Community Action: MK- Weekly Info and Updates

Supporting the voluntary and community sector of Milton Keynes
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Welcome to our weekly bulletin for Milton Keynes’ voluntary & community sector
Annual Review 2019 – 2020
Sign up to our new volunteering platform!
We have transitioned to and created a Community Action: MK Doit.Org site as our new volunteering platform! We feel this will better suit the current needs of groups and volunteers. More sessions have become available for groups and organisations to get started or ask any questions about our new DOIT platform. Don’t forget to join our Ecosystem now and then join our support sessions to get going on learn about new features on the site.  Read more about how to sign up to one of our support sessions.
Safer MK Meeting | Thursday 4th March 2021, 3.30pm
The partnership is responsible for formulating and implementing a Strategy to tackle local crime and community safety issues in the Milton Keynes area. There will be an online meeting held with Community Action: MK and stakeholders to discuss papers in preparation for the meeting that will be held 10th March 2021. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to
International Women’s Day Festival of Events
Sunday 7th March 2021 | 1.30pm – 9pm

The newly formed Voices of Women MK have created a patchwork of FREE online events to mark International Women’s day (8th March).  There will be events and activities running from 1.30pm through until 9pm and you can book as much or as little as you like. Each session has a series of activites which you can dip in an out of. Find out more and book here.
This week’s spotlight shines on the Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre and the wonderful work they have been undertaking to brighten up their Woodland Walk for MK residents!
‘The grounds at Bradwell Abbey are now home to some new additions for people to enjoy during
their daily exercise. Their Woodland Walk, which was created as part of the Bradwell Abbey and Me
project, kindly funded by Milton Keynes Council and Santander, is dotted with outdoor etchings and
artworks by MKCDC’s resident artist, Liisa Clark. Her latest beautiful installations, the ‘Glass
Sculptures’, can now be enjoyed as local visitors wander the woodland.
The multi-talented Liisa has also illustrated and written one of our two new wildlife information
boards. The panels, designed by Paul Mesham, will help visitors engage with, and learn more about
the species and habitats on site, with new activity sheets for younger wildlife enthusiasts coming
very soon!’
If you or an organisation that deserves recognition, would like a mention in our ‘Spotlight’ feature, please get in touch at
MK Community Foundation Mad March Match! Double your Donation Challenge! Click here to find out more!
The Big Give Green Match Fund
Deadline: 5th March 2021, 5pm

The Green Match Fund is a match funding campaign for charities which are working on environmental issues as part of their core mission. All public donations made to participating charities via during the week of the campaign (22-29 April) will be matched up to a specific amount. Read more about the campaign.

Allchurches Trust
Funding in support of churches, church establishments, religious charities, charities preserving UK heritage, theological colleges, schools promoting Christian religion, charities sponsored or recommended by the church, the local community and those concerned with the welfare of the disadvantaged and disabled. Read more about the fund.

The Pixel Fund
Grants are available for UK-based charities and community interest organisations to support projects that promote the mental health and wellbeing of children and young adults. Read more about the fund.

Help the Homeless
Deadline: 15th March 2021

Funding for capital projects that assist individuals in their return to mainstream society, rather than simply offering shelter or other forms of sustenance. Funds of to £5000 are available to charities. Read more about the fund.

Women Thrive Fund
Grants are available to grassroots and specialist women’s and girls’ organisations across the UK that are working to enable women and girls to improve their mental health and wellbeing and/or improve their financial resilience. Read more about the fund.

Sport England – Return to Play Fund for Flood Damaged Facilities
Emergency flood relief funding is available for community sports clubs and not-for-profit organisations to help them restore flood-damaged sport and physical activity facilities in the areas worst affected by the recent flooding caused by Storm Christoph. Read more about the fund.

Aurelius Charitable Trust
Grants are available for charitable organisations involved with conservation of culture inherited from the past and the dissemination of knowledge, particularly in the humanities field. Read more about the fund.

The Prospectory – Idea Fund
Grants are available to individuals or small groups or organisations based in the United Kingdom who have a novel technical idea which they want to try out. Click to learn more about the fund.

The Grocer’s Hall Charity
Deadline: 9th March 2021

The fund provides one-off grants of up to £5,000 for UK registered charities working in the areas of the relief of poverty, the elderly, disability, health, military, heritage & the arts, environment and children & young people. Click to learn more about the fund.

