Category Archives: Events

Council Leader presents Young Citizens Awards 12.7.18

On 12th July, MK Council Leader Peter Marland and other VIPs met in the Council Chamber, Civic Offices, to celebrate with pupils of Citizens:mk member schools their achievements in active citizenship over the past school year (pictured above).

Chaired by Kurshida Mirza, of Trubys Garden Tea Room and co-chair of Citizens:mk Leadership Group, the event began with a photo slideshow summary of recent successful actions led by pupils.

Then two student leaders from MK Academy (pictured below) stepped up to describe the recent successes of the Redways Relaunch campaign.

Josephine Osei, who initiated the campaign to achieve the ’50 Redway improvements’ pledge from Cllr Marland 18 months ago, was joined by John Wambeek, who has been holding Cllr Marland and his Highways team to account for implementing the pledge.  John announced the news that MK Council has scheduled 262 Redway improvements (more than five times the original pledge), of which 92% have already been implemented.

Pupils from Summerfield School (pictured below) then described their experiences in the Day of Action for the Fight Against Hate campaign on 17th October.

Maja Mirecka, Year 6 student from Jubilee Wood School (pictured below with chair Kurshida), told of the impact of meeting and interviewing rough sleepers as part of the House the Homeless campaign.

“I think that it is a significant experience for children that are my age or maybe even younger to talk to homeless people,” she said.  “We all deserve a home don’t we?”

Jean-Louis Button (pictured below), leader of the Life Skills for Young People campaign, commended the achievements of St. Paul’s Catholic School students in securing pledges from Santander and The Open University to deliver Finance Skills training sessions at the school next term.It was then the turn of VIP guests to speak.  First, Chief Inspector John Batty, Deputy Area Commander of Thames Valley Police (pictured below) said:

“If the police have good relationships with young people, then there is likely to be less crime and society will be a safer place. Young people are the ones who will shape our future society and if the police are to adapt effectively to a changing society then we need to know what is important to young people. I also hope some of you will want to become the Police officers of the future.”

Short speeches were made by Lorna Rogers, Senior Associate of Dentons solicitors and Emilia Hardern, Diversity and Inclusion Manager of Network Rail.  Both companies have partnered schools in the Redways Relaunch campaign.

Lorna Rogers (pictured at right above with colleague Sarah Treharne receiving gift from the Jubilee Wood pupils), said:  “We really enjoyed attending and seeing how proud the children were to be part of such a positive movement.  We are very proud to be part of the Redways Relaunch programme and look forward to continuing the work we started with Jubilee Wood in the upcoming year. ”

Emilia Hardern (pictured above) said:  “The passion, enthusiasm and drive of these young people amazes me! They are a great reminder that no matter what age you are you can make a difference. I am increasingly proud to live and work in Milton Keynes. Network Rail will continue to work alongside Citizens:mk on the Fight Against Hate campaign with the aim of making Milton Keynes as inclusive as it is diverse.”

Cllr Marland then awarded all the pupils with their Young Citizens 2017-18 certificates, and special awards were made to John Wambeek (pictured in hat above), Young Citizen of the Year, for his special contribution to the Redways Relaunch campaign; also Pam Weston (pictured below), retiring head teacher of Summerfield Primary School, for her extraordinary commitment to involving her pupils in citizens actions.

Tony Berwick (pictured below), head teacher of Jubilee Wood Primary School and member of Citizens:mk Leadership Group, then reflected on the exciting opportunities available for today’s young citizens as they grow up in MK.

Finally pupils from MK Academy and Summerfield School secured pledges from Cllr Marland to visit their schools next term, and the event was closed with a rousing rendition of ‘We Built This City Milton Keynes’ by the famous choir of Summerfield Primary School (pictured below).

Hala Afify Selim, a Citizens:mk leader who was attending the event shortly after returning from 6-Day Training with Citizens UK, said:  “Everyone in the room was buzzing with excitement and the cameras kept flashing trying to capture the vigour, energy and enthusiasm of the singers.  It was a great event where power holders, pupils, citizens and organisers shared a dream of a better future for a place where we all cherish and adore: Milton Keynes.”

