Teens create amazing mural with a difference in Central Milton Keynes

A group of young people have helped create a colourful mural with a serious message at the city centre’s skate park.

By Sally Murrer
Thursday, 16th June 2022, 4:05 pm

The giant mural signposts helplines for young people in need and contains their own poetry and words.

It was officially unveiled at the Buszy Plaza Skatepark, near CMK rail station, this week.

The14-metre-wide graphic was a collaboration between members of MK’s Youth Cabinet (YCAB) and artist Kremena Dimitrova. They used poetry, words and puzzles from young people and took inspiration from those who are homeless to create the design.

Cllrs Emily Darlington and Zoe Nolan with members of MK Youth Cabinet, artist Kremena Dimitrova and local partners outside the Buszy mural in Central MK

The finished result contains phone numbers for local support services on offer to local people who need extra help - including young people at risk of homelessness who could benefit from mediation and advice.

MK Council funded the project after a smaller version of the mural was installed in Station Square earlier this year.

Following a consultation with more than 4,000 young people in 2020, MK’s YCAB identified youth homelessness and domestic abuse as issues to focus upon.

YCAB now hopes that this mural will increase visibility of the problems faced by some young people and may help them and their families to consider getting support.

The mural contains a helpline number

Councillor Emily Darlington, Cabinet member for Adults, Housing and Healthy Communities, said: “In the UK, homelessness and domestic abuse affect hundreds of thousands of young people each year. We’ve done a huge amount to bring down local levels of homelessness but the conditions that lead young people to becoming homeless are complex – and many are unsure where to turn.

"This project has been driven by the passion of young people and the support of local organisations who can make a difference. We want people to know that help is available.”

Alessandro and Crystal Rose from the MKYCAB Homelessness campaign group said: “We want to portray a ray of hope for anyone who is going through a similar situation as well as creating a positive message to the wider community.”

One of the helplines is for Depaul, a charity commissioned by MK Council to provide free advice and support for young people in MK aged 16 to 25 who are at risk of homelessness. For more information, call 0330 555 0180 or visit their website.