Last Friday fifty people from the Voluntary and Community Sector in Milton Keynes gathered at Margaret Powell House for a packed day of inspiring talks, discussions and networking.

The day was opened by Community Action: MK Chief Executive Clare Walton who introduced Cllr Moriah Priestley, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Community Partnerships who spoke about the need to listen to the sector and work together to solve challenges in the city.

Representing groups from health and social care, community organisations, residents associations, parishes, community finance, arts organisations, developers and funders, the day was a great opportunity for networking and making new connections. One participant commented;

“…the mix of topics brought a wide cross section of the sector together which meant that I met people I otherwise wouldn’t have.”

People attended sessions on how to use data and research to plan services and programmes, leadership, sponsorship, transport and mobility, collaboration and health and wellbeing.

At lunch, Carol Jacklin-Jarvis ran an interactive activity which asked people to send a postcard from the voluntary sector with a message about what life is like here right now. One group chose this lovely scene and wrote:

This is a beautiful one but how difficult it is to get one’s head above the clouds – the daily grind – to achieve the sense of having fresh air and space in order to vision and view the wider world and relax/breath/reflect.  We have to move up out of the lower slopes of the challenging mountain! The only way is up!

A big thanks must go to our wonderful speakers who gave their time and expertise for free, MK Council who supported the event and MK Community Foundation who assisted with the event.

What’s next?

Please make sure you are signed up to receive our mailings here. We will use your contact details to send you a State of the Sector Survey in the new year which will gather information on the rich diversity of the sector in MK and give us evidence to lobby for better support for you.

Make sure to respond to MK Council’s current Housing Strategy here.

If you would like to be part of a working group taking forward some of the discussion in the session on the Oxford to Cambridge Arc and what it means for MK please let us know.

Look out for our next networking event in December!