Celebrating YOUR Heritage

Milton Keynes Arts Centre is looking for applicants to take part in their Heritage Open Day 2024 event, celebrating the rich cultural heritages found in MK. 

On 16 September 2023, for Heritage Open Day, Milton Keynes Arts Centre celebrated the art and culture of Afghanistan. Over the day, more than 600 people visited our site at Great Linford and had the opportunity to try miniature painting and calligraphy with the artist, Samira Kitman; to make and fly kites with Ahmadzia Baktyari; to listen to traditional music and to eat traditional Afghan food.

The event was supported by a grant from The Radcliffe Trust and came about through meeting and working with a group of Afghan women then living in bridging accommodation in Newport Pagnell.

Milton Keynes Arts Centre is committed to celebrating the rich tapestry of cultures that makes up this migrant city of Milton Keynes, and to using the arts to bring all of its people together. They are now inviting Expressions of Interest from cultural and heritage-based groups in Milton Keynes to work with the Arts Centre in developing an event for Heritage Open Day in September 2024.

The deadline for Expressions of Interest is Friday 1 December 2023.

How to apply

Please email fiona@miltonkeynesartscentre.org with details of your group, an outline of your group’s purpose, how an event at Heritage Open Day might support this purpose and who the event would be designed to reach. Please be aware that Heritage Open Day events must be free and cannot be used to generate income for your organisation.


Blog Post

World Mental Health Day – Social Prescribing

This World Mental Health Day we have asked groups and organisations who work with those suffering with their mental health to put together a blog detailing who they are, what they do and the support they can offer to the individuals and communities in Milton Keynes.

Read more to find out about Social Prescribing in Milton Keynes from a Social Prescribing Link Worker …

‘Social Prescribing is an approach to empower people to have the best wellbeing possible through engagement with the community.’

Social Prescribing was introduced in London in 2016 when a priest was noticing the health inequalities in his parish and wanted to help to reduce these and the impact it had on the mental and physical wellbeing of his parishioners. Since then, it has become a nationwide service for patients within GP practices as a holistic way to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.

This philosophy has been embraced within the NHS and at The Bridge PCN (Newport Pagnell Medical Centre and Kingfisher Surgery) in Milton Keynes. We have been doing this for four years and we are getting excellent results for our patients.

We know when everything in our lives is going well, we feel great, however when issues are not being addressed, through a gap in a service for example, or you get the feeling you do not know where to turn to, this can cause a huge negative impact on our wellbeing. Health professionals are recognising the social prescribing need when their patients come for their appointments, and they can readily refer to us for the extra support they need.

As social prescribing link workers, we can give patients more time to discuss the problems they are
facing and really delve into the issues to help to reach long term solutions. Our aim is to link patients to their community services, if you are isolated, lonely or have housing or money issues for example. We help to facilitate personalised outcomes to improve/maintain health and wellbeing using community connections; research and make sure services/community resources are appropriate and details are accurate before signposting. We also link and network with other services, agencies, and charities and identify gaps in community groups. In addition to this we carry out partnership work with other Health and Social Care Professionals to provide the best care possible.

We receive referrals from GPs, nurses, physio therapists and other health professionals in the medical centres we work in. These are referrals for things the doctor or other health professionals are unable to help with – nonmedical/ nonclinical needs that we all have, which impact on our general health and wellbeing. 

Who is this for?

  • People who need short term intervention to improve their health and wellbeing
  • People living with more than one long term condition for example: heart disease, diabetes, COPD, Cancer, Fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, Arthritis  
  • People with complicated social circumstances for example homelessness, chaotic lifestyle, poor housing, poverty, domestic abuse, migrant  
  • Frail older people for example: muscle weakness, sight impairment, poor mobility, hearing impairment, housebound, tiredness 
  • People suffering from loneliness, isolation, bereavement, finance troubles, housing issues
  • People with low level managed mental health difficulties 

This is not an exhaustive list as there are many reasons for referrals, however this will give you an
idea of who we support.

We help enable patients to improve their health and wellbeing by giving our patients time to talk with us over the telephone, home visits, consultations in the surgery or where they feel comfortable to meet.  We can facilitate a personalised care and support plan and goals which can/will empower our patients to take active steps to meet their health and well-being goals. 

We help to:

  • Enable patients to access community groups and health and social services.
  • Support with connecting patients to others in similar situations.
  • Provide practical help with tasks e.g., giving you useful information.

We can make referrals to other services within primary care such as: mental health, occupational therapy, physio and much more.