National Lottery Community Fund UK Portfolio – Growing Great Ideas Programme.
Funding for not-for-profit organisations working together to test new ideas, new approaches that experiment with how to do things differently with a focus on supporting transformational and longer-term change. Click to learn more about the fund.

SEMLEP Community Grants
The Community Grants programme offers VCSE organisations grant funding from £10,000 to £20,000 to deliver local projects that make a difference within local communities in the South East Midlands. Webinars for interested applicants can be booked here and here. Click to learn more about the fund.

Masonic Charity
Deadline: 31st March (for both)

  • Later Life - for local and national charities that are working to reduce loneliness and isolation in later life.
  • Children and Young People - for national and local charities helping disadvantaged children and young people to overcome the barriers they face.

The NFU Mutual Community Giving Fund
Deadline: 31st March 2021

Grants up to £1000, preferably for specific items or equipment/furniture or something that will help people over a period of time. Read more.

Funding page for the VCSE sector
YMCA MK New Hospital Navigator Scheme
YMCA are launching a new Hospital Navigator Scheme in partnership with Milton Keynes University Hospital (MKUH) and Thames Valley Police to provide support to young people who present at MKUH A&E because of serious violence. Through this initiative, YMCA can support patients and navigate them back into the community, building resilience and offering mentoring to prevent further incidents that could lead them back into hospital. Read more about the scheme.

CEO Sleepout MK
CEO Sleepout MK will be taking place on 19 April 2021. The event will raise vital awareness and funds to fight homelessness and poverty in MK. All money raised will be split between YMCA MK, The MK Dons SET, and CEO Sleepout UK. Due to COVID-19, participants will spend the night in their gardens instead of Stadium MK, but it will be a great fundraising event, nevertheless. Read more about how to register for the CEO Sleepout MK.

NHS England Safeguarding app
The NHS Safeguarding app has been developed to act as a comprehensive resource for healthcare professionals, carers and citizens and provides 24-hour, mobile access on up to date legislation and guidance across the safeguarding life course. The app also provides information on reporting a safeguarding concern and has a directory of safeguarding contacts for every local authority in England, searchable by region. It can be accessed via Apple iOS, Google Play or it can be downloaded by visiting your device’s app store and searching for ‘NHS Safeguarding’.

Free digital skills training and mentoring for small charities
Beyond is offering mentoring and training to nonprofits working in the areas of financial wellbeing, early years, mental health and sexual & domestic violence. Read more about the training offered.

Free trial of vHelp for charities support the vaccine rollout
vHelp, the payment app for charities, is offering local charities supporting the COVID-19 vaccine rollout a free two-month trial of its new expenses service for volunteers. Read more about vHelp’s offer.

The Value of Small in a Big Crisis
A report by various partners around the distinctive contribution, value and experiences of smaller charities in England and Wales during the COVID 19 pandemic. Read the report here.

No plans for Emergency Support Fund, says charity minister
The government has no plans for a second dedicated emergency coronavirus funding package for charities, the minister said this morning. Charity leaders have been pushing for further grants to support the sector, but Baroness Barran, minister for civil society, said that there were no plans for “another dedicated package”. Read the article on sector support.

Back in Lockdown: Girls’ and young women’s hopes and fears for the future.
Research from Girl Guiding looks at how girls and young women aged 4 – 18 in the UK are coping in this latest national lockdown. Read more about Girl Guiding’s research.

Repurposing second hand devices and erasing data guidance
NSCS (National Cyber Security Centre) has released guidance on how charities can erase personal data from second hand devices for the use of repurposing them and how to erase data in order to do so. Read more about the guidance for charities on repurposing devices.

Spatial framework illustrates Government commitment to supercharge Oxford-Cambridge Arc
Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher has set out how Government will work with local partners to create an ambitious plan to transform the Oxford-Cambridge Arc into one of the world’s premier growth corridors and a world-leader in sustainability. Read more about the spatial framework.

