The Trust launched a partnership with Chartwells UK in early 2020 to help support the health and wellbeing of young adults, children and their families. During this time, we have worked with the nutrition team at Chartwells to provide food and nutrition resources to disadvantaged and vulnerable young people on our programmes, providing nutrition support and guidance alongside our own youth development activities and mentoring delivered by our team of world class athletes. Additionally, we have worked with the wider team at Chartwells on fundraising activities which enable us to provide support to more young people across the United Kingdom.

Dame Kelly Holmes Trust are aware of the stories in the media about the provision of free school meal boxes to children during the pandemic, including those delivered by our partner Chartwells UK. Since we were made aware of the story on 11th January, we started speaking to Chartwells to understand more about the situation and what steps they are taking to resolve any issues there may be. We welcome the statement on the 14th January from Robin Mills, Compass Group UK & Ireland Managing Director outlining the steps they have taken to resolve the issues and their commitment to improve the future provision of free school meal boxes. In particular, we welcome the additional steps to also provide free breakfasts, at no cost, for the duration of school closures to children receiving food parcels and that food parcels will also be provided to these children during half term too. Chartwells has also committed to making no profit on the provision of food parcels.

The Trust absolutely agrees with the importance of nutrition in our daily lives and the need for all children and young people, especially those eligible for free school meals, to have access to healthy and nutritious food. We choose our partners very carefully at the Trust and if we ever felt that one of them didn’t meet the standards we would expect, then we wouldn’t hesitate to end that partnership. 

We are committed to supporting 11-25-year-olds facing disadvantage in both education and in the community. We use the power of world class athletes to train and mentor young people to achieve their potential through personal, social and emotional development programmes. In partnerships nationally and locally, our programmes increase young people’s self-esteem, confidence and resilience which enables them to move into employment, become leaders within their communities, achieve in education and to improve their wellbeing through sport and physical activity.