“Pressure is Privilege” – Billie Jean King
Our determined and enterprising founder of Break The Mould, Kris, prides himself on his resourceful abilities and has the organisation as it stands today, with a team of over 75 dedicated volunteers, as proof of that. Growing up, Kris often found himself distracted at school, and with tragic addiction within the family, he was led to move out of the home at the age of just ten. Today, Kris reflects on the importance of moving in with his incredible Nan during this time, who provided support and hope when he needed it most. Although his academic studies inevitably began to struggle, Kris excelled in sports and drama and was granted a sports scholarship upon leaving his education; the same educational system that was unable to facilitate Kris’s passions and what he considers a successful future. His emphasis now is for children to reach their own potential doing what they love through a well-designed curriculum that offers something for everyone.
With a number of sporting qualifications and whilst working four jobs at one time, Kris persevered to become a semi-professional footballer at the age of eighteen. He went on to create ‘Little Stars Sports and Fitness’ which provided sports coaching and workshops for children with special needs requirements. The project was one of a kind and, with these children often excluded from their own school’s sporting activities, established Kris as a fiercely compassionate and approachable coach within the community. During this time, Kris applied to be on The Apprentice. Having just thirty seconds to discuss his charitable projects during the pitching process, he found that a number of applicants chose to focus on the winning or competitive aspect of the show and with these few making it to the next round without him, this established Kris’ charitable mission further, pledging to commit himself fully to his foundation.
As Kris developed this organisation further, Break The Mould was born in 2019 with a focus of cultivating young people’s life skills; promoting more accommodating education, employability, and improved mental and physical health using engaging workshops and informative, environmentally-lead experiences. The foundation would see children from all walks of life including those with disabilities, homelessness and those living in poverty, finally reaching their full potential and departing from the societal labels they had been given for most their lives. With a disadvantaged start to life himself, Kris used his own experiences of adverse childhood circumstances to connect to and engage with those he worked with through sports, educational workshops and hugely successful community projects such as the ‘Social Supermarket’ and the upcoming ‘Break The Mould Podcast’.
Although the foundation has already changed many lives in it’s two years, Kris is determined to expand Break The Mould to contribute even more to the communities who need our help the most. With plans to build a unique facility that would house many people in need of shelter and employment, the project would see the entire organisation held under one roof where our workshops and sporting activities could be carried out. With opportunities to employ many members of staff from diverse backgrounds and continuing to build our portfolio of workshops, our impact within the community would significantly grow and establish Break The Mould further.
Kris acknowledges his limits and states he would be nowhere without the help of the team of volunteers: “I’m very self-aware, I know what I can and can’t do, I know where my skills lie. Having this team allows me to continue the work I know I’m good at, to be out there with the children. We all carry out vital work here at Break The Mould, it’s just a case of bringing your own skills to the foundation that makes the difference.