Milton Keynes Community Foundation marked International Women’s Day by celebrating local philanthropist Margaret Powell and the significant impact her legacy has on Milton Keynes.
This year’s theme #BeBoldForChange captured the energy of the event.
As guests welcomed Laura Sapwel,l the Governor of Aylesbury Young Offender’s Institute, to talk about her role and applauded the brilliant news that Women in Enterprise group have chosen the MK Community Foundation’s ‘women’s fund’ as their charity.
It was an early start for the guests attending Milton Keynes Theatre as they gathered around “Electric Sheep”, a sculpture created by artist Bruce Williams to commemorate Margaret Powell and her sheep farming origins.
The guests learnt how Margaret Powell, a local pioneering women philanthropist bequeathed a sum of two million pounds for the purpose of setting up a fund for the support of frail, elderly and disabled people in the area.
The Margaret Powell Fund has already made a significant impact in our community helping to finance part of the Milton Keynes Theatre itself and many local projects.
It was a announced that the Women in Enterprise Group have chosen the Women’s Fund as their charity.
The Women’s Fund was originally set up by Women in Enterprise in 2000 with the purpose of supporting groups who - encourage women to achieve economic self- sufficiency, prevent violence against women and girls, promote emotional and physical wellbeing for women and girls and create opportunities for educational, artistic and personal growth of women and girls.
Jennifer Walker, director of development at MK Community Foundation, said: “We are delighted that Women in Enterprise have chosen the Women’s Fund as their charity. Women in Enterprise were the original founders of the Women’s Fund that was established in 2000.
“The fund has supported many projects over the past 16 years from MK Act to Grid City Division Roller Derby.”
Sally Fennemore, President of Women in Enterprise added: “The Community Foundation’s ‘Women’s Fund’ is an ideal initiative for Women in Enterprise to support, as one of the reasons we came together as a group was to offer support and encouragement to women in business in Milton Keynes. “Our broader aspiration is to help women across the community, who for whatever reason, from time to time need a helping hand to achieve their goals.
“We are here to offer that helping hand.”
After hearing the rousing speeches, the guest walked to The Milton Keynes Rose and listened to the thought-provoking reading from local MK Academy students. Milly Soames DL, High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire then encouraged everyone to make a personal pledge around this year’s theme and tie it to the International Women’s Day Pillar.