Just One Little Thing Can Make a Difference

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Life can be busy, and sometimes making a change for the better, whether that be to get fitter, make a positive lifestyle choice, or to do more to help the planet, can feel a little overwhelming. 

If you have found you’ve started something, but not been able to keep it up, you’re not alone! Research shows that on average, a dramatic lifestyle change typically only lasts around two months. In fact, over half of us (53%), have tried to make positive changes to our habits in the last year, but failed to keep them up.

So how do we make changes that we find easier to manage and can feel proud of achieving? At centre:mk, we believe one little thing at a time could be the answer and can have a big impact in the long run. It’s easier to concentrate on smaller adjustments and give it all your focus, rather than feeling overwhelmed by lots of big changes to diet, fitness, finances, and environmental habits.

Here are three of our ‘little things’ we recently launched, which we hope will make a big difference to those in need.

Pay it Forward -  Hygiene Bank

centre:mk have partnered with the Hygiene Bank, a charity whose core belief is that ‘feeling clean shouldn’t be a luxury or a privilege for anyone in our society’. Their network exists to give people access to the basic hygiene products they need. Hygiene Bank’s partnership with centre:mk allows our guests to donate products to people in need through dedicated drop-off points which will then be redistributed. The drop-off points are located within centre:mk at Guest Services and within Boots. Products such as unopened, new, and unused shower gels, deodorants, shampoos, oral hygiene products etc are all welcomed. 

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One Little Thing - Period Poverty Scheme

In 2023, centre:mk launched a campaign to help tackle ‘period poverty’ in partnership with Milton Keynes charity, Girl Pack, to make sanitary products easily and discreetly available to all. Baskets of period products can now be found in the centre toilets, located in the Guest Services Lounge, which are free for guests to take should they need them. Visitors can also ask for a “package for Sue” at our Guest Services Desk and receive a full pack of sanitary products in a plain bag.

Did you know?

1 in 10 girls in the UK struggle to afford period products and over 137,000 children have missed a day of school because of this. More people are finding period products increasingly inaccessible, leading to girls missing out on vital education, activities and the already overwhelming nature of menstruation becoming even more of a barrier.

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And another little thing… centre:mk’s chill out zone

centre:mk’s ‘chill out zone’ has been created for visitors who want to spend a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the busy shopping centre.  

Launching in 2023 to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Week with the theme of ‘anxiety’, the chill-out zone has been well received, benefiting one of the most common mental health problems we face. 

Located on Midsummer Arcade by John Lewis & Partners, in a quieter area of the centre away from the crowds, the zone includes comfortable chairs where customers can sit and be surrounded by some of the plants, shrubs and trees that centre:mk is famous for. 

Did you know? Spending just 10 minutes around plants is known to boost our mood and relieve stress and anxiety.

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Other little inspiring things you might like to try…

If you’ve been inspired by our ‘Little Things’ campaign and want to try you own small change, here are some inspirational starting points….


  • By using a refillable water bottle, you could save around 150 plastic bottles each year - a simple way to instantly cut your plastic usage.
  • Turning the thermostat down by 1 degree can save the average household £80 a year.
  • Investing in a stacking steamer means that you can cook all of your veg on one ring on the hob, rather than using them all!


  • Concentrating on your breathing and nothing else for just a few minutes a day is a simple relaxation strategy that can calm a stressed-out mind at any time.
  • If you are looking for an idea to get a good night’s sleep, try eating a banana before bed. Due to their high levels of magnesium, they relax the muscles and calm the body for a better sleep.
  • Eating fruit and veg that’s local and in season tastes better and can save you money. Not only are you getting the best of this season’s freshest produce, but you’re also reducing the food miles to bring it to your plate, so you help the environment at the same time.