Category Archives: News

Job Vacancy for Service Coordinator

After 7 years, our lovely Service Coordinator, Karen is retiring, leaving us with a gaping hole in need of filling.  Do you know anyone or do you yourself think you might be interested in stepping into the breach?  The job is varied and involves meeting some lovely people.

Please peruse the details below and pass on the information as you see fit.  We look forward to hearing from you…..


110 hours per month, flexible. £14,892, (£21,693 per annum pro rata).

Milton Keynes Reader Service is a well established voluntary organisation, which provides a high quality personal and confidential reading, facilitation and transcription service to sight impaired people in Milton Keynes.

A vacancy has arisen for a person with a professional outlook to manage, co-ordinate and maintain our services.  Key aspects of the post will be to recruit, train and place volunteers, to maintain the audio recording service, and to market MKRS to new users, local organisations and potential funding bodies.

The successful applicant is likely to have a background in voluntary sector management, service development and information technology.  Communication skills will be essential, as will the ability to work independently.

Apply by sending a letter and CV to the address below, preferably by email.  The closing time and date for receipt of applications is noon Monday 9th July 2018.

Job Description

Job Title:                            Service Co-ordinator;          Location:                     Milton Keynes

Hours:    110 hours per month, flexible but likely to include some evening and weekend work.

Accountable to:    Chair of the MKRS Management Committee.

Role Summary:    To deliver, promote and develop the current high quality service offered to users and local organisations.

Key Responsibilities:

  • To manage the day-to-day administration and running of the Service and to supervise the work of a part-time assistant;
  • To co-ordinate and supervise volunteers’ activities, including maintaining the volunteer team, matching users and volunteers for all our services, visiting potential users of the services and maintaining accurate records;
  • To recruit and train volunteers, including the production of training materials and the organisation and delivery of courses;
  • To organize the AGM and annual volunteer/user support meetings;
  • To liaise with users, volunteers and outside organisations to promote the various aspects of the service, including establishing and maintaining contact with service users, monitoring and reviewing user satisfaction with the service, and acting as a spokesperson for the service to outside organisations and the media;
  • To manage all aspects of public relations including the production of press releases or articles for the media and publicity materials and maintenance and development of the website and social media accounts;
  • To organise the transcription and recording services; including training of volunteers to use the equipment, marking up materials for recording and formatting for computerized Braille production;
  • To manage MKRS materials and equipment;
  • To implement new services as identified by the Management Committee;
  • To work with the Management Committee to identify sources of funding, and to prepare and submit applications for funding;
  • To compile regular reports for the Management Committee on Reader Service activities;
  • To monitor and manage volunteer expenses;
  • To deal with invoicing for commercial work done;
  • Any other duties as may be required from time to time.

This job description may be subject to review over time in consultation with the post holder.  The post-holder is appointed subject to satisfactory outcome of enhanced DBS checking and receipt of satisfactory references. This is required because of the sensitive and confidential nature of the service and our work with vulnerable adults.

Service Coordinator – Person Specification


  1. You should be able to demonstrate several years experience of working in a professional environment and using IT in administrative and wider communication processes;
  2. You should possess the ability to work flexibly and independently, managing the competing priorities of maintaining a regular office presence, working with the Management Committee, making home visits to match new service users to volunteers and networking with other agencies and organisations;
  3. You should have a proven ability to work in an organised manner maintaining administrative processes and co-ordinating service users and volunteers in a timely and confidential manner;
  4. You will need strong communication and interpersonal skills including ability to work in a confidential and professional way with service users and volunteers;
  5. You should have experience of planning and delivering training programmes;
  6. You should understand the communication challenges facing sight impaired and disabled service users and the key role of MKRS in meeting those challenges;
  7. You will need to develop the ability to use, manage and understand the principles and scope of digital audio recording and other computer related equipment;
  8. You will need to demonstrate an ability to undertake and maintain organised record keeping processes and reporting of MKRS activities, including service and volunteer matches, recruitment of new volunteers, level of support to service users and other key developments to the Management Committee on a regular basis;
  9. You should possess proven experience and understanding of the importance of robust administration including liaising with the treasurer on financial matters.


