The Premier League (PL) has teamed up with Marcus Rashford MBE to launch the #WeAreOneTeam social action challenge to young people, encouraging them to support those in their local community who are going through a difficult time this winter. The challenge is set by Marcus and #iwill Ambassador Claire, a 16-year-old volunteer and youth advocate from Manchester, who is passionate about tackling inequalities and giving young people a voice.
The Premier League will be working with 91 professional football club community teams delivering the Premier League Kicks programme, to empower young people to create their own social action for others who need support. PL Kicks regularly engages children and young people of all backgrounds and abilities in football, sport and personal development sessions – providing a trusted, positive influence across England and Wales.
Nick Perchard, Head of Community, Premier League said:
“We are excited to launch the #WeAreOneTeam challenge, with the support of Marcus Rashford, who has been on an extraordinary social action journey of his own. In a year when people have continually come together to support one another, football clubs have proved they remain at the heart of their communities by providing wide-ranging support.
“Working closely with #iwill and the 91 professional football club community teams that deliver our PL Kicks programme, we want to empower more young people to do something positive to help others in their community who may be going through a difficult time.”
#iwill Ambassador Claire, 16, from Manchester says:
“I’m so passionate about making our society a fairer, better place, and the role that young people like me can play in making this happen. I hope this challenge inspires more young people to get involved in taking action in their communities.
“Marcus Rashford has been a real role model to me and so many others this year, leading the fight against food poverty, so it’s a real honour to have the chance to launch the challenge alongside him.
“The Premier League has a massive platform to lead the way in which we think about so many important issues, so it’s great to see them join #iwill in championing the power of youth.”
Marcus Rashford MBE added:
“Football clubs sit in the heart of all communities and have the power to unite people. Their response to the pandemic has been incredible and it’s now about building upon that momentum to support those who are most vulnerable this Christmas.
“It’s been really special to see children, particularly, step up and want to play their role. You can see the joy and sense of achievement in their faces. That’s what it’s about, nurturing a new generation to be more compassionate, to pick each other up when they fall.”
Since 2013, the #iwill campaign has been pushing for more social action opportunities to be made available to children and young people, of all backgrounds. Research from Ispsos Mori, DCMS and the #iwill campaign shows that 88% of young people want to make the world a better place, although there is a confidence gap, as only 74% believe they can make a difference (National Youth Social Action Survey 2019). Through #iwill, over 1,000 organisations are working in partnership with young people to create more opportunities for them, helping to make a difference and have their voices heard.
Dr Rania Marandos, CEO of Step up To Serve, the charity which coordinates the #iwill campaign says:
“The #WeAreOneTeam social action challenge will show what’s possible when young people are empowered and supported to make a difference on the issues that affect their own lives, communities and broader society. With the unprecedented challenges we face, now more than ever, we must listen to young people, work with them as equal partners, and invest in opportunities for them to play an active role in society.
The Premier League are a key partner of the #iwill campaign so we’re thrilled that through their leadership and community programmes many more children and young people will be inspired to take action in their communities.”
The Premier League is one of a number of leading organisations to sign #iwill’s Power of Youth Charter, committing to providing young people with opportunities to bring about positive change on the issues that matter to them most.