The Founder of Magic Breakfast is Carmel McConnell MBE, D.Hon (Open) M.MBA.

Carmel’s background is a mixture of social activism and senior corporate roles. While researching her first book ‘Change Activist', in 2000, Carmel interviewed five headteachers in the London borough of Hackney who told her that many of their pupils arrived at school too hungry or malnourished to learn. Carmel started buying and delivering breakfast food to these schools, with remarkable results as children's concentration, behaviour, punctuality and educational attainment significantly improved. As demand for her help grew, Carmel took out a loan and time out from her business, setting up Magic Breakfast in 2003.

Today Magic Breakfast provides healthy breakfasts to around 48,400 children in England and Scotland during term time, in over 480 primary, secondary and Special Educational Needs schools, plus Pupil Referral Units. In March 2018 the charity, in partnership with  Family Action, won a contract from the Department for Education to deliver the new National School Breakfast Programme to over 1,775 schools. Today the NSBP reaches more than 319,000 children. In addition Magic Breakfast offers holiday food and activities to schools in London and Glasgow through its 365 programme, supported by Morgan Stanley.

Carmel’s MBA is in change leadership and technology. She has worked at senior levels in BT, UBS and 20th Century Fox and has been an adviser to many FTSE 100 clients on change leadership, growth and strategic alliances.  Her specialism is in leading technology change in global markets.

Carmel was included on the Radio 4 Women's Hour Power List (No 4 in 2014) and awarded an MBE for her services to school food in the New Year’s Honours 2016. In 2018 she received an Honorary Doctorate from the Open University for improving access to education. She became the 2018 Woman of the Year (Campaigner Category) at a ceremony in July 2018.

Photo: Carmel McConnell MBE, Founder of Magic Breakfast