Magic Breakfast is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Lindsey MacDonald as the charity’s new CEO. She will officially join Magic Breakfast from 22 November 2021, replacing Interim CEO Antony Kildare who has been in post since January this year.
Lindsey joins from the youth employment charity, Street League, where she has been since 2014, as their co-CEO. She helped lead strategic and transformational change, with a focus on more inclusive programmes, improved social impact reporting and, in the past two years, a financial turn-around that laid strong foundations for an ambitious five-year business plan. Lindsey was previously at the Homeless FA, the national homeless football charity, which she co-founded in 2011. She is Chair of Well Grounded, Vice Chair of DataKind, and sits on the board of the Sport for Development Coalition.
Lindsey was awarded her doctorate at Brunel University in 2015 and won a UK Women of the Future award in 2017, having been nominated by colleagues at Street League. Lindsey received a women’s leadership scholarship to do her Executive MBA at Cass Business School (now Bayes), graduating with distinction in 2019.
Chair of Magic Breakfast, Joanne Thompson, said: “I am delighted to welcome Lindsey to Magic Breakfast, and am very much looking forward to working with her. She has a strong track record of motivating teams to deliver impressive social impact, and of leading change and facilitating effective collaboration across charity, private and public sectors. Her passion and motivation to listen and work alongside staff, trustees, schools, young people, and with our partners to end morning hunger as a barrier to learning came through clearly during our recruitment process. Lindsey joins Magic Breakfast at an opportune time, as we redouble our work to ensure that child hunger remains high on the public agenda across the UK.”
On being appointed, Lindsey said: “I am delighted, and feel privileged, to be joining Magic Breakfast at such a pivotal time for the charity and its mission. The last year put a spotlight on the urgent need to tackle the UK’s unacceptable hunger crisis and make sure that no child is too hungry to learn. While it was a challenging year, we also saw what can be achieved with political will, effective investment, and dedicated people, organisations and communities working together. I was inspired by Magic Breakfast’s clear commitment to not just building on their support and delivery model to schools but also building the evidence base and influence needed to end morning hunger now, and for good. I am very excited to join the team, meet everyone and get stuck in!”
Magic Breakfast is a registered charity with the goal of ensuring that no schoolchild in the UK is too hungry to learn. The charity partners with schools in areas of disadvantage, providing healthy breakfasts to their pupils and bespoke support to their staff so that no child at risk of hunger misses out on a morning of learning through a lack of nutritious food.
When schools closed to most pupils during the Covid-19 pandemic, Magic Breakfast quickly adapted its school-based delivery model to make sure pupils could still get the same healthy breakfast food whether they were socially distanced at school or in lockdown at home. This involved supplying breakfast packs to children via their schools, or directly to their homes. Deliveries have continued through the school holidays too to help families struggling financially through the pandemic.
As a new academic year begins, Magic Breakfast is working with over 1,000 Primary, Secondary, ASL/Special Educational Needs Schools and Pupil Referral Units in England and Scotland, offering breakfasts to over 170,000 children. This is more than double the number of partner schools the charity had at the end of 2020 and three times the number of children it was reaching. Magic Breakfast is looking to expand further this year in order to help meet the urgent need of those children living with food insecurity and missing out on their education because they don’t have access to enough food.