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Future Wolverton awarded emergency grant

WHAT IS FUTURE WOLVERTON AND WHAT DOES IT DO?
Future Wolverton are a membership based Community Benefit Society with a mission to establish
Wolverton as a thriving and sustainable town within the city of Milton Keynes. They enable an active and
involved community to protect and celebrate unique local heritage, whilst developing new business,
housing and community facilities to ensure future prosperity.
After many years of fundraising, Future Wolverton opened the doors of its first asset last Spring. The Old
School is Milton Keynes’ first co-operatively owned community building and includes space to hire, a café
and a 3 bedroom guest house.
The Old School Project is a partnership with Slated Row School, a community special school for children
and young people with learning difficulties and special educational needs. The project also offers work
related learning to 18-22-year olds as well as wider curriculum enrichment to the younger children at the
school.
Sixth form students are involved in every aspect of the way the building is operated, running the Old
School café during term-time and servicing the Guest House ready for new guests. Students also help
maintain landscaping and wildlife garden. Students gain essential real-life work experience as a result of
their involvement in the project, as well as nationally recognised qualifications. This puts them in a much
stronger position to gain employment when they leave school.


WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM?
One of the main aims of the Old School was to become a meeting place for vulnerable, often elderly
members of the local community. ‘Crafty Mondays’ allowed adults who might otherwise be isolated to
interact and meet over organised projects, led by a textile artist. These sessions had been slowly gaining in
popularity.
The difficult decision to close the community hall was made on Friday 20th March. This in turn meant the
cancellation of all Crafty Mondays sessions. Conscious of the negative effect that this could have on those
who had been taking part, Future Wolverton devised a project to help - Sewn Together.
As the name ably suggests, this would aim to socially unite the community at a time when being ‘a part of
something’ was going to be even more critical.

 

 

 

WHAT DIFFERENCE DID THE APPEAL AWARD MAKE?
Funding received has allowed Future Wolverton to take activities out of the Old School and into local
homes. It has enabled those wishing to take part to stay connected and delivered a much needed
distraction to everything that has been going on in the world.
The first Sewn Together craft project is the creation of a decorative wall hanging. For those who have
materials at home, the template for a quilt square and instruction leaflet can be downloaded online and
community businesses that are allowed to stay open have provided venues from which people can pick
packs up. On occasion, too, packs are delivered, creating the opportunity for interaction with many who
live alone. The ages of those taking part ranges from 7 to 83.
The response to the project has been phenomenal, so much so that it’s now being wrapped up, for fear of
the size of the finished quilt potentially taking over the town! Post lockdown the squares will be brought
together into a wall hanging that will truly represent the community spirit of the time. It will be unveiled at
the Old School Heritage Day in September, where it will be celebrated and displayed in all its glory.
Plans are in place to develop more Sewn Together activities, to ensure that the community remains
connected until such time as restrictions are lifted.

 

“ My dad died during lockdown and I thought this would be a lovely distraction which, when we see
it all sewn together, will bring back good as well as poignant memories of this strange period in our
lives.”

 

Our emergency appeal has helped so many local community groups so far...but there are still many more who need support to deliver their vital work in these difficult times.

You can help! 

Donate now to our Emergency appeal to support some of the most vulnerable in our communities. 

 

 

 
Photo credit: Priscilla-du-Preez - Unsplash