This is not about a Trust set up to organise weavers – it’s one of Citizen:mk’s campaigns to weave trust between people in our city by increasing the number of conversations between people of different ages, faiths and residential areas in MK.

Citizens:mk itself, which was launched in 2010, is working to build better relationships between the different communities of our city for a better Milton Keynes.  The Weaving Trust campaign is just one of several.  Others include ‘Living Wage’, ‘Fair Transport’, and ‘Refugees Welcome’.

At the Weaving Trust events, 15 members of the host community meet 30 people from other Citizens:mk institutions and groups.  If you’ve not yet been to one of these Weaving Trust events, I can heartily recommend it!

I went to one today and was amazed at the community spirit in evidence and the genuine feelings of friendship generated by those present.  There were smiles all round, and the generous hospitality of members of St Frideswide’s church, Water Eaton (who were hosting this particular session), created a perfect environment for sharing with one another.  The meeting started by hearing from a couple of people from the host community and one guest.  One person spent a couple of minutes giving us a potted history of how St Frideswide’s came into being; another painted a delightfully amusing picture of life in Fenny Stratford/Water Eaton when she was a child (how far we’ve come!); and the guest highlighted the strength to be had through celebrating our differences.  After this, we were directed to the refreshment corner where a table was literally groaning under the combined weight of the cake selection – all beautifully home-made for the occasion – and tea was served.  Tea and cake is of course a guaranteed way of getting people chatting, and this was in evidence as the volume rose!

After tea we moved into another room for the next activity.  Imagine speed dating (not that I’ve ever attended such an event, you understand!), and you’ll get the idea!  Once we all got stuck in, it was hard to get us moving, and much laughter could be heard each time a large hand bell (the type which used to be seen in schools) was rung!  All I can say is, it’s a good job it was a big bell!  I thought a similar conversation might be repeated each time we moved to a different chair, but interestingly this was far from what happened. I met some delightful people, and the event left me wanting to get to know them better.  Maybe I shall have the opportunity at one of the next events: on Monday 16 November at 11.00 am the hosts will be MK Dons, followed by the Thames Valley Police hosting the December event on Monday the 7th at 2.00 pm.

Full marks to the organisers for the excellent way the event was structured, and the fun way they got us moving around to meet new people and to get to know as many as possible.  I came home feeling happy and uplifted and so pleased I had decided to go to find out more.

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