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Community Action MK Spring Networking Event: A Day of Connection and Opportunity

On Thursday, 2nd May 2024, the community of Milton Keynes came together for the Spring Networking Event and Funding Fair, organized by Community Action MK. This in-person event provided an invaluable platform for local organizations and community members to connect, learn, and grow. Voice4Change England (V4CE) was delighted to participate and contribute to this significant event. 


Community Action MK is a member of V4CE, serving as a vital voluntary and community infrastructure umbrella organization in the Milton Keynes area. Our partnership for this event was aimed at bolstering the resilience and sustainability of BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) VCSE (Voluntary, Community, and Social Enterprise) sectors. By offering free workshops and personalized 1-2-1 support sessions, V4CE aimed to empower these communities with the tools and knowledge they need to thrive. 

During the event, Clare Walton, CEO at Community Action: MK presented an overview of the support and opportunities for the VCSE sector in Milton Keynes. She was followed by Craig Corbett, Funding Officer (Thames and Chilterns Region), National Lottery Fund presented their new strategy ‘It Starts with Community’.  Voice4Change-England's Development and Grants Officer, Jana Kovariova then presented the Catalyst Region Project to those who attended the event. 


The event was a bustling hub of activity, with attendees engaging in a variety of informative sessions and networking opportunities. Here are three key takeaways from the day: 


1. Exploring Funding Opportunities: 

 Numerous funders were present at the event, each showcasing their funding opportunities and requirements. The stalls were abuzz with Q&A sessions, where attendees could directly interact with funders, gaining crucial insights and guidance to aid their organizations. 


2. Catalyst Region Project Presentation: 

Jana Kovariova presented V4CE’s Catalyst Region project; an initiative aimed at providing infrastructure support to BME organizations in Milton Keynes. This project is designed to enhance the operational capacity and sustainability of these organizations, ensuring they can effectively serve their communities. 


3. Power of In-Person Networking: 

The event underscored the immense benefits of in-person networking. It facilitated meaningful connections and fostered a sense of community among attendees. The ability to interact face-to-face allowed for more dynamic exchanges of ideas and collaboration opportunities. 


The Spring Networking Event was a resounding success for V4CE. We received numerous inquiries and were thrilled to connect with community members, particularly those within the BME VCSE sector. Leveraging local VCS (Voluntary and Community Sector) intelligence, we are committed to continuing our support through ongoing workshops and personalized support sessions. 


The day was not just about sharing knowledge but also about building lasting relationships. V4CE is dedicated to collaborating with Community Action MK and other like-minded organizations to drive impactful change and support the community’s growth and development. 


We thank Community Action MK for organizing this excellent event and all the participants for their enthusiasm and commitment.  



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