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A visit to the MK Leaders Forum

November 29, 2016

Last week, Chloe (Residents Activities Manager) and Resident Corina attended the Citizens MK Leaders Forum. The Leaders Forum is a chance for different organisations to share their concerns within the Milton Keynes area and discuss issues they would like to change.

Corina, who is also involved with the setup of MK Matters (a group of young people from the YMCA pioneering to help and assist homeless and vulnerable people in the Milton Keynes area) had this to say about it.

On Tuesday 22nd November Chloe and I went to the Citizens MK Leaders Forum. This was held at MK Academy. We entered the large building and was greeted by a professional lady who escorted us into the lift. I walked into the large room with many friendly faces. Promptly we were ushered into our seats and began to introduced ourselves. It was nice to see so many organisations come together with intentions to make a change.

There was 20 groups and all with important issues to raise. Many schools attended and had their students representing their views. They had all done a lot of homework! They identified their main concern was Redways, with these being unlit at night and often had litter on them. Redways are an important tool to travel to school.

The other member institutions all raised their concerns and things they would like to change. Some of these included: hate crime, burial of Muslim bodies, homelessness, mental health, parking, affordable housing, community relations, economical travel and reliability of public transport.

Once all of the issues were raised we had to prioritise the urgent and important issues, using different coloured post it notes. The atmosphere in the room was powerful. Once the votes were put on the table we were asked to go and stand with our main concern. We formed a group and had a discussion, nominated chair people and then were asked back to our seats. The facilitator then put the main six issues up on the whiteboard and informed us of the next step.  The six main issues are: air pollution, hate crime, homelessness and housing, mental health, one stop cultural centre and Redways.

The training in the beginning of December will be held for the chairs and I have been invited to attend regarding MK Matters, a group run by residents at the YMCA who are looking to make a change. After the training for the chairs all of the groups plan to create an action plan and present this on the 7th February 2017 at the Delegates Assembly for people to vote for the main campaigns.

When 8pm came the students had to leave to go home but the rest of us were asked if we wanted to stay for the evaluation. I felt that this was quite a good end to a fantastic inspirational evening and lots of people shared positive feelings.

As it came to an end I said thank you to the facilitators and made my way home. I had such a good feeling as I went to bed that night knowing that people actually care and are trying to do something, and that I am going to be a part of it.

YMCA Milton Keynes are proud to be able to attend discussions and local focus groups with young people such as Corina who show passion, interest, respect and desire to make a real difference.

Homelessness and Housing along with mental health were amongst those listed as priority issues, do you agree? Feel free to comment below or send us a message with any thoughts you may have.