The Premier League 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 going through a difficult time this winter.
The challenge is set by the Manchester United striker as well as #iwill ambassador Claire, a 16-year-old volunteer and youth advocate from Manchester.
"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," Claire says. "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.
"Football clubs sit in the heart of all communities and have the power to unite people."
"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."
The Premier League will work 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.
It can be an action such as donating to a local foodbank or community kitchen, writing Christmas cards to a local care home or hospital or fundraising for a cause the person is passionate about.
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.
"Football clubs sit in the heart of all communities and have the power to unite people," says Rashford, who is an ambassador to the Premier League Kicks Holiday Camps that were announced this week.
"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.
"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," Nick Perchard, Premier League‘s Head of Community, says.
"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.”
Research shows 88 per cent of young people want to make the world a better place, although only 74 per cent believe they can make a difference. Through #iwill, over 1,000 organisations are working with young people to create more opportunities and to have their voices heard.
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.
"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," Perchard adds.