What’s best about living on Conniburrow?

The 2017 Big Local Conniburrow Survey has been launched and we would love to hear your thoughts about living on Conniburrow. This will help Big Local Conniburrow determine their priorities in the future and help make Conniburrow an even better place to live. Questions include things like:

How do you feel about living on Conniburrow? 

What’s best about the community and living there? 

What suggestions do you have about making it even better? 

What impact has Big Local Conniburrow had on the estate so far? 

 

We would be grateful if you could take 5 minutes to answer this short survey at the links below:

BLC Survey 2017

When you have completed this survey, you can send your answers to Jessica at jessicam@communityactionmk.org

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Share your ideas to create an Age-Friendly & Accessible Map in Milton Keynes

On Tuesday 9 May from 10:30-12:30 at MK Gallery Space, Age UK and MK Gallery will be holding their third workshop to create a 2D Age-Friendly Map of  CMK and MK Gallery.

Michelle from Virtual Viewing, an MK-based app developer, will share with us the schematic for the pilot app which has been put together by people in their production department. This will allow us to raise any queries and provide final suggestions, or allow us to contribute additional information that was not included/expressed at the last workshop.

Find out more about Age UK’s Age Friendly Mapping project here.

We will also hear from MK Gallery about the Gallery’s expansion plans and programme.

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If you live in Milton Keynes, are aged 55+ or have accessibility issues, this is a fantastic opportunity to give your thoughts to what an age-friendly map of Milton Keynes would look like and what information needs to be included.

To book your place, please contact Caroline Odjidja at caroline.odjidja@ageukmiltonkeynes.org.uk or on 01908 557891

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Thank you for attending a successful Spring Networking Event for the Voluntary Sector

On Thursday 20 April, Community Action MK hosted a Spring Networking Event at the Irish Centre for the Voluntary Sector across Milton Keynes and beyond.

It was a fantastic event attended by around 30 groups where valuable connections were made. Community Action also made use of the event to explore membership to Community Action and what services we can provide to other organisations across the sector.

Community Action believe that the sector is stronger together and we hope to continue to build good relationships across the sector.

 

If you would like to attend any future networking events please contact Jeanette Hyde at jeanette@communityactionmk.org

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Tackling Fuel Poverty on the Lakes Estate

On Wednesday 19 April from 13:00-20:00, the Lakes Residents Association held a drop-in Energy Event at the Spotlight Centre. The event was attended by Age UK Milton Keynes, Citizens Advice Bureau, the National Energy Foundation, Community Energy Platform for Energy (CAPE) and Swan Credit Union. The aim of the event was to engage with residents on their energy use and offer some advice to save money and energy.

The Lakes Residents Association was also handing out fleece blankets to children and vulnerable adults residing in Serpentine Court as it has been identified as an area of deprivation. This is part of their Our MK project funded by MK Smart, the OU and HEFCE to tackle fuel poverty on the Lakes Estate (See Tackling Fuel Poverty on the Lakes Estate on OurMK). About 100 blankets were handed out and the Residents Association also managed to collect further information about energy use and internet access on Serpentine Court.

The event was also used as an opportunity to sign people up to an LED light bulb swap project on the Community Energy Platform for Energy (CAPE). Over 200 LED light bulbs were handed out, which should result in an overall annual savings of over £50 per household and £1650 on the Lakes Estate (LED Bulbs specifications Apr 2017).

Over the next few weeks, we will be continuing to collect energy-related data from residents of Serpentine Court and handing out blankets to children and vulnerable adults. We will also be contacting those residents who joined the CAPE project and received light bulbs about furthering the project and the CAPE website.

