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Child food poverty campaigner nominated for Petition Campaign of the Year

24 March 2021

The nominees for the inaugural Petition Campaign of the Year Award have been announced.

This year sees the launch of the first ever Petition Campaign of the Year Award. Given out as part of the annual Your UK Parliament Awards, this Award celebrates the inspiring people who have used petitions started on Parliament’s petitions website to build support for their campaigns for change.

The winners of the Award will be selected by the MPs on the Petitions Committee, and will be announced in due course. The winners will receive a commemorative trophy and all nominees will receive a certificate to celebrate their achievements.

Nominee: Marcus

Marcus Rashford MBE started a petition calling for the Government to End child food poverty.  This currently has more than 1.1 million signatures, making it the largest petition received this Parliament. 

He led a wider campaign on child food poverty, using his own personal experience to highlight the issues that it raises. He has used his public profile as a Premier League and international footballer to secure significant media coverage and public support for the campaign. 

Together with his mother, Marcus has volunteered at food banks and met staff and volunteers at the food distribution charity FareShare, for which he is an ambassador. He has also used his profile to bring together charities and food retailers into a Child Food Poverty Task Force which campaigns on the issue, most recently calling for a comprehensive review of free school meals policy.

His petition prompted the Petitions Committee’s evidence session into child food poverty on 21 January 2021. Marcus also took part in a recorded video conversation with the Chair of the Committee to talk more about his campaign and why he started his petition – and encouraged others to use petitions to get their voices heard. 

The Government has actively engaged with Marcus as a result of his campaign, and announced the Covid Winter Grant Scheme to support vulnerable households in December following concerns raised by the campaign.

Catherine McKinnell, Chair of the Petitions Committee, comments

“These campaigns are a testament to the power of petitions to highlight issues that might otherwise not be heard in Parliament.

“The nominees have each demonstrated the impact of organising a successful campaign, building on their petitions by gathering support from the wider public, charities and others who share their concerns.

“Our nominees’ passion, determination, and ideas for how to tackle the problems they’ve set their minds to has been inspiring, and they should all be proud of their achievements.”

The other nominees

  • Clotilde Rebecca Abe and Atinuke Awe, for their campaign on the issue of Black maternal mortality and healthcare
  • Nell Bevan, Esmie Jikiemi-Pearson, Yacoub Yasin and Cynthia Muthoni, for their campaign calling for increased diversity in the national curriculum
  • Ashley Greenwood, for his campaign to allow limited numbers of fans to attend football matches during lockdown
  • James and Jessie Zammit-Garcia, Bethany Power and Emily Tredget, for their campaign on the impact of Covid-19 on maternity and parental leave

What are the Your UK Parliament Awards?

The 4th annual Your UK Parliament Awards recognise the individuals across the UK who have taken democratic action on the issues they care about. There are six categories, which celebrate individuals, schools, and organisations who have made a difference in their communities and beyond.

Further Information

Image: Parliamentary copyright