Marcus Rashford – A Role Model
Marcus Rashford is a shining example of the benefits which immigration can bring to the UK. Born of Kittian descent, Rashford’s grandmother was born in the Caribbean island of St Kitts. A descendant of the Windrush generation, Rashford has become an influential figure in Britain not just for his skills on the football pitch, but for his campaigning off it too.
Over the past 12 months Rashford has used his platform to raise awareness of child food poverty in Britain with the Free School Meals campaign. The 23-year-old has held the government to account on its actions in a way which, seemingly, those in Westminster struggle to do. Raising awareness on such an important societal issue is hugely commendable.
The Driving Force
Rashford’s humble upbringing in Wythenshawe, south Manchester, gave him a clear insight into the struggles which so many families face in modern-day Britain.
Rashford has spoken about the problems his mother had in putting food on the table during his childhood. Rashford’s mother often skipped meals in order to feed her children. These memories have no doubt been the driving force in his campaign against child food poverty.
The impact of Rashford’s campaign has been quite remarkable. The Manchester United and England forward successfully lobbied the government into a U-turn over its free school meals policy in England, which ensured that children would receive food over the summer.
Still, Rashford has warned that his campaign still has a long way to go. Speaking to the Football Writers’ Association last month, he said:
“We are at the beginning of what I see as a long journey.
I am definitely not at the stage of relief yet, I feel that there is a lot more which needs to be done and a lot more steps which need to be taken forward.
On the positive side we have started to take a few steps in the right direction, but for me now just because we have done that (it) is not about just sitting back now and being happy with what we have done.
It is about what is next in the chapter of these children’s lives.”
Rashford Doing More Than Labour
According to a poll conducted at the end of January, more than half of respondents believe that Rashford’s campaign to push the government to give free school meals throughout the pandemic has achieved more than Sir Keir Starmer as leader of the opposition, Labour.
The poll, conducted by Ipos MORI, found that 56% of respondents agreed that Rashford had done a good job in pressing the government to do more. In contrast, only 23% thought Starmer had done a good job.
Back in October, Rashford received an MBE in the delayed Queen’s Birthday Honours list as recognition for his campaigning, a sign of the impact which Rashford has engendered.
At just 23-years-old, Rashford is a figure of humility, dignity and conscience, a rarity among modern-day celebrities and famous people.
We back you all the way Marcus Rashford.
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[Main image header credit: Sky News]