From education to employment

NCFE invests in Good for Me Good for FE

 NCFE has today announced its investment in a pilot programme to help secure the longer-term sustainability of the pioneering social impact project – Good for Me Good for FE.   

The project was launched by London South East Colleges, Loughborough College and East Coast College in July 2021 and has since gained the support of 140 FE Colleges nationwide. Collectively, this campaign has already generated well over £1m of social value via the fundraising and volunteering activity of staff and students.   

As a national educational charity and leader in vocational and technical learning, NCFE’s support will help grow, develop and sustain the successful campaign over the coming six months – funding a national project co-ordinator, website development, marketing activity and research.   

Launching the partnership, David Gallagher, NCFE Chief Executive, said:   

“I’m delighted to announce our partnership with Good for Me Good for FE; an initiative that demonstrates that FE institutions are so much more than traditional educational establishments, but as anchor institutions they are central to building the social fabric of their local communities.  

“I’ve been truly inspired by the college leaders who have sparked this exciting programme into life. Their work to date and the vision for the future of Good for Me Good for FE is fantastic to see – it has the potential to positively impact on quite literally millions of people over the coming years and that’s why we’re honoured to be able to invest NCFE resources into making this happen.  

“On a practical level, opening up volunteering opportunities will help to create a generation of young people and adult learners who have the attributes to succeed in their learning and life.  We also hope that many of these opportunities will not only contribute to job and career success, but they’ll also help learners to find deeper meaning and connection with, and fulfilment from, the contributions that they make to their local communities.   

“Our divided world needs new and better ways of bringing people together around a common cause and Good for Me Good for FE does exactly this. It is quickly becoming a movement, and we think that movements need collaborators. We’re hopeful and confident that our investment will further compel others to get involved too, so that together we can go even further in ensuring that everyone receives the essential skills they need to reach their full potential, as well as benefitting communities across the UK.”  

Good for Me Good for FE built on London South East Colleges’ successful FE Foodbank Friday campaign which launched during the pandemic and raised funds for community foodbanks across the country.   

To date, the project has generated over £1.6m of social value, with 86,000 volunteering hours, £108,000 of fundraising and 83,000 food items collected. Having exceeded its initial £1m target, the campaign is now focused on ensuring continued impact by growing and developing opportunities across the UK.   

The NCFE’s investment will benefit the many colleges involved in the campaign with strengthened co-ordination and support, development of research to measure impact of the programme, increased marketing to promote and capture best practice and a national campaign resource platform. 

Group Principal and CEO of London & South East Education Group, and founding member of Good for Me Good for FE, Dr Sam Parrett CBE, added:   

“The support we have had for Good for Me Good for FE has been incredible. We reached our £1m social value target even quicker than we could have hoped – but now need to ensure that this valuable work can continue longer term.   

“We are hugely grateful to NCFE for its support and recognition of the value that this campaign is having on communities up and down the country. This initial funding will help us secure the future of GfMGfFE, ensuring it becomes a sustainable model, embedded within colleges’ own DNA.   

“As anchor institutions with a civic role, colleges are integral to communities. There is much synergy between the aims of this project and with NCFE’s own purpose to promote and advance learning to help create a fairer society.    

“As a sector, FE makes an immeasurable difference to people’s lives. We can strengthen this impact by working with organisations like NCFE – and we are very much looking forward to progressing this partnership to achieve our shared objectives.”   

The impact of this work is being measured in monetary terms via a social value calculator, which uses the National TOMS framework. This pioneering approach was developed by London South East Colleges has been independently reviewed by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) and the Social Value Portal.    

During and following the pandemic, colleges were increasingly keen to do more and over half of FE colleges in the country have now signed up to Good for Me Good for FE, encouraging their staff and students to undertake a wide range of volunteering and fundraising activities.   

Going forward GfMGfFE and NCFE will be working on a sustainability strategy for 2022/23 – engaging with all colleges and committed partners to help develop and shape this. Feedback, ideas and suggestions will be warmly welcomed to ensure the campaign continues to be a success.  

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