From education to employment

Good for Me Good for FE brings more festive cheer to local communities

As we approach the end of the Autumn term, colleges around the country are once again stepping up to the Good for Me Good for FE Christmas drive.  

Foodbank collections, Christmas hamper drives, Santa dashes and other fundraising activities have been taking place, generating thousands of pounds of social value for local communities.   

To date, the sector’s social action campaign, led by London South East Colleges, Loughborough College and East Coast College, has generated over £2.75m of social value, £181,000 in fundraising, collected 108,500 food items and undertaken 136,000 volunteering hours.  

With 140 colleges on board, the initiative smashed its initial £1m target in March this year and is now on track to hit its new aim of £4m by the end of this academic year.   

Remarkably, the campaign is ahead of where it was this time last year, despite the many challenges facing people with the rising cost of living and fuel prices. This reflects the incredible effort and commitment of the FE sector, demonstrating each college’s role as an anchor institution, deep rooted in its community. 

The ongoing success of Good for Me Good for FE has gained the support of charities and other organisations. This includes NCFE, which has provided funding to sustain the initiative over the coming months, the FA, The Mental Health Foundation and SLQ Sports Leaders. The AoC has also been encouraging colleges to get on board, promoting the campaign at its annual conference and cementing Good for Me Good for FE firmly within our sector.  

For any colleges not yet engaged or on board, there’s no better time to join the many other colleges involved. Get the support that you are already giving your communities recognised and help us celebrate the positive impact that FE is having up and down the country. 

For inspiration, here are some examples of fantastic activities that have been happening at colleges!  

Lincoln College: Feeding the 5000  

Staff and students joined forces with Lincoln Lions to feed 5000 people on Saturday 5 November as part of Good for Me Good for FE.  

The college provided the space for the epic feast and local businesses and farmers supplied produce that would otherwise have gone to waste. This included over 150 pumpkins, which were turned into 750 portions of soup, 650 muffins and 400 portions of pumpkin traybake!  

Surplus pumpkins were given away with recipe cards to replicate the products at home and the event was a huge success.  

South East Regional College (SERC), NI  

The college’s student-led enterprise company has this term supported ‘Well Fed’ – a practical project funded by the Department for Communities – as part of its Good for Me Good for FE drive.  

The ‘Well Fed’ initiative works to support its members with subsidised food, along with access to other support services to assist with practical and emotional tools to combat food poverty and help make positive changes.  

Staff and students supported the project by designing economical recipes, providing information on returning to education and transforming a bare, dark room into a warm and inviting space.  

This community-focused work is a fantastic example of a college delivering far more than just education.  

Newcastle College  

Twice a week, the College opens up to its community and providing a safe, warm space for people to enjoy.   

Hot drinks and soup are available free of charge, with free internet access. Films, craft activities and board games are on offer as well as support with CV writing and job searching.   

This much needed and welcomed community project is again a great example of the social action activities being celebrated nationally by Good for Me Good for FE.  

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