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Burberry Partners With Marcus Rashford MBE To Help Young People Develop Their Literacy Skills


Burberry is once again championing the power of giving back to help the next generation explore their dreams and unlock opportunity through the power of imagination, giving them the space to go further.

In partnership with English international footballer and youth advocate Marcus Rashford MBE, Burberry today announces its support for organisations in the UK committed to helping disadvantaged children develop their literacy skills. Honouring the house’s founder Thomas Burberry’s legacy of using creativity to open spaces, Burberry will provide funding to transform school libraries and donate books, ensuring children have access to safe environments and resources to develop their potential. Burberry will also support organisations in the United States and Asia to create new libraries and provide books to underserved communities.

‘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. 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. This has been a really rewarding process and I’m thankful to Burberry for 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.’
Marcus Rashford, MBE

In the UK, Burberry is supporting the National Literacy Trust (NLT) to help libraries in primary schools provide young people with the literacy skills to fulfil their ambitions. Research published by the NLT last month found that one in four schools in England’s most disadvantaged communities do not have a library or designated reading space, compared to a national average of one in eight schools. Burberry’s funding will go towards 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 books, enabling children to benefit from further teaching materials, a variety of literature and activities. Curated by the National Literacy Trust and provided by Macmillan Children’s Books and other publishers, the selection of illustrated, award-winning fiction and non-fiction books will be truly diverse, representing a range of experiences, backgrounds and interests. Dedicated training and access to National Literacy Trust resources will also be provided to 200 teachers across the country.

In the U.S., Burberry is building upon its existing partnership with Wide Rainbow to provide access to arts education in underserved neighbourhoods. Funding will help to create 15 libraries across New York City and its outer boroughs, as well as three larger libraries in Los Angeles, Detroit and NYC, with each unique space receiving over 100 children’s books.

Burberry is also providing donations to two organisations in Asia. The funding for Bring Me a Book Hong Kong initiative will provide over 500 books to youth centres in the region and bespoke storytelling workshops for the organisation’s volunteers, and the support for the Japan School Library Association will help increase book donations to school libraries across the region.

These programmes continue Burberry’s long history of supporting communities and championing access to experiences that enable imagination and creativity to bloom. By investing in creative spaces that expand children’s worlds through reading, Burberry’s aim is to  nurture their curiosity and ignite their dreams to become the innovators, creators and leaders of the future.

‘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, Burberry



  • Photographer: Campbell Addy
  • Stylist: Ib Kamara 
  • Make-up: Isamaya Ffrench, Burberry Global Beauty Director


  • Marcus Rashford MBE is an England International footballer and child food poverty campaigner and bestselling children’s author from South Manchester, UK. In the Summer of 2020, Marcus began a campaign, named #endchildfoodpoverty, that would see 1.7 million vulnerable children supported via a £520 million Government investment, in a quest to eradicate child hunger from across the UK.
  • Along the way, Marcus has formed a Child Food Poverty Taskforce and launched ‘Full Time Meals’ – a nationwide food education and cooking project designed to equip all children with a vital life skill, building confidence in the kitchen. 
  • In the year working alongside Marcus and the Taskforce, food distribution charity FareShare have distributed 130 million meals to the most vulnerable across the UK. In the early stages of the relationship, Marcus was able to raise £20 million in financial and food donations for the charity. 
  • In July 2020, Marcus received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Manchester, becoming the youngest person to receive the accolade in the history of the establishment. In October 2020, he was appointed MBE in the Queen’ s Birthday Honours. In addition, he won a Special Recognition Award at Pride of Britain 2020, was a recipient of the City of Manchester Award, was the inaugural winner of the FIFA Foundation Award, recipient of a Special Award at BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year, a recipient of the Football Writers’ Association Tribute Award, and was listed on TIME Magazine’s ‘100 Next’ list, as well as Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ list. 
  • Today, Marcus continues to fight for a better future for the next generation, equalling the playing field for all. 
  • Marcus’ debut book You are a Champion is a children’s Number 1 best-seller and was named ‘Book of the Year’ in 2021 by WH Smith. His ambition to enhance engagement in, and promote, literacy for all children has been commended by book sellers and the publishing industry, recently picking up FutureBook Person of the Year and Books are my Bag Breakthrough Author of the Year.


  • Burberry has been dedicated to helping communities through many programmes, from enabling access to the creative industries to championing organisations making a difference around the world.
  • Through The Burberry Foundation, we have maintained initiatives around the world including Burberry Inspire, giving young people a deep and varied experience of arts and culture while studying the impact on their development. In addition, Burberry is continuing to support students through creative arts scholarships.
  • Burberry’s newest partnerships continue to focus on supporting and empowering youth. In 2020, Burberry first partnered with Marcus Rashford MBE, providing vital funding to youth centres across the UK and charities championing the voices of tomorrow.
  • Schools will be chosen according to criteria based on the needs of the children they serve and the schools’ capacity to make the best use of a new library and reading space. We target all our work in schools in disadvantaged areas and apply a metric that takes into account a range of data, including higher than average percentage of pupils receiving free school meals.


