A trio of new projects run by a community arts charity will touch the lives of hundreds of people in Milton Keynes, thanks to a £5,000 grant.
Inter-Action MK, which works to bring people of all backgrounds together for shared creative activities, will use the new funding for a programme of initiatives that support and empower young people facing challenges including mental health issues.
The creation of three new gardens at Bradwell Abbey, the historic site where Inter-Action MK is based, including a children’s garden, an allotment with a link to the local food bank and a sensory garden. Young people and their families, including those who use the food bank, will help create and then maintain the gardens.
A roadshow that will tour schools and colleges in the town to highlight issues around mental health.
A self-portrait photography project for young mothers suffering from post-natal depression, who will work with a professional photographer, culminating in an exhibition at MK Gallery.
Inter-Action MK was awarded the funding by financial services company OneFamily as part of its Foundation Community Grant scheme. The initiative gives OneFamily customers the chance to support local groups and causes in their area that matter the most to them.
The group has been working with the local community for more than 40 years, using the arts to provide a creative outlet and especially to improve the life chances of those with disabilities or in vulnerable circumstances.
It was nominated for a Community Grant by volunteer Ben Howard, whose daughter has a Junior ISA with OneFamily.
Inter-Action MK director Diana Hatton said: “The arts are a powerful tool to help build resilience, relationships and self-esteem.
“With the generous help from OneFamily, these projects will bring people together, raise awareness of some important issues and provide a creative outlet for young people who might be experiencing challenging times.
“It’s about creating shared experiences that can support the needs and interests of specific groups and the wider community.
“The three gardens project, in particular, will create a lasting resource for the people of Milton Keynes.”
Guy French, corporate and customer strategy director at OneFamily, said: “The good work done by Inter-Action MK is a shining example of how the arts can inspire and engage communities, helping provide an escape from the pressures of life.
“We’re really happy that our funding will impact such a diverse range of young people in Milton Keynes, and their families, and it’s fantastic to see the funding being used in such a creative way.
“Our Community Grants support causes that our customers care about, and over the past three years the OneFamily Foundation has provided essential funding to more than 200 community projects across the UK.”
OneFamily customers can nominate local groups, projects and charities to receive up to £5,000 via its Foundation Community Grant scheme, with 30 projects benefiting in the last round of funding.
For more information visit www.onefamily.com/your-foundation