LEADERSHIP & SUPPORT TEAM

Carmel McConnell MBE, Founder 

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast?  Every child has the potential for a happy, healthy, loving life and many of their future life chances will result from their educational attainment. I want every child to achieve their full potential and feel very sure we can end child hunger as a barrier to education, in this rich and caring society.

Favourite breakfast: Poached egg on toast, grilled tomatoes. Big mug of tea.

Alex Cunningham, CEO

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast?  I am passionate about having equal chances and opportunities for all, and the fact that there are children in this country who are missing out on their education and hours of learning because they are hungry not only shocks but also makes me angry. Taking action and seeing the difference that we quickly make, simply by providing a breakfast is inspiring and certainly gets me out of bed every morning (even on the cold and grey ones). I also feel immensely privileged to spend my days with such an incredible and passionate team who are all so committed to tackling child hunger in the morning.

Favourite breakfast: I love porridge topped with banana or raisins.

Max Cotterell-East, Executive Assistant to CEO

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast?  I am a mum, of the feeder variety, I cannot bear the thought of children being hungry and unable to study. The next Stephen Hawking could be sitting at their desk, right now, unable to think because they are hungry.

Favourite breakfast: Scrambled tofu and avocado / Scrambled tofu and baked beans (Scrambled tofu is a fantastic vegan alternative to scrambled egg, there are lots of recipes online, it has 0% cholesterol and 10 x the amount of calcium of eggs).

Ximena Del Castillo, Secretary to the Board

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast? I love working in the voluntary sector and being part of a team that strives to make the world a better place. I can’t believe that in a country as rich as the UK children are still too hungry to learn in school. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be part of a team that is working so hard to end this absurdity.

Favourite breakfast: My husband’s special oat and coconut pancakes topped with berries and maple syrup… my children and I often wrestle for the last one! 


SCHOOL PARTNER TEAM

Rachael Anderson, Head of Delivery (Schools)

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast?  Supporting amazing school staff to improve the life chances of hundreds of children in such a simple way. I love that!

Favourite breakfast: Organic muesli mixed with organic cornflakes and coconut milk!

Holly Ashworth, School Partner, East Midlands

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast? Having previously worked as a Mental Health Nurse, it is evident that we still get the basics wrong when supporting children in the UK and there is no greater basic need than ensuring that children are fuelled (with the right foods!) and ready to learn when they arrive at school. The impact of having a healthy breakfast on emotional and mental health as well as physical health is invaluable and I am so proud to work with like-minded, motivated individuals who strive to improve the life chances for every child.

Favourite breakfast: Fresh berries, pineapple, Greek yoghurt and a topping of granola/muesli with a drizzle of honey. Yes that’s a lot of ingredients in one bowl!

Jess de Ayala-Rutherford, Regional Lead, London & South East

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast?  For me my love for Magic Breakfast comes from the understanding that in every society, through every age, education has been the key to societal development and greater equality for all. If we can remove all the barriers to education for generations to come we optimise the conditions for the fairest possible society to evolve. Every child maintains the right to get the most out of their education.

Favourite breakfast: My favourite breakfast is Brazilian; acai berry sorbet with granola, cut up bananas and honey. Yum!

Selina Finch, School Partner, London & South East

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast?  Educators work incredibly hard to make school work for all children, but for many children a lack of a healthy breakfast is the first stumbling block which keeps them from learning. Magic Breakfast helps to remove this barrier.

Favourite breakfast: Porridge with a game of Uno.

Tracy Freeman, Regional Lead, Scotland

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast? My favourite time of every day is sitting down, having a chat and enjoying a healthy breakfast with my 7 year old son. It is incredibly sad that so many children in the UK do not have the opportunity to have such a relaxed and nutritious start to their day and I am privileged to be part of a fantastic team who are working hard to change this.

Favourite breakfast: Scottish smoked salmon and scrambled egg on granary bread with a mug of tea.

Emily Frezza, School Partner, North West

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast? As a former teacher, I know how vital a healthy breakfast is for successful learning, well-being and growth. No child should be in a position where they do not have access to fulfilling food, particularly at the start of the day when they need it the most. I feel privileged that I am able to play my part in getting a delicious, nutritious breakfast to schools and, with amazing staff members, make an impact on children’s and families’ lives.

