#VolunteersWeek: Wolverton Community Orchard, a volunteer-led tranquil place for the local community


Wolverton Community Orchard was founded in 2003 with a vision to provide a place of peace and tranquility for the whole community to enjoy. A place for all age groups to practice skills and develop new ones, to enhance and raise awareness of the importance of caring for our environment and the wildlife that share that environment with us, to encourage an appreciation and love of wildlife and the natural world in the children who visit.

Yvonne Galuszka came up with the original idea for Wolverton Community Orchard back in 2003, determined to rescue it from being a disused allotment site which had also become a rubbish tip. She imagined it as a potential site for a community area for all to enjoy, then polled the neighbours for their input, applied for grants and pulled together a small group of friends who wanted to get involved in creating a community space that could be used by everyone.

The local residents expressed their support for the idea. After clearing the area, work proceeded in setting out the various sections of the site, planting hedges and fruit trees and creating a “sensory” garden full of colour and scents. Part of the site was retained as allotments and has successfully involved local schools who provide the children with after-school outdoor experiences.


The orchard now boasts over 50 productive fruit trees including apple, pear, cherry, plum and damson. It’s enclosed by a mixed hedge of native species and incorporates a child-safe covered pond, a coppiced hazel “secret” pathway, a willow dome and an impressive rosemary hedge. Other hidden surprises are mentioned later in this document. Over the years, increasing numbers of nesting boxes have been installed – these and the pond are productively used by the local wildlife most years.

The Orchard does not use any harmful chemicals across the site, thus protecting wildlife and humans alike.

Wheelchair-friendly pathways and raised beds have been installed from early on, providing accessibility for less able visitors and volunteers. Open every day of the year during daylight hours, the orchard plays host to locals and Mums/Toddler groups who might be found relaxing in the orchard, playing or picnicking.

To read the full story of this amazing local volunteer-led project, please follow this link.

Here is what the group has said about its founder and volunteer, Yvonne Galuszka

Yvonne Galuszka, whose imagination and enthusiasm initiated the project 15 years ago, is still the orchard committee chair and an inspiration for us all with her continuing energy. As a volunteer group, we are proud of our achievements and continue to plan for the future. We believe that we make a positive contribution to Wolverton’s community and the comments we regularly receive from visitors encourage us onward and continue to make us feel appreciated.

To read the Volunteer Case Study of Yvonne Galuszka, please follow this link.


Apart from grass-mowing performed regularly by the local Council’s caretakers, it’s entirely maintained by a small group of volunteers who have weekly work sessions on Tuesdays where anyone is welcome to join in. On a site of almost half an acre, there’s never any shortage of tasks for people of any ability and experience and we’re always looking for new talents.

If you would like to volunteer with the orchard, contact them on:
1908 320 405 or e-mail yvonnegalu@gmail.com. You can also follow the group on Facebook.

Location: alleyway off Woburn Ave, Wolverton, Milton Keynes MK12 5AY, United Kingdom. For map and directions, please follow this link.

Come along to the Orchard on Tuesday 4th June between 11am-12.30pm when we will be running a Volunteering Pop-Up, a volunteering information session for anyone interested in finding out about volunteering opportunities across Milton Keynes! All WELCOME.

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30 June: Information Session & Drop in for new project

Come to Acorn House this Friday to find out more about the new Managing My Money project


Date: Friday 30 June 2017

Venue: Acorn House, 351 Midsummer Boulevard, MK9 3HP

Time: 2-3pm: Information Session with tea & cake. 3-6pm: Drop in (please ask for Anna and Julie)


This is an information session for anyone interested in the new Community Connector volunteering role as part of the Managing My Money project. This is a new initiative, with the community-engagement element of the project led by Community Action: MK in collaboration with The Open University, and funded by Money Advice Service.

This session is your opportunity to come and meet the team at Community Action: MK, find out more about the project and meet other volunteers interested in becoming a Community Connector.

See more information about this volunteering opportunity on the poster below and on the project page – here.

Managing My Money-Community Connectors_Flyer

If you cannot come along on Friday, please register your interest in volunteering as part of the project here. If you would like to speak to our team about the project, please call our office on 01908 661 623 and ask for Julie or Anna.

Communities Eastern Expansion Area Health & Wellbeing Lakes Estate Netherfield News from and for the VCS Projects

Diabetes UK – MK Local Group

Diabetes UK
Diabetes UK group aims to provide help and support for people living with diabetes in the local area.
This group will raise awareness of diabetes locally, campaign for better diabetes care and raise funds to support the work of Diabetes UK.

