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 Dons (11am -12pm) and Age UK (12pm-1pm). Come along and speak to the groups to see what they do and how you can get involved.
We will be there from 9am – 1pm to support with any other support needs or queries you may have!
BAME And Faith Groups Macmillan Cancer Support Research Events
Wednesday 22nd September 2021
There is still spaces to join us this Wednesday, either in person or online, 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.
View our events on Eventbrite here!
MK Intercultural Forum
MK Intercultural Forum held their third workshop around Mental Health last week. It was a great event and it was lovely to see all of their hard work come together. The group has only been running for 6 months and they’re already making sure voices of our diverse MK are being heard. We have loved being able to help! If you want to find out more and get involved contact MKIF -
Children Heard and Seen
Children Heard and Seen have written a blog for our website! The blog touches on who they are, why they do what they do, some vital statistics, information about their activities and some testimonials and quotes from their beneficiaries.
Children Heard and Seen are charity based in Oxford who support children affected by parental imprisonment. They are a vital charity that offers much needed help, activities and community to families who are often ignored and forgotten.
Read the blog here.

Watch and 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 know you want your organisation to look ‘ship shape’ 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.

Report: Lit in colour
Lit in Colour was created in 2020 by Penguin Books UK and race equality think tank, The Runnymede Trust. It aims to support schools in the UK to make the teaching and learning of English literature more inclusive. This includes commissioning research to better understand barriers and possible solutions, as well as providing practical support including book donations, free teaching resources and more Read the report here.

Week of Action for Human Rights in the UK
Between 10-17 October 2021, Amnesty UK, Liberty, Equally Ours, Stonewall, British Institute for Human Rights, and other organisations are holding a week of action for human rights in the UK. The plan is to lobby as many MPs as possible at constituency level, to show how much we care about human rights and to ask our representatives to defend them. There will also be a range of online sessions in September to support you to get involved. Find out more 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.

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.

Hosting an event? Get in touch here to let us know!
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 hereRead about the special children’s programme here.

“Welcome to SuperHomes”
Tuesday, 28th September | 6:00 pm

This is a free online event from The National Energy Foundation, based in Milton Keynes, for all those residents wanting to learn more about home retrofit and how the SuperHomes project can help them start their retrofit journey. Read more and register here.
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)

Peer Career Fair
Wednesday  29th September 2021 | 12.30pm – 3.30pm

The Central Peer and Lived Experience Team are hosting a virtual, online afternoon ‘Peer Career Fair’, dedicated to talking about peer and lived experience roles within CNWL. During the afternoon we will discuss a range of peer/lived experience roles that we offer at CNWL, particularly focusing on some upcoming vacancies, and we will provide guests with the opportunity to ask questions and network with each other. The afternoon is aimed at anyone (internal or external to the organisation) that is interested in pursuing a peer support / lived experience role within CNWL. There is a limit of 50 tickets so it will be first come first served, but we are planning on having more events in the future. Read more and register 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

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 -

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.

Charities Against Hate Live virtual event
Tuesday 16th November | 9am-12.40pm

Charities Against Hate is a coalition made up of charities and campaigners working to stop online hate and bring about positive change on social media. They are holding a free, virtual event for those interested in finding out what they do and how they can get involved. Read more about how to get involved and sign up here.

Sign up to our volunteering platform here!
Opportunity of the Week! 
Volunteering Matters – Drivers Service
Volunteering Matters Drivers service URGENTLY need volunteers.
As a Volunteer Driver you will offer your time to transport a diverse client group using your own vehicle. Our client group includes registered older passengers who access the service via a paid membership and children/young people and families who are referred to the service by Milton Keynes council.
As a volunteer driver, the role offers flexibility, supervision and reimbursement for fuel costs.
This is a vital service for so many members of the Milton Keynes community and Volunteering Matters need your help to allow this service to continue!
Read more about there role here, or apply on through the website 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.
Decision-making tool for volunteers


BID services consultation survey. BID is excited to announce the updates they will be making to their website and the review of their wider marketing activities to ensure they are fit for purpose and meet the needs of their clients and wider stakeholders. They would like to hear from you to inform the development of their website, how they communicate with you and how they share their information. The survey is available in both English and British Sign Language (BSL). Find out more and take the survey here. A BSL video about the consultation available here.

YiS Milton Keynes have launched their Mental Health Blog. More feature pieces will be released throughout the coming weeks and months – if you have any ideas of areas that you would like the YiS Mental Health Blog to cover, share them with Read the blog here.

Win prizes for cycling in Milton Keynes this SeptemberRead more about Cycle September here.

Community Engagement project – M & G 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. 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.

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 – Programme of events (Volunteering Matters)
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. 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.


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!
Local Consultations
National Consultations
Department of Health and Social Care consultation outcome: Reforming the Mental Health Act
Following the public consultation, The Department of Health and Social Care have published their response to the consultation on reforming the Mental Health Act, setting out their plans to make substantial changes to the Mental Health Act centred around the 4 key principles. Read more here.
View all national consultations here

Please follow the link below for more information-

Community Action: MK- Weekly Info and Updates

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