Local art festival raises £7500 for families affected by domestic abuse

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The Mentmore Arts Festival took place over the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May, transforming the village of Mentmore into a vibrant hub of artistic expression.

The festival attracted locals from across Bucks and Beds, showcasing the talents of over 60 artists through various mediums such as print, sculpture, pottery, and jewellery. In addition to the artwork, attendees enjoyed delicious refreshments and participated in a raffle.

MK Act, a specialist domestic violence service, was one of the charities selected for this year's event. This year's festival, held at the village church, marked the 14th iteration of the Mentmore Arts Festival, which has raised over £120,000 for 25 local charitable organizations since its inception.

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Stephanie Johnston, the committee member responsible for charity liaison, explained the selection process: “Each year, the charities supported are chosen by our volunteer committee. This year, we selected MK Act because of their crucial work in supporting those affected by domestic abuse.”

Stephanie from Mentmore Arts Festival and Sue, MK Act CEOStephanie from Mentmore Arts Festival and Sue, MK Act CEO
Stephanie from Mentmore Arts Festival and Sue, MK Act CEO

Sue Burke, CEO of MK Act, expressed her gratitude, stating, “The event has provided an incredible platform to open up the conversation about domestic abuse and talk about the life-saving work we do locally. Thank you so much to everyone involved in the Mentmore Arts Festival; it is an unbelievable amount of money for us and will have such a big impact on those we support. It was an absolute pleasure for the MK Act team to be part of the event.”

About MK Act

MK Act, commissioned by Milton Keynes Council in 2008 and managed by Milton Keynes Women’s Aid, is committed to supporting all individuals affected by domestic abuse in the Milton Keynes area. The organization supports over 2000 people annually, promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion.

Services Provided by MK Act

  • Crisis Intervention (CIS): Helpline, access to information, advice, support, and emergency refuge. CIS services are available to all genders and relationships, including same-sex relationships and family members.

  • Emergency Refuge: Purpose-built accommodation for 28 families, with support from key workers. The refuge is exclusively for female clients and their children.

  • Children and Young People’s Service: Tailored support for residents of the refuge.

  • Group Work: Programs such as the Freedom Programme and Ilam-El-Hifzat, designed for women from ethnic minority backgrounds.

  • Training: Specialist Domestic Abuse Training for organizations and companies.

  • Fresh Start: A program offering integrated individual sessions aimed at changing the behavior of those who use domestic abuse, while providing support to their partners and ex-partners.

About Mentmore Arts Festival

For more information about the Mentmore Arts Festival, visit their website.

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