What needs to be included in an age-friendly map of MK?

On Tuesday 21 March, the second workshop from Age UK Milton Keynes was held at the MK Gallery. A presentation was given by Virtual Viewing, a Milton Keynes-based company specializing in app development and digital mapping. The aim of the workshop was to find out from participants what they would like to see in an age-friendly map of the Theatre District in Milton Keynes.


OurMK has funded this joint venture between Age UK Milton Keynes and the MK Gallery. The mapping application would be a 2D map looking at the Theatre District of Milton Keynes. It is the hope of all parties that this app would help older people to engage with the new opening of the MK Gallery in 2018 and feed into a city-wide map of Milton Keynes which is being developed. This app would also help tackle loneliness and isolation that is often experienced by older generations by enabling them to reach the city centre easier and take part in cultural activities. The app would be available to use on smartphones, ipads and tablets and would include information that would be specifically useful to older people.

Initial suggestions for what should be included in the map were:

  • Public and accessible toilets (i.e. where restaurants allow you to use the facilities)
  • Disabled parking spaces and number of spaces available
  • Bus stop locations and their routes
  • An audio guide to the Theatre District
  • An interface that is usable for the visually impaired
  • Social elements such as where community events, coffee afternoons etc. are held
  • Advertising of special rates for pensioners
  • Free venues for community activities
  • Event listings

The app would be rolled out with some training for older people and it was also suggested that there could possibly be large screens installed in the theatre district that mimicked the app, so that people would not have to carry their devices with them.

The next step for this project will be to hold another consultation workshop in April where the design specifications are finalised before Virtual Viewing starts developing the software. There will then be a final workshop in May where Age UK Milton Keynes hope to launch the pilot of this new app.

If you would like to be involved in these consultations, please email events@ageukmiltonkeynes.org.uk or contact Caroline Odjidja at 01908 557891.

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Communities Week 2017: Highlighting Community-led projects in MK

Communities Week 2017 runs from 20 – 24 March 2017. This week celebrates communities who are changing where they live for the better!

You’ll be hearing from people who are taking action and making where they live a better place – everything from new resources, funding announcements and more will be happening over the week, so stay tuned on Facebook, Twitter and  the website for everything Communities Week ’17!

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Community Projects in Milton Keynes

There are many great examples of community projects in Milton Keynes, especially those recently funded through OurMK, a platform for submitting your ideas to improve the city. Read here about some of our inspiring projects!

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To discover more ideas about improving the communities of Milton Keynes visit OurMK or even submit an idea!

Follow the hashtag #CommunitiesWeek17


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OurMK Project update: Age-Friendly Mapping of Milton Keynes

Tuesday 14 March marked the first workshop from MK Gallery and Age UK Milton Keynes, looking at ‘mapping exercises’ in the city.

Artist Priya Mistry led a short walk from MK Gallery to the city market, during which participants were asked to note certain things about their surroundings on their walk. Questions were related to noises, atmosphere, what was missing, what was imagined and were used to evoke different views of the ways that Milton Keynes has changed over the years.

When returning to the MK Gallery Project Space, participants were asked to map their journey, highlighting anything of interest to them. This was a very informative exercise with many similarities but also divergent views.

A second workshop will be held on Tuesday 21 March from 10:30-12:30 at the MK Gallery Project Space. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. 

Virtual Viewing, an established app developing company, will be joining the next workshop to develop an Age-Friendly map and app of Milton Keynes centre.

To reserve your free place contact Paul Griffiths or Caroline Odjidja on 01908 557891 or email events@ageukmiltonkeynes.org.uk


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Call for participants aged 50+ for AgeUK mapping workshop

AgeUK Milton Keynes was awarded funding for their age-friendly mapping project as part of the Our MK Citizen Ideas CompetitionThey aim to look at mapping Milton Keynes in order to make the city more age-friendly.

