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


Register here for our AGM 2021
Autumn Craft session with Woodlands Children Centre
Friday 29th October 2021 | 1pm – 3pm
Where: Hanslope Scout Hall

Come and join Woodlands Children’s Centre and Community Action: MK at Hanslope Scout Hall, to get involved with all things crafty! You can learn about the Children’s centre and what it has to offer, as well as learning about how you can get involved within your local community, while doing some nifty autumn crafts! Community Action: MK will also be on hand to help with the crafting and to talk about anything to do with your local community, as well as what it’s like to live in Hanslope, how you can get involved in volunteering and whether you yourself would like to set up or take part in any of the local groups! Find out more and register here.

Whitehouse Surgery | 9am – 1pm
This week we have the Ethnic Minority Achievement Network joining us from 11am – 12pm, and then Citizens Advice from 12pm – 1pm. The EMA Network’s purpose is to raise the attainment of BME/EAL children & support supplementary schools who provide a community of language/culture, faith. Citizens Advice offers free, independent, impartial and confidential advice. Come along and see what the groups have to offer and how you can get involved! We will be there from 9am – 1pm so why not pop along and chat to us!
Drop-in sessions for volunteers and organisations 

We are around every Tuesday for an online drop-in sessions. We can offer support around volunteering and how to get more involved in your local community, as well as talk you through setting up a group all on your own! 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
Your Voice, Your Power
Thursday 7th October | 11am – 3pm

This is a free networking event organised by Voices of Women MK (Women’s Partnership in Milton Keynes) and supported by Community Action: MK. Join Voices of Women MK to find out about grassroots activism happening around Milton Keynes, and how you can get involved in the UN’s 16 Days of ActivismFind out more and register 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.
View our events on Eventbrite here!
Robopet campaign – MK Friends of Milton Keynes Hospital and Community
MK Friends of Milton Keynes Hospital & Community have launched their Robopet Campaign providing robotic pets for people with Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and anxiety. An effective, drug-free way to calm and soothe is cuddling and interacting with a soft toy. Positive results have been seen, including increased happiness and calm, reduced agitation and anxiety, increased engagement through playing and talking with their ‘companion’, having a sense of purpose from caring for their pet, reliving happy memories of a previous dog or cat, and giving visitors (especially children) something to focus on and interact with for more successful visits. MK Friends are hoping to deliver these pets to care homes across Milton Keynes. Burlington Hall in Woburn Sands and Milton Keynes University Hospital dementia wards are the first to have received theirs and are proving to be a great success. Read more and donate 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
Upcoming funding deadlines:

  • People’s Health Trust’s Active Communities Programme: this fund is open for applications throughout Bedfordshire. Charities, CICs and CBSs with an income below £350,000 per year can apply for between £5,000 and £40,000 for small, local projects, genuinely designed and run by local people. For full eligibility criteria, check the website Please check the map, which will go live after 1pm on 8 September for the specific areas that the funding is targeted at. Deadline: 6th October 2021
  • BBC Children In Need: Small Grants Programme: Provides funding for organisations that are supporting children and young people of 18 years and under who are experiencing disadvantage through: illness, distress, abuse or neglect, any kind of disability, behavioural or psychological difficulties, living in poverty or situations of deprivation. Grants of up to £10,000 are available per year for up to three years. Deadline: 6th October 2021, 11.30am
Find out how we can support your organisation here
World Mental Health Day – 10th October 2021
The theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health this year is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’. View the resources and social media graphics put together by the Mental Health Foundation here, and find out what Bucks Minds is doing this World Mental Health Day to support you and your mental health here. Look out later this week for our dedicated blog which will include local signposts, resources and a snippet about the new Mental Health Alliance in Milton Keynes!

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 with any problems you might have. Book here.
Do you know people who can’t or don’t access the internet?
Policy Lab is looking to conduct phone interviews about the Creating a vision for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc public consultation led by the government. They are looking specifically to speak with people who can’t or don’t access the internet and who live in either Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire or Cambridgeshire. Reasons why people might not be able to access the internet could include, but are not limited to: lack of IT knowledge or skills, financial or health reasons. The research interviews will be 1 hour long and will cover questions about the person’s hopes and fears for the future of their local area, as well as their current lived experience. If you can connect Policy Lab with people who can’t access the internet for whatever reason, please contact: Solène Heinzl at or call 07740516013. Read more about Policy Lab here.

100+ Charity Christmas Ideas & Resources
Christmas is a great opportunity to celebrate and also a major fundraising opportunity for charities, but it needs to be planned ahead and well. This Charity Excellence Christmas resource has 100+ ideas, plus links to a whole range of other resources, which have even more good ideas and advice on making your Christmas the huge success it deserves to be. Find the resources here.

Tools to help you support young people in crisis
Coalition members Healthy Teen Minds and 42nd Street have released a new free platform for anyone supporting young people in a mental health crisis called Crisis Tools. Created by young people working in partnership with mental health experts. Short, accessible video guides and text resources. All for free. View the resources here.
Supporting Hong Kong Chinese families in MK
The Ethnic Minority Achievement forum at MK Council have shared some useful information and updates about the movement of families from Hong Kong as well as some of the support that is available. Take a look at the slides to find out more and you can contact them EMA here

‘The Impact of COVID-19 on Homelessness in Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes Homelessness Partnership research highlights the local impact of COVID-19 on the homelessness sector. As the homelessness sector continues to navigate through the challenges presented by the pandemic, the Milton Keynes Homelessness Partnership (MKHP) publishes its inaugural research report. It puts a spotlight on the real impact of COVID-19 across the sector and on people who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness across Milton Keynes. Read the press release hereRead the report here.

