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Newsletter – September 2020

Here’s the latest newsletter (and it’s not all bad!). Enjoy!

newsletter september 2020



In the interests of  safety we have introduced some special conditions for anyone hiring York House for whatever reason.

You can see the latest details here:

Covid-19 Special Conditions of HireV6

Contacting York House

As many of you know, Fiona Trinder has left York House after many (many) years of dedicated service, and we wish her all the best in her new career in teaching.

She is continuing to lead on the Christmas Lanterns project and his happy to receive emails for that project at

FOR ALL OTHER CONTACT WITH YORK HOUSE please use the following:


Telephone: 01908 561075.

We are discussing the appropriate time to recruit a new Centre Manager.


Notice of York House Annual general Meeting 2020

The 13th Annual General Meeting of York House Centre is scheduled for September 21st 2020. All members are invited to participate.

Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s AGM will be undertaken electronically, in line with official guidelines and our own M&A.

Click on the invitation here for the full details of the agenda and how to participate.

AGM 2020 Invitation

Part one of the annual report can be seen by clicking here:

Annual Report 2020

Part two, which is the financial information, will be posted here before September 21st.

To comment or vote please email by September 23rd 2020.

Thanks you for supporting York House.



Private Parties 2020

As of July 1st 2020

It is with great regret that the trustees of York House Centre have decided not to accept requests for private parties of any kind for the remainder of 2020.

We will be monitoring the regulations and any change to this policy will be posted here.

Sorry to disappoint you. It is frustrating for us, too.

Ken Daniels

Chairman, York House Centre Trustees

Please Look After This Building – Thank You!

It was with heavy hearts that we temporarily closed York House Centre on 23/03/20 due to the on-going Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic.  The building and grounds are now closed to the public (apart from access to the grounds for our Community Gardeners).
The building will be checked regularly by the Trustees but we’d like to ask you, our community, to help us keep an eye on the building.  If you’re walking past, or are one of our neighbours who overlook us, please report anything you are concerned about via or (in emergencies only) by phone on 07948 390323.  The York House Staff have been temporarily furloughed so any communication will be with the York House Trustees.
If you feel able to make a donation to help sustain the charity through these dark days, you can do so via our Local Giving page Donate on LocalGiving.Org
Join our Facebook Group or Follow our Facebook Page for information about when we will re-open.
Thank you for your support!

York House Centre Announces Temporary Closure Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

It is with regret that, in accordance with the Government advice announced on Friday, York House Centre will be closed temporarily to all but essential groups from today (23/03/20) until further notice

All forthcoming events and bookings have been cancelled and the York House Centre Office is now closed to visitors but will remain staffed on weekdays between 9am and 2pm.

Please phone us on 01908 563361 or E-Mail any enquiries to

We are currently taking bookings from 01/09/20 but the situation is likely to change, we will keep you informed.

As a small charity, our Trustees are working hard to ensure that we manage to keep the organisation afloat until such time as normal service can resume.  We thank all our volunteers and customers for their support over the years, and hope that you all stay well.

If you feel able to make a donation to support us in the meantime, you can do so via our Local Giving page:-

Thanks to Santander “Community Days” for Lending a Helping Hand!

We were delighted to welcome another group of volunteers from Santander to York House on Friday as part of their ‘”Community Days” scheme.  Paul and his team got straight down to business re-decorating the walls and ceilings in Room 2.2 and Room 2.3 on the middle floor.  They did an excellent job and enjoyed a good old natter whilst they worked!

York House Centre has benefitted greatly from this Santander scheme over the years, which also provides a donation of up to £250 per project for materials and equipment.

Santander “Community Days” Volunteers Re-Decorate Room 2.2 and Room 2.3

We are always keen to offer Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) opportunities at York House Centre, so if your company runs a similar scheme or are thinking about starting a CSR project, please contact us to see what we can offer each other!

Drop Us an E-Mail

Waitrose Community Matters Donation Supports Act Out & Act Up!

Huge thanks to Waitrose Oakgrove for including Act Out & Act Up in their ‘Community Matters’ scheme during December.