  1. Ability to write clearly and manage the press/public relations and marketing roles on behalf of the Chair MKRS;
  2. Experience of managing specific service development projects;
  3. Experience of successful fund-raising including grant application processes in the context of funding a voluntary sector charity.

This is an exciting opportunity for the right person, so please consider if you or someone you know may be interested.  We look forward to hearing from you on the office number 01908 231123, via email or post: Margaret Powell House, 403 Midsummer Boulevard, Milton Keynes.  MK9 3BN.


Volunteer Support Meeting

Thank you to everyone who attended our Volunteer Support Meeting at our new venue on Wednesday 2nd May.

The Oak Tree Centre at Shenley Brook End provided us with a lovely, sunny and airy venue for our latest meeting.  On this occasion we were continuing our 30th Anniversary Year celebrations and it was lovely to catch up with old friends and introduce some newer volunteers.

After an introduction from Judy Smith, our chairperson, Liz Roe gave us a very entertaining insight into the early days of the service as one of the founders, describing the challenges of matching people from a spare bedroom.  The first Service Users were a pair of twin sisters who wanted help with their Christmas cards.  The second was our very own Paula Suchy!  The Transcription Service was introduced as a remote reader for people requiring access to meeting minutes, etc. and steadily braille and audio cassettes were produced as needed.  After approximately 4 years the cultural access service was introduced to facilitate theatre trips and gallery visits.  The whole ethos of the service has always been to assist visually impaired people achieve a level of independence.

Mention was made and heartfelt thanks expressed to Milton Keynes Community Foundation and later Milton Keynes Council without whose support and funding  we simply could not exist.

This was followed by a rather challenging quiz, centred on 1988, our founding year set by Terry Calvert who clearly had a penchant for the sporting events of the day.  The discussions and debates generated a lively atmosphere and we are delighted to announce that the able coupling of Dave Bown and Carol Latham emerged victorious with a score of 23/30.  They were duly rewarded with some chocolate hob-nobs – the biscuit of the year in 1988!


The tea, coffee and cakes were ably distributed by (From L-R), Christine Merriman, Anne Pollard, Liz Le Voi and Barbara Burgess.

Thank you to Hilary Robertson and Jenny Shan for keeping our registers in order and Martin Lycett for the audio system.

Northern Ballet’s Little Mermaid Theatre Trip

A huge thank you to Milton Keynes Community Foundation for  a recent grant which has enabled us to arrange for 10 of our members – 5 Service Users and 5 Volunteers to attend Milton Keynes Theatre.  On Saturday, April 21st 2018, our happy little band attended a Touch Tour and Audio Described Performance of Northern Ballet’s The Little Mermaid.  They met the dancers, joined in a workshop and were told the story of the ballet before being allowed to feel the costumes.  The grant even enabled us to provide an interval ice-cream.

We have received some very heart-warming feedback:

“I am so grateful for such a wonderful afternoon from beginning to end……..It was quite emotional and I cried with happiness”;

“Great northern hospitality from the Northern Ballet.  Such a lovely afternoon; I wouldn’t have missed it for the world”;

“An experience that will stay with me for ever.  I have kept the programme as a souvenir.  I can’t explain how much I enjoyed it”!

Hopefully, some photos will be available shortly.  A huge thank you to Milton Keynes Theatre and the Northern Ballet Company for this wonderful opportunity.

Privacy Policy

Milton Keynes Reader Service Privacy Policy

 At Milton Keynes Reader Service we are committed to protecting your privacy. We protect any personal information you give us.

This policy is written in accordance with the current Data Protection Act in force. If you have any questions about it, please contact our Data Protection Officer using the following details:

Milton Keynes Reader Service,

First Floor, Margaret Powell House

403 Midsummer Boulevard,

Milton Keynes MK9 3BN


Personal information

Personal information is information that can be used to identify you. It can include your name, date of birth, email address, postal address and telephone number.
We must ensure that the data we hold is accurate, adequate, relevant and not excessive.

Normally the only information we hold about you comes directly from you. Whenever we collect information from you, we will make it clear which information is required in order to provide you with the information or services you may require. You do not have to provide us with any additional information unless you choose to. We store your information securely on our computer system, we restrict access to those who need to know and we train our staff in handling the information securely

How do we use your information?

