College in the Community Day 2024 - MK College

MK College Group shares the happiness on College in the Community Day 

Milton Keynes College Group shared happiness across Milton Keynes during its second annual College in the Community Day on Wednesday 20th March. More than 900 colleagues and learners took part in more than 40 community projects across the city, with the aim of supporting charities and community groups who do fantastic work for their local communities.  

The 20th of March was also ‘International Day of Happiness’, with the theme of this year of ‘Happier Together’ inspiring many of the projects. This included students designing ‘postcards of happiness’ with 12 favourite designs chosen and then printed. Students and staff wrote messages of happiness and handed these out at several of the projects throughout the day.  

Inclusive Learning students and staff from the College helped out at MK SNAP, which provides a leading programme of education, life skills and work preparation for adults with learning disabilities. The students held a ‘takeover’ at the charity’s community café, took part in an art project on the theme of ‘community’ and performed a number of songs for MK SNAP learners and staff during the café takeover.  

Angie Novell, CEO at MK SNAP commented: “It’s days like this that remind me how lucky I am to be doing what I’m doing. The College’s students ‘took over’ our café, we had the fabulous Inclusive Choir performing a musical mash-up and a colourful art collaboration inspired by the artist Keith Haring. This was community partnership at its very best, and we’re very happy that the College’s learners and staff came along to MK SNAP as part of this special day”.  

There were also multiple projects happening at YMCA Milton Keynes. The College’s Employer Engagement team and the Commis Chef Apprentices supported at the charity’s monthly community lunch and Barbering, Beauty and Hairdressing students offered free mini treatments to the YMCA’s residents. Plus, colleagues from the College’s Careers team were on hand to provide careers, CV, and employment advice to residents.  

And the final project of the day was a special networking event at the South Central Institute of Technology in Bletchley, where YMCA residents who are looking for work showcased their video CVs filmed by the College’s Media students and then were able to network with College staff members, local councillors Cllr Waqas Ahmad and Cllr James Lancaster and employers including the Army, Aiimi, Home Instead and Onyx Recruitment.  

Lorraine Devereux, Fundraising Manager at YMCA Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire, said: “It was a pretty special day… An incredible team effort so a BIG thank you to Milton Keynes College Group from us all at YMCA Milton Keynes for the pop-up barbering/beauty sessions and careers advice for residents plus hosting our Community Lunch. A special mention to the amazing catering students who were busy over at the College cooking up two delicious curries along with sides for us, we hope you got to enjoy some! And the Inclusive Learning Choir who got us singing”.  

The feedback from learners who took part has been overwhelmingly positive with Jamie Lea from the College’s Inclusive Learning programme commenting on the experience: “We baked on Wednesday morning, biscuits and cakes for the NHS hospital. We packed them and took them to the hospital to hand them out to NHS members of staff and to patients and visitors of the hospital. Despite being nervous as I didn’t know the people I was handed the cakes to, I felt proud of doing it”.    

Sally Alexander, CEO and Group Principal at Milton Keynes College Group added: “What an incredible day! I spent the day visiting as many projects as possible, and I was very proud of how committed our colleagues and learners were to doing the best they could for the charities and community groups they were supporting.   

“There was a huge array of projects happening on the day, from skills-based projects such as the mini treatments for residents at the YMCA and our Business students presenting their ideas for fundraising events to Age UK, to more general activities like litter picking around the Chaffron Way area, gardening for local charity MacIntyre and sorting donations for MK Food Bank, MK Act and our partner charity St Mark’s Meals. Plus, with students handing out ‘postcards of happiness’ with messages of kindness and happy words, we hope that we were able to spread positivity and community spirit throughout the day.  

“Our local communities are incredibly important to us all at Milton Keynes College Group – they’re at the heart of our Fairer Futures strategy – so I’m delighted that our colleagues and learners spent the day supporting those that make a huge difference to the people in our amazing city. A huge well done and thank you to everyone involved!”  

To find out more about the work the College Group does in our local communities, visit