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A year on from his first youth charity partnership with Burberry, English international footballer Marcus Rashford MBE returns for a rematch, as he and the British luxury fashion house announce the second phase of their partnership, which will provide support for organisations in the UK committed to helping disadvantaged children develop their literacy skills.
Burberry will provide funding in the UK, Asia and America to transform school libraries and donate books, ensuring underprivileged children have access to safe environments and resources to develop their potential. “Far too many children do not currently have access to books, typically because of financial restraints…These children need the escapism of reading more than most, and access to books should not be restricted by the area you grow up in,” Rashford said in a statement.
Research has found that one in four schools in England’s most disadvantaged communities do not have a library, compared to one in eight nationally. Burberry and Rashford have set out to change that, by funding a transformation of library spaces in 10 schools most in need across Manchester, Yorkshire and London, positively impacting the lives of over 3,500 children.
All 10 schools will take part in the Marcus Rashford Book Club, a programme created by Marcus Rashford MBE and Macmillan Children’s Books to encourage and nurture a love of reading in children. The schools will also receive a donation of 8,000 diverse books, curated by by the National Literacy Trust and provided by Macmillan Children’s Books, enabling children to benefit from further teaching materials, a variety of literature and activities.
“Coming out of the pandemic, there was a huge need for safe spaces – a space where children could come and just breathe; process their feelings,” continues Rashford. “I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved here, building upon the work of the Marcus Rashford Book Club and I hope children will feel the benefit of these spaces for years to come.”