Community Action: MK- Weekly Info and Updates

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 the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector of Milton Keynes
 
Welcome to our weekly bulletin for the Milton Keynes Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector
*Please note that our offices will be closed from 17th December and will reopen on 3rd January.*
Click here for the MK Community Data Tool!
Whitehouse Surgery | 9am – 1pmCome and talk to us between 9am – 11am to find out more about volunteering, your local Voluntary and Community sector. Children Heard & Seen is a vital support organisation for children and families impacted by parental imprisonment. They will be sharing the impact, what is support available for children & families as well as their volunteering opportunities. Any groups that are also looking for support around funding, governance or volunteers are more than welcome. Read our November Schedule here!
Save the date! Christmas Cuppa & a Catch up!
Wednesday 8th December 2021 | 1pm – 2pm

Come and join us on Wednesday 8th December, online, for a cuppa and an informal catch up! You can tell us how your group is getting on, about any upcoming plans for the winter, or the near future, or just drop in quickly to say hi, hello and Merry Christmas!
More details to follow, so watch this space!
Volunteering Fayre – a summary!
Last week we had our first Virtual Volunteering Fayre – we hope all of those who attended enjoyed hearing from community groups and organisations about how they can help this winter. There are a huge variety of roles and this is just a snapshot, but take a look at the groups that shared hereThis summary sheet offers links and more information. As always we are more than happy to support and put you in touch with volunteering opportunities across MK – just get in touch here or at support@communityactionmk.org.
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
View our events on Eventbrite here!
The People and Voices of MK’s Voluntary 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. We have loved hearing from service & hope these are a useful resource. View our website page to hear from the range of groups we’ve already recorded.

Better Housing, Better Health - View the video here.
Seedlings Children’s Centre - View their video here.
See our dedicated funding page here
The Circular Future Fund | Deadline: 9th January 2022
The Circular Future Fund: Million Pound Challenge is a grant fund aiming to support trailblazing ideas and innovations that can accelerate the transition towards a more circular economy. Read more here.
Coop Carbon Innovation Fund
The Coop Carbon Innovation Fund is supports food and farming projects that are tackling the climate crisis by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The £3m Carbon Innovation Fund is a partnership between the Co-op Foundation and the Co-op, and will run over the next three years. It’s funded through Co-op donations raised from the sale of compostable carrier bags in the UK, and our own funds. We plan to award funding of £75k to £100k to about 10 projects in year one. Organisations that can apply include charities, social enterprises, co-operatives and local, regional and national government. Read more about the fund here.
Find out how we can support your organisation here
Ready For Scale and Business Growth Programme
Cranfield School of Management and Milton Keynes Council are delighted to announce that they are working together to provide a wide-ranging scholarship programme to support the growth of local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) based in Milton Keynes. Read more here or register. or register for an online briefing event here.

Cold Weather Preparedness
The Emergencies Partnership has put together a collection of alerts, guides, insight and advice to support preparing for the challenges of cold weather and the pressures this can add during the winter period. To see a collection of resources from GOV.UK, including the cold weather plan for England, click here.

Report: nfp Synergy: Gone Viral
The most recent report from nfp Synergy on the impacts of the second year of Covid-19 on the work of the UK charities. Find out more from this blog or watch a short video summarising the research here.

Lockdown Babies
Home-Start UK has produced a report highlighting the impact of the pandemic on pregnant women, new babies and their families. They found that families are not able to access all the support they need from health visiting services and GPs and that digital support has limitations. They are calling for action and investment for families and the inclusion of babies and the services that support them in the COVID-19 recovery policy. Read the report here.

Peer Support Worker training
Peer Support Workers are an essential part of the mental health workforce by using their experience to support others on their recovery journey. The role may be part of your trust or be employed in the VCSE/Social Care sector. The offer is available to those organisations that deliver NHS funded services, and therefore this includes organisations such as Community Interest Companies where appropriate. Training cost is paid to the provider directly. For PSW training – This training is available for those entering PSW that have not already received training to be a PSW. For supervision training – Ideally a Senior PSW or experienced PSW, but in the absence of a senior or experienced PSW in organisations, a registered professional working in a mental health setting that understands the values and principles of PSW and the role. For more information contact michael.farrington@nhs.net.

Surplus food

Surplus Christmas & New Year food is likely to be available from Aldi stores which are set to close on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day to organisations who support families who might otherwise miss out this Christmas. Organisations do not need to be a registered charity to apply but must:

  • Have a level two hygiene certificate gained in the last two years
  • Be able to transport and store chilled food products after collecting them on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve at 5pm

Get in touch through aldichristmas@neighbourly.com to register before 5 December.

Giving Tuesday 2021 – 30th November 2021
Giving Tuesday is known as a a global day of giving , where everyone, everywhere can do something to support the good causes that mean so much to them. It is a great initiative to promote and get involved with as an alternative to the commercially-driven Black Friday. Find out more here.

Respond Recover Reset: the voluntary sector and COVID-19 – Barometer Survey
COVID-19 is having a major impact on the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Sector. 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. By taking part in this short survey, you will help to capture key indicators about the impact that COVID-19 is having throughout the sector. Take the survey here.

