Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has joined forces with Burberry to launch a series of initiatives to help disadvantaged young people.

Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford

The British fashion house is providing grants for Norbrook Youth Club and Woodhouse Park Lifestyle Centre, two youth centres in Manchester that Rashford attended as a child.

Alongside these youth centres, Burberry is contributing to Wide Rainbow, a non-profit based in New York City providing access to the arts and arts education in neighbourhoods across the United States with little to no resources. The donation will provide art supplies, food deliveries and music education to young people in these communities as well as fund the creation of art murals to invigorate schools and shelters in New York and Los Angeles.

To further the international reach of this work, Burberry is partnering with the International Youth Foundation to contribute to the Global Youth Resiliency Fund. This will enable young entrepreneurs and community leaders, especially in Asia, to develop solutions to challenges including closing nutrition gaps and unlocking access to livelihoods.

In London, Burberry is working with London Youth, which supports a network of over 600 community youth organisations and creates thousands of engaging opportunities for young people each year. Fifteen youth centres jointly selected by Burberry and London Youth will receive grants to ensure their programmes can continue to make a positive impact in some of London's most deprived communities.

To launch the initiative, the 22-year-old England forward has written an open-letter to his 10-year-old self which highlights the major role that his community and youth centres played in his life as he was growing up and trying to make it as a professional footballer.

The letter reads: "Your community will prove to be the most special extension of your family. When you fall, which you will, there will always be neighbours and friends to catch you. There is no need to feel ashamed because they will catch you without

judgment and comment. No questions asked. Feel the warmth of those around you and know that one day, you are

going to have the platform to repay them. For a young boy who says so little, one day you will have a voice that

speaks for many.

"One day you will have a lot of things you never dreamt of owning, but never forget that stability and consistency are two

of the most valuable things you will ever experience. The youth centres that you visit today on a Monday, Wednesday

and Friday, will prove to be central to all of the greatest gifts you receive in life – your friendships, your discipline, your

respect, and compassion for others."

Commenting on Burberry's charitable collaboration with Rashford, Pam Batty - vice-president of corporate responsibility at Burberry - said: "We believe, especially now, it is so important to help them empower the emerging change-makers of tomorrow and continue their efforts to sustain and protect the vulnerable."

In recent months, Burberry has provided donations for COVID-19 vaccine research, donated 160,000 pieces of PPE and turned a Yorkshire factory which makes the label's trademark trench coats into one to make non-surgical gowns for medics and care workers.

Burberry also made a donation to FareShare, the Rashford-endorsed food distribution charity.