Community Life: Bucks Festival – Artisan Craft, Food and Drink in MK

Following the  success of the first festival earlier this summer, Bucks Festival are back on 23rd September with an Artisan Craft, Food and Drink Festival for the whole family.

This free event will take place at Westbury Arts Centre in Shenley Wood. The festival gives you the chance to listen to talented local performers whilst trying some of the best locally produced craft beer and artisan cuisine. There will be face painting, a bouncy castle, as well as beautiful handmade crafts to admire or acquire.

This series of not-for-profit small business events has been organised to give a platform to emerging local businesses, providing them with a chance to promote their products.

The festival brings together makers and bakers, chefs and growers from in and around Milton Keynes alongside a programme of speakers covering health and well-being, localism and sustainability.

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If you have an idea for a project that could increase the sustainability of your own neighbourhood, community or a group, please visit the Our MK website, a dedicated crowdfunding campaign for Milton Keynes supported by Community Action: MK.








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The Urb Farm needs your support

Can you help The Wolverton’s Urb Fam meet their crowdfunding goal?

The Urb Farm in Wolverton have been running their crowdfunding campaign via the Our MK website, which is powered by the MK:Smart project, to launch an innovative project: Learning Tree Tipi and Super Storage. Once successful, the project will will build a traditional tipi in their woodland, providing space for stories, shelter from the weather and giving children coming to “the Learning Tree” the experience of living close to nature. Find out more about what they are planning as part of the project here.

Please help them meet their goal and pledge your support. No matter how small your donation can be, it will make a difference!



You can start your own crowdfunding campaign on Our MK too – click here to find out more.

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Blog Post Charities & Community Groups MK:Smart Projects

Local projects need your support

Give support to great local causes via a new crowdfunding platform!

On Thursday 1st June we we were delighted to launch the next phase of the Our MK project that we have been supporting as part of MK:Smart. A crowdfunding element has been added to Our MK and four initial projects, all based in Milton Keynes, launched their campaigns.

These projects need your backing, so please pledge your support to help them make great things happen in Milton Keynes.

The four crowdfunding campaigns are:

1) Learning Tree Tipi and Super Storage


The Learning Tree is a holistic and therapeutic outdoor learning project based on the Urb Farm in Wolverton. They would like the children of Milton Keynes to be able to experience a different view of life by building a traditional tipi in the woodland at the farm. Not only will this provide a sheltered outdoor classroom it will offer children the chance to experience how many people across the world live – not separate from nature but in harmony with it. The project needs just over 50% of their target (£4,371) to make their campaign a success!

Click here to pledge support to their campaign. 

3) The Green Oasis of Milton Keynes


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The Patch Allotments at Woughton on the Green are a green haven for the residents of Milton Keynes. People can experience peace and quiet on the site with their own piece of land to grow your own food and socialise with other tenants. Very sadly, they have recently been affected by thefts at the allotments and are trying to raise funds to purchase equipment to replace the stolen items. They are seeking £2,213 and still need to raise over £60% to reach their campaign goal!

Click here to pledge support to their campaign. 

3) Life-saving defibrillators for Camphill MK


Camphill MK Communities are looking to crowdfund the purchase of two essential, potentially life-saving defibrillators for the community of people with learning disabilities based at Camphill as well as the many visitors to the site. £2,982 is needed to cover the costs of the defibrillators.

Click here to pledge support to their campaign. 

4) MK Community Fridge

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The MK Community Fridge is two fridges and one freezer located in the foyer of The Old Bath House and Community Centre, Stratford Road, Wolverton and available to access from Saturday 1 July. The fridges will enable residents and businesses to share surplus food and for anyone to help themselves to quality food that would otherwise be wasted. The project has already reached its crowdfunding target, but a wider support is needed to help it launch and develop into a sustainable local initiative!

Click here to pledge support to their campaign on Our MK. 

On behalf of all of the crowdfunding campaign and the Our MK team, THANK YOU!

Crowdfunding via Our MK is now open to any local groups and residents, who would like to raise funds and gather support for local projects that can make a difference to communities in Milton Keynes. Click here to visit Our MK website to find out more and to get some useful tips on how to start and make your crowdfunding campaign a success!

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Join Community Action: MK in Celebrating Volunteers Week

Volunteers are important to all of us and at Community Action: MK, every aspect of our work is supported by volunteers.

Volunteer Week is from 1st to 7th June. Throughout the week everyone will be sharing stories of volunteers and celebrating their selfless spirit. At Community Action: MK, we want you to join us in doing the same. We will host two events in the week.


Join us for our final Our MK event, celebrating the end of the MK:Smart project, that will be taking place on Thursday 1st June: 5 pm – 7.30 pm at The Chrysalis Theatre in Willen Park.

You can see more information on the blog here and the Eventbrite booking is: We’re working with a few local organisations and projects to help them launch crowdfunding campaigns via Our MK, these will be announced on the day.


If you are a volunteer or a Volunteer Manager/Coordinator, join us at our second Volunteers Week networking event to celebrate volunteering in Milton Keynes. We would be delighted if you came along to share a cuppa and a piece of cake.

On Tuesday 6th June 2017 event will be from 5.30 pm – 7 pm at Campbell Park Pavilion, 1300 Silbury Blvd, Milton Keynes MK9 4AD.

To register your attendance go to

We look forward to seeing you!

Share your volunteering stories and experiences with us as an organisation, a volunteer or as an observer. Simply use #VolunteerMK on Twitter or write to us on Facebook on Community Action: MK

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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 – / 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.

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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, / 07813 780 125.



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1st June: Celebration of Citizen Innovation & Launch of Crowdfunding

Kick of the Volunteers’ Week with a celebration of citizen-innovation projects in Milton Keynes!

We are delighted to invite all community members in Milton Keynes (and around) to a free celebratory event, which will take place on the first day of the national Volunteers’ Week!

When? Thursday 1st of June: 5.30-7pm

Where? The Chrysalis Theatre, Camphill Communities, Japonica Lane, MK15 9JY.

What? The event will be dedicated to celebrating the amazing work of local volunteers and groups in Milton Keynes who have run their citizen-innovation projects as part of the Our MK website, which is powered by the MK:Smart project. Those volunteers and their projects have been making a real difference to various communities across Milton Keynes!


Franzi Florack, Owner of the first Our project supported by Our MK – ‘Food Passport’ – just one of the amazing Our MK Volunteers!

Click here to watch a short video our the Our MK initiative.

We are also delighted to announce that at the event we will be launching a new exciting feature on the Our MK website – CROWDFUNDING! You will not only be able to find out more about this new opportunity for local communities to get involved with and raise funds and reach out for support through. You will also have a chance to pledge your support to a few Milton Keynes based projects that will be launching their own crowdfunding campaigns on the day! More information about this will follow soon, so please tune in and follow this blog and the #OurMK hashtag on Twitter and Facebook.

Please join us at the event to:

  • Speak to previous citizen innovation projects and find out how their initiatives have improved their communities in Milton Keynes
  • Learn more about the new crowdfunding tool on Our MK and how you take advantage of it!
    Explore how to fund your next great idea through Our MK to improve your community
    Network with lots of interesting local people full of passion for making Milton Keynes a smart and sustainable place to live!

Please join us to celebrate the passion for citizen innovation in Milton Keynes and the amazing work of local volunteers!

The Chrysalis Theatre is an amazing local venue and we are delighted to celebrate the project there! Yummy and locally – sourced refreshments will be provided!

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We look forward to seeing you there!

Follow: #OurMK and #volunteersweek



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Blog Post Communities MK:Smart Projects

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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