McDonald’s ambassador WBO Cruiserweight Lawrence Okolie visits youth work project to see funding in action

After just year one of its five year partnership, BBC Children in Need and McDonalds have announced that £1.2m has been raised to support 11,500 children and young people across the UK who are currently facing a range of disadvantages. The McDonald’s funding will go directly to 60 community projects, which are delivering a variety of youth activities that help prevent young people being held back in life.

The McDonald’s fundraising comes at a time when 3.9m children are living in poverty and over a third of young people feel worried about their family having enough money - challenges compounded first by Covid, and now by the cost of living crisis. The projects funded by McDonald’s are helping young people by providing vital relationships to help them navigate through these challenges and give them hope for the future.

McDonald’s Ambassador Lawrence Okolie recently visited a project receiving funding from BBC Children in Need, to witness first-hand the vital work the charity is doing in local communities. Carney’s Community, who get disadvantaged and excluded young people off the street, welcomed Lawrence through the doors where he got on the pads with those attending the project, sharing his own stories and meeting with project leaders.

Lawrence Okolie said “It was an absolute privilege to meet the inspiring young people at Carney’s Community and get stuck into some training with them. You could really see how important BBC Children in Need’s funded youth workers are in transforming the lives of young people.  Every young person deserves the chance to thrive and these community groups can have a life-changing impact on the young people they support, helping them to make to right choice about their future. I will be forever grateful to the influential people in my teens who helped me get on the path to boxing. I hope to have inspired a few of the Carney’s kids into a similar path, there was some real talent on show.”

The first year of the partnership has also delivered a pilot of an innovative new Community Connections programme, which has been creating valuable connections within local communities by establishing relationships between projects funded by BBC Children in Need and local McDonald’s restaurants.  Over 70 connections have been made to date, helping youth workers across the UK engage with young people outside of the traditional settings. Furthermore, in August, McDonald’s enabled customers to donate their MyMcDonald’s rewards points to the charity, with more than 6.5m points donated to BBC Children in Need in just two months.

Alistair Macrow, Chief Executive Officer, McDonald’s UK & Ireland said: “We are exceptionally proud of the difference our partnership with BBC Children in Need is making for children and young people across the UK. We’ve seen first-hand how the local connections between our restaurants and youth services is having a life-changing impact on young people in the communities we serve. I am looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together in the second year of our partnership.”

Simon Antrobus, Chief Executive, BBC Children in Need said:

“At BBC Children in Need we are acutely aware of the vast and ever growing range of issues that are affecting the UK’s children and young people and as a charity we exist to ensure that every single one of them has the opportunity to thrive and be the best they can be. As we reflect on our first year in partnership with McDonald’s we are hugely grateful for all of the extremely generous support they have given BBC Children in Need. We know that youth work is transformational and that together we have already begun to change thousands of young lives to make a real and lasting difference across communities.”

Youth work provides vital support to young people facing disadvantage through supportive relationships with trusted adults that help them develop skills, resilience, confidence and wellbeing for a positive future. Thanks to the generosity of the British public, BBC Children in Need is the largest independent funder of youth work in the UK, currently funding over 700 youth work projects to a value of £49m, but with children and young people facing rising and complex challenges, the need for this support is growing and more critical than ever.


For further information please contact:

·       BBC Children in| 07500016006

·       McDonald’s Press Office | 020 3892 1000

Notes to Editors

About BBC Children in Need

·       BBC Children in Need believe every child and young person deserves the opportunity to thrive and be the best they can be.

·       BBC Children in Need’s ambition is to create lasting, positive change across the UK for the children and young people who need it most. Together with the BBC and partners, BBC Children in Need aim to inspire the nation in support of their work.

·       From Shetland to the Channel Islands, and everywhere in between, BBC Children in Need’s 2,300 local charities and projects work tirelessly in every corner of the UK to help children & young people overcome the challenges they currently face, including supporting children & young people living in poverty, providing emergency support to families in crisis, providing comfort to children feeling sad, lost and alone, helping children overcome inequality and supporting children to feel safe and secure again.

About McDonald’s  

McDonald’s has run its business in the UK since 1974 and currently operates over 1,400 restaurants across the UK and Ireland. McDonald’s is one of the UK’s largest private sector employers, employing over 130,000 people. It is estimated to provide over 85,000 jobs to young people aged 16-25, making it one of the largest employers of young people in the UK and Ireland. McDonald’s has also invested in over £40million worth of training for their people, to help them access opportunities and make the most of their potential.

Order McDelivery® through our app to earn Rewards Points

Select a delivery partner to continue
Choose our app or one of our McDelivery® partners.
Just letting you know that you’re leaving the McDonald’s UK website now. We’re not responsible for the policies and practices of other companies, so we always recommend that you have a look at the privacy policy and other policies of any website you visit, as they might be different from ours.