Dementia and Creativity: Activities Training

Bright Shadow is a not-for-profit social enterprise which uses performing and creative arts to engage people living with dementia and their carers in fun and meaningful activities.
They are running an open training event on 17th and 18th November in Milton Keynes called Out of the Box training, equipping individuals and organisations who support people living with dementia to be more creative with their activity provision to increase engagement and social interaction.
Full details are below but you can also view more information about the course by clicking here and more information specific to the Milton Keynes event here.
If you would like any further information or would like to discuss anything please contact Bright Shadow on 0300 102 8855.
Blog Post News from and for the VCS

Women and Broadband is back!

WENTA are very pleased to announce that a NEW Women and Broadband Challenge fund supported by Central Bedfordshire,  Bedford, Luton and Milton Keynes Councils, has been made available to help women start or grow their businesses by improving their digital skills and getting their business online.

The new programme will cover many of the bite-size training course they did before, plus a few extra. Women who were part of the last scheme are welcome to join them again and continue to increase their digital knowledge. There will be some great networking opportunities which everyone valued last time.

Sonia Sharman of Beauty Talk, said of last year’s programme, “Although I have been in business for many years, I joined to help get a better grip on social media. I now understand more about search engine optimisation, hash tags, blogging and why social media is crucial for my business. Following a meeting with my advisor, I went home and wrote a blog on permanent make-up. I posted it across all my social media accounts and linked back to my website. I got 6,000 views and received enquiries about my courses, a great result!”

Wenta will once again offer FREE help and support to increase your knowledge and confidence in the internet through:

  • 1:1 mentoring and business advice
  • 1:1 business support via our online business advice portal, My Incubator Ventures
  • Networking opportunities to encourage peer-to-peer support and women and technology focused exhibitions
  • Bite-size training courses to help you grow:
  • Social Media
  • Website Development
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Selling & Branding
  • Business in the Cloud
  • Online Marketing

The scheme is open to Women who live in Central Bedfordshire, Bedford, Luton and Milton Keynes.

 Please click on the link below to visit Wenta’s website where you will find more information about the new Women and Broadband Scheme and the dates of the courses and workshops available.

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Create summer activity – Young carers travel through time in animation project

Over the Summer, Create gave young carers in Milton Keynes the opportunity to explore the world of animation and try out a range of animation techniques, spanning from the Victorian era, all the way up to the present day. With the help of Create’s professional artist, they got to grips with stop-motion techniques, digital editing and experimented with thaumatropes and flip-books.

The young carers then collaborated to create short animated films inspired by a renovated redway (a shared use path for cyclists and pedestrians) in Milton Keynes.

Young carers often say they feel lonely or socially isolated from their peers because of their responsibilities at home. During the Summer, when school is out, many young carers have even fewer opportunities to interact with people their age and become more insular and closed-off. This project allowed them to forget their responsibilities, make new friends, and most importantly, to have some fun!

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Forum Meeting 29th June 7pm

Milton Keynes Forum have arranged a presentation from Intu about their proposals for the redevelopment of their shopping centre, formerly known as Midsummer Place.

They recently submitted their planning application, which may prove controversial, and involves the significant reduction in width of the space along the former line of Midsummer Boulevard, part of which has been reserved as a public transport corridor until 2076.

The application also involves the removal of the oak tree (now dead) and the replacement of the open “Oak Court” with shops as well as the construction of a “niche cinema”.

Tim Skelton, MK forum chair, had an initial presentation of the proposals from Intu a few months ago and raised the issue of how they would be compensating the community for development on part of the public transport corridor, a quasi public space.

The meeting will be in the Lecture Theatre at the City Discovery Centre on Monday 29 June starting at 7pm. Entry is free for members and £1 for non-members.

It is important to have a good turnout so that Intu will be able to understand the concerns about the development.

It will also be the first major test of the CMK Neighbourhood Plan, which has now been formally approved by the Council following the Referendum.

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Communication skills workshop for Volunteers

The Education and Learning Co-Ordinator for Relate Milton Keynes is currently in the process of surveying local charities and voluntary organisations to get their opinion on a workshop they are hoping to deliver (pending receipt of lottery funding).

The aim of this free one-day workshop would be to help volunteers develop their communication, listening and client support skills, which would then enable them to have more confidence and increased skills when dealing with clients in their community. Relate plan to deliver the workshops in various locations around Milton Keynes.

If you are interested please contact

Julie Maxwell

Clinical Supervisor &

Education & Learning Co-Ordinator

Relate Milton Keynes

47 Aylesbury Street


Milton Keynes

MK12 5HX

Telephone:   01908 310010

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MK Arts Update

From Lucy Bedford, Arts Development Officer at Milton Keynes Council:

Arts Council England are planning a day in Milton Keynes on the 4th June to look at strategic arts development as MK plans for big future events such as MK50.

In 2017, Milton Keynes will celebrate its 50th birthday and ideas are being gathered as to how these celebrations should form, details are available here:

We are also supporting the Rugby World Cup events taking place in early October with arts embedded into the calendar for the ‘Fanzone’ at Campbell Park as well as a showcase event [details to follow].

Central Library has been working with artist STANZA to deliver a programme of Digital art workshops and commissions.  The first commission is installed in the central library foyer and the second a silent comic by Jade Sarson:

Mark Niel has taken on a development role for the MK Rose.  He’ll be based at the Parks Trust and would welcome people getting in touch with ideas around engaging with the artwork:

Now the weather has picked up, do head down and see the Serpent public art at Ashlands: [park at the Ashland lake & walk along past the hoarding, and you can’t miss it on the right at the end]

Kingston Library has installed a text based vinyl on the internal glass meeting room.  The work is by Claudia Phipps.  Do pop in and have a look

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Sew, Stick or Knit a Poppy for the Great War MK Project

The Arts and Heritage Alliance MK is looking for groups and individuals to create and donate poppies, to be added to a WW1 centenary banner.  Part of Westbury Arts Centre’s Banner Project, these banners will be included in an act of commemoration on 5th July at Campbell Park.  This event will explore themes of conflict, involving over 100 dancers and moving around Campbell Park – everyone is welcome.

To get involved: Find some fabric and cut out a poppy using the template provided on our website (or alternatively crochet or knit a poppy).  Embroidery or sparkle can be added, as well as the name of a relative or local person that was involved in WW1.  Photos of the poppies can be shared at or on Twitter using #GreatWarMK). Finally attach the slip from the Poppy Brief to the poppy and contact AHA-MK who will collect them.  The deadline is 12 June 2015.

AHA would also love to hear any stories about relatives or local people that served in WW1.

The Poppy Brief and Poppy Template can be found here:

Great War MK is a project exploring the impact of the First World War on the communities of Milton Keynes through research, commemorative events, activities and community workshops:

Please contact Lallie for more information:

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