What a year 2020 has been?! I think we can all agree that it will be a memorable one!

Throughout the year we have strived to keep our doors open and during the times when community groups and activities had to stop, the Community Fridge and Food Connect teams wasted no time in utilising the building as a hub for redistributing surplus food to those who needed it and also to keep the community fridge operational. The teams, most of whom are volunteers and spread over various hubs in Milton Keynes, have worked tirelessly to help save food waste, keep our bellies full whilst being a vital lifeline for many who have suffered during this pandemic. Community fridges remain open over the holidays. For holiday opening times please refer to the MK Community Fridge website.

On Monday, the team was busy packing food into hampers for distribution across MK and on Christmas Day, Nadia and the Together at Christmas volunteers will be providing a warm welcome and cooking hot free meals in our kitchen for takeaway. If you, or someone you know, would like to book a meal or live within Wolverton, Greenleys, Stacey Bushes, New Bradwell, Hodge Lea, or Wolverton Mill, and would like a meal but can’t collect, please get in touch with Nadia on 07946 101 501 or email togetheratchristmasmk@yahoo.com.

A huge thank you to everyone that has taken part in these projects and has helped make this year less of a struggle for those facing difficulties. Thank you to our partners and funders for their continued support; Hubbub, FareShare, MK Council, Community Action MK, MK Community Foundation, Coop Membership, Lush Ltd, Gosh Ltd, NGC Logistics, Great Linford Parish Council. Woughton Community Council, Wolverton and Greenleys Town Council, Big Local Conniburrow and Vineyard Chapel Netherfield.

With reduced capacity and a new set of safety guidelines, we were thrilled to welcome back some of our groups to The Old Bath House in August but also saddened to lose some that couldn’t return. Groups that have used the building to meet, trade, eat, chat, dance, train, exercise, learn and smile for many years, are now either severely delayed in their return, or cannot return at all. We sincerely hope that these friends stay in touch and we can see them again in the not too distant future. For those that have returned or will be returning soon, we thank you and look forward to working with you again at some point in the New Year. After the current Tier 4 restrictions have been lifted, we will have some space available to hire in the Meeting Room, Dance Studio and Main Hall, so if you would like further information, please contact Claire.

Chris Bridgman has stepped down as Chair of Trustees after 7 years of excellent service and we have welcomed David Lovesy to the position. David has been on the Board of Trustees for 18 months and has settled into his new role of Chair with ease. We wish him all the best!

Lastly, we would like to say thank you to everyone that has helped us through this difficult and turbulent year. We have been touched by the support of our local and wider communities and have made it to the end of the year with a lot more hope than we started with in March and for that too, we are grateful. The outside Christmas Fayre at the start of the month was a great success and it was good to see some familiar faces, so we will now step into 2021 with regained confidence and resilience to help keep our services available to you.

From all the Team here at The Old Bath House, we wish you a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year!