Community Action: MK have been working with Macmillan Cancer Support to develop a better understanding of the experiences of BAME and faith communities in Milton Keynes in relation to cancer and cancer services. This is because existing research suggests that these groups tend to have more negative experiences of cancer services.

We were excited to partner with Macmillan Cancer Support on this community-led research related to health inequalities within the cancer care services. This project has seen us applying a mixture of research methods, including a survey, meetings and events, and 1-2-1 conversations in order to engage with a diverse range of groups and communities.

Unfortunately, the Covid 19 pandemic has impacted the original timings and processes of this piece of work quite dramatically.  The research was originally intended to rely heavily on face-to-face interactions but this was abruptly ended with the pandemic and it was difficult to gauge when we can resume.  Therefore, we have decided to split the project into 2 phases.

Phase 1

In the initial phase of the project, we were looking for as many people as possible to take part in our research. We launched an online survey, which was open to anyone in Milton Keynes, from any ethnic or religious background, whether or not they have had direct experience of cancer. We promoted this survey through a variety of channels across the local VCSE sector.

After the ease of the Covid-19 restrictions, we were also able to run an in person event to meet with and listen individuals with lived experience of cancer.

The findings gathered through the survey and other engagement, helped to us create a report discussing experiences of BAME and faith communities in Milton Keynes. In this report, we made some initial suggestions for improving support and access for these groups

Phase 2

We were pleased do be able to launch Phase 2 of the research in the summer of 2022 and to start our targetted engagement with BAME and faith communities, as well as health professionals. 

The purpose of this phase of the research was to build on our initial findings and to better understand the barriers and challenges communities face in accessing cancer services, as well as understanding if there are other routes they take to seek support through which improved experiences could be leveraged.  

We relaunched our survey and engaged with a number of different groups and communities in Milton Keynes through a number of different interactions, and we run an open event in November 2022. Our final report was published in mid December 2022.

If you would like to find out more about this piece of work, please contact us at

Click here to visit the Macmillan Cancer Online Community forum homepage.