A Coventry businessman has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours List for his philanthropic work in Coventry, helping disadvantaged youth.
John Kiely, MBE, runs six successful McDonald’s franchises across the city of Coventry and has been instrumental in supporting Coventry’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.
John, of Warwickshire, has worked with Positive Youth Foundation, YMCA Coventry and Warwickshire, and Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre to ensure that their clients, who may have no experience or basic English skills, are given the opportunity to secure a job and contribute to society. However, if they are not ready, he will mentor and advise on how they can improve their employability skills through leading on training days and talking at sessions. Within a year, 15 of Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre’s service users secured a job within his franchises.
John said: “[My MBE]will aid more good work; I am enormously proud of the work we do in the community and the charities and good causes we work with and I am hoping that this award shines a spotlight on their great work also. It is a privilege to support them and I hope we can do even more in the years ahead”.
“I am extremely proud that my peers in Coventry feel that I deserve such an honour as an MBE. Coventry is a City in size but a Community in spirit and there are so many people and organisations that come together to make lives better for all. I am delighted to have won the award and I know it is testimony to the fantastic work that all of my colleagues do”.
Trish Willetts, Director at Coventry BID, was one of the nominees for John Kiely. She said: “John is a committed Business Ambassador for Coventry and has helped shine a light on our great city. He has actively supported all youth provisions, engagement and lots of local charities with financial support and mentoring for young people with housing issues, life skills, training and now employs over 700 local people.
John regularly organises community clean ups in the city centre, paying his staff to volunteer on projects that are taking place. His door is always open, and he is a pillar of the business community. New businesses coming to the city centre go to John for advice and he is always willing to share his ideas and thoughts.
I am delighted to hear this fantastic news for John. Talk to anyone in the city and they will all reiterate my joy. To hear this honor being bestowed on John is a real testament to his incredible warmth, community commitment and business acumen”.