We were delighted to receive a cheque for £330.00 yesterday which will help to support our affordable drama classes for young people.  Grants and donations allow us to keep the termly subscription charges as low as possible for all young people and also to provide sponsored places for children from low-income families.

  Visit the Act Out & Act Up Website

About Waitrose Community Matters
Every month, each store donates a share of £1,000 (£500 in convenience shops)
between three causes. These could be for local causes like school equipment upgrades,
social welfare carers, aged care or health and wellbeing charity activities.

In store, customers are given a green token at the checkout to place in one of three
boxes each allocated to a different cause. The more tokens a cause receives, the
bigger the donation it receives.

Visit the Waitrose Community Matters Website

Annual Plant Sale & Coffee Morning – Date for Your Diaries!

Please come along and support the annual Stony in Bloom Plant Sale and York House Spring Coffee Morning on Saturday 16 May!

Bag a bargain plant, have a go on the SIB Tombola, peruse the stalls, enjoy delicious home-made cakes and tea & coffee.  There will be children’s colouring activities inside all morning and then join in with the Family Planting Workshop to re-plant our ‘Edible Sharing Bed’ at 10.30am.  Bard of Stony Stratford, Andy Powell, will be declaiming a special poem written for the event and Stony Stratford Theatre Society will be providing theatrical excerpts throughout the morning.

Help raise funds for Stony Stratford in Bloom and the York House Community Gardens

See you there?

When: Saturday 16 May 2020
Times: 9.30am – 12.30pm
Where: Main Hall & Front Car Park
Cost: FREE Entry

Contact: York House Office 01908 563361 or E-Mail Us

York House News – February 2020

Please click on the link below to view the latest edition of York House News.

View York House News – Feb 2020

If you’d like to join our mailing list, you can have future issues of York House News delivered direct to your in-box via E-Mail.

If you are aged 18+, have an MK11 postcode or a strong association with the town or building, you can

Become a Member of York House Centre

or send an E-Mail request to

We’re Hiring! York House Centre Seeks New Centre Manager – ON HOLD


We’re offering an exciting opportunity to work at the heart of the Stony Stratford community at York House Centre.

Our long-term Centre Manager is leaving to pursue a career in teaching, so we’re looking for someone who is skilled at managing and organising people, an effective communicator (including via socia media), has experience of creating and delivering community projects, is familiar with the work of charities, the voluntary sector and fundraising and who is comfortable with financial management.

Terms: 30 hours per week, £22,698pa + Workplace Pension

For more information and a full job spec, please e-mail

Please send us your cv with the contact details for 2 referees by Friday 27 March 2020.
The appointment is subject to a satisfactory DBS Check.

York House Centre
London Road
Stony Stratford
Milton Keynes
MK11 1JQ

Parents Partner with York House Centre to offer Baby & Toddler Group for Stony Stratford

Local parents have come together with York House Centre in Stony Stratford to create a new playgroup, which will have its first session on Monday 13 January 2020.

The group will now be known as the York House Young Ones – Yo-Yos for short – and will offer craft, toys, indoor and outdoor activities and a safe and welcoming environment for babies, toddlers and their parents and carers.

The group will run from 9.30am – 11.30am every Monday during term-time in the Main Hall at York House.

The partnership developed after a long-running playgroup held at York House was scheduled to close and parents approached York House to try to keep the much-loved group going.

Yo-Yos will be run by parents, supported by York House Centre, who have helped to set up the new group and are hosting the sessions.

As well as a wide range of toys, a snack break for the children and refreshments for the grown-ups, there will be the opportunity to use York House’s outdoor spaces in good weather plus regular music, story time and other themed sessions.

Yo-Yos will cost just £2.50 per family per session to help cover the costs of running the group.

The group’s coordinator, Kate Shaw, said: “I’ve been to the playgroup at York House with all my children, and it has always been a lovely friendly environment.  We’re so pleased that we’ve been able to get this new group going, thanks to the support from York House.  As parents we want to make Yo-Yos the group we want for our children and we’re sure it will be great fun – and thanks to all the equipment and facilities at York House, great value too.”

