British footballer Marcus Rashford has changed the lives of millions of UK children living in poverty. Now, a new partnership with Burberry promises to give young people around the world the support they desperately need.
Marcus Rashford is proving to be the national hero we all need in 2020. The 23-year-old Manchester United striker last month was awarded an MBE for his efforts to end child food poverty across the UK. Having changed the lives of more than 1.3 million UK children and inspired millions more, the footballer and activist has now teamed up with British brand Burberry to continue this initiative in helping disadvantaged children globally.
The sporting superstar has thus far raised £20 million in financial aid and supplies for food distribution charity FareShare, used his growing social media platform (currently standing at over 9 million followers on Instagram) as a force to enact change in this country for good by shining a spotlight on his own experiences and struggles growing up in Wythenshawe, south Manchester.
This game-changing partnership will see Burberry continue the work Rashford has put in place with FareShare, funding a further 200,000 meals distributed across 11,000 charities and community groups in the UK.
Burberry is also pledging to support youth organisations in Manchester, London and New York. In London the label is working with London Youth, which supports a network of over 600 community youth organisations and creates thousands of engaging opportunities for young people each year. Fifteen youth centres jointly selected by Burberry and London Youth will also receive grants to ensure their programmes can continue to make a positive impact in some of the capital’s most deprived communities.
In Manchester, Burberry is supporting Norbrook Youth Club and Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre, which are both youth centres that played a pivotal role in Rashford’s childhood.
Alongside these youth centres, Burberry is contributing to Wide Rainbow, a non-profit based in New York City providing access to the arts and arts education in neighbourhoods across the United States with little to no resources. The donation will provide art supplies, food deliveries and music education to young people in these communities as well as fund the creation of art murals to invigorate schools and shelters in New York and Los Angeles.
In a powerful open letter Rashford writes to his 10-year old self he says, “You should never be ashamed to ask for help. Take pride in knowing that your struggle will play the biggest role in your purpose. Never drop your head in shame.” Noting that although it took a lot for him to put pen to paper and express how far he had come, the work is certainly all but over.
For Burberry’s own creative director, this particular charitable action hit close to home for him too. Speaking out on his own Instagram platform Tisci says, “I grew up in Italy – part of a poor family, but a family full of love, and hopes and dreams. Today, I am proud to partner with Marcus Rashford on the new Burberry initiative, supporting young people across the globe and helping them to achieve their goals. Today, it is more important than ever that young people feel like they are seen and heard. We need to support the next generation, to help them go beyond – their dreams are our future.”
Not all heroes wear capes, but this one certainly does.
Images: Courtesy of Burberry