Author - Stuart | YLF

MKU Hospital Launches New Entrance

Both Milton Keynes MPs Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart attended the eagerly awaited opening of the new entrance at Milton Keynes University Hospital this week.

The entrance is the latest development in a £60m investment the hospital will see over the next 3 years.  Further improvements will include the medical teaching facility for trainee doctors and clinical staff, an additional multi-storey car park and a bespoke cancer centre.

Mark commented, “I am delighted to see the new main entrance at Milton Keynes University Hospital has now opened.

Continued investment will also result in an upgraded A&E, which will have a marked effect on the level of care the staff will be able to provide for local residents.  Evidence enough is we’re already attracting a number of highly qualified clinicians to MK.”

Iain added, “This is just the first part of a significant investment programme going into our hospital. Mark and I have worked hard to make sure the hospital has a bright future and I am confident we will see continued expansion over the coming years.”

Xscape is ‘roaring’ to go this Summer

Xscape Milton Keynes is taking you back in time, back over 60 million years to when dinosaurs roamed the earth! This summer, you can meet a ‘real’ T-Rex as Xscape brings the Great Outdoors into its complex.

After the huge success of its dinosaur-themed adventures last summer the visitors from the Jurassic period are back with even more FREE fun and activities for 2017. From 24th July to 13th August, visit the dino-themed area where you can have your photo taken with a newly hatched dinosaur egg.

Then on selected days, you can meet ‘Rex’ the friendly and very realistic animatronic T-Rex as he roams the Xscape building, looking for tasty child-shaped treats! And for one very special extra day, you can get to pet baby dinosaurs, but be extra careful as they can be a bit too hungry for attention.

There will also be FREE dinosaur-themed arts and craft activities (on selected days, when Rex is visiting) where you can make your own head-dress complete with a long tail and spikes.

General Manager at Xscape MK, Carl Meale commented, “We listened to the very positive feedback received from last year’s dinosaur activities and decided to bring them back for the first half of the summer holidays and we’ve made it even bigger and better, but we’ve also got something a little different planned for the last three weeks of summer, watch this space!”

To find out the days ‘Rex’ will be visiting and the days and times for the art and craft activities, visit www.xscape.co.uk or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

PARENTS TO CLUB TOGETHER TO THANK TEACHER

The majority of parents spend under £5 on their ‘Thank You Teacher’ presents at the end of the school year, according to a Milton Keynes poll* run by intu Milton Keynes.

47% of folk put under £5, while 23% of parents and guardians spend between £5 & £10, and 21% between £10 – £20. 9% of those polled spend over £20. This year, intu Milton Keynes is inviting mums, dads and guardians in the playground to club together to get their child’s teacher a gift they will love.

A special envelope can be posted to the parent ‘organiser’ to collect donations from other parents and then bring it into the centre to receive a special Gift Card that can be spent in all 14 UK centres and across 2,000 shops and restaurants.

“Teachers do an incredible job and it can be sad for parents and the children to say goodbye at the end of the school year,” says marketing manager at intu Milton Keynes, Kirsty McGiff. “We know parents want to give them something special as a thank you so the idea of parents working together to get a bigger present will bring that community spirit out in people and also give the teacher a wonderful gift they can spend on exactly what they like.”

To receive a FREE intu Thank You Teacher envelop, email csmiltonkeynes@intu.co.uk and put ‘Thank You Teacher’ in the subject box and your name and address in the email.

*poll on Twitter account @MiltonKeynes_MK on 3 July 2017

Action4Youth give young people hope

Giving younger generations a platform to grow, develop, engage and inspire are the building blocks for Aylesbury based charity, Action4Youth. Through a well-established reputation for delivering high-quality youth programmes, the charity has over 25,000 young people benefit from their range of services, activities and programmes each year.

Offering transformational experiences to rising generations throughout Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes to surrounding counties of Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire and as far as Cumbria and Yorkshire, the charity, now in its 71st year, is focused on engaging and inspiring young people across local communities.