Photos below show (from left to right):  Pupils from Summerfield School and Jubilee Wood School with their award certificates, and Cllr Marland receiving a gift from the pupils of Summerfield School.

Power holders pledge to support Citizens:mk campaign goals

The leaders of MK’s main political parties have pledged to support all the goals of all four current Citizens:mk campaigns.  Their pledges were made at Citizens:mk’s seventh annual Accountability Assembly, which took place at Cornerstone Church in Central Milton Keynes on 24th April.

225 people attended, including representatives from 17 member institutions and 24 other MK institutions.

After a members’ roll call, and the power-holders being led in by school children, the audience enjoyed a presentation of campaign successes over the past year.   

Cllr Peter Marland, Leader of MK Council (pictured above), was thanked for his role in delivering 130 Redway improvements – more than double the target of the Redways Relaunch campaign for MK’s 50th birthday year.

Then goals for the year ahead were presented by each campaign team (Fight Against Hate, Life Skills & Young People, Mental Health and House the Homeless) and pledges of support  were received.

Powerful testimonies were given from the victims of hate crime.  Jennifer Parsons of MK Muslim Association (pictured above), related how she had been verbally abused for wearing a hijab.

Supt Yvette Hitch, Area Commander for Thames Valley Police Milton Keynes (pictured below), stated her aim to deliver a police service for the whole community including marginalised communities.

In a one-to-one conversation during the break with Philip Shamamba, leader of MK Congolese Community, she agreed to attend an special meeting with that group.

Arriva Buses and Network Rail pledged to support the Fight Against Hate campaign with a poster display action during national Hate Crime Awareness Week in October.

The Mental Health campaign team won a pledge from the Deputy-director of MK Mental Health Service for further partnership in the campaign.

The students of St. Paul’s Catholic School (pictured above) won a pledge from their head teacher to include more finance skills education in the school curriculum.

Following a request from the House the Homeless campaign team, many members of the audience agreed an action to contribute to MK Council’s current consultation on affordable housing.

Each of the three political party leaders responded ‘Yes’ to each of Citizens:mk’s campaign asks and spoke briefly about their own party manifestos for the upcoming Council elections.  Cllr Alex Walker (Conservative), attending his first Accountability Assembly (pictured below), said he was impressed by the diversity of the Citizens:mk alliance and looked forward to working with the alliance.

See pledges from all party leaders in short video:

The event ended with a rousing rendition of ‘We Built This City’ led by the choir of Summerfield Primary School (pictured below). 

See short video of choir singing below:

Mayor David Hopkins (pictured below) gave a final vote of thanks to all campaign team members and power-holders before the seventh annual Accountability Assembly was closed.

In a short evaluation by 25 participants immediately afterwards, the Assembly was scored 8/10.

Photos by Liam Hyatt.

Thanks to our grant funders in 2017-18:tudor-trust       and Master CMYK large

 

Accountability Assembly 24th April 2018

Members of the local community are coming together in their hundreds at a Citizens:mk election assembly event to voice their concerns to would-be decision makers in order to improve the lives of poor and disadvantaged households including children and their families across the borough.

You are invited to attend our seventh annual

ACCOUNTABILITY ASSEMBLY 

Strengthening Our City

  • Citizens:mk hosts its Accountability Assembly on 24th April 2018 at Church of Christ the Cornerstone to address election candidates and ask that they pledge actions a range of social issues
  • Lawrence Morgan of Transition MK will lead a call for action to create a Community Land Trust in MK and a Citizens Guide advising pedestrians how to react to rough-sleepers, working closely with MK Homelessness Partnership
  • Fidele Mutwarisibo of The Open University will call for Restorative justice for the victims of hate crime and more action on removal of hate graffiti.
  • Others will call for action on Life Skills for Young People and Mental Health.
  • The leaders of MK’s main political parties will respond, also the Police Area Commander and other power-holders.

