Multiple Milton Keynes charities are about to benefit from a new permanent home at a ‘charity hub’ courtesy of MK Council’s £1m charity funding.
Last year, charities including MK FoodBank Xtra, Baby Basics MK and St Marks Meals had been gifted a temporary base at a council-funded warehouse so they could concentrate on their important support for local people instead of worrying how to fund accommodation and other bills. Each of the charities had seen demand rise during the pandemic.
Now, the Council is due to approve a relocation to a new facility in Granby, working alongside the MK Community Foundation to bring together multiple voluntary organisations, helping them to thrive. The new hub will allow more space for the charities to store essential goods, which will save costs and enable them to get supplies out faster to people in need. MK Council has also agreed to pay rent and utility bills for FoodBank Xtra, so they can concentrate on putting more resources into helping people that need it the most.
At the start of the pandemic, the Council entered into a partnership with MK Foodbank Xtra which has seen 14,000 food parcels handed out to local people in need. The service proved to be a real lifeline for families who were left struggling financially due the pandemic.
MK Community Foundation will be giving the Council a generous discounted rent which won’t be charged back to the charities.
If the decision is approved the Council will enter into a 20-year lease for the new charities hub – worth up to £1m. In the meantime, the Council will continue to manage the previous temporary warehouse in Kiln Farm. Local tech firm and social enterprise ‘It’s What’s Next IT’ has also recently taken up residence in Kiln Farm to set up a new drop off point for donations of unwanted laptops and other IT equipment, helping to reduce digital poverty.
Cabinet Member for Resources, Cllr Rob Middleton said: “I’m incredibly proud of our partnership with the foodbanks and everything they’ve achieved since the start of the pandemic. They provide a real lifeline to families struggling to make ends meet.
“This initiative is testament to what we can do when we work together to support MK families and that’s why we want to commit to this vital relationship for the long term. The new space in Granby will allow us to bring charities together to ensure support is available to people when they really need it.”