The operating authority in the county for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, key leader for 16 Buckinghamshire County Council Youth Clubs and representative body for over 70 other member youth clubs and uniformed organisations, Action4Youth helps with growth, development, training and safeguarding of children across all backgrounds, abilities and disabilities, providing local groups a voice at local and national level.

Working closely with local schools and clubs to deliver Young Leaders programme, operating two Outdoor learning and adventure centres, Caldecotte Xperience in Milton Keynes and Longrigg Xperience based in in Cumbria, the charity delivers day and residential mountain and water based adventure experiences and out of classroom learning, providing adapted equipment and trained staff who can support young people with disabilities to fully participate in outdoor adventure learning.

Action4Youth also holds the contract to deliver the government’s flagship National Citizen Service programme across the AVDC area providing young people with the opportunity to challenge themselves, overcome some of their fears and develop their teamwork, leadership and communication skills. Just one week of volunteering and fundraising by their 350 NCS graduates in 2016 delivered 9 amazing projects and more than £18,000 to 11 local charities.

In September 2017, the charity is launching The Inspiration Programme, a unique and accredited course for young people developing them for life and preparing them for work. Working across Business and Entrepreneurship, Arts and Culture, Police and Criminal Justice, Health and Wellbeing, the Military and the Third Sector, the program will engage young people, build confidence and esteem, broaden horizons and deliver a better understanding and stronger connection to modern society, inspiring their potential within it.

As Ambassador, Kathryn Rainbird-Clarke advises: ‘Clubs and organisations are a vital part of the local community, supporting young people by giving them a safe place to be and providing positive experiences from which they can grow and mature and through Action4Youth, we hope to inspire tomorrow’s generation across every local community’.

If you would like to be part of this engaging charity or invest and benefit from the work they offer communities, please get in touch with Development Director, Nick Lund on nick.lund@action4youth.org today.

Invest in the young people of tomorrow with Action4Youth; a charity who inspires and gives hope to every child who walks through their door!

IAN SMITH CELEBRATES 40 YEARS WITH DANESBOROUGH CHORUS WITH A STUNNING ELIJAH

 

There was a special celebration on Saturday, 1 July 2017, at the Danesborough Chorus summer concert in Woburn Parish Church, when Ian Smith’s 40th anniversary as the choir’s Musical Director was marked by a stunning performance of Mendelssohn’s action-packed choral drama Elijah. The choir was accompanied by the Milton Keynes City Orchestra, and joined by soloists Bethany Seymour, Anna Huntley, Justin Lavender and Benjamin Bevan.

Taking the role of the fearsome but insecure prophet Elijah, Benjamin Bevan led the story throughout, expertly supported by the other soloists. As both the crowd and an angelic chorus, the choir expressed beautifully a range of emotions, one moment calling loudly for the prophet’s death, and the next, joyfully praising God the creator. Elijah calls for a young singer to play the part of a youth helping the prophet look for rain, and Harlan Todd, a chorister from Bedford Preparatory School, made an impressive debut.

At the end of the performance, choir chairman Jeremy Hopkinson said: “As members of Danesborough Chorus, we are delighted to congratulate and thank Ian for bringing us the joy of singing together for 40 years. Ian brings a tremendous energy and enthusiasm to the choir, and he tries to bring out the abilities of every member. In the wider area, he has brought music-making to hundreds – even thousands – of people, of all ages, throughout Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.”

Danesborough Chorus members say: “We are brought together by our love of singing some of the greatest music ever written for voices, and Ian’s sense of fun and his expertise ensure we return every week, trying to reach the high standards he expects in rehearsals and performances. Who knew that learning to sing well could be so enriching?”