Click the button below to view our 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!
Opportunity of the Week! 
Volunteers needed! | Winter Night Shelter MK
Winter Night Shelter MK offers year-round support for the homeless and vulnerable, along with an emergency accommodation service for rough sleepers in the winter months. We are currently looking for volunteers to enable us to run our night shelter accommodation from December- March. Volunteers are needed at our overnight venues and our evening reception café, and morning welcome service at our centre, Unity Park Station, which provides wraparound care for our night shelter guests. There are a range of roles available. Most volunteers give a few hours every week or fortnight as part of a friendly and committed team. We have locations in central MK, Wolverton, Bletchley, Coffee Hall and Newport Pagnell, with a variety of shift times from early in the evening through to early morning shifts that could be completed before work. We rely on hundreds of volunteers each winter to enable us to create a safe haven for rough sleepers and set them on a pathway to rebuild their lives. Thank you for your interest in how you can play your part. Read more about the roles here.
Volunteers needed | MK Play Association
MKPA are currently looking for a range of volunteers. Please see below,

  • Fundraising
  • Marketing
  • Admin support
  • Scrapstore
  • General assistance in the scrap store
  • Helping to make scrap and craft boxes to be sent to families in need

If you would like to know more, please get in touch! Email admin@mkpa.co.uk or call 07951 746 970, thank you.

CMK Green Gym Volunteers
If we’re going to keep going, we need to grow our group. At the moment we have just enough people to do the things we want to – but we do recognise that we can’t all attend every session – and that can sometimes mean we’re a bit thin on the ground. Your help is really important here – if you know anyone who might join us to help in the various CMK gardens, please tell them about us – 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. Find out more here.
New St Francis’ Children’s Society Trustee Opportunity
St. Francis’ Children’s Society is a charity and well-respected specialist adoption agency whose history dates back almost 150 years. We make a difference to vulnerable children’s lives by finding them permanent families and provide practical and emotional support for all those whose lives are touched by adoption. We are seeking two Trustees to further strengthen the committed board with skills and expertise in:

  • Social work, either currently or previously practising, bringing experience of safeguarding.
  • An individual with senior management experience in a charity, public or commercial organisation who brings strong organisational oversight covering any of the following skill sets: IT, Legal, Finance, Change Management, Procurement, Fundraising, Social Media and Marketing.

Find out more about the role here.

Do you need volunteers? Then get in touch! We can support you to sign up to our volunteering platform or we can advertise your roles free through our newsletter! Email us at support@communityactionmk.org and chat to one of our team members!
Sign up to our volunteering platform here!
View our updated Covid-19 page here!
Buy your Christmas presents locally. We have collated and updated our list of where you can buy your Christmas presents locally this year, whilst helping out charities and groups in your local area! View the list here.

MK Money Lifeline NewsletterFind out the latest from MK Money Lifeline here.

MK Melting Pot – Winter Employability and Cooking training. Improve your cookery skills and employment opportunities in just 6 weeks! Find out more here.

CMK Green Gym Newsletter. Read the latest updates and how you can get involved here.

Winter Wheelers is coming… Running from the 1-25 December, Winter Wheelers is a cold-conquering competition from Love to Ride aimed at getting more people riding bikes through winter. Read more here.

Making Tracks Project. The Making Tracks project offers opportunities to gain work-related skills and experience to people who have a diagnosis of autism, ADHD, or associated long-term mental health conditions and are not in work. Read more about the project and how you can apply here.

MK Play Association call out to businesses. MKPA are calling out to businesses to donate unwanted items that would usually go into landfill which people can use to make into other things or for craft projects.  They would also love businesses to visit to see what they do! Find out more here.

MK YiS Update. Read more about what’s been happening at MK YiS here.

Take a look at the Walking for Health Schedule. See how and where you can get involved in these health walks. They are visiting some of the amazing green spaces across MK. View the schedule here.

Custom Eyes. Custom Eyes is a service run by Guide Dogs. It sells large print tailor-made books for children living with visual impairment. Becoming a Custom Eyes Books member is easy free. And thanks to a generous Guide Dogs subsidy, all large print books are available at the recommended retail price, regardless of format. Find out more here.

Explore Fairfields and Whitehouse. MKC Culture Team have commissioned a website for Fairfields and Whitehouse as part of a public art programme. The website is a place for people to connect with their area through heritage and creative activities. It is a great space for community members to hear about what is around them and also get involved in their local community. We are thrilled that our “Beyond the Redways” walk with Mike LeRoy has contributed to the site. The website has been supported by the Parish Councils, Schools, Parks Trust and Community Action: MK and built by Unit1. Visit the site here.

Activities for Afghan families. Welcome MK would like to help Milton Keynes Afghan Refugees to find free activities to do within walking distance of Heelands. This could be activities such as crafts, walks etc. Find out more here.

If you know of any consultations that are happening, then get in touch here!
Local Consultations

National Consultations

View all national consultations here
MK Director | Arts for Health
Closing date: Thursday 2nd December

Arts for Health Milton Keynes, a local charity using arts and creativity to improve health and well-being, are looking for someone to play a significant role in taking our work to the next level. This is a hugely exciting opportunity for someone who can deliver against their key priorities. Read more about the role 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 info@communityactionmk.org!
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