“I encourage you to dream,” writes Marcus Rashford to his ten-year-old self, as the footballer and activist reveals a global youth initiative with Burberry
During his time in the public eye, 23-year-old footballer Marcus Rashford has used his platform to give back – a mission, which has won the sportsman an MBE for his efforts to end child food poverty and homelessness. Today, Burberry reveals a wide-reaching social initiative in partnership with the Manchester United player, which pledges to help disadvantaged young people across the globe, in the hope of “nurturing the next generation, allowing them to explore their dreams and always go beyond,” according to the brand.
The global project sees the British behemoth provide grants to two youth centres close to Rashford’s heart – Norbrook Youth Club and Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre in Manchester – both of which the footballer attended as a child. Meanwhile in London, Burberry is giving a further 15 grants to youth centres situated in the city’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods, selected with the help of organisation London Youth – a charity which supports a network of over 600 community youth organisations and creates thousands of engaging opportunities for young people each year. In addition, Burberry will be providing support for arts-after-school non-profit Wide Rainbow in New York and the International Youth Foundation, which works with community leaders and young people in Asia and beyond.
Alongside the news of this partnership, which arrives as we enter a second national lockdown in the UK, Rashford has released a moving open letter to his ten-year-old self. “I encourage you to dream, because sometimes dreams are all you will have,” he writes. “Your community will prove to be the most special extension of your family. When you fall, which you will, there will always be neighbours and friends to catch you. There is no need to feel ashamed because they will catch you without judgment and comment. No questions asked. Feel the warmth of those around you and know that one day, you are going to have the platform to repay them. For a young boy who says so little, one day you will have a voice that speaks for many.”
Learn more about Burberry and Marcus Rashford’s global youth initiative here.