BLMK needs you
BLMK CCGs need your help to look at the strategic priorities that have been developed following the guidance within the NHS Long Term Plan. Do you have time to commit to 3 x 1-hour long meetings between 24 February and 31 March to help review current priorities and ensure they will meet the needs of our local communities in the future? If you are interested, would like more information or to discuss, please contact Ruth Adams via email: or mobile: 07788 360154

Calling for research participants: Research being conducted by the Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership.
The Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership are exploring Black and Ethnic Minority (BEM) Leaders and the interactions with policy makers and the Police to address racial inequalities. We would like to invite any Black and Ethnic minority leaders to get in touch with the research groups primary contact Dr Fidele Mutwarasibo. Contact: for more information or contact

Keeping Well
Free, fast and confidential wellbeing and psychological support
 for health and social care staff in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes. Keeping Well provide wellbeing and psychological support to all NHS staff and staff providing care to others in the community, including residential homes and VCS organisations in the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) area. Read more about the support Keeping Well can offer.

Supporting Occupational Health and Wellbeing Professionals
(SOM) and Public Health England are running a series of seminars for employers, employees, healthcare professionals and policy makers. These are free to attend. Find out more.

  • Developing a COVID secure health and wellbeing strategy | 3rd March, 2pm-4pm
  • Managing Change – from restructuring, redundancy to home working | 10th March, 2pm-4pm
Domestic Abuse Awareness in the Workplace | MK-ACT
Free virtual training sessions
 delivered by MK-Act, a specialist Domestic Violence Support Service for Milton Keynes. This workshop is for businesses of all sizes, employers, HR professionals, line managers and front-line staff working in Milton Keynes. Dates below. Sign up here.

  • Wednesday 3rd March 2021 – 1pm – 4.30pm
  • Tuesday 16th March 2021 – 1pm – 4.30pm
Free online training for women in politics
The Fawcett Society is running a programme of free online training for women on how to get into politics, using your voice online and getting active in the upcoming local government elections. This programme includes spaces and support specifically for groups of women who are underrepresented across politics, including Women of Colour and Disabled women. Read more.
AHA Forum: Marketing to and Reconnecting with Audiences
3rd March 2021 | 10am – 12.30pm
This forum will explore marketing to audiences and reconnecting with them. Guest speakers from The Audience Agency, and SPARC (Sheffield Performer & Audience Research Centre at Sheffield University). Find out more.
Generation COVID – Let’s get our voices heard!
Sunday 7th March | 6pm – 7pm

Youth engagement organisation ‘I have a voice’ are working with young person Grace Spicer to publish a book containing the voices of young people & their experiences of the pandemic to raise money for three UK youth organisations and are running a FREE event to fundraise for the launch of the book. Read more about the book. Read more about how to sign up.
International Women’s Day Celebration
8th March 2021 | 2pm – 3.30pm

MK Community Foundation are celebrating International Women’s Day virtually this year, with a series of inspirational podcasts from women from all different walks of life and professions in the week before and then an online event on the 8th, hosted by Fola Komolafe, where we can gather virtually to hear about how we can all #ChooseToChallenge this coming year. Read more.
Free Loss and Bereavement Awareness Webinar
This training is available for frontline professionals living or working in Milton Keynes who are looking to gain a basic awareness and understanding of grief, the process and where to signpost to support. Read more.

  • Tuesday 9th March: 10.15am-12.45pm
  • Thursday 11th March: 10.15am-12.45pm
  • Thursday 11th March: 2:15pm – 4:45pm
  • Tuesday 23rd March: 10.15am-12.45pm
An Introduction to Trust and Foundation Fundraising
Thursday 11th March 2021| 10.30am – 12pm

This workshop delivered on line from Citrus Consultancy will cover the essential steps you should be taking in order make the most of your applications, improve your chances of success; and target the most appropriate trust or foundation. The workshop is aimed at staff, volunteers and trustees who are new to trust fundraising. Tickets at £20. Read more.
Local news

Homelessness charities welcome reduction in number of people sleeping rough in Milton Keynes. Depaul UK and Milton Keynes Homelessness Partnership (MKHP) have welcomed new Government statistics indicating a 49 percent reduction in the number of people sleeping rough over the last 12 months in Milton Keynes, but have reiterated the need to do more. Read more about the efforts to reduce Milton Keynes homelessness.

Council collaborates with local charity to support women back into work. MK Council has partnered with Works For Us, a local charity supporting women into work whose jobs have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about the collaboration and support here.

Imagine MK Creative Ideas Competition – Transition Town MK. This competition is a chance for you to share your ideas about how living in MK in 2030 could be better for people and more in harmony with nature and our environment for a more sustainable future. Read more about the competition.

Looking for Work? Let Works for Us help. Their completely free service offers support, advice and a range of different skills courses and is open to anyone living in Milton Keynes. All their services are currently being provided remotely (via phone, email and zoom). They can also provide digital support if you need help getting online. Read more about Works For Us support.

