Goal! Footballer wins award for charity work

Pride of Britain: The footballer was celebrated for his inspiring work to end food poverty. © Getty

Are celebrities more important than politicians? Marcus Rashford is leading a campaign for free school meals in the holidays, after the government refused to pay for them over half term.

What’s happening

Yesterday, a footballer received a special prize during a ceremony on television. But the award had nothing to do with winning matches or scoring goals.

The event was the Pride of Britain Awards. The footballer was Marcus Rashford. His prize was for his work to help children in need.

Find out more

At schools across the UK, students from poorer backgrounds can receive free lunches during term time. The lockdown has made it even harder for families to afford food. Some parents have lost their jobs or are not being paid as much.

In June, Rashford convinced the government to provide food vouchers over the summer holidays.

Then, on 21 October, Members of Parliament voted against extending the vouchers to half term. Boris Johnson said that the government was giving £63m to local councils for meals. But councils said it was not enough.

There is lots of support for Rashford’s new campaign. Hundreds of cafés and restaurants have promised to provide food during half term and Christmas.

Are celebrities more important than politicians?

Some say…

Yes! They have much more influence and they are more popular with people. Marcus Rashford is a great example because he saw something he wanted to change. He used his fame to help people, and it is working. Because he is popular, many people are following his example. Celebrities have a lot more power with people than politicians.

Others think…

No, it’s not so simple. Unlike celebrities, politicians have to become experts and understand far more details. They spend months working out how to make laws so that life can work better for lots of people. Marcus Rashford’s campaign is superb – but politicians are the ones who have the big picture. They make more difference to our lives.

You Decide

  1. Would you like to be famous?

Activities

  1. Imagine you are a celebrity. Write a letter or make a video about an issue you care about that you could share with your millions of followers to help make a difference.

Some People Say...

“If you’re lucky enough to be famous, then it’s great if you can use your fame and the power your fame gives you to draw attention to things that really matter.”

Michael Schumacher, former Formula 1 driver

What do you think?

Word Watch

Ceremony
A special occasion where a series of formal events take place. A wedding is a type of ceremony, but we also have awards ceremonies, like this one.
Government
The group of people who govern – or lead — the country.
Members of Parliament
A Member of Parliament (or MP) is somebody who has been elected – chosen by the people – to represent their part of the country in Parliament. This is where politicians debate and make laws.
Extending
To extend is to make something longer. It can also be used to describe a length of time. In this case, it means to make the school meals vouchers continue for longer.
Boris Johnson
The Prime Minister of the UK and head of the government.
Campaign
A series of planned actions carried out to reach a goal.
Pride of Britain Awards
An awards ceremony that takes place every year to honour people from the UK who have done amazing things during the year. Another one of this year’s winners was Emmie Narayn-Nicholas, a young girl with cancer who decided to help others at her hospital by cooking them tasty takeaway meals.

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