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News story

Burberry and Marcus Rashford MBE pledge support for our work on school libraries

24 Nov 2021

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British luxury fashion house Burberry, has partnered with English international footballer and youth advocate, Marcus Rashford MBE, to help organisations enhance library experiences for children and young people from disadvantaged communities. This builds on our work to make primary school libraries places where students can realise their potential by increasing their literacy skills and allowing their creativity and wellbeing to thrive.

Burberry is supporting our partnership with Macmillan Children’s Books to create specialised environments in schools, libraries and community organisations where children can read for pleasure. Funding will transform library spaces in 10 schools across Manchester, Leeds and London, positively impacting the lives of over 3,500 children. All of the schools will take part in the Marcus Rashford Book Club, enabling children to benefit from further teaching materials, donated book sand activities.

We curated a list of diverse and award-winning books and Macmillan Children’s Books will donate over 8,000 copies to school libraries across the UK. We are also providing dedicated training and access for 200 teachers free of charge.

In his emotive open letter, Marcus Rashford said that reading has given him 'the tools to play football at the highest level' and that it is his 'peace' and 'escape.' He also referenced our vital work and mentioned the importance of 'believing in yourself because in this library, the possibilities are endless.'

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. 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. 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. 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.

Marcus Rashford, MBE

“We know that children who read for pleasure regularly have better life chances in the future, get better grades, and report higher levels of wellbeing. In addition, our recent research shows that one in 11 children on free school meals don’t own a single book of their own, meaning their school library is often the first place they have access to books and can start to develop a love of reading. We’re delighted and grateful to have the support of Burberry, Macmillan Children’s Books and Marcus Rashford to transform library spaces in 10 schools. Together, we’re committed to making reading more accessible for the children and young people who need it most.”

Jonathan Douglas CBE, our Chief Executive

"School libraries are an essential resource for children to develop crucial literacy skills and a lifelong love of reading. All children should be given that opportunity, no matter what their background. As Marcus Rashford's publisher and partner in the Marcus Rashford Book Club, Macmillan Children's Books are very proud to work alongside Marcus, Burberry and the National Literacy Trust, to support school libraries, in the shared mission of giving as many children as possible access to books."

Belinda Ioni Rasmussen, MD at Macmillan Children's Books

“Providing safe spaces for the next generation to stretch their imaginations and craft their own stories, drawing inspiration from a diverse range of literature, is critical to developing their confidence and ambitions for the future. All these organisations play a pivotal role in helping those most in need access key resources, from donating thousands of books, to empowering teachers and volunteers to best support students. We are proud to partner with them and Marcus Rashford MBE, a passionate advocate for enabling vulnerable youth to discover the joy of reading, to help ensure young students around the world get better opportunities to create, develop and grow.”

Pam Batty, VP of Corporate Responsibility at Burberry

Marcus Rashford's open letter

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