Call to Care. Read more about the initiative.

SENDactive AT HOME. SENDactive provides inclusive sport, physical activity & leadership opportunities for special schools, and have developed weekly activity cards and directory of online resources to help keep families active at home. Read more.

Wellbeing Webinars – BLMK. Read more about the March sessions.

Vaccination in the UK amongst Central and Eastern European communities. Please air your views by participating in this short online survey. Survey for adults. Survey for parents.

MK Museum: We are MK, Too Engagement. MK Museum invites contributions for its 2021 exhibition ‘We are MK, Too’. Email: more.

MK Arts Centre Sessions. Read more.

Coronavirus news


Information for communities
Local Consultations

Draft South East Milton Keynes – Strategic Urban Extension Development Framework Supplementary Planning Document | Deadline: 19th April 2021, 5pm
Milton Keynes Council has published the Draft South East Milton Keynes – Strategic Urban Extension Development Framework Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for consultation and invites comments from members of the public, organisations and other stakeholders for a 10-week period. The Plan:MK South East Milton Keynes Strategic Urban Extension allocation is located to the south of MK on land adjacent to Wavendon, Walton, Woburn Sands and Bow Brickhill, straddling the East West Rail railway line. It is allocated in Plan:MK for around 3,000 homes, associated uses, a secondary school, two primary schools, Gypsy and Travellers site and other supporting social and green infrastructure. The draft SPD has been prepared to support the implementation of the following policies:

The preferred method for submitting comments can be found here. Please return your form via: Civic Offices, 1 Saxon Gate East, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 3EJ Email:

National Consultations

Stepping Stones | Volunteering Matters
This brand new project was developed, and will be delivered, collaboratively with the Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group and Service Six, addressing the need to support children and young people transitioning from long-term inpatient mental health units back into the wider community. This volunteering role requires flexibility and understanding and commitment to organisational values. The key purpose of the volunteering role is to support children and young people to transition successfully back to the community after long-term inpatient stays and to reduce the readmission rates back into unit. If you are interested please let us know and we can put you in touch with the project coordinator at Volunteering Matters. Contact:
Volunteering Matters
If you are interested in any of the roles below, please email us at

  • Volunteer Driver role - as a Volunteer Driver you will offer your time to transport a diverse client group using your own vehicle. The 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.
  • Volunteer Telephone Befriender - to provide telephone befriending to one or two beneficiaries per week for approximately 30 minutes per call. Through your conversations, you will be providing a connection to somebody who might be quite socially isolated and checking in on their wellbeing, acting as a link to accessing further support if necessary.
intu MK Green Gym
Green Gym will be returning to the gardens of central Milton Keynes on the Tuesday 9th March 2021 – Green Gardening for Wildlife. BOOKING ESSENTIAL. Join intu MK Green Gym at the Fred Roche Gardens in Central MK to help maintain the beautiful landscaped gardens by carrying out a range of general gardening tasks. No experience needed! Tools and any basic training needed will be provided on the day. Please do bring your own gardening gloves and sturdy outdoor footwear and suitable outdoor clothing are essential. Please email or call 07740 899633 to reserve a place. Session runs from 10.45am – 1.30pm. Meet at the top wall of the Fred Roche Gardens, just off Silbury Boulevard, Central Milton Keynes. Do remember to bring your own snack and drink!
Volunteer Branch Community Support (BCS) | Royal British Legion
Deadline: 28th March 2021

The Royal British Legion are looking to recruit a Volunteer Branch Community Support (BCS) Communications Volunteer to help share all the fantastic work branches across the county are doing with their communities. This is an exciting role for someone to help with assisting the BCS team with promoting and increasing Branch awareness to both internal and external audiences including helping build our social media platforms such as Yammer etc. The role will also require to research stories and content for use on Legion and membership intranet pages. For more information or to express an interest, please contact: 07729105731 or Read more about this volunteering role.
Decision-making tool for volunteers
Family Liaison Officer | Closing date: 8th March 2021
Harry’s Rainbow recognise the need for a dedicated person to provide support to bereaved families and are therefore seeking a Family Liaison Officer. As the first and main point of contact for all enquiries, from members of the public, schools, and other professional services relating to bereavement support for children and their families, you will have a minimum level 4 qualification as well as experience in working children and families. Read more.
Useful links

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