Next Group Meeting : Thursday 15th June 2017 at 7 pm

Guest Speaker: Elaine Herety, Oral Health Improver from Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) to give information on Oral Health.

Meeting Venue :
Centrecom Meeting Place
Central Milton Keynes

Free Parking available

For more information about the group and meeting, please contact:
Corinne Wykes  Corinne.Wykes0@gmail.com  tel 07964161792
Or Jim Jolly tel  01908 661039
Or Visit http://miltonkeynes.diabetesukgroup.org/

Come and join them. You’re not alone.  Together they’ll help make sure everyone with diabetes can get all the information, care and support they need.

Please forward this email to your contacts who may be interested.

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The MK Melting Pot is organising a Cultural and Sports Fun Day (for the MK Jubilee celebration) on 17th June.

Milton Keynes is a cosmopolitan and vibrant city with people from different background and values. MK Melting Pot plans to host a Cultural and Sports Fun Day event to celebrate MK at 50. This event will bring all the people from diverse cultures together in a fun and creative way. Sport is a great and effective way of bringing people together from different age-groups, gender, ethnicity, and this will mobilise and engage people in coming together in a competitive manner. The Olympics is the best example of how sports can bring different cultures together.

The event will be delivered in a 2 pronged approach, Sports as well as Cultural Celebration activities, which will include: diverse display and tasting of food, cultural artefacts, story-telling, music, poem, fashion show and many more. 

Venue: Conniburrow Pavilion, 37-39 Conniburrow Blvd, Conniburrow,
             Milton Keynes MK14 7DX 

Time: 11:00am-6pm 

Contact Name: Elijah Bada   & Jade Jaiyeola 

Office: +44 1908 585 537 Mobile: +44 757 676 3577 Email: mkmeltingpot@hotmail.com

Culture Fun Day 2017 Flyer

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First Community Fridge coming to Milton Keynes

New pilot project starting in Wolverton

The Old Bath House Community Centre, Wolverton has successfully secured pilot funding for Milton Keynes’ first ever ‘Community Fridge’, which will be trialled with the support of environmental charity Hubbub UK in a growing effort to tackle food waste.

MK Community Fridge will be two fridges and one freezer to be located in the foyer of The Old Bath House Community Centre, Stratford Road, Wolverton and available to access from their launch on Saturday 1 July. The fridge will enable residents and businesses to share surplus food and for anyone to help themselves to quality food that would otherwise be wasted.

“Wolverton is well known for its active, caring and generous community, and we have every confidence that the local community will get behind this project and support this hugely valuable community resource”. Chris Bridgman, Chair of Trustees, The Old Bath House and Community Centre.

Get involved – give your support! 

The Old Bath House Community Centre are calling all food businesses in Wolverton and Milton Keynes to donate surplus food and find out more about how they can be involved in the project by contacting Helen Innes – MKCommunityFridge@gmail.com / 07813 780 125 / www.facebook/MKCommunityFridge.

Food waste is a big issue in the UK. The average household throws away £470 worth of food every year and at the same time 4 million people in the UK are living in food poverty. Most food waste in the UK (4.1 million tonnes or 61%) is avoidable and could have been eaten had it been better managed.

The fridge will accept any kind of fruit, vegetables, bread, sandwiches and alike all within their use by date. ‘Home cooked’ food will not be accepted, only food prepared and cooked in a Registered Food Businesses.

Screenshot 2017-05-08 at 08.27.48

Otherwise known as ‘Solidarity’ or ‘Honesty’ Fridges, Community Fridges have been successfully introduced in Spain, GErmany and other parts of the UK.

In 2016 Hubbub helped South Derbyshire Community Voluntary Service (CVS) set up the Swadlincote Community Fridge, supported by Sainsbury’s plc and Bosch. During the initial six month trial period it re-distributed 2,290kg worth of food, that would have otherwise been wasted. Food was collected by over 800 individuals who visit the fridge, as well given to 12 community groups.

Community Fridges are now springing up all over the country, as a way of cutting food waste, building stronger bonds within the community and redistributing perishable food to those who need it most.

How to get in touch?

The project is in its early stages but if you would like to donate, volunteer or know more about MK Community Fridge please contact Project Co-ordinator, Helen Innes, MKCommunityFridge@gmail.com / 07813 780 125.



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