  • National Literacy Trust’s mission is to improve the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills of those who need it most, giving them the best possible chance of success in school, work and life. NLT runs Literacy Hubs and campaigns in communities where low levels of literacy and social mobility are seriously impacting people’s lives. They support schools and early years settings to deliver outstanding literacy provision, and campaign to make literacy a priority for politicians, businesses and parents.
  • In research published last month, the organisation found one in four schools in England’s most disadvantaged communities do not have a library or designated reading space, compared to a national average of one in eight schools. 40% of primary school respondents say they have no dedicated school library budget, from data provided to the National Literacy Trust by the School Libraries Association and Softlink.
  • NLT’s research and analysis make the organisation the leading authority on literacy and drive our interventions. Literacy is a vital element of action against poverty and our work changes children and young people’s life stories.
  • Visit to find out more, donate or sign up for the free email newsletter.
  • Jonathan Douglas CBE, Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust says: ‘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 and Macmillan Children’s Books 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.’


  • Pan Macmillan is the UK general book publishing arm of the Macmillan Group, which operates in over 70 countries.  
  • Its imprints include Macmillan, Mantle, Pan, Picador, Bluebird, One Boat, Tor, Macmillan Children’s Books, Macmillan Collectors Library, Kingfisher, Campbell Books and Two Hoots. 
  • Pan Macmillan was named Publisher of the Year at The Bookseller Industry Awards in May 2015, May 2017 and again in June 2020. 
  • Visit to learn more.
  • Belinda Ioni Rasmussen, MD, Macmillan Children’s Books: ‘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.’


  • Wide Rainbow is a free contemporary art after-school programme that connects artists with the community. A non-profit based in New York City serving low-income neighbourhoods with limited or no access to the arts or arts education.
  • Last year, Burberry partnered with Wide Rainbow to empower youth in communities across the United States through an art material distribution programme, donation of nutritious food supplies and the creation of a music education programme.
  • The Wide Rainbow Library Project features Detroit-based curator and art educator Asma Walton of the Black Art Library and design duo Melissa and Amanda Shin of Shin Shin Architecture, aiming at providing inspiring libraries for youth and families living in under-resourced communities.
  • Ashley Gail Harris, Founder & Executive Director, Wide Rainbow: ‘It is impossible to overstate the powers of the arts, education, and literacy for our under-resourced communities, and it is with great appreciation to Burberry for this continued collaboration alongside it’s mission of providing extraordinary libraries and thousands of books for our youth here in New York City and beyond!’ 


  • Japan School Library Association (JSLA) is a research organisation that promotes school libraries and children’s reading activities. To develop school education, JSLA conducts the following activities in cooperation with prefectural school library research organisations in Japan:
  • Surveys and research on the use of school libraries and the promotion of reading.
  • Organising training sessions to improve the quality of librarian teachers and school librarians.
  • Conducting contests and awards to promote children’s reading.
  • Supporting and collaborating with schools and boards of education.
  • Chairman Keiichi Shitara, Japan School Library Association: ‘We are grateful for this generous donation to our association for supporting school libraries affected by large scale disasters. This initiative of supporting school libraries affected by large-scale disasters is one of our projects to revitalise school libraries and children’s reading books. Books are important food for the soul for children and are indispensable sources of education. Supporting those school libraries will help create spaces that nurture children’s abundant hearts and ability to think.’


  • Bring Me a Book Hong Kong™️ (BMABHK) is a non-profit literacy organisation in Hong Kong SAR with a mission to promote reading to children, provide access to books, strengthen family and community bonds, and encourage a love of learning. It harnesses evidence-based research to provide:
  • Transformational training for parents and educators.
  • Hand selected and recommended Chinese and English children’s books.
  • Quality programs enabling access to authors and literacy experts.
  • The organisation has installed over 480 libraries, served 180,000 children from communities through library programs since inception in 2006. Their First Teachers Training, for parents and educators, is an award-winning program that has proven to significantly increase ability and confidence in selecting and reading books aloud amongst families.
  • Pia Wong, Executive Director, Bring Me A Book Hong Kong: ‘We are truly thankful for Burberry’s investment in the lives of disadvantaged children through our library and training programs. Hong Kong has one of the lowest levels of family literacy (parent-child reading) in the world, so Burberry’s generous donation will allow us to equip parents with the skills and confidence to raise a reader and provide easy access to quality books for thousands of grassroot families in Hong Kong.’

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