Magic Breakfast announces the election of a new Chair and the appointment of two new trustees  

23rd June, 2022

Magic Breakfast, the education charity, is delighted to announce the election of Aniela Shuckburgh as the new Chair of the Board of Trustees.  

Aniela will take over the position from Joanne Thompson (Trustee and Chair since May 2019), who spearheaded Magic Breakfast through a period of significant growth and transformation. Over the past three years, the charity has more than doubled the number of schools supported and increased the number of hungry children and young people able to access a nutritious breakfast from 48,000 to more than 200,000 every school day.  

With the impact of the Covid pandemic still disrupting society and lives, especially those of children and the education sector, followed by the spiraling cost-of-living crisis, it means Magic Breakfast’s work has never been more urgent or important. We are now facing increased inequality, a growing educational attainment gap, and rising food insecurity and hunger. Magic Breakfast’s latest research, Hidden Hunger, shows 2.7 million children and young people are at risk of starting their school day with an empty tummy.  

In addition to Aniela being appointed as the new Chair, Magic Breakfast has welcomed two new trustees to the board, Jackie Newell, and Julie Harkness. 

Julie Harkness is the Vice Principal at Carr Manor Community School, Leeds and has worked in leadership roles at inner-city primary schools for 20 years. She is a trustee, schools forum representative and chairs a network of partners who provide early help, early intervention and prevention services for children, young people, and families across Leeds.  

Jackie Newell, with more than 25 years’ experience and an education and background in supporting children with Autism, is Headteacher at secondary school, Hollybrook Academy, Glasgow. Hollybrook supports pupils with Additional Learning Needs and Jackie has worked to embed a culture that ensures a supportive, nurturing, and ambitious setting for pupils’ achievements. Jackie and Julie bring expertise and experience of supporting children and young people without stigma, and an enthusiasm to support the work and ethos of Magic Breakfast in Leeds, Glasgow and across the UK. 

Aniela Shuckburgh, Chair of the Board of Trustees said “I am delighted to become Chair of Magic Breakfast. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Board and the amazing team at Magic Breakfast to pursue our mission of ending morning hunger as a barrier to education for children and young people. Now more than ever, during the cost-of-living crisis, child poverty needs to be centre stage to ensure that a whole generation of children and young people do not suffer devastating educational consequences. Magic Breakfast is a crucial part of the solution to this problem, and I am determined that no child or young person in the UK will be too hungry to learn.” 

                                                       Photo: Aniela Shuckburgh 

Joanne Thompson, outgoing Chair, said, “Looking back at my time as Chair of Magic Breakfast, it has been an incredible period of growth and change. It is people that create the magic of Magic Breakfast, and we more than doubled our headcount in response to the need and unprecedented challenges posed by Covid-19. We now provide access to breakfast provision for more than four times the number of pupils each morning. This was made possible by our generous supporters, who enabled us to innovate and ensure that children were fed even when their schools were closed, and their learning disrupted 

With a 25% growth in income since 2019, we have invested in an ambitious organisational transformation, putting the systems in place to enable us to scale up and improve our efficiency even further. With the appointment of our new CEO, Lindsey MacDonald, at the end of 2021, we completed our work to establish firm foundations on which we can build for the future. As a board we have recognised that as the UK continues to experience a rapid escalation in the number of children at risk of hunger, the time is right for us to have greater focus upon income generation and extending our considerable impact even further. With this in mind, we have decided to leverage the strength and depth we have on the Magic Breakfast board and rotate to a new Chair with the skills and experience which exactly mirror the challenges we need to address over the next period. “  

Phil Davies, Chair of Governance & Nominations Committee and Trustee, said, “The three years that Joanne spent as Chair have been more eventful than almost any others. To be responsive, nimble and face unprecedented change whilst maintaining our support to children and schools is quite a feat. Jo helped Magic Breakfast reach more children with a healthy breakfast at the start of the school day, and her calm approach and vision were key in making this possible. 

Lindsey MacDonald, Chief Executive at Magic Breakfast, said: “I am excited that Aniela has been elected as the new Chair and to welcome Jackie and Julie to the Board. This year, we have reviewed and updated our strategy and plans to meet the need and challenges exacerbated by rising living costs and food insecurity. Further deepening Magic Breakfast’s understanding of communities in the North of England and Scotland will strengthen our voice as we advocate for investment in school breakfast provision to ensure no child or young person is too hungry to learn.” 

About Magic Breakfast 

Magic Breakfast is a registered charity providing healthy breakfasts to children in the UK who arrive at school too hungry to learn, and expert support to their schools. The charity works with over 1,000 Primary, Secondary, ASL/Special Educational Needs Schools, and Pupil Referral Units in disadvantaged areas of Scotland and England, offering breakfasts to over 200,000 children to ensure they start their school day with the energy and nutrition they need to be able to make the most of their morning lessons.  

For more information on Magic Breakfast please contact Stephen Hart at Magic Breakfast   

[email protected] or 07967 550463.  

Notes to editors 

Aniela Shuckburgh has worked in the not-for-profit sector in both the UK and US, primarily in the youth and education sector, and is passionate about education being the key to social mobility. Her experience has focused on high-level strategic fundraising for organisations including the Harvard Business School, City Year UK, and The University of Cambridge, where she was a member of the senior management team responsible for delivering the University's £1 billion 800th Anniversary Campaign. Aniela is one of the Leadership Team which in 2020 set up Impact 100 London, a collective philanthropy fund that supports London charities who help marginalised women and girls. She also serves on the Board of British Youth Music Theatre and volunteers for Little Village Camden. Aniela has an MA in Ancient and Modern History from Magdalen College, Oxford, and lives in London with her husband and four children. 

Julie Harkness has more than 20 years of experience in educational leadership in Primary Education in inner city schools in Leeds. Her current position is Vice Principal at Carr Manor Community School which serves a complex and diverse community in North East Leeds. Julie has been involved in a number of governorships in education settings and structures across the city, including being the current Chair of 2gether Cluster.  Julie brings to the board of trustees, first-hand experience of the significant impact of food poverty, and in particular the difference a good breakfast makes to children’s learning and well-being. 

Jackie Newell has over 25 years' experience of working in secondary schools: as a teacher, Principal Teacher; a Deputy Head Teacher and, for the past nine years, as a Head Teacher. Since early in her career, Jackie’s passion lay in working with young people with additional learning needs. As the Head Teacher of a Glasgow ALN Secondary, she is continually learning, in what she describes as a challenging role, where no two days are ever the same. Jackie is incredibly proud of the school, its ambition and constantly in awe of their pupils’ achievements.