Favourite breakfast: Berries with natural yoghurt and honey and a big slice of buttered, wholegrain toast.

Sue Griggs, Regional Lead, North

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast?  I love breakfast and don't function well without it! Working for Magic Breakfast means I am helping so many children to have the opportunity to eat a healthy breakfast, giving them the best start to their day.

Favourite breakfast: Porridge and blueberries.

Jan Jemson, School Partner, London & South East

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast?  Having worked in schools in socially deprived areas for many years I am very aware of the way hunger impacts on the well-being and education of children. Magic Breakfast is helping to keep children happy and healthy, I can't think of anything more important than that.

Favourite breakfast: Poached eggs on wholewheat bread.

Karen Jones, Regional Lead, Midlands & South West

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast?  I love the fact that offering a simple, healthy breakfast can make such a difference to the health, happiness and potential future of so many children.

Favourite breakfast: Weetabix with semi-skimmed milk and a topping of nuts.

Helena Russell, School Partner, London & South East

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast?  Passionate about social and educational equality, I like the notion that my small input makes a big difference to children’s lives in the UK today and for the future. Just through something so straightforward as a breakfast! Hunger as a barrier to education should simply not exist in this country, in this age.

Favourite breakfast: Blueberry pancakes with Greek yogurt and a double shot latte. Preferably by Cottesloe beach in Western Australia.

Michala Wild, School Partner, North & North East

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast? Having worked in some of the most deprived areas across South Yorkshire I have seen first hand the effects of hunger in children at school. School is tough enough without having to worry about being hungry as well, so anything we can do to make school a happier place for these children is a great thing!

Favourite breakfast: I do love weetabix with semi skimmed milk and chopped banana during the week, but you can't beat a fuĺl English breakfast on Sunday with all the family in the kitchen and the radio on!


OPERATIONS TEAM 

Derek Morgan, Head of Operations/COO

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast?  I strongly believe education is one of the most important investments we, as a community, make in our future. Every child should have equal access and opportunity to learn and as the UK is one of the world’s richest economies there should be no obstacles to learning – least of all hunger. The positive impact on a child’s progress, outcomes and well-being from starting the day with a good, nutritious breakfast shows how critical it is that we aim to ensure all children get that good start to their school day.  

Favourite breakfast: Eggs Florentine with a big mug of (Darjeeling) tea.

Selma Sylvester, Head of HR

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast?  I believe that every child has the right to learn, a right to an education and the right to meet their full potential. No child should be too hungry to effectively start their school day and embrace being educated. And I am privileged to be part of organisation which effectively works towards this. I am proud to be part of Magic Breakfast.

Favourite breakfast: Baked beans on toast

Fatima Khan, Senior Logistics Manager

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast?  I feel passionately about the cause of Magic Breakfast and knowing that I am contributing towards ensuring children do not go hungry, gives me great job satisfaction. I enjoy speaking to the schools and hearing from the school staff about what a difference a bagel and a glass of juice can make, it’s astounding.

Favourite breakfast: Beans on toast.

Katrina Schmidt, Senior Bookkeeper

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast? I’m fortunate enough that I hadn’t even considered that some children may be starting the day without having breakfast, and the impact that this could have on their ability to learn. I’m proud to work for Magic Breakfast knowing that there are children out there benefiting from the work we do and that we are able to affect so many. 

Favourite breakfast: Avocado on sourdough with a poached egg (and a side of bacon if I’m up for a big breakfast!).

Hannah Holloway, Charity Administrator

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast? It’s unacceptable that in a society as affluent as ours there are still children without enough to eat.  I work for Magic Breakfast because nobody should be going hungry, because good nutrition is important, especially for children.  If they don’t have enough to eat, not only will it affect their concentration at school, but also their growth and overall development.  Magic Breakfast helps to provide those children with food, which is a basic need that we all have, that’s something that I want to be a part of.

Favourite breakfast: Coffee! With scrambled egg on gluten free toast.


FUNDRAISING TEAM

Emily Wilkie, Head of Fundraising

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast? There are thousands of children going to school with empty stomachs. If we don’t do anything, these children will not have the same opportunities as their peers, they will not be able to learn, to concentrate, or to enjoy and get the most out of their school experiences. They’re also really hungry, their little tummies are empty, and they may not have eaten anything since lunch the day before. I don’t know about you, but I find that heartbreaking. The vision of Magic Breakfast is simple; to end hunger as a barrier to learning. The knowledge that I am working towards this vision, alongside some of the most inspiring and dedicated people I have ever met, is all I need to get me out of bed in the morning.