Danesborough Chorus brings together people of all ages from a wide range of jobs and interests. Rehearsals are held every Wednesday at 7.45pm in Aspley Guise Village Hall, and starting on 6th September, the choir will be preparing Brahms’ German Requiem. If you like choral singing, but haven’t sung for a while or are new to choral singing, why not get in touch about joining. We’re particularly keen to hear from sopranos and basses. Please call Carol Yirrell, tel: 01296 680328 for more information and encouragement.

Mr Bloom from CBeebies coming to new MK nursery

A mini-me Mr Bloom arrived at Kid Play Day Nursery today, very excited about seeing Mr Bloom open the new Childcare Hub on Saturday 15th July.

Freddie, aged 2 will be amongst the first to move into the new childcare setting when it officially opens, alongside all the other children transferring from Knowlhill Kids Play Day Nursery.

Inspired by nature, The Childcare Hub is in its final stages of preparation and will offer childcare from 6 weeks to 12 years. Purpose built, The Hub incorporates multi-level access to outdoor learning environments and an amazing astro turfed roof garden.

Said Sharon Elliott, Childcare Director “As well as Freddie (aka mini Mr Bloom), all our existing Knowlhill Day Nursery children are very excited about moving to the Childcare Hub. Feedback from new parents on preview tours has been amazing! We can’t wait to see it open.”

The Childcare Hub is part of Kids Play Childcare which operates 3 other Nurseries in Milton Keynes, 5 After School Clubs & Breakfast Clubs, as well as 5 Camp MK Activity Camps venues or Mad For Camps.

Parents wanting more details about the Childcare Hub should visit: www.ChildcareHubMK.co.uk

 

Supported Internships Transform the Lives of SEND Students

Milton Keynes College is working with students with disabilities, including autism, ADHD, cerebal palsy, global delay and moderate learning difficulties, to help them obtain and remain in employment.

The Supported Internships programme, which was set up by the Department of Education and first trialled at Milton Keynes College in 2015/16, is expected to obtain a 100% success rate this year, with many of the college’s 2016/17 learners gaining permanent employment, or voluntary jobs and skills progression that could lead to their future careers.

Big brands, including Tesco, Bosch, Holiday Inn and Currys PC World are among those supporting Milton Keynes College to create life-changing opportunities for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities.

Pippa Bruckland, Personal Tutor and Lead Job Coach for Supported Internships at the College, explains: “So far this year we have placed four of our students in permanent employment and are expecting the remaining contracts to be signed any day now. We have been overwhelmed by the success of the programme and have had fantastic feedback from learners and employers alike.”

One student, called Michael, has just been offered permanent employment with Holiday Inn Milton Keynes.  The well-known hotel brand is delighted and has requested more Supported Interns for September.

Darren Hayward, General Manager of Holiday Inn Milton Keynes says: “We are delighted to be associated with MK College and the Supported Internships programme.  Finding team members who have a passion for what they do can be a challenge and the Supported Internships, through the guidance of Pippa Bruckland, has introduced us to young adults who have the passion and drive but simply need a leg up at the start.

“We are very excited as a hotel, a management company and an industry about the potential the Supported Internships brings to us for employing team members with a natural passion and enthusiasm for hospitality. The dedication and commitment from professional Personal Tutors like Pippa offers the students the assistance needed to get it right at the start of the employment process and cross the hurdles that may otherwise prevent success. Well done to all involved in this initiative.  We are delighted.”

Supported Internships essentially offer a stepping stone, with a safety net, to a young person’s future, while at the same time educating and familiarising employers with the benefits of employing people with learning difficulties and disabilities.

“The College is working closely with employers to support future generations of SEND students into work, and close the gap between disabled and non-disabled people in permanent employment. With positive results for the programme so far, I hope that more employers will embrace the Supported Internships scheme, so that more SEND children and their parents/carers can rely on a system that will provide increased opportunities to a fulfilling future career,” concludes Pippa.

For further information about Supported Internships at Milton Keynes College visit www.mkcollege.ac.uk/subjects-we-offer/inclusive-learning, email Inclusive.learning@mkcollege.ac.uk or call 01908 684141.

