Getting back to normal – slowly!

We’re pleased that the number of members in the Water Eaton Community Larder has more than doubled to 60+ since we started.  Now we’re looking forward to a time when we no longer have to let members into the Larder a few at a time  and when, instead of asking people to leave as soon as they’ve finished shopping, we can offer everyone the opportunity for a cup of tea and a natter.  As soon as the Government lets us, we’ll make the changes.
Also, we’re delighted that MK Money Lifeline (MKML) is back with us in the Water Eaton Church Centre. In case you don’t know, MKML provide free, confidential, impartial, money and debt support and advice. The drop-in is now available every Tuesday afternoon (while the building is open for the Larder).  It’s free – just drop in between 2-4pm

The Water Eaton Community Larder

A few weeks ago we partnered up with Bletchley & Fenny Stratford Town Council and with the SOFEA charity in the provision of a community larder. There’s a string of community larders across the country now. They have twin objectives: (a) to minimise the amount of perfectly good food that gets sent to the rubbish tip by large supermarkets, and (b) to make that food available to members of the community larder at a much reduced price.

As the poster – below – says, it costs £10 a year to become a member. On top of that you pay either £3.50 or £7.00 a week. For £3.50 you’re entitled to 10 items and for £7.00 you’re entitled to 20 items a week from the larder. The ‘items’ are non-perishable food (ie. food in tins, packets, cartons, etc.) such as tea, rice, baked beans, and breakfast cereal.

There’s also a counter of non-perishable items which are free (ie. they don’t count as part of your 10 or 20 item entitlement)., because typically they’re getting a bit near their ‘best before’ date. There’s also a counter of free perishable items ie. fruit and vegetables.

The larder is open every Tuesday afternoon from 2.00 – 4.00pm. in the Water Eaton Church Centre.

If you want to join, you can come along on a Tuesday. Alternatively, you could either follow the links in the poster, or ring the Council on 01908-649469, tell them you’d like to join, and one of their clerks will get back to you.

New Trustee

We’re delighted to announce that Steve Hallett has joined our Board of Trustees.  Steve is currently the Curate of St Frideswide’s Church in Water Eaton, and in the time he’s been in the post he’s shown he has a heart for reaching out to support the disadvantaged.  Before becoming a Curate, Steve had a career in the commercial sector which included operating at a fairly strategic level.  And he’s a lovely fellah.  In short, he’s a great addition to the Board.  

It’s the least we can do

In this period of lock down, we at CrossLinks might not be able to offer support to people in the form of our clubs and activities, but at least we can still provide financial support to the local community.  We’ve recently provided funding for 3 worthwhile causes:

A community event organised by Locals of The Lakes – well done to their Mariee Whymer,  who does so much for the estate.

A community event for seniors on The Lakes – well done to Steve Hallett for setting the event up.

Repairing tired and broken play equipment in Galilee Gardens (the garden out the back of the Water Eaton Church Centre).

But when we will all be able to get back to something like normal . . . . . ?

Corona Virus – these are extraordinary times

In line with the guidance the Government has now issued, as of yesterday (17 March 2020) we are – with great regret – suspending the activities of all our groups and clubs.   We will do our best to maintain contact with group members, especially the most vulnerable.  Let’s all hope – and pray – for the speediest possible end to these extraordinary times.

Advertising The Friday Club

It was great on Saturday (1 February) to have a stall for the Friday Club at this year’s Information Day organised by the Milton Keynes Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) Information and Advice Service.  The event gives parents and carers face-to-face access to many service providers, as well as providing talks and workshops on a range of SEND issues.

We hope that some of the leaflets we handed out will result in new members for the Friday Club.  Thanks go to Ken H., Keith S., Jenny S., Yvonne L., and David A. who, between them, manned the stall from the event’s opening at 9.15am until its closing at 3.00pm.

Helping the homeless

We are pleased to be the partner of Winter Night Shelter Milton Keynes (WNSMK) in bringing the provision of overnight accommodation in the Water Eaton Church Centre for homeless and vulnerable people.  The service commenced on 5 Dec 2019, and will be provided every Thursday until the end of March 2020.  Guests are given a hot meal, a bed for the night, and a breakfast the following morning.

Here’s what the co-ordinator, Tim May,  had to say after the opening night:

“On Thursday 5th December Water Eaton Church Centre opened for its first night as a Winter Night Shelter venue. The first night was a great success and we welcomed 11 guests through our doors. This was the first night not only for the venue but for the majority of our volunteers. I’m pleased to say that it ran like clockwork – as if we had been doing it for some time. I would like to thank everyone involved for their effort and hard work in making our inaugural opening such a success.

The provision of night time accommodation obviously requires many resources: volunteers; material items; money.  The cost of hosting one night is about £90. If anyone would like to help support this project, we would welcome donations of toiletries, warm clothing, or financial donations. If anyone would like to know more about how to support us, please contact myself Tim May using

timothymay@btinternet.com

If anyone would like to know more about the Winter Night Shelter MK then please visit their website  https://www.winternightsheltermk.com/

or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/wnsmk/

The Mix and us

This Thursday (12 September) was the first time we hosted a drop-in with The Mix, a local community group whose sessions are intended for people to meet in a safe and inclusive setting, and share information about local mental health services.

The drop-ins are informal and accessible, and aim to promote self-help.  They are somewhere for people to socialise and make new friends in a relaxed and welcoming environment. They offer a range of activities including arts and crafts and games. Or, if you just fancy a chat and a coffee, that’s ok – hot and cold drinks and other refreshments are served during the sessions.

The drop-ins are supported by a number of local groups, charities and other agencies, who regularly attend sessions and have members of staff on hand to offer help, support and advice, currently:

  • Rethink
  • Citizens Advice Milton Keynes
  • Milton Keynes Council
  • Healthwatch Milton Keynes

No appointment is necessary. Simply drop in and speak to one of our volunteers who will introduce you to someone who might be able to help you.

Our drop-ins will be in the Water Eaton Church Centre, Bletchley every Thursday from 1.30 – 3.30pm.

The Mix also runs sessions in the Unity Park Station, Central Milton Keyes on Mondays from 1.30 – 3.30pm.

 

Brew and Banter

The sharp eyed among you my have noticed that CrossLinks is no longer the  home of the Brew and Banter group.  A new drop in meeting for veterans is scheduled to start in September at MK Dons. It is hoped the meetings will attract outside agencies and will act as a ‘one stop shop’ to support veterans.  So Rev Kevin White and the Brew and Banter group members have decided to merge themselves into the new drop in arrangements.  We hope the new arrangements will be a success, especially in terms of helping veterans with their struggles outside the military.