McDonald’s UK&I and BBC Children in Need launch Makin’ It

Saturday April 27th 2024

McDonaldsMakinIt Owen Thompson SNP 2

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

This week in Westminster, Owen Thompson MP attended a parliamentary reception hosted by McDonald’s UK&I and BBC Children in Need to celebrate the launch of Makin’ It – a new nationwide initiative to better support young people and unlock genuine opportunity.

The initiative aims to give young people greater access to opportunities and help rebuild youth services across the UK, aiming to fund 500 new youth worker qualifications and create safe spaces for young people in McDonald’s restaurants.

Its launch comes alongside recent research which shows that young people are experiencing barriers to success, with over half (51%) changing their ambitions for the future as a result of a lack of opportunity for them. It also found that almost two-thirds (64%) of young people are saying they worry often about the future, highlighting the importance of youth workers involved in initiatives like Makin’ It, working hard to support young people in difficult circumstances.

BBC Children in Need and McDonald’s have been in partnership since 2021 to help address the urgent and growing need facing children and young people across the UK, with funds raised to date supporting up to 185 youth work projects, including the employment of approximately 320 youth workers.

As part of the reception, Mr Thompson had the opportunity to meet with youth workers Joel and Rianne who are from the local projects the programme is supporting, and learn about the difference this programme is making and to understand more about the partnership and the roll-out of Makin’ It projects in areas like Midlothian.

Owen Thompson MP for Midlothian said: “It was brilliant to celebrate the launch event of Makin’ It this week to learn about how we can unlock the potential of young people in our communities through their partnership.

“Partnering McDonald’s restaurants on a town-by-town basis with local organisations and opening doors in Midlothian to community-based youth workers looking for a place to meet young people is making a profound difference.

“These youth workers provide a fantastic frontline service, transforming young lives. The partnership will continue to support them as they set up more and more projects right across the country, and I look forward to hearing more as their hard work continues.”

Andrew Moys, McDonald’s UK & Ireland Vice President, Impact explained why the company has made this groundbreaking move:

“It’s no secret that young people today are facing some incredibly challenging times, particularly when it comes to accessing trusted adult support and opportunities. Over the last 18 months we’ve seen first-hand the difference that can be made through connecting our restaurants directly with youth services and youth workers. Young people, who often have nowhere to go and no one to speak to can now access the support they need, in an environment they feel comfortable in.

The scale of our restaurant estate and dedication of our 200 franchisees in communities across the UK and Ireland, mean we have the ability to make a real impact on the lives of young people. Makin’ It is about frontline change – it is youth work embedded into that specific local area, it is access to warm, welcoming spaces that young people know and ultimately it provides tangible, local opportunities that will help young people to make it. ”

Simon Antrobus, BBC Children in Need CEO adds:

“The power and impact a positive relationship can have on a young person’s life, cannot be underestimated. Our research into youth work shows its profound and long-lasting impact to children and young people, when it comes to accessing support and opportunities. As this recent survey has shown, too many young people are feeling apprehensive about their future, and sadly, unsupported and that’s why our partnership with McDonald’s on this programme is so vital, so that young people can meet a youth worker at a familiar place within their community, where they feel both safe and welcome and can ultimately work together to reach their goals and Make It.

“As the biggest private employer of young people in the UK, McDonald’s is uniquely placed to support the youth work sector in a way no other UK business can. After the first year of working together, we started to see a pattern. When McDonald’s local franchisees worked with the local community youth services we fund, youth workers and young people, real change is achieved and making a significant impact to young people in urgent need of support or feeling apprehensive about the future.”

To find out nore about Makin’ It click HERE.

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