The Costa Foundation is run by a team of passionate and dedicated people, many of whom have other regular jobs. We work closely with partners (NGOs, non-profits and charities) in each country to deliver our projects.
But the most important person to the Costa Foundation is you.
Without your donations, we couldn't build and upgrade schools or deliver special projects like Girls Club and Cycle for Success.
In short we couldn't change lives without you. If you can, please donate now.
See how we make a difference
Take a look at how our work has helped improve the opportunities for safe and quality education for boys and girls in coffee growing communities.
Our Costa Foundation store Champions
Inside our Costa Coffee stores we have Costa Foundation store champions. Alongside their daily job they help fundraise for our charity. You may see some of the activities that they do on the last Friday of each month, the “Foundation Friday”.
The Costa Foundation could not change lives without our delivery partners. We work with each of our partners very closely to deliver against our promises on every single project. We supply the means, but our partners make it happen.
Ecom Agroindustrial Corp. Ltd
Ecom Agroindustrial Corp. Ltd is a global commodity trading and processing company predominantly specializing in coffee, cocoa and cotton in major producing and consuming countries. We work with the Costa Foundation in Vietnam, Nicaragua and Peru. Ecom started its first sustainable community projects in Mexico and Central America, to support farmers, in 1999, working together with demanding clients and respected NGOs. In the 15 years since those initial efforts, Ecom export companies around the world have developed considerable in-house capabilities to train and support farmers and to help improve the economic, social, environmental and health conditions of coffee growers and their families. It is with great pride that Ecom has partnered with the Costa Foundation to build the Dar Sar Kindergarten in the Lac Duong District of Vietnam.
Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia
In 1927 the Colombian coffee growers organized themselves to create an institution that would represent them both nationally and internationally, defend their rights and seek ways to improve their quality of life. The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) is a non-profit and politically independent organization. As the foremost coffee association in Colombia, FNC is present in every rural region where coffee is grown. Its work revolves around the coffee growers and their families ensuring Colombian Coffee is grown in a sustainable manner, strengthening common interests within coffee-growing communities while positioning Colombian Coffee as the best coffee in the world. FNC and COSTA Foundation promote quality education in the Colombian rural areas to improve welfare and peace conditions for the farmer families, in collaboration with local authorities and communities.
Imagine 1 Day
Founded in 2007 by Chip and Shannon Wilson, Imagine1day is a Canadian based charity that works only in Ethiopia and specifically on education projects. With a team of 33 staff members in Ethiopia; we are a goal oriented organisation genuinely committed to leaving a legacy at every level. In ten years we have built 283 classrooms in 47 new schools all in rural and isolated communities. In addition to constructing new schools in 4 districts we have also worked closely with 487 schools across 10 districts transforming lives through education and leadership. We have a distinctive approach to our work with leadership development as a key pillar to all that we do. We partner with rural communities in Ethiopia to provide in-depth teacher training and capacity building and goal setting providing resources and income-generating grants and providing new schools; built from the ground up. We spend a minimum of three years on a project and schools only graduate when we are sure the impacts of our efforts are sustainable.
PEAS (Promoting Equality in African Schools) is a UK-based charity and we work with the Costa Foundation in Uganda. We use an innovative SmartAid model to develop and run sustainable secondary schools that permanently widen access to education in Uganda and Zambia. Three in four children in Uganda, and two in three children in Zambia are unable to get a secondary education, largely due to a severe lack of places in affordable, quality secondary schools. PEAS uses a SmartAid approach to create financially sustainable secondary schools. Our schools generate enough internal revenue (through government subsidy, low fees and income generating projects) to run indefinitely and independently of UK fundraising. PEAS only build schools in areas where the need is greatest, and where children would otherwise be unable to receive a secondary education. We are 72% of the cost of so called free government schools. Our hope is that one day every child in Africa will benefit from a quality secondary education.
Plan is an international NGO with a presence in more than 70 countries, and we work with the Costa Foundation in Honduras. Our aim is to help children in the world’s poorest communities to build a better future by:
– Giving children a healthy start in life, including access to safe drinking water
– Securing the education of girls and boys
– Working with communities to prepare for and survive disasters
– Inspiring children to take a lead in decisions that affect their lives
– Enabling families to earn a living and plan for their children’s future
Our child-centred, community-level, relationships help children build a better future for themselves.
Seeds for Progress
The Seeds for Progress Foundation is a non-profit organization that improves access to high-quality education, a basic human right and contributes to social development and sustainable economic growth by creating opportunities to advance the quality of life for students, teachers and their families in the rural communities of Nicaragua and Guatemala coffee-growing regions. We promote strategic alliances at the local and international levels among educational stakeholders and with multiple actors along the coffee chain. The Foundation has been able to create opportunities for advancement for more than 6,000 students and 340 teachers.
