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15 July 2020, 12:35
Marcus Rashford is being honoured by the University of Manchester for his campaign against child poverty.
Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford, 22, successfully campaigned for the government to allow 1.3 million school children to claim free meal vouchers throughout the summer holidays.
He is now to become the youngest person to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester following his “remarkable campaign against child poverty”
Previous recipients of the prestigious award include Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton.
The university president and vice-chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, said: “Marcus is an extraordinary young man with an extraordinary talent and drive that stretches well beyond the football field. His work for charity and his high-profile campaign will not only help countless young people across our own city but across the entire country.
“Our university has social responsibility at its core and this sense of civic pride and duty is something we are proud to share with Marcus. That is why the university is delighted to make Marcus our youngest-ever recipient of an honorary degree.”
Rashford called the award “a proud day for myself and my family.”
He said: “When you look at the great names that have been awarded this doctorate in the past, it's humbling.
"We still have a long way to go in the fight to combat child poverty in this country but receiving recognition from your city means we are heading in the right direction and that means a lot.”
Last month, Marcus sent an open letter to MPs in Parliament urging them to backtrack over plans to cancel the free school meals scheme throughout the summer holidays in England.
He spoke of how “parents like mine” relied on kids’ clubs in the school holidays, “providing a safe space and at least one meal, whilst they work.”
Marcus urged the government to extend their “‘whatever it takes’ approach to the economy” to protect “all vulnerable children across England.”
Days later, the government announced children eligible for free school meals during term time will receive a six-week voucher entitling them to food throughout the summer.