Supporting our local community

Giving back is something we feel passionately about, whether through helping charities, inspiring and educating in schools and colleges, or supporting local agriculture, working with our local community, has always been a big part of our culture.

At Bernard Matthews, we place particular emphasis on developing links with young people, through local schools, country shows and the annual Bernard Matthews Youth Awards, and are very proud to have received the Investment in Young People (IiYP) accreditation by the Chamber of Commerce.

Identifying local needs ensures our community work gets right to the heart of issues that affect people across our region, making sure we help where we feel we can really make a difference.

Here are just a few of the community initiatives and projects we run and support:

Reepham High School

We have a long history of supporting Reepham High School & College in Norfolk, from the 1990's, when Bernard Matthews himself provided the funds to help update the Food Technology Building. Today, our on-going interactive partnership helps both students (and our employees) learn new personal and work based skills, improving their prospects in the work place.

Activities run have helped educate over 850 students in the last few years, and have included catering challenges and teaching butchery skills to GCSE students, business presentations in the Sixth Form, student mentoring and work experience weeks.

We are proud of our innovative approach to work experience, having donated over 100 working days of employee time to students, and over 1350 hours of experience for young people at our business.

The Bernard Matthews Fund

We work closely with the Norfolk Community Foundation and have established the Bernard Matthews fund, led by an internal employee grants panel, which supports through donations, to local, rural charities and initiatives at grass roots level, across Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire. We feel it is important to support smaller, more local initiatives and groups that may otherwise get overlooked, but play a huge part in helping educate and support their community.

To date we have donated over £60K (over the last five years) to local charities and initiatives in addition to supporting over 50 different groups across the region. The impact of the Bernard Matthews Fund is that it has helped 31,000 members of our community, including youth, special needs, the elderly and disadvantaged members from across our heartland.

If you wish to apply for a grant from the Bernard Matthews Fund, please click here for further information.

Country Shows

As one of the largest farmers and food producers in a region, one renowned for its farming heritage, it is important that we support agricultural events and show how we play a part in its rich history.

Shows we attend include Easton and Otley College's Farming Weekend, Royal Norfolk Show's Spring Fling and the annual Royal Norfolk Show, one of the largest country shows in the UK.

At these shows we offer families the chance to experience turkey eggs hatching, to hold day-old turkey poults and to see fully grown turkeys and the food they eat. We are proud of our turkey farming expertise and enjoy educating children on the journey our turkeys take from 'farm to fork', and these shows give us the opportunity to demonstrate our high welfare standards and the compassion with which we farm.

Duke of Edinburgh's Award

Bernard Matthews is proud to be one of the founder Charter Members of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award. Through his own struggles as a young entrepreneur, Bernard Matthews was always keen to support young people and was awarded the CVO in 2006, in recognition of his support of the award scheme.

The business still supports this worthwhile youth charity that aims to give all young people aged 14-24, the chance to develop skills for life and work, fulfil their potential and have a brighter future.

Caister Lifeboat

Caister is the home of the first of only two offshore lifeboats in the UK that is independent of the RNLI, and is run by the Caister Volunteer Lifeboat Service, a registered charity supported entirely by public donation. Bernard Matthews had a personal passion in helping this service, in awe at the bravery of these Norfolk lifeboatmen, and helped fiancé the two lifeboats, named 'Bernard Matthews I & II'.

As a business, we continue to provide support to Caister Lifeboat, with their many enterprising fund-raising initiatives, as well ensuring the tradition of delivering their annual Golden Norfolk Turkey for them to enjoy with the family, is continued!

"I am proud to be associated with such a great bunch of people. They do a grand job and deserve public support" Bernard Matthews.