Meet Richard Kennell

In 2013, after 20 years in education preparing young people for University, he decided he wanted to do something for the young people who didn’t typically get that sort of opportunity.

These young people never ‘clicked’ with mainstream education. For a wide range of reasons, they dropped out with few skills and fewer qualifications.

Our Story

Richard wanted to help them find their spark, the thing that helped unlock their talents and find their path in the world. He couldn’t do that all on his own, so he started building relationships with local providers who could offer the training, education and mental health and wellbeing support the young people needed.

But Richard knew that giving young people support was only part of the solution. They also needed opportunity. FareShare, the food surplus charity, provided it, giving the young people real work experience in their warehouses.

Richard saw an opportunity: to provide life changing support for disadvantaged young people, whilst simultaneously addressing the issues of local food poverty and huge food surpluses on the other. One organisation. Two clear goals. That’s when SOFEA was born.

Richard Kennell awarding certificate for warehouse experience

Since its launch in 2014, SOFEA has helped over 400 young people gain qualifications, skills and work experience whilst helping to transform their local communities via purpose projects such as community larders and food surplus distribution. We do what other providers can’t, supporting young people in ways other providers don’t. It’s why our partners, from schools and local authorities to the police and health services, work with us.

We’d love to work with you, too

Get in touch here!