Our programs foster innovation, empowerment, and education for students and teachers. We support these initiatives with access to technology, improvement of infrastructure, and a network of mentors that guarantee the successful implementation of the strategies and initiatives. We hold ourselves to high standards through a monitoring and evaluation system that improves our outcomes and measures results. These efforts contribute to the stability in their educational journey and help them achieve a lifetime of progress.
Volcafe is a green coffee trading company founded in 1851. We work in more than 25 countries, with offices in 15 leading coffee origin countries as well as several key destinations around the world. We are focused on building a thriving, sustainable coffee business for all.
Since 2011, our longstanding partnership with the Costa Foundation, Volcafe has helped to build new school facilities in coffee farming communities in Colombia, Peru, and Vietnam. Together, we have created access to education which has positively influenced the life of children today, and for many generations to come.
A very special group of people, most of whom have other ‘day jobs’, make up the Costa Foundation team. Whether a trustee, a volunteer or a core team member, each and every one of these people has helped to change lives.
Kate has worked for over 20 years across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, in both international and national organisations, predominantly with a focus on enabling children and young people to thrive. She has a passion for education as a key vehicle for children to achieve this, driven by her parents who were both teachers.
Prior to joining the Costa Foundation in June 2023, Kate worked as a freelance consultant through her own consulting company. Previously, Kate was Director of Business Development & Programmes at the kinship care charity, Kinship, where her team was highly commended at the Third Sector Awards in September 2021 for their response to supporting kinship families during the pandemic.
Prior to joining Kinship, Kate worked at Mentor UK, developing programmes for young people to build resilience and prevent substance misuse. She spent 11 years at Save the Children UK, mainly focused on humanitarian capacity building and child protection, and was part of the senior team that set up the £50m Humanitarian Leadership Academy, a charitable subsidiary of Save the Children UK. She also worked for Cancer Research UK securing corporate sponsorship for events such as Race for Life.
Kate studied International Studies with French at the University of Birmingham, where she spent a year living in Belgium and worked at the European Parliament in Brussels. Kate also speaks Spanish, is a keen runner has raised over £40,000 for charity personally, through events such as the London Marathon. She has travelled the globe extensively, which has helped to cultivate her love of coffee! Kate is passionate about female empowerment and sits on the board of the City Women Network.
Rob joined the Foundation in June 2023.
He brings a wealth of retail and commercial experience to the board, having spent over 30 years working in senior roles for companies including Mars, ASDA, Pets at Home and Halfords. For the past 9 years he has also been an advisor to the British Heart Foundation Retail Committee.
Rob retired from his full time executive career in 2018. He is married with 2 grown up sons and enjoys an active outdoor life in the Lake District. He is also a Gold Duke of Edinburgh expedition assessor in Cumbria and business mentor for the Prince’s Trust.
Rob is looking forward to continuing the amazing work of the Costa Foundation charity. The legacy that has been created is awesome, and he hopes that with his drive and determination the charity will continue to change the life story of children in coffee growing areas of the world.
Amit qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PwC in 2000, before joining the Australian Government’s International Trade Agency in London. He volunteered for the No Smoking Day charity before being recruited to the position of interim Chief Executive, tasked with securing the future of the annual Department of Health-sponsored campaign. He subsequently became the Head of Corporate Partnerships at the British Heart Foundation, and in 2015 was headhunted for the role of Director of Corporate Partnerships at Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity. In 2020 Amit was asked to be the interim Director of Fundraising for NHS Charities Together’s Urgent National Covid Appeal which raised £150m. Amit was previously a Trustee of the UK Friends of the Abraham Initiatives
Charlotte is Costa Coffee’s Global Chief Digital and Information Officer, leading the company’s technology delivery and driving the digital transformation agenda, as a member of Costa’s Global Exec. An experienced digital leader, with roles spanning over 22 years across multiple industries, her career has focused on delivering digital transformation and complex technology-enabled business change.
She has driven business value through digitally enabled business models, complex integration and merger experience. Scope of roles have included Client/Customer facing digital product teams as well as delivering enterprise technology and all aspects of infrastructure across global organisations.
Being able to contribute to and be part of an organisation that really changes lives in the communities within which it operates and partners, was too good an opportunity to miss. I am passionate about the role and impact that education can have on people’s lives, and in particular, the importance that this has in helping advance more women into jobs and being able to influence and improve outcomes for them. The number of people positively impacted by the work of the foundation is truly inspiring!
Outside of work, Charlotte is kept busy with her 3 young children; she is passionate about supporting women in Tech and actively participates in mentoring and network initiatives. She also loves her Peloton bike, when she can find the time to go for a spin!
