Magic Breakfast is excited to announce our new Youth Campaigners, who will be campaigning to end child morning hunger in order to ensure no child is too hungry to learn. 

These passionate and creative young people will be central to our campaigns, ensuring youth voices are at the heart of everything we do. Five Youth Campaigners have lived experience of food insecurity that will inform their advocacy and their solutions to the issues faced by the over 1.7 million children in the U.K. who are at risk of hunger each morning.  

To launch their campaigning work, they’ve written an open letter to all members of Parliament in England asking them to meet, to listen to their voices, and work with them to end child morning hunger. 

Please show them your support by adding your voice to their letter! 

Get to know our Youth Campaigners: 

Emma, 15, Dunfermline  

Emma’s family are foster carers and support other young children who have struggled with the issue of food insecurity. She is a passionate artist and is currently learning Italian. Emma would one day like to go into teaching. 

“Hi, I’m Emma. I decided I wanted to become a Youth Campaigner because it is devastating for such a wealthy country as ours to have so many children go to school with starving bellies. Recently, I have become very aware about nutrition and the importance of having a nutritious breakfast. I feel very strongly about this subject because it feels so close to home. I go to a school supported by Magic Breakfast and the impact and change this one meal has made to pupils is astronomical”.  

Finlay, 21, Manchester  

Finlay is a keen debater and, as a former door-to-door flower salesman and political speech contest finalist, sees his greatest strength as being a good communicator. Passionate about youth social action, he is studying Politics and International Relations at Manchester University. 

“I believe the key to society is education, education, education. However, a child’s potential and educational attainment is severely restricted without a healthy breakfast. The fact that any child in this country goes without a healthy breakfast before school deeply upsets me and should never happen anywhere, let alone in the fifth biggest economy in the world.  As young people often can’t vote or don’t in massive numbers, their voices are not often heard, particularly in the last year. I am really looking forward to being a Youth Campaigner with Magic Breakfast, ensuring young people’s voices are listened to.” 

Finty, 19, Lancashire  

Finty is a confident public speaker, previously making it to the national final of the Rotary Youth Speaks competition. She is also politically active, standing to be a councillor in the 2021 local elections. Finty spent the first lockdown delivering meals by bike to children and families in need within her local community. In her free time, she enjoys running up mountains. 

“I am passionate about ensuring no child is too hungry to learn because children are our future generations and deserve to finish school with qualifications that set them up for adulthood. 

I think it is really important for charities to have youth campaigners like us. Young people are often overlooked due to them having less life experience, however sometimes with inexperience comes great new perspectives, creativity and ideas that could really make a difference. Many of us young people have a passion for change making and want the opportunity to be directly involved in actions that make a difference in our communities. 

Starting the day hungry inhibits learning. A nutritious breakfast removes barriers to education and therefore gives children a chance to break out of the currents of poverty. School breakfasts act as an anchor to keep children in education and help families in poverty stay afloat.”  

 

Francis, 17, Darlington

 

Francis was a Member of the UK Youth Parliament from 2018 to 2020, as the MYP for Darlington. In campaigning on the issue of creating breakfast clubs, he met with his local MP, local schools and council leaders and even delivered a speech on children’s mental health in the House of Commons. In his spare time, he works as a waiter and is a keen cricketer. 

“I joined Magic Breakfast in order to support our communities' most vulnerable people and have a positive impact on our country. My background in campaigning and hunger comes from a two-year term in the UKYP, where I represented my local constituents. During this time, I worked to implement breakfast clubs across Darlington to ensure that our students had the best possible chance for the future; in terms of health, education and mental wellbeing. This is a mission I am eager to continue alongside my fantastic fellow campaigners and all those involved in the charity.” 

Grace, 18, Strathaven 

Grace has a passion for politics, and as a Speak Out Champion for Girlguiding Scotland, she has been part of the Media Mindful campaign teaching media literacy skills and tackling sexism in the media; this campaign work has also seen her meet with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. A law student with a passion for social justice and women’s issues, Grace hopes to become a human rights lawyer and represent refugees in court to gain asylum into the country, and one day progress into politics with the goal of becoming a Member of the Scottish Parliament 

“My motivation as a campaigner with Magic Breakfast is that I believe that in order to build a fair and just society, every person deserves an equal start in life. This isn’t the reality, currently, as we know that children experiencing hunger face a wide educational attainment gap - compared to their peers who aren’t living in poverty. The best way to ensure that every child receives education to the best possible standard, to then go on to live a fulfilling and successful life, is to make sure that every child in the classroom is fed.  