Favourite breakfast: Berries and yoghurt and a side of wholegrain toast topped with almond butter – yummy!

Catherine Mackenzie, Head of Corporate Partnerships

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast?  Education should be a level playing field for all children. It is unacceptable that something as simple as not having breakfast impacts on a child's education detrimentally. We can help children to fulfil their potential by making sure that they are not too hungry to learn. I personally find it heartbreaking that children all over the country, but also in my local schools, are going without the fuel they need to learn. Magic Breakfast's intervention is simple but effective - and we know it works.

Favourite breakfast:  On a weekend, a Mexican-themed breakfast is my favourite! Tortilla, eggs, spicy beans, salsa and avocado. Otherwise, I go for porridge or muesli. 

Madeleine Reid, Trusts and Grants Fundraising Manager

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast? I know first-hand the reality of children arriving at school hungry and the impact this has upon their ability to learn. I am so happy to be working for an organisation that is tackling this issue - and enabling each child to reach their full potential. 

Favourite breakfast: Yoghurt, strawberries, porridge oats and honey on the top. With a strong cup of tea!

Shafiya Shah, Corporate Partnerships Manager

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast?  How can I not want to contribute to the work of Magic Breakfast – that’s more the question.  It is both heart-breaking and unbelievable that children in our communities, at our doorsteps are not being able to maximise their right to an education for simply being too hungry to learn.  Nothing more.  The impact of something as basic as a nutritious breakfast on their little minds and in their bellies can’t be overestimated, studies have shown this.  What Magic Breakfast does is straight forward, but the difference it has on children is far reaching; it gives them the fuel they need to learn, concentrate and grow.  Removing hunger as a barrier to education is a vision that I want to play my part in achieving.

Favourite breakfast: Poached eggs on sour dough with a sprinkling of parsley, sometimes with a tiny bit of salmon on the side if feeling extra indulgent.

Natalia Ribbe, Fundraiser (Hospitality & Restaurants)

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast?  Teaching the next generation about the most important meal of the day, where food comes from and what the wonderful world of hospitality brings to people near and far.

Favourite breakfast: My favourite healthy breakfast would have to be porridge with banana, raspberries and a bit of cinnamon.

Clodagh Morgan, Corporate Partnerships Executive 

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast?  Education is key for everyone to succeed and reach their full potential; and for a lot of children it’s their only way out of poverty. To have your chances diminished because you are too hungry to learn, when we are one of the world’s richest economies, is truly shocking. A simple breakfast makes a huge difference. Seeing first-hand the positive impact it has on the children is heartwarming. Knowing that I am working towards ending hunger as a barrier to education for good is incredibly motivating.

Favourite breakfast: One slice of avocado on bagel and the other banana!

Sonia Richardson, Fundraising Administrator

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast? The huge impact that a healthy start to the day will have on the education of children. The long term effects of increased concentration in the morning on children's ability to progress in school and later life. 

Favourite breakfast: Porridge :)


COMMUNICATIONS & IMPACT TEAM

Sophia Dettmer, Head of Communications 

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast?  Visiting a Magic Breakfast club is an instant tonic as the children are fabulous and it is very apparent how important the club is to their school day. Listening to testimonials from head teachers is extraordinary. Learning from them how a child’s life can be turned around because they are no longer hungry in the morning makes me want to tell as many people as possible what a huge impact a simple, healthy, breakfast can have.

Favourite breakfast: Porridge topped with fresh strawberries and blueberries.

Katie Freeman, Impact and Data Manager

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast?  Mornings are hard enough without an empty stomach! No child should have to worry about their next meal or miss out on vital learning because they haven't had breakfast.

Favourite breakfast: Avocado on sourdough with poached eggs and lots of cracked pepper. Mmmmmm!

Susan Soper, Communications Coordinator 

What motivates you to work for Magic Breakfast? The fact that children in the UK are starting their school day unable to learn because they are too hungry is shocking. Magic Breakfast is doing something incredibly positive towards ending hunger as a barrier to education, it is great to be part of that.

Favourite breakfast: Poached eggs on granary toast with lots of black pepper.