages leading to their underrepresentation, begins well before they even enter the workplace. Read the review here.

Work from home, work from the office – five questions on hybrid working for trustees to think about
For trustees of many organisations, helping staff to navigate their path back to the workplace as we move through the pandemic will be a significant challenge. One key area to think about will be people’s desire to explore hybrid working so they can get the benefits of working both in the office and at home. Cambridge CVS have pulled together their five questions trustees should be thinking about when discussing hybrid working. Read more about it here.

Have you heard about Grapevine?
In direct response to the pandemic, Planting Up has partnered with Men In Sheds, Milton Keynes NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, Redeeming Our Communities, and Transition Town MK (TTMK) to create a community wellbeing hub called “Grapevine” that exists to connect people and support social prescriptions from local GPs. Grapevine provides a safe and inviting space for people to socialise and try new activities that meet the criteria of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing. The pilot project in Coffee Hall at Christ the Vine Community Church is open every Friday from 10am – 1pm and has a “Talking Cafe”, a Friendship (craft) Shed and gardening group that are all led by the community. Read more about the project here.

Countdown to the Cliff Edge – Universal Credit cut campaign
On the 30th September, furlough and other support schemes will end, pushing many people who are struggling to cover basic needs like food, rent and utility bills over a financial cliff edge. Turn2Us, a national charity that helps people in financial hardship to gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services, have launched a campaign around the issue. There are different ways to get involved and support the campaign. Find out more here.

#WRITENOW campaign
Marcus Rashford MBE and The Food Foundation have launched a new national campaign calling on MPs to support 3 recommendations in the National Food Strategy to alleviate the increase in food insecurity experienced by households with children as levels rise across the UK. Read more and get involved here.

Leading in uncertainty – Peer support for charity and social enterprise leaders
The Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) are offering weekly 90-minute zoom drop-ins for charity leaders. Participants will have space to share challenges, time to pause and reflect, and the opportunity to hear each other’s experiences.There will also be opportunities to influence funder practice through IVAR’s Open and trusting grant-making initiative. Read more about the drop-ins here.

Covid-19 Voluntary Sector Impact Barometer
COVID-19 is having a major impact on the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Sector. Understandably much of the focus has been on the loss of funding within the sector, and the loss of services that has resulted from these funding cuts. Less attention has been placed on the impact COVID-19 is having on employees and volunteers, and the practices that organisations are adopting to respond to the pandemic. We need more information about the ways in which the pandemic is impacting different types of organisations, and go beyond headlines to gain a deeper understanding, in real time as the impact of COVID-19 unfolds. Read more and find out how you can get involved here.
Hosting an event? Get in touch here to let us know!
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

Hearing Loop Equipment Day – SARC
Thursday 16th September
Do you struggle to hear online meeting, your mobile phone or your TV? Pop down to SARC to learn about hearing loops and other listening equipment. There will be one-to-one demonstrations of equipment with your tablet or smartphone. Morning and afternoon appointments available. Find out more and how to book here.

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

MK Home Energy Efficiency – Where to Begin
Wednesday 22nd September | 7pm 

This is an online webinar that is being organised by MK’s first community energy group, Wolverton Community Energy, offering expert practical advice and case studies on how to begin to improve the energy efficiency in your own home and cut carbon emissions. Find out more and register here.
Mashallah MK
Saturday 25th September 2021

An evening of live music, food, spoken word, story-telling and film, at The Chrysalis Theatre, Japonica Ln, Milton Keynes MK15 9JY. Milton Keynes Islamic Arts and Culture (MKIAC) presents Mashallah MK, an event that symbolises the joy, appreciation and thankfulness we hold for the community’s support over the last year, and a celebration of MK’s rich cultural diversity. Building on MKIAC’s renowned ‘Art in the Park’ festival, this year we have a special programme; a day of entertainment for all the family, packed with live music, food, spoken word, story-telling and film at Chrysalis Theatre. Everyone is welcome! Bring your family, friends and neighbours! Please book your tickets in advance. Find out more here.

Transforming Mental Health Care Event
Wednesday 29 September | 5.45pm-9pm
Where: The Rufus Centre, Flitwick

Hosted by BLMK ICS (Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care System) the event is for service users, carers and staff across the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes partners and associated voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations. It will focus on how mental health support across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes can be improved. There will be invited speakers and an opportunity for attendees to participate in break out groups to discuss ‘mental health developments that are happening, what we can share and learn from each other as well as what issues exist and how we might all resolve them’. Find out more here.

