Marcus Rashford and Burberry team up on youth support initiative

Joining forces with the luxury fashion house, Rashford is spearheading an initiative ‘anchored in community’ that promises to help disadvantaged young people around the world.

In light of the inherent lack of support from UK government officials during the pandemic, specifically the cruel decision to vote against extending free meals throughout the school holidays, the task of providing young people with the vital resources they so desperately need has been largely left in the hands of individuals and grassroots campaigns.

‘Kindness is power,’ says Marcus Rashford MBE, the Manchester United footballer who at just 23 years old has already succeeded in changing the lives of 1.3 million UK children living in poverty through an open letter he published earlier this year pleading with MPs to reverse their decision to end a voucher scheme relied upon by vulnerable youth. In response, Boris Johnson announced a new £120 million ‘COVID Summer Food Fund’ to run for the duration of summer.   

For this reason, he is deemed a national hero by many and, at a time of persisting uncertainty, Rashford has made it a priority to achieve his charitable goals on a global scale this time around, joining forces with Burberry on a game-changing initiative that promises to fund youth clubs and feed children around the world.

Since handing over its Yorkshire factory to the production of PPE in the early days of the Coronavirus crisis, Burberry has continued to demonstrate dedication to humanitarian causes. Understandably therefore, Rashford – a sporting prodigy whose philanthropic prowess shows no signs of slowing down – was keen to collaborate.

‘Anchored in community,’ and heavily focused on inspiring the next generation, the joint pledge will supply various youth centres and non-profits with funds directed towards improving quality of life for disadvantaged youth.

Anticipating the project will help tens of thousands of children worldwide, Burberry’s creative director Riccardo Tisci believes that it’s never been a more pivotal moment to support the next generation in their journey to achieving their dreams which, as he puts it, ‘are our future.’

‘For years, my nights were scattered with tears, anxiety and fear. My mum — scared, facing a day of uncertainty about where she was going to get food from to feed me and my family,’ he told Vogue in an interview, referring to his own experiences growing up in the North of England. ‘No child should have to be sat in a classroom worried about how they are going to eat that weekend.’

Thus far, the resolutely grounded Rashford has raised a whopping £20 million in financial aid and supplies for FareShare – a leading distributor of surplus food.

An extension of the work he has already set in motion with the charity, the partnership will see a further 200,000 meals distributed across 11,000 charities across Britain. Additionally, Burberry will issue grants to Norbrook and Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre, both youth centres that Rashford himself attended as a child.

But it doesn’t stop there.

All set to receive life-changing funding, Rashford and Burberry are working with Wide Rainbow, a New York-based NPO which facilitates access to arts and education across America, London Youth, with its 600-strong network of community organisations in the capital, and the International Youth Foundation, which enables community leaders and young entrepreneurs, particularly in Asia, to unlock access to livelihoods and close nutrition gaps.

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford Joins Forces With Burberry on a Global  Charity Initiative | Vogue

Monday’s announcement was accompanied by the publication of an incredibly moving letter that Rashford wrote to his 10-year-old self, stressing the importance of not being ashamed to ask for help and reflecting on the struggle and resiliency that paved the way for his own success.

‘Take pride in knowing that your struggle will play the biggest role in your purpose,’ it reads. ‘And never go to bed feeling like you don’t have a role to play in this life because, believe me when I tell you, the possibilities are endless.’

Kudos to you Rashford, for embodying the ethos giving back.

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