Mike Smith-Clare




Co-Founder & Director

About Mike:

Mike has worked as a teacher, youth worker, counsellor, education manager and consultant across the college, work-based learning and voluntary and community training sectors. He was national lead for Adult and Community Learning and E2E provision for The Learning Skills Network and is a qualified internal and external moderator.

He previously co-founded the Blue Cat Initiative which received The Queens Award for Voluntary Service; The Big Society Award for Community Impact and the TES award for outstanding contribution to the local community.

His projects have achieved NIACE National Project and Learner of the Year accolades and his work in encouraging the participation of young people within education received the LSIS National Learner Voice of the Year Award.

He has sat on regional and national boards for tackling young unemployment and homelessness and has developed multi-agency strategies and training for educational improvement and achievement.

His STEP Learning Programme achieved an Ofsted Grade 1 for its work with marginalised young people across Norfolk, while his unique Street Life Soccer scheme continues to support members of the homeless community across the region.

Mike was awarded an MBE in the 2017 New Years Honours list for his work in supporting the education of vulnerable and disadvantaged people in Norfolk. In July 2017 Mike was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from The University of West London for his work in education. In July 2022 Mike was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Civil Law from The University of East Anglia for his work in the local community.

Favourite thing about working at The Bread Kitchen:

“There are so many fantastic elements of The Bread Kitchen, although personally it’s the animals, particularly the sheep I love the most. As an animal lover I’d always wanted pets, so never imagined that id be lucky enough to have my own farm.”