Centre Manager, Fiona Trinder, commented: “We are delighted that there will continue to be a baby & toddler group running at York House Centre.  It’s lovely to have a warm, stimulating environment to take your little ones along to and parents and carers will get a chance to socialise whilst the children play.  Huge thanks to the parent volunteers who have stepped in to develop and run York House Yo-Yos, we look forward to working with you in the years ahead.”

For more information see York House Yo-Yos

York House Centre Launches New Branding and Website!

Having made major physical improvements to York House over the past 10 years, 2019 saw us turning our attention to improving the publicity and marketing for the centre.

The first task, (and what a mammoth task it was), was to totally re-brand our organisation!  Local graphic designer, Mason Edwards @ Mason Edwards Design,  generously donated his considerable skills and large amounts of his time to lead the project, totally free of charge.  Mason worked with the Trustees and Staff to design a brand-new logo, internal and external signage schemes, smart new lettering over the front portico and artwork for the buttons on our new website.  His bright, modern designs reflect our vibrant organisation and we are so grateful to him for his patience and generosity.

Every community centre worth its salt needs an external notice board to advertise its regular groups and one-off events – and now we’ve got a whopper!  Huge thanks to our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partners, Mercedes Benz Financial Services,  who funded the manufacturing and installation of all our new signs and also bought us a brand new notice board for the London Road border.  MBFS Volunteers even helped us install the notice board and re-develop the whole front border area during a very wet ‘Day of Caring’ in June 2019.  Grateful thanks to our own ‘Handyman Phil’ for all his hard work on this project as well as to the staff and clients from Branch-out MK CIC for devising the planting scheme, helping us to buy the plants and plant them out.

Once the re-branding scheme was finished, the next stage was to develop a shiny new website for the centre.  With practical and financial help from Mercedes Benz Financial Services, the York House Trustees and Staff agreed what functionality we would need from our new website and our vision for the over-all look.  The website was  designed and built by Stony Stratford-based company, Freestone Creative, who were incredibly patient and helpful and we are delighted with the finished result.  The new website is bright and colourful, incorporating Mason’s branding scheme and artwork plus lots of photographs of the building and its activities.

The website encourages users to choose one of three pathways from the home page – ‘Hire our Spaces’, ‘What’s On?’ or ‘About York House & Our Projects’.  Its clear design makes navigating easy and there is also a ‘search’ facility.   The website is packed with all sorts of information about how to hire our spaces (including room photos and plans, facilities, prices, FAQs and an enquiry form), a calendar of events and regular clubs & classes which are categorised for ease of use, plus everything you might want to know about our organisation and the projects we run, including a history of York House.   Grateful thanks to Mercedes Benz Financial Services who funded the development of the website.

Now that the new website is up and running, the Trustees and Staff will be developing a Marketing Strategy to target particular sectors of the community e.g children’s parties, commercial meetings etc –  ensuring that York House Centre continues to thrive during 2020 and beyond!


York House Centre have been very lucky to have one of our projects included in the Co-op Local Communty Fund scheme during 2018/19.

We were amazed and delighted that Co-op members raised a whopping total of £2,468.31 towards our ‘Outside is for Everyone’ project to encourage outdoor activities and exercise.

‘Outside is for Everyone’ is raising funds to improve the facilities for our Astroturf area which is already used by many of our user groups, particularly our 2 Youth Clubs.  The completion of the sports netting will attract new users to the centre (e.g. children’s soccer camps) and will allow other areas of the gardens to be safely enjoyed at the same time as the Astroturf is being used for sports and games activities.  We have already raised enough funds to install an access ramp to the Astroturf, making it safely accessible for all our users, but particularly those with limited mobility.

When Co-op members shop, 1% of what they spend on selected Co-op branded products and services goes to support local causes through their Local Community Fund. Members can choose a local cause registered on the Co-op website that they want their 1% to support.

The ‘Big Co-op Payout’ gives the Co-op a chance to thank their members for helping them give back to local communities and also offers a chance for the charities receiving the donations to say a MASSIVE thank you.  York House Trustee, Derek Gibbons, went along to the Deanshanger Co-op on Saturday 23 November to talk to staff and customers about what we do at York House Centre and, of course, thank them for their amazing donation!