MK launches it first community fridge

This month Milton Keynes Community Fridge has been officially launched at The Old Bath House community centre in Wolverton following a successful crowdfunding campaign which saw the project exceed their target of donations towards the cost of setting up. The ‘Community Fridge’, is being trialled with the support of environmental charity Hubbub UK and Bosch in a growing effort to tackle food waste.

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. Co-op, Wordsworth Avenue and Costa’s are leading in their efforts to use the service and help them reduce their food waste.

The two fridges and one freezer donated by Bosch are available for anyone to access from Monday-Friday, 7-9pm.

Co-ordinator Helen Innes said; “We are thrilled to be able to launch MK Community Fridge and thank everyone who has helped make it happen. We are keen to call out to all food businesses in Wolverton and Milton Keynes to donate surplus food and find out more about how we can help them address their food waste problem. We’re also keen to hear from people who would like to volunteer with the project.”

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.

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

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.

To find out more, donate or volunteer visit www.mkcommunityfridge.org or follow the project’s progress on www.facebook.com/MKCommunityFridge/ 

MP Lends a Hand

MK North MP, Mark Lancaster dropped into the newly refurbished Galleon in Old Wolverton last week.

Owned by Punch Taverns and located on the canal side, the Galleon has just benefited from a £327,000 investment which offers a traditional style British menu and a large, waterside beer garden with somewhere for the children to play.

Mark said, “After a quick introduction with General Manager Hannah, I was quickly put to work behind the bar!  A busy lunchtime period was very encouraging to see and I’m delighted to see the transformation and investment being made in the community. I wish Hannah every success and will certainly be making another visit in the not too distant future.”

Urban Dhaba Attracting the Best Talent in Local Area with New Manager Appointment

 

Following a highly successful launch, new Indian restaurant Urban Dhaba have announced the appointment of Restaurant Manager Arjun Kallapelly.

Arjun brings with him a wealth of experience having previously managed a successful Indian tapas restaurant in Milton Keynes and joins the team at Central Milton Keynes’ newest restaurant.

Urban Dhaba is a new independent Indian restaurant which showcases genuine dishes from across India bringing the ‘rustic flavours of the Indian highway’ to Milton Keynes.

It was inspired by the roadside dhabas of India which sell wholesome fresh food often farmed on the fields behind the eatery.

Arjun said: “I’m so excited to be joining the Urban Dhaba team. It’s a very special place because I don’t know of anywhere else locally where you can find this sort of real authentic Indian food. I’m looking forward to delivering customer service which matches the excellence of our cuisine”

The new restaurant promises something new to discover on every visit as the menu is updated regularly with seasonal Chef’s Special dishes, some featuring less common meats such as Lobster and rabbit alongside more familiar chicken, lamb, Vegetable and king prawn curries. Due to heavy demand, Urban Dhaba has started take away service as well from this week

To compliment the delicious food menu, Urban Dhaba offers signature Indian Spirits & cocktails and handpicked wines from around the world.

Urban Dhaba is open at lunchtime with a Majestic Thali lunch offering consisting of a platter of multiple small dishes providing a range of tastes such as meat, vegetable and potato dishes with Nan, rice and sides. The restaurant also provides an express lunch service for local businesses or takeaway wrap meals.

The interior has been designed to a high standard with a rustic feel allowing diners to relax on comfortable benches with informal cushions or experience the giant bed-sized seats which are similar to the beds often found outside dhabas in India.

The venue also features a raised octagonal stage area which will be used for special evening events including a Bollywood night and a range of cultural festivals.

Urban Dhaba has even more to celebrate as it has just been awarded a five star hygiene rating following a recent inspection. This coveted award shows the commitment the new restaurant has to delivering high quality standards along with fantastic food in the heart of Milton Keynes.

For more details, please visit www.urbandhaba.co.uk or call 01908921800