Milton Keynes Community Foundation, our local grant-making charity that sends funding where it is most needed most in Milton Keynes, launched their 11th Vital Signs MK© report at Unity Place Auditorium on Friday 26 January 2024.
The event, hosted by Dame Anne Limb, High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, warmly welcomed over 200 guests for the early morning event. Among the array of charities, businesses and community leaders represented, our own representatives from Transition Town MK, Doughnut Economics and Planting Up were all in attendance.
Ian Revell, CEO MK Community Foundation said:
“We were thrilled to see a full auditorium at Unity Place as we launched our 11th edition of Vital Signs. Although it’s clear that the cost-of-living crisis and post-pandemic climate is having a huge impact on our communities, the event also proved the dedication and passion of MK citizens to work together to improve the lives of the most vulnerable in Milton Keynes.”
Showcasing the Foundation’s commitment to understanding and addressing the evolving needs of the Milton Keynes community, the 11th edition of the report that was unveiled during the event presented critical insights into the current challenges and opportunities within the Milton Keynes community.
This year’s report focuses on the cost-of-living crisis and the longer-term impact of lockdown and COVID-19, looking at young people and their education; the increasing number of people affected by issues around their mental health; families and the increasing living costs and the growing climate emergency.
The 11th edition looked at 4 of the 12 Vital Sign areas, Education, Poverty & Disadvantage, Health & Wellbeing and Environment.
Key statistics from the report:
- 20% of adults who are in contact with mental health services in Milton Keynes are in paid employment, compared with the 6% national average.
- 25% secondary school pupils in MK said they had a mental health problem in the last 12 months.
- 25% of secondary school pupils in MK are skipping meals due to weight concerns.
- In Milton Keynes, 37% of greenhouse gas emissions are from transport, compared with England’s average of 31%.
- 26% of secondary school pupil in MK missed 10% of schools session in 2023, double the rate of 2018/19.
- In 2022, 30% of children in Milton Keynes were living in poverty.
- MK Food Bank saw a 49% increase in usage of their services between 2022 and 2023.
There is clearly plenty of work still to do in Milton Keynes but the ‘Vital Signs’ of evidence-based data and insights into local needs compiled in this way also shows the importance of us all supporting our local Community Foundation to create for a fairer community that addresses these needs and maximises on the opportunities before us.
Among some shocking statistics that present some real challenges for our city, it was great to see some good news stories documented too. One of which was a case study featuring our very own Planting Up permaculture project!
If you would like to download a copy of this year’s Short or Long Report, please go to MK Community Foundation’s website at: https://www.mkcommunityfoundation.co.uk/vital-signs-mk/