Milton Keynes City Council has revealed it has given more than £1.4 million in grant funding to city charities in the last year.
Dozens of Milton Keynes charities and voluntary groups have benefited from the grants, from organisations providing food parcels to local families, to mental health advice helplines, to counselling for children and young people.
This £1.4m is on top of funding the city council provides every year to local charities and organisations to deliver services on its behalf.
Offset Projects is one of the charities to benefit, using a small city council grant to work with local young people and help them share their voices.
Tara Page, Co-Director of Offset Projects says, “We are grateful to Milton Keynes City Council who have supported our programme with young communities since launch. This generous support has enabled under 25s in MK to thrive through opportunities including the city’s first youth-led public art commission. The city council’s commitment to helping us build authentic opportunities for young people to shape their city is evident, and we look forward to continuing this work together.”
An estimated 2,400 people living in Milton Keynes have dementia, and that number is expected to jump to 4,240 by 2030. Milton Keynes City Council has given the charity Alzheimer’s MK £52,000 which it uses to provide tailored support to people with dementia and their carers and families.
Cat Medley, Area Manager of Alzheimer’s MK adds, “This funding has paid in part for four Dementia Advisers – one full time and three part time – who support people with dementia and their carers. Dementia Advisers provide personalised information, practical advice and emotional support; offering help and hope to those living with dementia in Milton Keynes.”
MK Food Bank gives out more than 26,000 food parcels a year, and requests have grown by more than 40% since the start of the cost-of-living crisis. Milton Keynes City Council gave the charity a grant to extend the number of parcels and top up shops it could offer local people.
Louisa Hobbs, Operations Manager for MK Food Bank says, “MK City Council’s generous grant of £80k to support our services this winter has been a real lifeline to the increasing number of MK residents who are struggling to afford basic essentials and pay their bills this winter.”
She added: “More and more we’re hearing from people who need longer term support just to make ends meet and our top-up shops are now helping hundreds of households put food on their tables. Our services genuinely mean the difference to so many families of whether they fall into debt or are able to use heating and hot water for longer, and this funding means we can continue to offer support to all who need it.”
Councillor Jane Carr, Cabinet Member for Tackling Social Equalities says, “We have some fantastic charities and groups in Milton Keynes, staffed by amazingly dedicated teams and volunteers. You might not think of your council as a major funder of the voluntary sector, but in fact we help dozens of worthy charities and community groups every year and the grants we give help those charities make an enormous difference at a grass roots level. It’s just one of the ways we connect local people with the brilliant range of help, advice and resources that city charities provide day in, day out.”