BBC Children in Need announces £10m partnership with McDonald’s UK to reach up to one million children and young people, empowering them to reach their full potential

BBC Children in Need has announced the details of a new multimillion-pound partnership with McDonald’s UK. BBC Children in Need will be the newest addition to McDonald’s’ suite of charity partners, and together they will work to strengthen connections in communities across the UK to support children and young people facing disadvantage and enable them to reach their full potential.

The charity’s partnership with McDonald’s comes as BBC Children in Need continues to address the lasting effects of the Covid-19 crisis on the lives of children and young people across the UK. In the wake of the pandemic, issues affecting children and young people have deepened or developed, increasing the need for support to address a range of issues, including the impact of sustained isolation on emotional wellbeing and mental health, increased financial uncertainty and inequality of opportunities.

One of the UK’s biggest employers of young people, McDonald’s is committing to fundraising together with its franchisees, customers and employees, a minimum of £10 million over the next five years to enable BBC Children in Need to fund more youth work projects and youth workers, improving the outcomes for up to 100,000 young people in communities across the UK at a time when it is needed most.

Youth work provides vital support to young people facing disadvantage through supportive relationships with trusted adults that help them develop skills, resilience, confidence and wellbeing for a positive future. Thanks to the generosity of the British public, BBC Children in Need is the largest independent funder of youth work in the UK, currently funding over 700 youth work projects to a value of £49m, but with children and young people facing rising and complex challenges, the need for this support is growing and more critical than ever.

This partnership will help establish relationships between the projects funded by BBC Children in Need and McDonald’s restaurants in local communities throughout the UK, aiming to reach up to 250,000 young people and empowering McDonald’s’ 120,000 crew members to support community groups and projects near to them. The partnership will also signpost youth work services available in local areas – reaching an estimated 750,000 children and young people – through in-restaurant messaging and via the My McDonald’s App.

In addition, McDonald’s will also be hosting a dedicated fundraising window for BBC Children in Need in the autumn, as part of the charity’s annual Appeal. Donations can be made via the My McDonald’s App, Drive-thru and in-restaurant Kiosks, with the ability for supporters to choose how much to donate.

Simon Antrobus, Chief Executive, BBC Children in Need said: “BBC Children in Need exists to ensure that every child or young person has the opportunity to thrive and be the best they can be, and at this crucial point in time, we are delighted that McDonald’s will be partnering with us to help urgently address the growing and complex issues affecting the UK’s children and young people by supporting our funding of youth work.

“Youth work is transformational and this remarkable investment from McDonald’s will change thousands of young lives and make a real and lasting difference when it is needed most.”

Paul Pomroy, Chief Executive Officer, McDonald’s UK & Ireland said: “The past year has had a significant impact on children and young people, leaving many feeling apprehensive about the future. We know that local youth projects and dedicated youth workers have a hugely important role to play here, from delivering mental health counselling to careers advice, however it’s an area that needs further investment. So we’re incredibly proud to be partnering with BBC Children in Need and using our scale for good to provide access to local resources needed for children and young people to thrive and succeed.

“Together with our Franchisees and restaurant teams, we are committed to supporting the communities in which we operate, and over the last 47 years have partnered with organisations to ensure we have a positive impact in the UK. BBC Children in Need is the ideal partner to support our ambitions to help improve outcomes for young people across the country, and I look forward to seeing the partnership make a positive impact for many years to come.”

Rashid Bhayat, Chief Executive Officer of BBC Children in Need funded youth work project, Positive Youth Foundation, said: “We are pleased to hear of this exciting partnership between two forward thinking and innovative partners. PYF have a long history of working alongside BBC Children in Need and McDonald’s at a local, regional and national level. During this time, we have witnessed the power of the support they offer to young people and organisations who are most in need, and look forward to supporting the development of the next phase of this relationship.

“Both organisations have repeatedly shown that they are dedicated and committed to improving the life chances and opportunities for young people identified as being most in need, in particular at this critical time for young people as they navigate a new set of challenges and opportunities. This partnership will no doubt change lives for the better.”

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