Author - Stuart | YLF

Christmas shopping starts now – the Etsy MK Artisan Market is back!

It’s back! The Etsy MK Artisan Market is returning to intu Milton Keynes on 28 September, giving you the chance to start your Christmas shopping in style.

Stock up on beautiful, handmade gifts that your friends and family won’t have seen anywhere else and enjoy spending the day at one of intu Milton Keynes’ best-loved and most popular events – one that’s guaranteed to make shoppers smile.

From 9.30am-6pm, local independent businesses will set up shop on the mall outside Hollister and Gap, where they will showcase their creations.

Confirmed stallholders include upcycled fashion designer White Rabbit Apparel, fudge maker Bella’s Fudgery, teething jewellery creator Mummy’s Bubble, leather goods designer Miller & Jeeves, and jewellery maker Park Road Jewellery. They’ll be joined by many other brilliant sellers including Hazey Daze Wax Melts, Little Prints Charming, Ellie’s iPad Art, Salt Shack and Alle Interiors, to name but a few.

Kirsty McGiff, marketing manager at intu Milton Keynes, said: “We are focused on creating compelling events that help our retailers flourish and make our customers smile, and the Etsy MK Artisan Market does both. Everybody loves it! And we love partnering with Etsy to deliver a positive impact for the community, independent businesses, and the local economy.”

It will be the sixth time that the event – which runs in collaboration with Etsy MK – has taken place since its launch in 2017.

The Etsy Made Local Christmas market will also be back for two consecutive days on 30 November and 1st December, with full information being released nearer the time.

Xscape announces partnership with YMCA Milton Keynes in support of local young people

Xscape Milton Keynes is delighted to announce its partnership with YMCA MK as their official charity of the year. They’ve also announced a three-way partnership involving the MK Festival of Running for 2020.

With YMCA MK currently in the middle of the redevelopment of its new campus, which is due to open in early 2020, the partnership with Xscape Milton Keynes will help to raise awareness and the much needed funds for the fit out of 199 rooms that will help the charity support its young people with affordable accommodation and a dedicated pathway of support, including well-being, training and employment opportunities.

Xscape has supported the MK Festival of Running for over 10 years and in announcing this three-way partnership between themselves, the event and the charity – it’s hoped the profile of the YMCA MK project can get a greater reach and an increased level of support.

“We’re delighted to be chosen as Xscape MK’s Charity of the Year. We’re offering a bold solution to the youth housing crisis right here in MK and to have the backing of organisations such as Xscape MK is vital for us to succeed. We’re excited about our partnership and the benefits it will bring to our young people.” – Simon Green, CEO, YMCA Milton Keynes. 

The MK Festival of Running takes place on 15 March 2020 and organisers have already set up a donation link on their website for entrants to make a voluntary contribution to YMCA MK when they sign up.

Xscape will also have collection buckets for the charity at their annual free Santa’s Grotto this Christmas which will open in November.

Keep up to date on what’s coming up at Xscape MK – visit xscapemiltonkeynes.co.uk/ or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more information about YMCA Milton Keynes, visit: mkymca.com

Fang-tastic, FREE-ky half term fun at intu Milton Keynes!

If you’re looking for some FREE ‘spooktacular’ events to take part in this half-term, then look no further than intu Milton Keynes for ‘wicked’ Halloween fun!

Dress your little ones up in their most BOO-tiful Halloween outfits, and head to your local shopping centre where – from Saturday 26 October to Sunday 3 November – they’re invited to come and bust some ghostly creatures, in a monster-hunting mission like no other!

All that your little witches, wizards, mummies and monsters need to do is collect a sheet from the customer information desk then head off on their hunt. Tick off each Halloween ghoul you spot hiding around the shopping centre, then head back to the customer information desk to collect a treat!* Not only that, there will be free craft activities on Monday and Tuesday.

But that’s not all – because on Thursday 31 October – the big Trick or Treat is back! From 2pm, visit the customer information desk to collect a pumpkin bucket, then visit the retailers with the pumpkins in the window for a sweet treat or twoooooo.*

Plus, intu Milton Keynes will be doing pumpkin-carving with families on Wednesday 30 October. Just pop along to have a go. It’s totally FREE of charge for Family Club members – or just £2 otherwise, and all the money raised is given to the MK Food Bank which intu Milton Keynes has partnered with this year.

By joining the intu Family Club, you’ll make sure you’re always first to hear about exciting events, plus you’ll get access to exclusive offers and discounts and even a free gift for your little one. Find out more at https://intu.co.uk/miltonkeynes/families/family-club and sign up online or at the customer information desk.