Powerful stories will be heard on stage from individuals who are directly affected by a shortage of housing in the city, difficult access to mental health services, lack of finance education in schools and hate crime on the streets of MK.  A school choir will sing about the city they want to grow up in.

 Book places here

Rev Tim Norwood, Area Dean and Co-Chair of Citizens:mk said: “We have planned this assembly to highlight the issues that matter most to people living in the borough ahead of the local elections with urgent asks on homelessness and hate crime.

“One of the benefits of being a non-political broad-based network of community leaders at Citizens:mk means we research broadly and listen carefully to what all corners of our neighbourhoods tell us they need and expect from their elected representatives.  We hope our asks will be accepted by candidates in the spirit we are sharing and put into action with promises.”

Arif Master of Zainabiya Islamic Centre, said: “Recently I experienced a series of hate incidents directed at me and my staff at my practice.  It was an unpleasant experience.  For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel like going to work in the morning.  Thanks to the leaders of the Citizens:mk Fight Against Hate campaign, the Police and local politicians began to respond and the young people were caught and made to apologise.”

 Book places here or call 07962 838685 if you have any questions.

Delegates launch campaigns on homelessness and life skills

On Monday 5th February, 85 people from 15 member institutions attended Citizens:mk’s 2018 Delegates Assembly.

Several moving testimonies were presented and four proposals were made for new campaign goals, all of which were formally approved by a majority of institutions present:

Pledges were also received for attendance at two upcoming assemblies to address power holders:

Institution Pledged Turnout at SleepOut Assembly  (House the Homeless campaign) 16.3.18 Pledged Turnout at annual Accountability Assembly  24.4.18
Church of Christ the Cornerstone 15 15
Future Wolverton
Jubilee Wood Primary School 4 15
Middle East Cultural Group 4
MK Academy 2 5
MK Muslim Association 5 15
MK Quaker Meeting 5 15
Open University 10 7
Q:alliance 7 7
St. Augustine’s RC Church
St. Frideswide’s Church 5 5
St. Monica’s Catholic Primary School 5
St. Paul’s Catholic School 10 10
Stantonbury Ecumenical Partnership
Summerfield Primary School 2 20
Transition MK 3 10
Truby’s Garden Tea Room 5 10
YMCA Milton Keynes. 25 5
98 148

In Evaluation immediately after the event, participants agreed a score of 7/10 for the assembly.

Leaders Forum 2017 sets off new campaign research teams

This year’s Leaders Forum was hosted by Jubilee Wood Primary School and attended by 55 leaders from 15 member institutions.

17 issues were raised and four campaign research teams established:

  • Homelessness & Housing (led by Suzanna Raymond of Q:alliance, Paul Griffiths and Brett Farrier-Smith of MK YMCA)
  • Mental Health & Isolation (led by Meghan Taylor and pupils of St. Paul’s Catholic School, Caro Marshall of St. Augustine’s Catholic Church and Linda McComie of Truby’s Garden Tea Room)
  • Life Skills for young people (led by Rebecca Selves of Jubilee Wood Primary School and Polly of St. Paul’s Catholic School)
  • Young Voices (led by Alan Bainbridge of MK Quaker Meeting and Hilarie Bowman of Transition MK).

Each team has members from three member institutions, a leader and co-leader, at least one of whom will attend the Twilight Training session on research methods on Monday 20th November, 5.30-7.30pm at Acorn House.

Their task over the winter months is to craft SMART campaign goals to be presented for the consent of Delegates Assembly on 5th February 2018.

Other issues raised at Leaders Forum were:

  • Bullying
  • Buses
  • Debt
  • FishermeadHate crime
  • Male role models
  • Muslim female swimming facilities
  • Parking
  • Redways
  • Speeding
  • Plastic
  • Pollution.

In post-event evaluation, this year’s Leaders Forum scored 9/10.