Burberry officially announced its commitment to a new global initiative promoting and supporting literary arts education for youths in underserved school districts. The British Heritage Brand partnered with English international footballer and youth advocate Marcus Rashford MBE, following his successful #endchildfoodpoverty campaign in the UK last year. Rashford’s extensive work in combatting child food poverty involves helping children develop skills that will set them up for success in life, which is an aspect that has carried over into his Book Club Library initiative. The goal of the initiative is to assist children in developing strong literacy skills and foster their imagination, hopes, and dreams through reading. Pairing with Burberry was an easy decision, given the brand’s history of giving back and opening spaces to foster creativity.
Burberry is investing in the development of ten primary schools most in need across Manchester, Yorkshire and London, all of which will take part in the Marcus Rashford Book Club. This development includes a donation of 8,000 books curated by the National Literacy Trust and supplied by Macmillan Children’s Books and other publishers. It also grants the distribution of creative learning materials and training for over 200 educators who will be provided access to National Literacy Trust resources. This initiative alone will positively influence the lives of over 3,500 children who will receive the opportunity to nurture a love of reading and to strengthen their literacy skills to achieve their goals in the future.
“We’ve identified a real need here,” noted Rashford, “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.” According to a study published by the National Literacy Trust, 25% of schools in England’s most underserved districts do not have a library or designated reading space. That’s 12.5% higher than the national average. Burberry’s funding will secure youths’ access to the much-needed safe environments post-pandemic, and resources to develop their potential across the UK. The brand will also be supporting literary arts youth initiatives in the US and Asia.
Speaking on the partnership with Burberry, Marcus Rashford commented on how “this has been a really rewarding process” and he’s grateful for the brand, “continuing to stand with me on this journey to better underserved communities and offer real opportunity. It’s never a no, it’s only a how, and that makes this relationship so valuable.”
Video © Courtesy of Burberry / Campbell Addy