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learning, development and events

april to june 2011

APRIL Setting Up a Free Website For Your Community Group

Tuesday 5th April 2011 • 5.30-7.30pm • £25 Community Action: MK, Acorn House, CMK This is an interactive session to help community groups have a presence on the internet. A website can help tell people what you do and provide a place for your members to keep up to date with what’s happening. Using BT Community Website Builder, you will leave the session with a FREE basic website! The course will look at the theory behind having a great website as well as the practical do's and don’ts of website building. Following the course there will be an optional catchup session on the 10th of May to see how your sites have developed and to discuss the successes and challenges you have experienced along the way.

book online at

or call us on 01908 661623

Walking Tour: Brooklands Wednesday 6th April 2011 • 11am-1pm • FREE Brooklands Marketing Suite Come and join us on a walking tour of the Brooklands site in the Eastern Expansion Area. This is a fab chance to have a peek at this new development and find out more about what’s in the pipeline. We will look at landscaping, new houses, the city street, and see some of the first facilities for the area. This event is aimed at anyone with an interest in how Milton Keynes is expanding. Funded by the Tariff Programme.

Spotlight on Working Together Wednesday 6th April 2011 • 3-4.30pm • £5 (Part Funded by MK Council) Community Action: MK, Acorn House, CMK A fantastic opportunity to come along and meet with other voluntary and community sector folk to talk about how working together can benefit your organisation/group in the future. Together, we will explore both the positives as well as the potential drawbacks. To kick things off John Cove, Chief Executive of MK Dons Sport and Education Trust, will share his experience of their latest partnership project with the Caldecotte Xperience and Community Action: MK as together they embark upon one of the governments new NCS (National Citizenship Service) schemes.

Spotlight on How the Localism Bill Helps You Plan Your Community Thursday 14th April 2011 • 8.30-9.30am • FREE (Funded by the Tariff Programme) Acorn House, CMK Come along for a croissant and a cuppa to find out more about how the Localism Bill impacts planning communities in Milton Keynes. Local community groups will be able to form neighbourhood forums and, together with parish councils, they will be empowered to develop planning proposals for their neighbourhoods, as well as granting planning permissions in their area. We will be joined by Bob Wilson from Milton Keynes Council who will give us an insight into how local residents and groups can impact development in the future. You can submit questions in advance so the planning team are prepared – if you would like to do this please get your questions across by 7th April to

Keep up to date with what else is happening at


Community Development Network Open Event Tuesday 10th May 2011 • 9am-1.30pm • FREE Acorn House Conference Suite, CMK Come and join the Community Development Network and guests to explore how to make a difference in your community. With workshops, networking opportunities and sector experts present, this event is a good opportunity to meet other community workers and volunteers and the groups they work with. Join in for a chance to speak with like-minded people and enjoy a nice cheeky spot of lunch!

Walking Tour: Ashlands Wednesday 18th May 2011 • 11am-1pm • FREE Opposite the Ashland Lake - go to for a map Come and join us on a walking tour of the Ashland site, another new area of Milton Keynes. This is a really good chance to have a peek at this new development and find out more about what's happening. This event is aimed at anyone with an interest in how Milton Keynes is developing. Funded by the Tariff Programme.

* from planning to reality: how to plan your project and be attractive to funders is free to groups with an income of less than £10,000

From Planning to Reality: How to Plan Your Project and be Attractive to Funders

Thursday 19th May 2011 • 9.30am-12.30pm • £25/ FREE* Community Action: MK, Acorn House, CMK This interactive workshop is aimed at small to medium sized voluntary and community groups who are new to the funding process. The workshop will give you a practical session on project planning, some tools and templates for effective visioning, advice on how to turn your plans into a fundable project and top tips for fundraising.

Spotlight on Social Media Wednesday 25th May 2011 • 1.30-3.00pm • £5 Community Action: MK, Acorn House, CMK A chance for voluntary organisations, community groups and community development workers in and around Milton Keynes to get together to talk about successes and challenges in using Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. The session will begin with a presentation from two local people involved in voluntary organisations in their community who have been using social media effectively, followed by a chance to ask them both questions. The spotlight will conclude with an open discussion about the joys, pitfalls, benefits and drawbacks of using social media.

Planning an Event Wednesday 25th May 2011 • 5-8pm • £25 Community Action: MK, Acorn House, CMK A session for people who are new to running community and fundraising events. It will cover a wide range of events looking at planning, budgeting, health and safety, insurance, publicity, evaluation and useful resources.

book online at or call us on 01908 661623


Understanding Communities:

A Taster of Community Development Tuesday 7th June 2011 • 5.30-7.30pm • £5 Community Action: MK, Acorn House, CMK This session will give you an insight and understanding of how to best use your skills, knowledge and ideas to support people in communities where you work. It is ideal for volunteers, community champions, people new to working in communities, and those that want a basic introduction to community work.

book online at

or call us on 01908 661623

You will learn about engaging people, understanding how to find out what is going on in your community, using community development principles in your practice and sharing experience with others. This course will give participants a good introduction to understanding communities, and leads into an accredited Level 2 Understanding Community Development course that will be held later in the year.

Effective Representation: Skills and Strategies for Community Workers and Volunteers Saturday 11th June 2011 • 9.30am-4.30pm • £45 Community Action: MK, Acorn House, CMK

This workshop is for individuals who represent an organisation, group or community. This learning opportunity will help you to improve your own awareness and confidence of how you get your message across in a range of situations. By the end of the workshop you’ll be able to identify the situations you would like to be more confident in, understand what makes for more effective representation of your organisation, group or community and what difference it can make. The session will look at the difference between assertive, passive and aggressive behaviours and will show you how to be more aware of your language and actions. You will identify and learn strategies that improve your confidence and competence. At the end of the session there will be an opportunity to review and evaluate the learning and you will have an action plan to take back and implement into your work. This session is being facilitated by Amanda Dudman Coaching Services.

