A group children sitting eating breakfast at a Greggs Breakfast Club

A Year of Impact: Looking back on The Greggs Foundation's achievements in 2023

6 months ago
5 min read

As we bid farewell to another eventful year, it's a time for us to reflect on 2023 and how we delivered on our commitments to make a positive impact across UK communities.   

Throughout the past 12 months, the Greggs Foundation reached several milestones across our main grant programmes, collaborating with schools and charitable organisations to actively tackle the challenges confronting families and individuals. 

We wanted to explore and highlight some of the accomplishments that have shaped the Foundation's impactful journey in 2023.

a woman wearing a Greggs name badge laughs with two young pupils at school
Celebrating the 800th Breakfast Club with Greggs staff and the pupils of Baildon Glen Primary

Funding Brighter Starts at Breakfast Clubs 

One of our flagship initiatives, the Breakfast Club programme, really moved forward in 2023.  In March, we celebrated reaching the key milestone of 800 Breakfast Clubs and are now ending the year with over 890 breakfast clubs in UK primary schools. More than 62,000 children are receiving a free and nutritious breakfast to start to their day in one of our Breakfast Clubs, reinforcing our dedication to supporting education and opportunities for the next generation.  

Thanks to the hard work of our Greggs colleagues and support from Greggs customers, we have ended 2023 with a record £180,000 raised via 25p donations in Greggs shops - three times the amount raised in 2022.  The two Greggs Breakfast Club Appeal Weeks raised a further £190,000 in June and September of this year.   

We now work with more than 150 external partners to fund over half of our Breakfast Clubs.  We are tremendously proud of our network of partners who not only fund Breakfast Clubs in hundreds of UK primary schools, but support our fundraising events, volunteer in schools and even provide extra funding for key projects to improve the school environment.   

Supporting our school network is an important part of the work of The Greggs Foundation.  Staff and volunteers at our schools know where financial support is most needed and nearly half of the £1.4m in hardship grants available in 2023 went to schools in our Breakfast Club network – ensuring that help is available directly to the families who need it most.   

In November, we also reached the one-year anniversary of our Agents of Change food education programme with Rethink Food.  This free education programme has been warmly received by the schools in our Breakfast Club network, who praise its engaging and fun content. The Agents of Change ended 2023 with over 300 schools now signed up.  A key milestone for the team and an even more important resource for our schools.   

As we look ahead to 2024, the Foundation is proudly on track to meet our Greggs Pledge commitment of establishing 1000 breakfast clubs by 2025.   

3 women laugh together while enjoying a tea break on a community farm
a group of adults engage in an arts and crafts group at Ascension Community Trust

Hardship Funding Making a Real Difference 

In response to the challenges posed by the rising cost of living, The Greggs Foundation has been a beacon of hope for many families experiencing financial crisis. In 2023 alone, the Foundation issued over £1.4 million in hardship grants, offering immediate assistance to those in need. These grants have played a pivotal role in providing essentials such as beds, bedding, washing machines, and other essential household appliances, along with food, clothing, and utility vouchers. 

As inflation continued to impact the most vulnerable members of society, The Greggs Foundation team increased support to alleviate the immediate impact of poverty through responsive small grants to purchase essentials that can have an impact on everyday quality of life.   

Community Funding Driving Local Impact 

Community grant funding has emerged as a strong area of growth for The Greggs Foundation throughout 2023. We are committed to directing funding to address local needs and The Foundation has issued over £1.3 million in community grants to support a diverse range of organisations all over the UK.   

These organisations, ranging from community groups to youth-centred coaching, homeless-support centres and food banks, have a real impact on their local communities. By strategically targeting core funding at initiatives with a clear and measurable effect, the Foundation is helping to support change where it matters most.  

2023 also saw the launch of a new pilot programme, offering micro grants to grassroots organisations of up to £2000.  This programme proved to a big success, with organisations asked to attend a pitch session to outline their objectives and goals for the funding.  Eight organisations were successful during the initial session in Newcastle, with similar micro-grants distributed in Birmingham and Glasgow.   

Community grant funding and maximising the impact of the Greggs Community Grant programme will be a real focus area for 2024 as we look to grow the reach of The Foundation to even more communities that could benefit from our support.    

The Greggs Foundation's unwavering commitment to funding brighter starts through Breakfast Clubs, providing essential hardship funding, and supporting local initiatives will leave a mark on communities across the UK this year.  

As we look ahead to 2024, we want to thank all the volunteers, partners, Greggs colleagues, customers, supporters and our board of trustees who continue to help The Foundation be a force for positive change.  We look forward to continuing to serve our communities in 2024 but for now, we wish everyone the warmest of seasons greetings and a very happy new year.