Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford dedicated his MBE to his mother when he promised more could be expected in his campaign to support disadvantaged children.
The 24-year-old striker said his motivation was to give the nation’s youth what he didn’t have in childhood, stressing that every child deserves a “chance”.
Rashford ran a campaign last year to force the government to offer free meals to vulnerable youth in England during school holidays during the coronavirus pandemic, causing Prime Minister Boris Johnson to turn around.
After an inauguration ceremony at Windsor Castle, the player said he would hand over his MBE to his mother Melanie, who raised him and his four siblings.
You don’t have to suffer in silence when struggling with your mental health. Here are a few groups you can contact if you need help:
Samaritans: Phone 116 123, 24 hours a day, or email [email protected], in confidence
Children’s telephone: Telephone 0800 1111. Calls are free and do not appear on your bill
PAPYRUS: A voluntary organization that supports suicidal adolescents and young adults. Telephone 0800 068 4141
Depression Alliance: A charity for people with depression. Not a hotline, but has useful resources and links to other information on his website
Students Against Depression: A website for students who are depressed, in a bad mood, or at risk of suicide. click here to visit
Bullying UK: A website for bullying children and adults. click here
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): For young men who feel unhappy. Has a website here and a hotline: 0800 58 58 58
He said, “It seems to be busy, but for me, to put it in the simplest possible way – I try to give kids the things I didn’t have as a kid. If I had, I would have been much better off and had a lot more options in my life.
“I’m just giving them the opportunity and I think they deserve the opportunity – which kid doesn’t have that? For me it is a punishment for them not to get things like food or books.
“And if we can all get together to make these small changes – they are small changes, but they become big changes when you see the fruits of them – I see a generation coming after me as a very special generation.
“They just need a little guidance and point in the right direction, and what I do is give them that.”
The footballer became the youngest recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester, awarded last month for his work against child poverty.
Rashford will also be honored with a special award from the BBC Sports Personality of the Year on December 19 in honor of his off-field work.
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