Charlotte has over 17 years experience in the humanitarian sector and is currently Head of Coaching with the Humanitarian Leadership Academy in Save the Children. She leads an ambitious and complex Senior Leadership and Coaching portfolio spanning both internally and externally developing and ensuring a strategic and comprehensive coaching offer is available across the humanitarian sector.
Previously Charlotte was Global Head of Humanitarian Education for Save the Children (SC) and the Director of the Humanitarian Technical Unit. Charlotte began her career as a Humanitarian Education Response Advisor deploying to a vast array of complex, protracted and sudden-onset humanitarian crises as part of SC’s Global Emergency response team designing, delivering, coordinating and monitoring high quality and appropriate education responses in humanitarian settings.
Charlotte is passionate about education and leadership (especially girls Education & Women in Leadership). She is a qualified Coach, as well as an Associate Trainer with RedR, Mentor and facilitator, focused on individual, team and Leadership Coaching. She is currently studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership Coaching and also holds an MSc in Child Development and Postgraduate Certificates in Humanitarian Leadership, and Leadership Coaching.
Emily is an Internal Controls Senior Manager at Costa Coffee. Having joined Whitbread (Costa’s previous owner) in 2014, Emily has seen how the Foundation has grown over the years and opened
up opportunities to thousands of children. Emily is a Chartered Management Accountant and volunteers to help with the Foundation’s finance. Throughout her time working with Costa, Emily
has been in numerous Finance roles across Whitbread, Coca-Cola and Costa Global. “I’m so happy to have the opportunity to help at the Foundation. What amazes me about the work the Foundation does is not only the life changing impact on the children, but the ripple effect of that education on their wider communities and future generations – truly powerful change”
Gordon is the Managing Director of Costa Coffee in Europe, Middle East and North Africa. Gordon has previously worked across a number of businesses including Procter & Gamble, McKinsey & Co., WM Morrisons and M&S. He joined Costa in November 2019 and became a trustee of The Costa Foundation in 2021. Having worked as a teacher, he understands the benefits of education and in giving back to those, who have less opportunities than we do. “What I love about the Costa Foundation is that there is a clear, tangible and unarguable link between the donations and thousands of children in coffee growing areas being educated and having opportunities. The Costa Foundation is making a real difference every day. It is incredible”
Hannah Bellamy is Managing Director, UK at charity: water. Focused on creating a world where everyone has clean, safe drinking water, they’ve funded clean water for 17 million people and Fast Company, Forbes, and the New York Times have all recognised their innovative approach. Hannah brought the charity’s radically transparent model to the UK and Europe, launched subscription giving, and forged partnerships with fashion, retail, and other brands to catalyse change. She mentors women through FemMentored, is an avid fiction reader and mother to two kids.
Hayley Finn is the Global People Partnering Director at Costa Coffee. Hayley has previously worked in Finance and Audit roles at PwC (including charity and education sector clients), Tesco and
Whitbread. Since joining Costa Coffee in 2016, Hayley has worked in various roles including Financial Reporting & Control, Finance Business Partnering and Reward. Hayley is keen to help inspire Costa’s customers and team members to get involved with the Foundation and maximise the impact it can have on changing children’s lives and supporting coffee growing communities.
John joined Whitbread in early 2014, to take on a new role as Head of Charity Partnerships, for Premier Inn and Restaurants, managing our hugely successful national charity partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital. John has previously spent most of his career in retail operations working in the discount sector, ASDA, shopping centres and as Head of Retail at Stansted Airport, developing the retail and eating offers across the airport. He first started working in the charity sector as Head of Regional Fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support, where his key focus was to develop new income streams and build relationships with local communities, service providers and corporate organisations. In October 2018, John joined Costa as Charity and Community Manager, he is responsible for building on the great achievements of the Costa Foundation.
Laura works as a Professor of Development Research and Evaluation in the School of International Development at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and is currently Head of the School. She has two daughters, aged 4 and 10, and consequently doesn’t have time for much else! Before she came to UEA she worked with Young Lives (Oxford University), a study of children’s lives over time, and the Wellbeing in Developing Countries Research group (Bath University), and has a keen interest in education and social mobility. Her research interests centre around methodologies for doing good, ethical research and generating data for evaluation. Laura became a Costa Foundation Trustee in 2019 as she wanted to do something relating to education where you could see an immediate difference.
Rory Blyth is a Chartered Accountant who has worked at PwC, Tesco and Whitbread. He is currently the Director of Finance and Business Services at a Department for Education organisation responsible for skills in Engineering Construction. He helps the Foundation with Monitoring and Evaluation of our projects. “I volunteer because the Foundation and its team change thousands of young lives a year and I continue to be inspired by their efforts to put every pound raised directly back into schools and projects
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Frequently Asked Questions
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Even the smallest amount of money can be used to change a child’s life. Every penny we receive in donations can help give a child access to education to improve not only their life, but the life of their entire community.