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Kicking off 2024 with a new breakfast initiative - The Skill Meal

Fueled by a ‘cost of living in your community’ grant from Access - The Foundation for Social Investment via Resonance, one of our #IMPACT #INVESTORS, this initiative aims to ensure that every young person involved with The Skill Mill starts their day with a nutritious breakfast. 

We are acutely aware of the many challenges faced by the young people we employ, and the cost-of-living crisis has only exacerbated them. Many experience hardships at home, arriving at work without a proper breakfast and often skipping lunch. When they did manage a meal, it tended towards the unhealthy – highly processed, and far from nutritious. NHS figures, as reported by The Guardian in December 2023, reveal a surge in hospital admissions due to nutrient deficiencies, emphasizing the critical need for interventions. 

This is why we initiated The Skill Meal. Thanks to Resonance and funding from Access, we plan to provide a healthy breakfast for each member of our 68-strong team for the next 6 months. Supervisors will highlight the importance of a wholesome breakfast not just for their well-being but also for the overall benefits. We will work with nutritionists and evaluate the results. 

The benefits of the project include: 

  • The young people learn about the value of a healthy breakfast. 

  • Teaching young people about affordable, healthy, and nutritious (and tasty) breakfast ideas. 

  • Avoiding high-carb and less nutritious meals later in the day 

  • Improved physical and mental health and work performance resulting from a nutritious breakfast (Skill Mill work requires energy) 

  • Social-eating - shared breakfasts cultivate social norms, creating a supportive work environment. 

  • This holistic approach lowers reoffending rates by addressing underlying issues contributing to offending.

As part of our commitment to long-term impact, The Skill Mill plans to compile a breakfast cookery book featuring the highest-rated meals by our young employees. This resource will not only be distributed to Youth Offending Teams across England and Wales as an educational resource but will also be available for general sale, generating additional income to help sustain our impact. 

Beyond the immediate benefits to young people, The Skill Mill also addresses the broader challenges faced by communities. By actively participating in breaking the cycle of poverty-driven behaviour that leads to criminal justice involvement, The Skill Mill is not just reducing reoffending rates but creating positive role models within families and communities. The ripple effects are tangible. 

At all our sites, teams exclusively work with young ex-offenders facing multiple disadvantages, primarily rooted in poverty. By providing paid employment, skill development, and qualifications, we are not merely offering jobs but a ladder out of poverty. 


If you would like to learn more about this project or the work of The Skill Mill, please contact us at 

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