Marcus Rashford and stars join BT's 'Hope United' campaign
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The Manchester United and England forward met with the 44th president of the United States in a Zoom conversation organised by Penguin Books. The pair discussed the power young people have to make change in society.
The talk also focused on the importance of giving back to your local community – and the positive impact of reading.
They also spoke about other themes from the president’s memoir, A Promised Land, which was published in November last year, as well as some of their shared experiences, including being raised by single mothers.
Mr Rashford said: “It’s quite surreal isn’t it? I’m sitting in my kitchen in Manchester, speaking to President Obama.
“But, immediately, he made me feel at ease.
“It wasn’t long before I realised just how aligned our experiences as children were in shaping the men you see today – adversity, obstacles and all.
“I genuinely enjoyed every minute of it. When President Obama speaks, all you want to do is listen.”
The 23-year-old football star spearheaded a prominent campaign last year to tackle child food poverty in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic.
The project led to support for 1.7 million vulnerable children as a result of a £520 million Government scheme – and other projects helped deliver 130 million meals.
In addition, Mr Rashford released his own book, Full Time Meals, in conjunction with Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge last month.
The joint project is a food education and cooking campaign for children which aims to encourage families to prepare proper meals in their own kitchens, with the equipment available to them, in order to end child poverty in the UK.
Mr Rashford and Mr Kerridge release new cooking videos every Sunday on their Instagram page @FullTimeMeals.
President Obama said: “A lot of the young people I meet – including Marcus – they’re ahead of where I was when I was 23.
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“They’re already making changes and being positive forces in their communities.”
The conversation, which was moderated by broadcaster and author June Sarpong, will be released in full on Penguin UK’s YouTube channel on Friday at 2pm.
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