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Reebok Founder launches fundraising campaign to help schools meet their basic needs

Melanie May | 26 September 2022 | News

Joe and Julie Foster in pink shirts

Reebok Founder, Joe Foster, is launching a LetsLocalise fundraising campaign to help struggling state schools nationwide meet the need for essentials including school meals, pencils and books, sports equipment and hand sanitiser.

Launched in response to falling school budgets and the cost-of-living crisis, Joe Foster, Chairperson of digital and social innovation platform is giving his time, contacts and business skills to lead the #RaisingAMillion campaign, aimed at helping 1 million schoolchildren across the UK. Funds will be allocated to resources across five categories, school meals, literacy, STEM education, music and sports.  

The #RaisingAMillion campaign is calling on donations from individuals, communities and businesses nationwide to help state schools meet their resourcing needs this year. For example, Whinmoor St Paul’s Church of England Primary School in Leeds is requesting books for its first-ever dedicated library after transforming its church room, while Devoran School in Cornwall is requesting money donations so it can support families in purchasing new school tracksuits while also ensuring that children have adequate clothing for PE days. 


Gift acceptance and due diligence course by Kerry Rock. Background image (filtered yellow) of one hand on the left with thumb down, and on the right a hand with a thumb up.

Joe Foster commented:

“While I came from a humble background and only started my formal education at ten because schools weren’t operating as normal in Bolton due to the second world war, I immediately valued my education – especially when I went to technical college at 13 to study engineering.


“This training was invaluable and enabled myself and my brother to set up our own shoemaking factory when I was just 23 years old and set me on the path as a business owner and founder of Reebok.


“The pandemic has unleashed an unprecedented crisis and triggered the biggest learning emergency in current times. We know schools today are dealing with incredible challenges, from the pandemic to soaring costs.  With LetsLocalise and my wife Julie, the #RaisingAMillion campaign will support all state schools across the UK and help give schools and 1 million schoolchildren the resources they need to enhance their learning experience and transform their futures – just as I did.”

Founded in 2018, LetsLocalise links schools, local communities and businesses working towards a collective goal of providing students with better resources and opportunities, along with transparency on where donated funds will go. Businesses already working with the platform to supply financial donations, match-funding or direct resources include Legal & General, Cognizant, Verizon, the Ocado Group, L’Oreal and Three. 

LetsLocalise Founders, Divya Garg and Gaurav Garg added:

“We’re seeing a growing crisis in state schools as headteachers and staff struggle to provide sufficient resources of even the most basic items due to real-term budget cuts and rocketing costs which is creating an influx in demand. Schools are already at risk of running a deficit with parts of their budget already overstretched – and the increase in energy costs means current budgets will struggle even further to cover this worrying, ever-rising expenditure.


“While we welcome the news announced by new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, of the new six month energy scheme for all non-domestic energy users including schools, the underfunding crisis runs much further and goes back decades.


“Our mission is to continue to work with schools nationwide so that while every headteacher is trying to sleep at night and facing these unprecedented challenges, money from #RaisingAMillion will be trickling into their school’s bank account so they can buy the essential resources they’ve requested when they wake up.”

Donations can be made on the #RaisingAMillion page on LetsLocalise.  Additional state schools can sign up and post their requirements on the LetsLocalise platform, and all school signups will be verified and checked by LetsLocalise.