Kirsty McGiff, marketing manager at intu Milton Keynes, said: “It’s not often we say this, but vampires, spiders, bats, cats, mummies and mini monsters are all very welcome at intu Milton Keynes this half-term! This event has been created with the aim of making our shoppers – however old – smile, and to encourage families to spend time together enjoying special moments. We hope you’ll come along and get involved!”

For more information, visit https://intu.co.uk/miltonkeynes

 

*While stocks last.

Learn life-saving emergency medical skills at intu Milton Keynes

Shoppers can brush up on their first aid and pre-hospital emergency medicine skills while out shopping at intu Milton Keynes, thanks to medical students from the University of Buckingham.

On Thursday 29 August and Thursday 5 September, the medical students will be at intu Milton Keynes demonstrating these essential life-saving skills to the community.

Members of the community will be able to take part in short, two-minute demos. These include CPR using a resuscitation dummy, and how to successfully apply bandages and slings in a medical emergency. The team from the University of Buckingham will also hand out leaflets explaining the all-important ‘ABC’ (airways, breathing and circulation) of first aid.

The students will be accompanied by Dr Tom Evans, GP and Clinical Competency Lead, and Dr Jacqueline O’Dowd, Quality Lead and Senior Lecturer, both from the University of Buckingham Medical School.

Jacqueline said: “Our community engagement project is something we run with our medical students. Our aim is to give people the opportunity to test their knowledge and practice vital lifesaving skills. It’s as easy as ABC to save a life! These skills may one day save a member of your own family so please come along and see us. Our students will only take up a couple of minutes. We can help people from every age group to save lives.”

This is not the first time intu Milton Keynes has partnered with the University of Buckingham on an event like this. Following the success of the previous collaboration, both parties decided the event should be repeated to help educate as many members of the public as possible.

Gail Buckland, customer services manager at intu Milton Keynes, said: “It’s so important for people to learn these skills as you never know when you might be faced with an emergency situation. To be able to collaborate with a local university to help educate the public is wonderful. Having strong community relationships like these means that we can have a positive impact on the society around us.”

For more information, visit https://intu.co.uk/miltonkeynes

Businesses challenged to compete to raise money for the Henry Allen Trust

This week, Aqua Parcs officially launched its Business Challenge with the help of Dawn Allen mother of Henry Allen and Founder of The Henry Allen Trust.

For each participant that takes part in the challenge, the Trust will receive £5!

So, what do you have to do?

Simply complete a circuit of the Aqua Parcs course in the fastest time. The sessions are on each Thursday at 7pm and costs just £15 to take part. You’ll swim out to the starting point, receive a walk-through of the course ahead and then it’s back to the start to record your time. You get one shot to make it to the end.

The top 20 times make it onto the leader board in the park’s reception and the winner will receive £250 PLUS exclusive usage of Aqua Parcs for an hour. There are also prizes for 2nd and 3rdplace. A £200 Aqua Parcs gift voucher, and third place will get a £100 Aqua Parcs gift voucher.

This is a Business Challenge so each person will represent their own business – no matter how big or small!

Dawn Allen and friends kicked off the Business Challenge and set the first series of times, making it in just over 2 minutes. Can you beat them?

Joe Grix, co-owner of the park, said: “As well as supporting an amazing local charity, this is a great chance to challenge your colleagues, set your own business challenge and see who’s the fastest in the company.”

Wetsuit hire is included in the £15 price.

Aqua Parcs is open seven days a week until September. For more information or to book, visit www.aquaparcs.co.uk

About the Henry Allen Trust:

The Henry Allen Trust was founded in memory of Henry Allen who lost his battle to STAGE 4 HIGH RISK MYCN AMPLIFIED NEUROBLASTOMA, a childhood cancer in October 2013 to bring ‘happiness’ to children and families battling childhood cancer. Dawn, Mark and everyone involved with the trust have worked tirelessly to ensure no family is alone during their journey.

The Henry Allen Trust is there for these families from initial contact, all the way through the rest of their journey, be it treatment, remission or palliative/end of life care and beyond. The Trust do this by providing treats and wishes, financial assistance and emotional support to the families as well as holding a monthly THAT Support group where families come together to enjoy quality time with each other and share their experiences. The Henry Allen Trust also work with hospitals providing care packs, toys, arts and crafts, ward visits and even specialised equipment. For more information on The Henry Allen Trust please visit their website, www.thehenryallentrust.org.uk and if you would like to become involved and volunteer for them drop them an email via their website or a message via their facebook page www.facebook.com/thehenryallentrust

Three guys to ride the equivalent of Mount Everest for Cancer Centre Appeal

After his wife Angela died from cancer in July 2018, Steve Prosser wanted to do something positive and say thank you to staff for the fantastic care she received at the Milton Keynes University Hospital oncology unit.

