This month was our annual President’s Seeing is Believing visit, hosted by Alexander Boswell DL,Vice Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire. We were lucky enough to take our guests to three wonderful organisations that Milton Keynes Community Foundation have supported over the years; each inspiring organisation demonstrated some of the ways in which they support people with varying disadvantages and challenges.
The first place we had the pleasure of visiting, was Arts for Health; an organisation that grew out of the Hospital Arts Committee, that originated in order to help and provide support for people within the hospital in terms of their mental health. Their work allows people who suffer from anxiety, stress or depression to take part in art workshops to improve their mental wellbeing. Whilst there, we were lucky enough to see some of the amazing work they do during a workshop for people suffering from dementia. We took part in some of our own arts and crafts as we were learning about the different ways in which it can help people with varying mental health issues. Our guests and President enjoyed creating pieces of art with glue and tissue paper, making pictures of flowers, butterflies and unleashing their artistic potential!
For our second visit of the day, we went to MacIntyre. MacIntyre is a national charity that provides learning, support and essential care for people of all ages with varying learning disabilities and/or autism. They provide a range of services that help people live their life to the full. Some of which include: registered care homes, supported living and learning services. The MacIntyre base in Milton Keynes is at the heart of the charity, with 21 different teams across the city covering services such as residential care, supported living, coffee shops and catering. We were lucky enough to sample some of the amazing food they provide from their café, with a generous spread of sandwiches and desserts that they put on for us. We enjoyed the delicious platters while being given a presentation from the hard-working colleagues of MacIntyre on the incredible work they do.
Last but not least, we were lucky enough to be shown around ‘Ride High’, a local charity that is helping to transform the lives of some of Milton Keynes’s most disadvantaged children by teaching and encouraging them to take care of and ride horses. Ride High focuses on supporting children aged between 8 and 17, from all different types of backgrounds. The children that are helped could be dealing with all kinds of difficult situations, including: being from deprived backgrounds, being bullied at school, children who are carers for a parent or younger siblings or children who have suffered from abuse. The Ride High stables offer a safe sanctuary for young people, where they can build their self-esteem and confidence, which enables them to cope with the struggles within their daily lives in a more constructive way. We were lucky enough to be shown around their grounds and to see some of the stables with their beautiful horses that are involved in the classes they offer. We saw one of the classes in action while we were visiting, where we got to see some of the children who are involved in the programme benefiting from the time spent with horses.
MK Community Foundation would like to say thank you to the amazing organisations that we visited on the day and showing us the crucial and influential work that they do to help all kinds of different people within our community here in Milton Keynes.