A big thank you to us all from the MK Community Foundation and the Women's Fund

27 September 2019
27 September 2019, Comments: Comments Off on A big thank you to us all from the MK Community Foundation and the Women’s Fund

Milton Keynes Community Foundation report for Women In Enterprise AGM 25.09.19

June Oldroyd – Philanthropy Manager

Since the last report in January, we have funded 3 major projects using money from the Women’s Fund.

The most recent is Girls Pack, this ongoing project produces and distributes sanitary care packages to primary and secondary schools, community buildings, local council outlets and food banks across Milton Keynes.  The care packs include: 2 pairs knickers, a packet of sanitary towels, feminine wipes and hand sanitiser.   The group operates in the most deprived areas of Milton Keynes helping families on benefits and those that are only just managing.

The founders (who are school age) have talked to friends and other school associates from across Milton Keynes and concluded that help was needed.

Through places like the Foodbank, care packs can take the pressure off the household budget and gives parents the ability to provide for their children every month.  Girl Pack care packs, are used by schoolgirls so that they can change at school and don’t miss any lesson time or have the humiliation of using things that are not recommended such as socks or toilet paper as a substitute.

The added benefit of this project is that it encourages people to talk about periods, attempting to end the stigma and bullying that can be associated with periods, with a little education and knowledge girls will feel more comfortable talking and communicating about periods and the poverty that exists in this sector.

The grant request was for £1500 a contribution of £200 was made from the Women’s fund

Another project that took place earlier this month at MK Gallery was ‘Taking the Stage’ this project built on existing relationships between arts organisations in MK to bring together women from a variety of arts backgrounds to create a festival of women’s writing, directing and achievement in the creative arts.  The part of the programme funded through MKCF was to work directly with Stantonbury school.  Haste Theatre Company, an all-female company, worked together on a newly devised piece and took part in a debate panel around gender in the Arts. The project enabled students to work alongside key professionals in the theatre and creative arts. The youth performance took place amongst a programme of plays from well known actors, writers and directors.  The panel that followed enabled the young people to be part of the current debate on gender, where they could voice concerns and share ideas on how we should move forward and improve the situation.

The grant request was for £5000 a contribution of £500 was made from the Women’s fund.

The third project was MK Museum’s celebration of 100 years of suffrage from a local perspective, the ‘HERstory exhibition’ was inspired by a book called A History of Women in 100 Objects. This book aimed to identify ‘the items that symbolise the journey of women from second-class citizens …to the powerful people they are today’.

Like the fascinating collection of objects in the book – which features everything from the corset and contraceptive pill to the car – the exhibition was challenging, inclusive, thought-provoking, brave and fun!

Exhibits covered the whole spectrum of women’s lives and experiences – body image, motherhood and childlessness, wives and homemakers, science, technology, fashion, communication, transport and travel, education, work and employment, culture, politics, protest and the public realm.

A major focus of the project was seeking contributions from sections of the community who are often unheard or unseen. For example: MKACT working with victims of domestic abuse put together a suitcase of belongings and accompanying poem; contributions were actively sought from BAME groups to show the experience of women from different cultures.  Some of the exhibits have been retained to become permanent artefacts in the museum.

The grant request was for £5000 a contribution of £500 was made from the Women’s fund.

MKCF is the conduit by which these projects are supported – the funds come from groups, businesses and individuals like you.  Enabling us all to be Philanthropists in our own city, on behalf of the groups support by the Women’s Fund I say a heartfelt – thank you.

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