Steve is now supporting Milton Keynes Hospital Charity’s Cancer Centre Appeal, which is raising £2.5 million to help build a much-needed dedicated cancer treatment facility.

Joined by close friends Marcus Vince and Jamie Clouston, these three ordinary guys (not known for being particularly athletic!) are now training hard for a three stage, very ambitious cycling challenge dubbed ‘The Trilogy’.

The first stage – ‘The Bronze’, scheduled 22 August 2019, will see the team head out from Princes Risborough on the beautiful Ridgeway Trail, widely recognised as England’s oldest road, finishing in Avebury, Wiltshire, a distance of approximately 70 miles.

The second stage – ‘The Silver’ scheduled for October 2019, will be along the South Downs Way, a 100-mile ride between Winchester and Eastbourne.

The third and final stage – ‘The Gold Challenge’ – is scheduled for Spring 2020 and will see the team attempt the 270-mile ancient Sarn Helen Trail in Wales, described as the most ambitious off-road ride in Britain with an Everest’s worth of climbing!

The trail starts in Conwy, North Wales, ending at Worms Head on the spectacular Gower Peninsula very close to Reynoldston where Angela was born.

The team is under no illusion of just how difficult all three stages will be, especially factoring in the unpredictable Welsh weather for the final ride!

Commenting on the challenge, Steve said: Everyone’s lives, at some time, will be touched by this extremely destructive disease. We appreciate how fortunate we are to help in this way and would like to encourage others to join us if they can; you’ll be able to track our progress as we go; together we can make a difference.

“Milton Keynes University Hospital has already started building a state-of-the-art dedicated unit and we are ready to literally ride mountains to raise as much as we can. We believe this will be a fitting tribute to Angela, such a special woman who touched the lives of so many.”

Vanessa Holmes, Head of Fundraising at Milton Keynes Hospital Charity commented: “We’re so grateful to Steve, Marcus and Jamie for their support of our Cancer Centre Appeal in memory of Angela. Support such as this is key to helping the hospital transform cancer care in and around Milton Keynes – funding items such as comfortable reclining chairs, landscaped gardens, artwork or extra special equipment to be used in the new unit. All these efforts will make a huge difference to patients, their families and staff on the new unit – so thank you!”

You can support Steve, Marcus and Jamie by making a donation to their JustGiving page:http://www.justgiving.com/steve-prosser1

For more information people can also contact head of fundraising Vanessa Holmes on 01908 826690 or email fundraising@mkuh.nhs.uk.

The Summer Food Festival has begun at intu Milton Keynes!

If you’re heading to intu Milton Keynes this month, then be sure to build up an appetite before you do, because the first ever Summer Food Festival is in full swing, and the eats are to die for!

Every Friday to Sunday throughout August – as well as on Bank Holiday Monday – Oak Court is being transformed into a food-lovers dream, with new and exciting independent food stalls for shoppers to try.

From gorgeous Greek grub to marvellous Mexican tapas, delicious waffles and a thirst-quenching rum bar, the temptation is real! Plus, there’s a hook-a-duck, carousel, free colouring area and music, making the Summer Food Festival the perfect event for the whole family to enjoy together.

Kirsty McGiff, marketing manager at intu Milton Keynes, said: “The Summer Food Festival has now opened, and shoppers and families are loving it already! Everyone’s smiling and filling their bellies – it’s the perfect way to try something new and exciting from around the world.”


Tasty food vendors including Taco Shack, Waffles on Wheels, Hilltop Catering, Wilsons Grill, Rumbarbar, Cocky Chick and Brew House – among others – can’t wait to see you there!

Kirsty added: “Our Artisan Market – where we give local independent businesses a platform to promote themselves – has been so successful that we thought we would now give food businesses a place to show and sell their produce. We’ve turned it into a full, fabulous and fun event so families can enjoy the activities and spend time together!”

To take part in future events, register your interest by visiting www.intu.co.uk/miltonkeynes and completing the ‘contact us’ section.

Milton Keynes North MP, Mark Lancaster visits children’s charity World Vision UK

Mark Lancaster, MP for Milton Keynes North, has visited leading children’s charity World Vision UK.

Mark Lancaster MP at World Vision UK’s head office. From left to right: Rosalind Elliott (Policy & Advocacy Advisor), Amy Johnson (Political Advocacy Officer), David Westwood (Director of Policy & Programmes), Mark Lancaster MP, Graeme Newton (acting CEO, World Vision UK) and Jacquelyn Udeh (PR Manager)

The Member of Parliament met with directors of the organisation on Friday 21st June, to learn more about the charity’s work with children overseas.