Spotlight on Managing Money Thursday 15th June 2011 • 5.30-6.30pm • £5 Community Action: MK, Acorn House, CMK This a spotlight session for groups looking to plan during times of uncertainty. It is designed to offer you bite sized chunks of information, tools and templates that will help you to look at your groups financial status and plan accordingly. It will help to make the process less intimidating and more effective in just four simple steps. After the main part of the session, there will be an opportunity to exchange new ideas and inspiration with other local groups.

we’re on the web!

Walking Tour: Stantonbury Park Farm Wednesday 22nd June 2011 • Time to be Confirmed • FREE Location to be confirmed upon booking Come and join us on a walking tour of Stantonbury Park Farm, another new area of Milton Keynes. This is a good chance to come and look at this new development and find out more about what's happening. This event is aimed at anyone with an interest in how Milton Keynes is expanding and developing. Funded by the Tariff Programme.

Creative Planning for the Community and Voluntary Sector Friday 24th June 2011 • 9.30am-4.30pm • £50 Community Action: MK, Acorn House, CMK

This unique session for people in voluntary organisations and community groups who are looking for new and creative ways to make decisions and plan ahead. The course will look at what creativity is, why it’s important and how it can help you to see things in new ways to get a better perspective. We will also look at ways to sustain creativity and how to create a conducive environment for creativity to thrive. We will look at creative thinking tools that help connect things that are seemingly disconnected, strategies to help generate ideas, and techniques to help solve specific issues or problems.

The 1st Annual Community Action: MK Summer Picnic! For Voluntary Organisations and Community Groups

Monday 27th June 2011 • 1-3pm • FREE Location To Be Confirmed

A great opportunity to network and celebrate the wonderful community activity in Milton Keynes. We’d love to showcase your group and its activities, so please send in posters & photographs for us to display to before June 20th and we’ll show them off at the event!

Trustee Network: Skills Sharing Event

Wednesday 29th June 2011 • 5.15-8.15pm • FREE TO TRUSTEES Community Action: MK, Acorn House, CMK An event for trustees of local voluntary organisations and community groups to highlight the skills they have and how these can be shared with others. There will also be an opportunity to explore skills gaps and how these can be filled. Trustee Network events are a great opportunity to develop your skills and meet other trustees in the area to exchange ideas and share good practice.

Running Your Group: An Introduction to Committee Skills

Thursday 30th June 2011 • 9.30am-12.30pm • £25 Community Action: MK, Acorn House, CMK This a great opportunity for new groups to get their heads around what makes for good governance in running a group. It is also for established groups looking to refresh their knowledge of what makes a committee or board of trustees work more effectively. It will cover what roles are needed, what the responsibilities are and how to make the best use of people’s existing skills to help your group thrive.

book online at or call us on 01908 661623

coming soon... There are loads of other events happening across the city for voluntary organisations and community groups. You can keep up to date with what’s happening by joining us on Facebook and Twitter (see inside for the web addresses) - and keep an eye out for our new website which will be launching soon. In the meantime, here are a few things coming up that we’re involved with that you might be interested in...

MK Film Network Scriptwriting Course

Taster Session: 26th March • 12-2pm • FREE Course Dates: 9th April, 14th & 28th May, 18th June • 12-4pm • £17.50 to Community Action: MK members Community Action: MK, Acorn House, CMK

In the lead up to our Glorious Film Festival later this year we have teamed up with MK Film Network to offer Community Action: MK members a reduced fee to attend their forthcoming scriptwriting course. Writing a script is all about telling a story and creating memorable characters. Throughout the course participants will be encouraged to work on their own projects. All writers will be encouraged to share their work with the group for feedback and positive comments. The course will be flexible enough to adapt to everybody’s pace and projects. To make your booking please write to with 'Scriptwriting course' in the subject.

National Citizens Service Project

A wonderful opportunity for Year 11 students and community groups is coming up this Summer with the new NCS (National Citizen Service) Programme being launched in partnership with Caldecotte Xperience, MK Dons SET and Community Action: MK. This is a project that will provide a fantastic experience for joint working opportunities with young people and other voluntary sector groups in the city. If your group would like to get involved with this project or if you would like to sign up to receive more information please contact

Community Mobiliser Events and Outings The Community Action: MK Community Mobilisers work in a broad range of areas across Milton Keynes where we support people to become involved in their community through existing activities. These activities are used as a tool of engagement and an opportunity to support local people to become involved in the places they live. We support loads of things, including community choirs, allotments, coffee mornings, football training, use of public space, after school clubs, stargazing, archaeological digs, community café’s, Britain in Bloom projects and many, many more!  To find out which areas we currently work in and how to contact your local community mobiliser just visit our website at: Community Action: MK, formally known as the Milton Keynes Council of Voluntary Organisations, provides information, support, advocacy and training to voluntary organisations, community groups and local people in Milton Keynes who wish to make a difference in the city and its surrounding areas. We are a not-for-profit organisation with over 30 years of experience and hold a NAVCA Quality Award for our work in Milton Keynes’ communities. Registered Charity 1092047 Company Limited by Guarantee 4279401

351 Midsummer Boulevard, Milton Keynes, MK9 3HP 01908 661623 /

Learning, Development and Events April-June 2011  

an overview of the learning, development and events being put on by Community Action: MK between April and June 2011

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