1. When was the foundation created and what is its purpose?
Louise: The KFC Foundation was created in September 2015, its purpose is to empower all young people in the UK to fulfil their potential and build a positive future. It supports organisations that provide spaces that allow young people to feel safe and secure, help them to unlock their talent and build life skills, provide mentoring, and improve their chances to gain meaningful employment.
2. How has the foundation helped the community?
Jenny: The projects we support through our charity partners have wide ranging impacts; supporting young care experienced people into employment, providing specialist interventions and mentoring for young people with adverse childhood experience and address the growing issue of food insecurity and holiday hunger in the UK. This is what some of our charity partners have told us about how they’ve spent our grants and the impact that’s had.
The CEO, Andy Clow, at The Youth Association
told us a bit about what they did with our last grant. They ran a programme of positive masculinity and knife-crime awareness work, supplemented by CPR training using on-street CPR dolls bought with KFC Foundation funding in an inner city area. It was delivered at a street level with youth workers going and meeting young people on the street in the places they hang out. They were surprised by how engaged the young people were and how quickly they responded to the programme and found that local police and residents groups reported that incidents of knife-related violence had fallen since they started their work. The KFC Foundation grant has enabled them to be more experimental in their work and to try out more innovative youth work based solutions to local social problems. It has also allowed them to attract funding from other sources including the Police and Crime Commission.
Another partner that we have supported since the Foundation was established is The Childhood Trust. They have used our grants to fund match raising over £1m with our grants. Our last Foundation grant was used to fund 72 different projects in all 33 London boroughs, having an impact on the lives of 3,750 vulnerable children and young people living in the capital. Of the projects funded by The Childhood Trust, 74% protected children from adverse childhood experiences and 91% improved beneficiaries’ mental health; the projects vital support services to young people in the capital experiencing poverty, food insecurity, violence, and social isolation.
3. Are there any special plans for the foundation during the holiday season?
Louise: We have just launched our first community grant programme, awarding £200-£2,000 grants to grass roots that support the Foundation mission. We are about to make the first grant payments to 30 organisations who are supporting young people in the heart of our communities. Hopefully their grants will come as a nice Christmas present! In a “normal” year we love to visit some of our charity partners and cook a full Christmas dinner for some of the young people that they support, which we absolutely love, unfortunately that’s not happening this year but I have my fingers crossed for next year.
4. How does the foundation partner with other charities in the area?
Jenny: The Foundation partners with many small charities across the UK through its community grant programme and on a national scale with Comic Relief
5. Why is the KFC foundation special to you?
Louise: For me the Foundation is something to be exceptionally proud of and especially in a year like we have had when the impact of the pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on the lives of those who were already in a position of disadvantage and in particular, young people, and in a year when there was an onus on business to demonstrate the positive community impact it was having, I felt proud to be part of an organization that was already doing this so authentically, we didn’t have to search for something to support. I am so passionate about our small grants programme, it is opportunity to make a difference in the heart of our communities and to build a legacy for both the Foundation and the business.
Jenny: For me it’s especially sad because we are seeing how desperately needed it is, even in a so-called ‘rich’ country like the UK. We are responding to real social needs which have only been exacerbated by the pandemic, and we’ve been making an impact on them. The Foundation is also an integral part of us delivering on our social purpose to Feed People’s Potential, and I’m excited about the future as we evolve it further to deliver against that.