We use your personal information to give you the information about the services we offer and that you ask for.

We will also use your information for administrative purposes, to let you know about changes and, if you agree, as part of our fundraising activities.

We will only use your personal details in relation to your request to use the services of Milton Keynes Reader Service.  Milton Keynes Reader Service is a charitable organisation Registered Charity No 1169548.  We will not pass your information on to other third parties, unless we have your consent and you ask us to do so.

Milton Keynes Reader Service is responsible for collecting your personal information. Your personal information is not shared with third parties or used in any other way (other than as described in this policy or as required by law) unless you agree.

We will store records of the assistance we have given you, but will only use this to provide a history of the support you received in the past from our staff or volunteers.

Newsletters and Updates

Milton Keynes Reader Service produces newsletters that outlines our services and activities, and includes useful organisations and resources.  We also, occasionally, produce updates that we send to specific parts of our local area because we are running an event or some other activity there.

If you would prefer not to receive any information from us, please let us know and we will update our database accordingly.

Accessing and updating your personal information held by Milton Keynes Reader Service

Please help us to keep your information up to date by letting us know of any changes.

You have the right to a copy of all the information we hold about you. To obtain a copy, please write to the Data Protection Officer at:

Milton Keynes Reader Service

First Floor, Margaret Powell House

403 Midsummer Boulevard,

Milton Keynes


Tel: 01908 231123


Changes to this policy

We may change our Privacy Policy from time to time, copies of which will be made available upon request.


Spring Update

30 Years of the Reader Service!

As you are probably aware by now, the Milton Keynes Reader Service is celebrating 30 years of helping visually impaired and other disabled people in the Milton Keynes area. The service was originally set up by a group of visually impaired people, headed by Liz Roe in 1988.  In 1992 it became an independent charity offering free services to any adult living in Milton Keynes who finds reading or writing difficult due to physical or visual disabilities.

We kicked off our celebration year with the New Year Coffee Morning, at which it was lovely to see so many of you.







We continued with the “eggciting” entry of our team into the television quiz show Eggheads.  Our plucky group travelled up to Glasgow in January.  An edited version of Terry Calvert’s description of their antics is as follows:

“Paula Suchy, Stephen Harrison, Geoff Bashton, Nana Frempong, Alison Statham and Terry Calvert made up the team.

The wardrobe staff selected the outfits they wanted us to wear and the team was sent to makeup. The ladies required very little assistance, but Jeff did insist on his favourite brands of foundation and moisturiser!

Then it was off to the studio. It takes about two hours in all but everyone agreed that the time flew by. Jeremy Vine and the Eggheads team were a pleasure to meet.

An added bonus on the trip was that we discovered deep fried Mars bars really are available in Glasgow chip shops. Stephen also discovered that his favourite tipple, Irn Bru, is now available in a diet version!”

The full version of Terry’s report is on the website.

Diary Dates:

As we continue to celebrate through the year we have secured a fabulous new venue at The Oak Tree Centre in Shenley Brook End.  Please make a note of the following diary dates and join us whenever you are able:

Wednesday, 2nd May – Volunteers Support Meeting

7.00pm – 9.00pm

We intend to make it a fun evening, celebrating our roots in 1988 with a trivia quiz for that year;

Friday, 22 June – Quiz Night, 7.00pm – 10.30pm

Paula and Stefan will hold one their popular quiz nights. There will be a raffle and some fun activities during the interval;

Saturday, 28 July – AGM , 10.00am – noon

Tea, coffee and cake after the official bit..;

Autumn – Eggheads Team on TV

The date of airing has yet to be confirmed.  We will keep you posted;

Saturday, 13 October –Tea Party, 2.00pm – 4.00pm

For all friends of the Reader Service past and present – to celebrate everyone involved over 30 years!

 Friday, 30 November – Cabaret! 2.00pm – 4.00pm

Those of you who were present for last year’s inaugural show will remember what a fabulously entertaining afternoon we had.  Anyone wishing to showcase their talents this year is most welcome to put themselves forward.

We are considering a number of other activities to enhance our profile and celebrate this milestone anniversary, so please keep checking the website, emails and Sound News for updates.  Meanwhile, we look forward to seeing you at one or more of the events mentioned here.