Graeme Newton, acting CEO at World Vision UK, said: “We were delighted to host Rt Hon. Mark Lancaster MP at our office in Milton Keynes today. It is great to see Members of Parliament taking an interest in the work that we do.

“UK aid continues to play a vital role in efforts to save lives in some of the world’s harshest places,” he continued.

“The UK public’s generosity has enabled World Vision and other aid agencies to bring relief to people in countries marred by wars and natural disasters. UK aid has also helped lift millions of people out of poverty and provide access to health services and education.”

Mark Lancaster MP said: “It was great to be able to return to World Vision, an organisation based in the heart of my constituency, an agency that brings intervention, impact and hope to change children’s lives across the globe.”

Mark Lancaster MP with Graeme Newton (acting CEO, World Vision UK) and David Westwood (Director of Policy & Programmes)

The Christian organisation is working in almost 100 countries to bring real hope to the world’s most vulnerable children and their communities. The UK branch was set up in 1982 in response to the Ethiopian famine and moved to Milton Keynes in 1997. World Vision UK currently employs around 250 staff in the heart of Milton Keynes.

Recent hightlights for World Vision UK include its advocacy campaign It Takes A World… To End Violence Against Children in Emergencies, which aims to see greater protection of children in emergency situations, and has the support of over 34,000 members of the UK public.

 

Mark Lancaster, MP meets World Vision Programme Managers Naomi Opiyo and Catherine Marangu

Last month, the charity held its first Global 6K Walk for Water event here in Milton Keynes. Over 350 people joined the family-friendly walk, which aims to raise awareness on lack of clean water in developing countries. Last year, more than 48,000 people in 30 different countries walked or ran the distance.

 

Get wet ‘n’ wild this Father’s Day with special offers at Aqua Parcs

Can’t decide what to get the special men in your life for Father’s Day? Well look no further, because Aqua Parcs is here to give them the kind of fun, thrills and excitement they thought was just for kids!

The giant, 300-metre, inflatable assault course at Willen Lake is one of MK’s biggest attractions and, especially for Father’s Day, get 25% off when you book for Sunday 16 June! 

To take advantage of the Father’s Day offer, just book online for Sunday 16 June and use the code DAD at the checkout. Plus, fancy taking home a memento from the day? Aqua Parcs now offer professional photos of your group which you can buy to take home after your session. Make memories with your Dad this Father’s Day and enjoy 50% off your professional photo, on Sunday 16 June only! 

Joe Grix, co-owner of the park, said: “This is such a fun activity to do as a family – it would definitely make this Father’s Day a memorable one for both dad and the kids!”

Now bigger and better than ever, Aqua Parcs has four new obstacles and 100 extra metres compared to last year. There’s a new s-shaped Apex 30, a steep-sloping Apex 20, and The Diamond – a 4’ tall, 18”-wide, dual-route obstacle. Not forgetting the piece de resistance – the 16ft high Freefall Surpreme! There are climbing ladders, slides, play spaces and challenges galore that will have guests laughing their heads off from start to finish.

Aqua Parcs is suitable for ages six and up and will be open seven days a week until September. It is patrolled by trained lifeguards at each section, but participants must be able to swim 25m unaided. Wet suit hire is included within the £20 fee and each session lasts one hour. After the safety brief, participants swim 10 metres out to the park where they will start exploring and get wet and wild!

 

Book Aqua Parc NOW!

The Land of Fairies & Dragons 2019, Frosts Woburn Sands

FROSTS GARDEN CENTRE are delighted to announce the return of The Land of Fairies & Dragons at Woburn Sands!

The Land of Fairies & Dragons will run weekends from Saturday 6th July through until Sunday 21st of July and then will be open every day from Monday 22nd July through until Tuesday 3rd September.

The land of Fairies & Dragons makes it return to Frosts Woburn Sands this summer! With brand new activities you will be transported into a magical realm of wonder and awe! Meet our new resident Dragon Greentooth and find out why he is so grumpy… You will get your very own book to take home so you can share the story with your family and friends. Then it’s onto the Fabulous Forest of Frosts where you will hunt out the hidden Fairy Tales. There will be time to create a dragon or fairy rock for your Garden and every child will get their very own pack of wild flower seeds to take home.
The Land of Fairies and Dragons is open for young and old alike because you’re never too old for a fairy-tale!

Tickets cost £8.99 per child price includes activities in The Land of Fairies & Dragons, A book, A packet of Seeds and a voucher for £2 off a child’s meal or food box within our garden room restaurant.
Adults £1.99 entrance only (maximum 2 adults per child)

The Land of Fairies & Dragons is located within our plant department with sessions starting every 30 minutes daily from 9.30am to 16.00pm (*Sunday 10.00am and 15.00pm)