Legal challenge launched over ‘anti-woke’ agenda of Charity Commission
A legal challenge has been launched over the government’s apparent attempt to force the charities’ watchdog to pursue a regulatory agenda against good causes that ministers believe stray into “woke” and “political” activities. Read the article here.

Have you heard about Grapevine?
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.

Click the button below to view our brand new dedicated events page on our website, where you will find both local and national events listed for your interest!
Visit our Events page here!
City of Light – Panel Discussion
Wednesday 6th October 2021 | 11am – 1pm
Where: Bletchley Park

This festival was developed to bring together the uniquely diverse community in Milton Keynes to celebrate the intersection of art, science and technology. Building on the success of the Codemakers Digital Light 2019/20 project, the festival will feature two insightful panel discussions, both free to attend. Our incredible panelists – including digital artist, Aphra Shemza , digital storyteller, Claire Mead and South Asian Writers founder, Natasha Juneja – will share their experiences and perspectives on how technology can be used as a force for good, to democratise the cultural sector and tell all manner of stories. It’s free to attend. Register here.
Digital Art Parade from Intu Midsummer Shopping Centre
Saturday 9th October 2021 | 6.30pm

Bringing together diverse communities together to celebrate art, science and technology. A parade show with music and dance, followed by community concerts and a Laser Light Show. Find out more here.
Sign up to our volunteering platform here!
Opportunity of the Week! 
Volunteer Drivers | Volunteering Matters
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!
Volunteers needed | Gig Buddies

Gig Buddies support people with learning disabilities in Bedford and now in the Milton Keynes area to access the community, access music events, meet new people and enjoy themselves. They need volunteers to continue to do this and support more people with learning disabilities to access events. They pair people up with similar interests, whether this is folk music, clubbing, theatre, cover bands or festivals! They only need you to join your Gig Buddy a couple of times a month to get out and enjoy themselves. Also, because Gig Buddying is all about getting to know someone, they ask that a volunteer commit to be available for at least a year. All volunteers receive training, DBS checks and are fully supported along thew way. Read more about the role here.

Linford Lakes Nature Reserve Warden | The Parks Trust
The Parks Trust have an exciting opportunity to join our volunteering team as a Linford Lakes Nature Reserve Warden. The role will involve carrying out regular patrols of the reserve with another volunteer, reporting any issues, helping maintain access, sharing wildlife sightings, engaging with visitors and checking permits. If you would like to register your interest in this role, please contact 
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

Volunteer at the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 in Milton Keynes. A volunteer recruitment programme has been launched for local people in MK to become the face of the Women’s EURO 2022 in Milton Keynes next summer. Read more about how to get involved here.

Acorn Early Years Safeguarding training – Autumn Term 2021Read more about what’s on offer here.

Transition Town MK NewsletterFind out what’s been happening in the group and how you can get involved here.

Girl Packs available from YiS
YiS are now a pick up point for Girl Packs. Girl packs are for girls and women who are in need of sanitary towels and underwear. It is a no questions asked service. The packs are currently held in the YiS Office (Room F43) at MK College but will be available at some of our upcoming outreach events and our face to face sessions with young people.

Career Connect. Women Leaders are working in partnership with MK Council to provide CareerConnect – a mentoring programme for women who find themselves trying to get back to work following an absence – this may be pandemic related or for any other reason. Their experienced mentors can offer up to 5 sessions to help support you to regain your confidence, to better network and to provide some CPD learning opportunities through the charity’s ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions. Read more about the programme here.

CMK Green Gym newsletter. Find out how you can get involved here. - UPDATED

Open university are looking for volunteers and paid participants for their research. Researchers from the Open University would like to recruit volunteers for a survey and some participants for a paid study that aims to explore how community-led self- investigations could help tackle the environmental issues. Read more about how to get involved here.

BID services consultation survey. BID are looking to update their website and marketing activities, and want you to help inform the development of these.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.

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.


BLMK Vaccination sites information (1st and 2nd jabs) - NEW
COVID-19 communications toolkit

Government Guide: Working safely during coronavirus (Covid-19)
Keep Life Moving campaign

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.

We are currently updating our Covid-19 response pages on our website to reflect the current guidance and most recent information, as well as make the information easy to navigate. Please bear with us while we work on this. Thank you!
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
Do you have a voluntary and community sector job role that needs advertising? Then let us know and we can promote it for free right here in our newsletter! Just email your information and job description to!
Opportunities with PurpleSpace
PurpleSpace is recruiting three exciting roles to support with their strategic growth. They are hiring three key roles for their PurpleSpace team. As they continue to support their worldwide community of members, these roles will help with the development, advancement and processes of PurpleSpace. From all three successful candidates, they are looking for people who are passionate about disability inclusion and also appreciate the hands-on approach required for a small team. These roles are all remote and applicants can be based anywhere in the world, as long as they are able to work within UK time zones. Read more about the roles and how to apply here.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) | Yarl’s Wood Befrienders
Annual salary: £33,000–£40,000 (depending on experience)
Full time: 35 hours per week
Yarl’s Wood Befrienders (YWB) support people detained at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre (YWIRC) and in some cases provide post-detention support. They are looking for an individual to take on the role of CEO. They are seeking an energetic and compassionate individual to take the organisation forward at this pivotal time, given the expected changes at YWIRC and in the wider immigration detention environment. The CEO will provide strategic leadership, developing best-practice ways to develop the charity’s services, generate income, raise awareness of its work and cultivate and maintain strategic partnerships. The CEO is also responsible with the board for setting and maintaining the tone, vision and culture of the organisation in a collaborative working environment. Read more about the role here.
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