If you would like to be involved in this exciting project there are two upcoming workshops:

  • Tuesday 14 March, 10:30-12:30 at MK Gallery
  • Tuesday 21 March, 10:30-12:30 at MK Gallery

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To reserve your FREE place contact Paul Griffiths or Caroline Odidja on 01908 557891 or email events@ageukmiltonkeynes.org.uk

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Our MK Citizen Ideas Competition Update

The second round of Our MK Citizen Ideas Competition closed on 30 October 2016 and we are excited about the three new projects that have been chosen to receive funding. The projects are aimed at developing technology-centred ideas which might have an impact on issues of sustainability around Milton Keynes. Particular areas of focus are around the key issues of energy, water, transport, health and the environment.


Zero Waste Food Shopping

Each year the UK generates about 30 million tonnes of waste from households, most of which ends up in landfill. Britain dumps more household waste into landfill than nearly all other countries in the European Union. Despite Milton Keynes having kerbside recycling, over 90% of the plastic we buy still ends up in landfills. Milton Keynes Council has a Zero Waste strategy to send nothing to landfill by 2024.

Forest and Folk will provide residents with an opportunity to buy bulk dry goods such as pasta, rice, flour and beans in re-usable containers thereby reducing non-recyclable packaging waste.


Non-recyclable waste collected over one week- the main culprit being packaging from dry goods.

Blankets for Lakes Estates

The Lakes Residents’ Association has been awarded funding to purchase every child and vulnerable person living on the Lakes Estate a warm fleece blanket to help them to combat the cold. Although this doesn’t tackle the bigger issue of energy efficient homes, it would provide immediate relief and help to keep residents warmer and healthchildier.

The Residents’ Association will also be gathering data on whether and how residents access the internet and how competent and comfortable they are in using it, in order to access health information and researching competitive energy providers.

Age-friendly mapping in Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes’ population is growing and ageing significantly. Living longer and not necessarily in good health, more people are choosing to live independently, by remaining in their own homes and communities for longer.

Age UK Milton Keynagees has received funding to pilot a project that considers Age Friendliness as a key factor in the sustainable growth of the city. The project involves research into digital media and community mapping as a way of overcoming the barriers (in areas of transport and health) that prevent Milton Keynes evolving into an Age Friendly city.

The project will identify clear access routes to MK Gallery. The exercise will take into account public transport, walking routes, community facilities and dwelling spaces, that are essential for older residents to visit and return to the city centre.

To hear more about these projects and other citizen-led innovations, sign up to our Citizens Innovation Newsletter or contact Jessica at jessicam@communityactionmk.org


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21 February: Join the next workshop for Community Energy Champions

Join the third workshop as part of the Energage Project

Come along to our third co-design workshop series being organised as part of the Energage project.

Topic: Using Energy-related data and information to inform community energy solutions

Date: Tuesday 21st February: 5-7pm

Location: Community Action: MK office – 351 Midsummer Boulevard, 3rd Floor, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 3HP. Directions here.

Booking: via Eventbrite Eventbrite Energage 3


The Energage project aims to bring together local people interested in becoming Community Energy Champions.

The workshop is open to anyone who would like to gain knowledge, skills and resources needed to assist members of their communities with energy related issues. No prior knowledge is needed. This and the following workshops will be based on a co-design model, which means that we are keen for you to share your experiences and tell us about your needs as well as help us develop useful resources as part of the project.

The workshop will include, in this order:

  • Networking
  • Session with The Open University on the new MK Data Hub and MKInsight
  • Energy-related data and information, and how it can be used to inform community energy solutions
  • Introduction to the Community Energy Platform for Energy (CAPE) website and exploring the solar potential and heatloss maps for your areas
  • Feedback and evaluation

Yummy refreshments will be provided!

If you have any questions about this workshop or about the Energage project, please contact Anna at: anna@communityactionmk.org or call 01908 661 623.

Please also join the Energage Facebook Group to engage in further discussion & share ideas: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EnergageMK/

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you!


We look forward to seeing you there.





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