Young people’s voices are so important to uplift, as we hear recent lived experience, and can see social issues from another angle that may not have been considered previously. My work as a Girlguiding Scotland Speak Out Champion has taught me just how powerful my voice can be as a young person, especially as a young woman, and if the adults around us support us and encourage others to listen, we can make real change. Young people are passionate and driven and have spark to create a difference, so that the world we step out into is fairer for all of us.” 

 

Harmoni, 15, Leeds 

Harmoni attends a Magic Breakfast partner school and has been volunteering at her breakfast club since joining her school in year 7, winning two school awards for her work supporting the breakfast club. Currently studying for her GCSEs, her real passion is music. Harmoni has experience in multiple bands and performing in front of crowds, and hopes to work in the music industry as a producer or singer-songwriter. 

“I am passionate about ensuring no child is too hungry to learn because I think that children are the future and we need the right amount of nutrition to have the brain power to learn. Healthy breakfast in school is important because it allows children to get the vitamins they need to start if the day right and give themselves that energy to learn and interact. As I'm still in education myself I know how tiring a school day can be, so I'd like to ensure no one has to go through the physical strain of completing half their day on nothing.  

I am excited to be a youth campaigner because I want to make a change, as little or as big as it may be. I believe that lived experience is important because it gives us a window looking into the situation so we can observe and learn how to fix. 

Nadia, 17, London 

Nadia is a keen blogger and has experience developing a youth programme at her local neighbourhood centre. She places great importance on the social and cultural aspects of eating, particularly how breakfast clubs build a sense of community.  

“I am passionate about ensuring no child is too hungry to learn so they are all offered equal opportunities and no one has an unfair advantage over anyone else. I believe every child should have the tools necessary to complete their education to the best of their ability.  

My mum’s passion for volunteering - inspired me; growing up I was taught that sharing and providing food to those in need in our community, be it at my local mosque or to local people experiencing homelessness, was one of the most important things we could do for each other. 

I am super excited to be a youth campaigner because I have already met so many influential and inspirational young people and leaders who have similar values to me. The youth are passionate, motivated, and outspoken. I love working with people who embody those characteristics to bring our vision to fruition.” 

 

Rowan, 15, Edinburgh 

Rowan attends a Magic Breakfast Partner School and is motivated by her own experiences to ensure no child is too hungry to learn. She also wants to change the low number of women of colour elected to the Scottish Parliament. A multi-talented musician, Rowan plays the saxophone and the glockenspiel. 

“My drive to be an advocate is that I live in poverty and I see children as young as 3 years old going hungry in my building from lack of food. I have tried my best to help them personally by giving out food, but it’s not enough. We live in a first world country and children go hungry every day - something needs to change for the better.  

I became a Magic Breakfast Youth Campaigner as I have gone days where I didn’t get the chance to eat breakfast, and the breakfast I got in the morning at school for free changed my outlook on school because it meant no matter what I would not sit in class hungry.” 

 

Sara, 17, London

 

Sara has been involved in BiteBack 2030 as a Youth Leader where she has been a part of several interviews as part of research on Free School Meals. She prides herself in being incredibly determined, or in her words “stubborn in a good way”. Voted school president last year and previously active in Model UN, Sara is passionate about taking action to address injustices that young people face. 

“Being a Youth Campaigner means I can give a new perspective and take direct action on things mostly managed by older generations, proving that young people can be responsible and truly are future leaders. I believe breakfasts in school are incredibly important as they are needed to provide food in safe environments which ensure a healthy, productive start to the day. This is one of few ways that would guarantee that no child begins school at a disadvantage due to a lack of sustenance.” 

 

Sophie, 17, Newcastle 

Sophie has been involved in a social action group since the age of 14, and more recently has been involved with BiteBack 2030 as a Youth Leader. She has a great understanding of the benefits of youth social action and particularly values representation of Northern voices in national debates. She records a podcast ‘ThriveCasters’ with a group called On Point that tackles important youth issues and offers youth perspectives on national news.  

“As an individual who grew up experiencing and witnessing the barriers food poverty inflicts on young people, I am now driven to ensure these are eradicated. A child’s academic potential should not be altered because of circumstances they cannot control. All young people have the right to thrive without limitations. 

Being a youth campaigner is exciting as it’s giving me the opportunity to openly talk about my experiences, to help tackle these challenges for future generations. On top of this, I am able to connect with other driven young people from all over the UK to all campaign passionately about food poverty.   

Breakfast in school is not only a fundamental meal for a child’s physical and intellectual needs, but also a key aspect socially. For young people feeling the isolation that accompanies food poverty, it provides a social atmosphere where they can feel connected with their peers. This begins to break down the stigma attached and allows inclusion within academic environments. 

Hearing the voices of those with lived experience, particularly the youth, is vital in shaping the future. If we do not fully understand the extent to which these barriers affect young people, then we will be unable to remove them.”