It is short term support that is hopefully exponential outside of Social Prescribing support; however, if we have discharged a patient who may need further social prescribing support in the future, i.e. one issue may have been supported but others arise; then our patients can self-refer back to us directly, or go back to their GP surgery for another referral. 

To access the service, they will need to be registered at a surgery. If they do not have a fixed address, there are ‘Safe Surgeries’ such as Newport Pagnell Medical Centre, who have removed this health inequality so access can be made to medical support, as well as the additional role support services like Social Prescribing.

If within the community, you feel anyone may benefit from social prescribing please signpost them to their GP surgery.

Blog Post

World Mental Health Day – SoBS

This World Mental Health Day we have asked groups and organisations who work with those suffering with their mental health to put together a blog detailing who they are, what they do and the support they can offer to the individuals and communities in Milton Keynes.

Read more to find out about SoBS …

Who we are

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide is a national charity providing support for anyone over 18 who has been bereaved or impacted by a death by suicide. Our mission is to provide free peer support to adults bereaved by suicide in a timely and open-ended manner.

What we do and why we do it

A bereavement by suicide is very different from other forms of bereavement. Those who have been bereaved are 65% more likely to go on to have thoughts of suicide themselves so it is vital that we provide support as soon as practically possible. Our vision is that no one bereaved by suicide has to face their loss alone.

All our Volunteers are bereaved or impacted by suicide themselves and are therefore able to offer empathic support through shared, lived experience. We offer peer to peer support through the following services:

  • Face to face support groups
  • Telephone Support Line
  • Email support
  • Virtual groups – for anyone to join, from wherever they are in the UK
  • BereaveMENt – a virtual group for men only
  • Punjabi speaking Women’s group – virtual group

We have a support group in Milton Keynes which meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month. If you would like to attend the group, please call 07598 158379 for further details.

Volunteering opportunities

We are always looking for new Volunteers to join us, anywhere in the country, so if you would like to know more about becoming a Volunteer, or if you would like further information about SoBS services and the training we can offer, please contact Sarah Rushworth, Volunteer Coordinator for the South, on 07904 487267. Please visit our website www.uksobs.org for more information.

Blog Post

Guest Blog – Alzheimer’s Society

Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading dementia charity that offers help and hope to everyone affected by dementia, supporting people with a diagnosis and their loved ones.

What is Dementia?

Dementia is the biggest health and social care challenge we face. There are an estimated 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK, and 700,000 people caring for them. If you are worried about your memory, have a diagnosis or are caring for someone who does; Alzheimer’s Society are here for you. Alzheimer’s Society is a vital source of support and a powerful force for change for everyone affected by dementia. Too many face dementia alone. We want everyone affected by dementia to know that whoever you are, whatever you’re going through, you can turn to Alzheimer’s Society for expert support through practical advice, emotional support, and guidance for the best next step.

Caring for someone with dementia is the ultimate vow. Our video tells the story.

Click the image below to watch the video.


Nationally, diagnosis rates are at a five-year low, meaning tens of thousands are living without the crucial treatment, care and support a dementia diagnosis brings.  Timely diagnosis is crucial to manage symptoms and avoid ending up in crisis . Some people are putting off a diagnosis because they think memory loss is a normal part of ageing, they don’t recognise the signs, or are just too afraid to visit their GP.  Diagnosis can be daunting but it’s better to know – 9 in 10 people with dementia said they benefitted from getting a diagnosis, allowing more time to plan for the future and unlocking the door to treatment, care and support.   If you are worried about your memory, please speak to your GP. Alzheimer’s Society has produced a symptoms checklist, endorsed by the Royal College of GPs, to support people to get a vital diagnosis. You can find it here.

Milton Keynes Branch Support

We understand that dementia affects everyone differently and we are here for you. In Milton Keynes, our Dementia Information and Support Service is here to support you. Our Dementia Advisers offer personalised face-to-face and phone support to help people with dementia have better access to health, community, and care services, as well as providing crucial emotional support so people with dementia can take control of their condition and live the life they choose. Alzheimer’s Society in Milton Keynes also offer an online carers group, an empowerment group for people living with dementia and our popular Singing For The Brain sessions.

If you want to talk to someone in confidence, our Dementia Advisors can be reached at miltonkeynes@alzheimers.org.uk or on 01908 669404/ 01908 232612


We are currently looking for volunteers for our face to face Singing For the Brain sessions. If you are interested there is more information here.

Alzheimer's Society Logo. A blue flower above the words 'Alzheimer's Society. Together we are help & hope for everyone living with dementia'. This writing is also in blue.
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