If you would like to find out more or get involved please contact Jessica at jessicam@communityactionmk.org

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Summerfield Performance with Pete Marland

Children from Year 5 and 6 of Summerfield School on Bradwell Common got to quiz the Leader of the Council, Pete Marland, about his commitment to renewable energy when he visited the school on Wednesday 28th March.
Cllr Marland was invited by the Citizens MK Community Energy Campaign to come and see the children’s performance which was first showcased at the MK Community Energy Conference.  The performance included a series of sketches which highlighted the need to save energy and generate more from renewable sources.
At the end of the performance, Cllr Marland presented certificates to all the children who participated in the performance, and was given an original piece of artwork for his office wall, which showed a sun inside a light bulb, symbolising the power of the sun to power everyday objects.
He has committed to taking the school’s green energy campaign seriously, and announced that by 2030 50% of MK’s energy would come from renewable sources.
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MK’s first & only refill shop officially launched

The first refill, bulk goods shop has officially been launched at Forest and Folk in Great Linford.20170406_122509

This zero-waste food shopping project, funded by OurMK through MK:Smart, HEFCE and the OU, is the brainchild of Alissa Pemberton, founder and owner of Forest and Folk Botanicals. Her shop has long been focused on reducing waste , allowing customers to bring their own jars and containers to fill up on shampoo, conditioner, soap, various washing liquids as well as loose herbs and spices. The shop also stocks bamboo toothbrushes, natural deodorants, natural candles, plastic free cotton buds and many other re-usable and plastic-free alternatives.

With the help from OurMK, Forest and Folk now offers loose bulk organic wholefoods by weight too! Customers are able to bring their own jars to refill or grab one at the shop. New unbleached cotton drawstring bags are now also available to use for refill products. Weigh just as much as you need and save money!

 

Alissa has said of the project:

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“I was inspired to do something to tackle the huge amount of non-recyclable plastic packaging from food that I found myself having to put in my bin every week. Just by making a few simple switches to buying dry foods in reusable containers, I’ve managed to ‘slim my bin’ significantly and save a bit of money too.

I wanted to give other people the same opportunity to reduce their waste so I set up Forest and Folk with funding from MK:Smart, HEFCE and the OU – I’m the only shop of it’s kind in the city, there’s nothing like it apart from SESI in Oxford and Unpackaged in London, that I know of”.

Items for refill are all organic and include:

  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Various varieties of rice
  • Pasta
  • Seeds
  • Dried fruit
  • Various beans

As part of the OurMK project, customers buying refill products will also be asked to take part in a short questionnaire which helps gather data on the impact of refills on waste reduction in households.

Forest and Folk’s opening hours are Thursday 10:00-17:00 and Friday & Saturday 10:00-18:00. Pop by the shop or follow Forest and Folk on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to find out more!

Well done to Forest and Folk and here’s to more citizen innovation in Milton Keynes!

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Community Action Platform for Energy (CAPE) Trial to be held on 19 April 2017

On Wednesday 19 April, the team from Community Action Platform for Energy (CAPE), will be running their first community field trial at an energy event on the Lakes Estate.

CAPE aims to give community members a ready-to-use tool to jump-start and scale-up energy projects, and to access opportunities for rapidly growing market for energy efficiency and renewable energy systems. The website will be made available free of charge to residents, community groups, landlords and local businesses.

ledAt this field trial, community members of the Lakes Estate will be able to sign up to CAPE and join a new project run by the Milton Keynes Council to swap their light bulbs for LED lightbulbs.

Project members will then be able to follow any progress on the project, and discuss issues related to energy efficiency on the project forum.

It is the goal that this project will help Lakes residents lower their energy bills and contribute to tackling fuel poverty on the Lakes Estate. According to the Energy Saving Trust, by replacing all halogen downlighters with LED alternatives, you could save about £35 a year on electricity bills.

After running a few of these field trials and gathering feedback from communities, the team at CAPE are hoping to launch the live website later this year. To find out more visit www.capeproject.co.uk. 

If you would like to attend the field trial, please contact Jessica at jessicam@communityactionmk.org

Whether you are an individual, a local group or a business interested in energy efficiency in Milton Keynes, and would like to get involved in CAPE, we want to hear from you! Register your interest here or e-mail us at: info@capeproject.co.uk.

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