SCAS (South Central Ambulance Service) Annual General Meeting
Thursday 30th September 2021 | 1.30pm

SCAS’ Annual General Meeting (AGM) is taking place on Thursday 30 September at 1.30pm and will be held virtually via Microsoft Teams. This meeting is open to everyone and will be an opportunity to hear from the Trust’s Chief Executive and Board of Directors. In what has undoubtedly been an extraordinary year, our 2020/21 AGM will highlight some of SCAS’ involvement running the National Covid Response Services and will also reflect on some of the Trust’s other work, including its achievements and what it has delivered for patients. There will also be a chance for attendees to ask questions – these will need to be submitted in advance to the Company Secretary ( by no later than 5pm on Tuesday 28th September. How to register: If you would like to attend the AGM on 30th September, please contact the Company Secretary ( for further details and the link to join the meeting.

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
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! 
Trustees | Vagabond
Deadline: Sunday 19th September 2021

Vagabond, the film-related Milton Keynes-based charity (aka Independent Cinema Milton Keynes) are seeking new Trustees to join their small board. They have some new projects being developed and are seeking Trustees who are passionate about film/filmmaking and would love to help the continuing development of the filmmakers and film culture of this city. Read more about the role here
2000 volunteers needed – 38 Degrees Call out
38 Degrees have launched a call for volunteers that are urgently needed to support the vaccination programme in the UK. Every single day the NHS Volunteer Responders programme needs around 2,000 Steward Volunteers to help at vaccination sites across the country. Steward support is essential to relieve pressure on NHS staff and to help those coming in for their jabs to do so safely and comfortably. They also help identify people who might need some extra support or a friendly face. Find out more about how to volunteer here.
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.
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
Decision-making tool for volunteers


Community Engagement project – MandG Productions. M and G Productions are running a hot meals and community engagement project in Milton Keynes. There will be free workshops and food. Read more here.

Wellbeing support available to teacher in BLMK. The past year has been a difficult one for teachers and the Covid-19 has brought unique challenges and stresses for teaching staff. Working longer hours, organising remote lessons, balancing home/work life and seeing loved ones become unwell may have impacted their stress, anxiety or mood. If you are struggling, you don’t need to suffer in silence. The Keeping Well service is her to provide support to key workers, including teachers, in the Beds, Luton and MK area. All support is confidential and gives you a safe space to talk about your wellbeing needs with a trained professional.  Phone: 01908 724 227 (Mon-Fri, 9-12, 1-5) Email: Online web chat: (Mon-Fri, 9-5) Request a call back. Complete an online referral form to book an appointment for initial consultation. Find out more here.

CMK Green Gym Newsletter. Find out what’s been happening with the Green Gym and how you can get involved here.

We are MK Too and Women in Sport Exhibition (in celebration of ECoS and UEFA Women’s EURO2022) We are MK Too and Women in Sport Exhibition is currently on show at MK Museum new Gallery space. The timings of the Exhibition for Women in Sport are Wednesday to Sunday 10.30am – 4.30pm and late night Thursday until 8.30pm. Further information about the shows are as follows:

Smile:)MK Course Booklet. Smile:)MK (Supporting Mental Health in a Learning Environment), is a programme of courses offering wellbeing support for adults aged 19+. Read their Autumn term courses booklet here, including Living Well with Hearing Loss and Lip Reading for beginners.

Getting Together Matters – Volunteering Matters Programme of events 
This is the latest latest calendar for the current offer of activities from Getting Together Matters. Please note: Play reading, Poetry & Quizzes can be both online & telephone. The exercise classes always require suitability checks with the activity lead. People can self-refer or you can refer in. There are also still a few tablets available from the Tablet loan scheme, helping people get digitally connected. Take at the calendar and advert, please share around. You can contact them via: / 0808 196 6831.

Looking for work webinars. RNIB and Blind Ambition invite you to a series of free weekly webinars to support job seekers with sight loss. Find out more here.

National Film and Sci-Fi Museum. This summer the National Film and Science Museum opened to the public! The museum is dedicated to the preservation, restoration and exhibition of the art, skills and dedication that goes into delivering some of the world’s most successful films and tv shows. Find them at National Film and Sci-fi Museum, 34 Secklow Gate West, Milton Keynes, MK9 3AT. Find out more.

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 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. Read more here.

BLMK Wellbeing Webinars. A repeating series of wellbeing webinars from BLMK for people across Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes is available for those looking for advice and support for their mental health and wellbeing. The webinars are led by experts from the three local mental health Talking Therapy teams. Full programme and booking 

MK Arts Centre. See what’s coming up in September

Westbury Arts Centre. Events coming up in September - UPDATED.


Vaccination information
Organisations – useful information
Have you already had your Covid-19 vaccination? Or have you chosen not to go ahead with it?
Health Watch MK: Young People’s Covid-19 Vaccination Survey 
Whatever your choices, if you’re aged between 16-30 Healthwatch MK want to hear your views on the COVID-19 vaccination. Your views will help to tell the people paying for and running the vaccination programme for young people, how it can be improved. Your feedback will improve the information roll-out for younger people, improve access to the vaccination and help NHS leaders to understand the reasons for the choices you’re making. Take the survey here.
Information for communities
If you know of any consultations that are happening, then get in touch here!


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