Following Rashford’s nationwide free school meals campaign – which, with funding from FareShare, fed thousands of school kids during half term through lockdown – Burberry provided grants to youth centres across the UK: 15 in London and two in Manchester, both of which Rashford attended as a child.
Today, Burberry and Rashford have announced that they are working together again, this time to support disadvantaged children with their literacy skills. The house will provide significant funding to transform school libraries in 10 schools spread over London, Manchester and Yorkshire, also promising to donate 8,000 books in total across all schools.
Working in partnership with the National Literacy Trust (NLT), Burberry discovered that one in four schools in England’s most disadvantaged communities does not have a library or designated reading space. The 10 schools receiving funding will also take part in the Marcus Rashford Book Club, an initiative made with Macmillan Children’s Books, which will encourage a passion for reading from an early age.
“We’ve identified a real need here. Far too many children do not currently have access to books, typically because of financial restraints, and there was a need to inspire them and allow them to see beyond the challenges they face daily,” says Rashford. “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.”
On a global scale, Burberry extends its support to libraries in USA and Asia, working with Wide Rainbow and Bring Me a Book Hong Kong, respectively, to bring more books to underfunded institutions and to provide access to arts education.
Photography by Campbell Addy, styling by Ib Kamara.