Church is given £13,000 to help tackle child poverty and social deprivation on estate in Milton Keynes

MK Council's multi million pound development arm has granted £13,000 to a church to help ease social deprivation on a city estate.
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The Grand Union Vineyard Church in Netherfield was given £13,000 by the Milton Keynes Development Partnership (MKDP), which sells land and building plots all over the city on behalf of the council.

The church will use the funding to bring five separate community projects together under one roof to tackle issues of social deprivation and child poverty on the estate.

The work will include bringing local people together, providing free clothing and shoes to parents who can't afford school uniforms for their children, and distributing food that would have been thrown away by shops.

The cash will tackle social deprivation and child povertyThe cash will tackle social deprivation and child poverty
The cash will tackle social deprivation and child poverty

It will also help fund wellbeing mornings and safe places for residents.

Rachel Kleinsmith from the Grand Union Vineyard Church said: "We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this grant. It will really help us to bring some of our community projects together in one building and make it so much easier for people to access them."

She added: “At the moment, we have separate projects running across Milton Keynes, but find that many people would benefit from being able to visit one location to get the help they need. A huge thank you to MKDP Community Fund, we are all very excited to start this project."

MKDP received 25 applications for funding from across Milton Keynes and chose five they thought were the worthiest causes for a grant.


Among these successful bids were YIS Youth Counselling Service, which is receiving £5,800 to support a free counselling service for 11 to 21-year-olds across Milton Keynes. It will provide recruitment, training, support and

clinical supervision for volunteer counsellors.

MKDP Community Fund is also giving £5,000 to Ride High, the Loughton-based charity that transforms the lives of disadvantaged children by giving them the opportunity to learn to ride and look after horses and ponies. The grant will be used to revamp the charity’s clubroom, offices, kitchen, staff and volunteer areas at its equestrian centre.

Castlethorpe Parish Council is getting £3,500 to purchase two much-needed defibrillators while Tinkers Bridge Residents Association will get £500 to restock and maintain the wooden raised garden beds around the estate.

In addition, to provide wider support to local organisations, MKDP has also made a £15,000 contribution to the Covid-19 MK Emergency Response Appeal set up by Milton Keynes Council and MK Community Foundation.

The emergency appeal was launched in April to support Milton Keynes charities and community groups who are helping vulnerable people through the coronavirus outbreak.

The MKDP Community Fund was established last year to award individual grants ranging from upwards of £500 to local not-for-profit organisations for new projects that benefit MK residents, communities and their quality of life.

Charles Macdonald, MKDP’s chief executive, said: “It’s critical local organisations have the resources they need to support those in need during the coronavirus pandemic. That is why we have made a significant donation to the Covid-19 MK Emergency Response Appeal alongside our Community Fund awards.

“While it was difficult deciding which of the many deserving applications should be given a grant, we feel the ones chosen will deliver real results and great benefits to the communities they serve.”

MKDP will announce details about how to apply for the next round of grants later in the year.