Local McDonald’s boss shares his poignant reason for taking part in epic charity rally drive

The owner of ten McDonald’s restaurants across Norfolk has spoken of his reasons for taking part in a charity rally in aid of Norwich City FC’s Community Sports Foundation.

Kevin Foley drove a total of 1700 miles as part of the Canaryball Rally organised by Credo Asset Finance and raised almost £5,000 with his teammate Ken Venables, to help disadvantaged groups have access to sport.

The rally, which first began in 2019, saw 24 cars take to the Highlands of Scotland to complete the North Coast 500 route, complete with scavenger hunt tasks along the way.

Organisers say this year’s rally has raised £60,000 to help deliver sporting activities at the Community Sports Foundation, something Mr Foley says is especially poignant to him as his sister, Claire, has Down syndrome and grew up at a time when access to opportunities was limited.

He says: “The Canaryball Rally was an amazing event – the scenery was just stunning and we really enjoyed it.

“I’m thrilled to hear how much has been raised the Foundation.

“I’ve been up  to The Nest [the Foundation’s community facility] and seen the amazing work the Foundation does to give people with Down syndrome and other disabilities the opportunities they deserve – to play sport and be active.

“It’s really important and particularly poignant to me as my younger sister, Claire, has Down syndrome and I have seen some of the barriers and prejudice that she has faced over the years.

“Fortunately, these days some of the stigma has been broken down and there is more acceptance and opportunity for the Down syndrome community.

“The money raised by the rally will bring so much to the lives of those who enjoy the facilities, so all credit goes to the founders of the event at Credo Asset Finance and the team at the Community Sports Foundation who work really hard.”

Kevin, who is CEO of K Foley LTD, and his teammate Ken Venables, who owns the local Signs Express franchise, took to the road as part of the event in a 2017 McLaren 720S, which was covered in the logos of dozens of businesses who had sponsored them for the fundraiser.

The duo, alongside the 23 other teams, made their way across the 516 mile route, taking in incredible blue skies, mountain views and sprawling beaches.

They were tasked with various challenges, such as visiting football grounds and having their photo taken at particular landmarks including John O’Groats, in order to collect points and attempt to win the coveted Canaryball Rally trophy.

Kevin and Ken were pipped to the post and came 8th out of the 24 teams but are looking forward to taking part again when the event returns in 2024.

“It was a truly memorable trip,” said Kevin. “The weather was on our side and we’re thrilled to have helped raise such a fantastic amount for the Foundation. I’m looking forward to hearing how the total will help to change more lives.”

The Community Sports Foundation is Norwich City FC’s official charity. Its charitable objectives are driving inclusion for people with disabilities, boosting mental health and wellbeing, and supporting disadvantaged people to raise their aspirations.

Senior Fundraising and Events Manager at the Foundation, Emma Fletcher-Dungay, said: “The rally has raised a huge amount of money for the Foundation, which will help us continue to deliver a number of programmes to disabled and disadvantaged people across Norfolk.

“As a community club, we work with a number of local companies across the county who have a desire and passion to want to give something back locally.

“The rally gives us the chance to reach out to even more local companies and we are hugely grateful to people like Kevin Foley and Ken Venables for coming on board.”

Marketing Manager at Credo Asset Finance, Fran Brown, said: “Wow! What an event. We are thrilled with the outcome of this year’s rally and excited to have raised so much money for the Foundation. A big thanks to everyone who took part and all those who so generously made donations.”


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