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Goldie signs up to Bebo’s Big Think

CAB 097-09 
06 November 2009

Musician and graffiti artist, Goldie, today gave his backing to Bebo’s Big Think – Take Your Ideas to the Top, which is looking for young people to put forward innovative and practical suggestions on how to make a positive difference on crime, careers and climate change.

Goldie put drum ‘n’ bass music on the mainstream music map, appeared in a James Bond movie and has just composed his first orchestral piece, but now he has a new ambition.  He wants young people to take part in this unique competition where three winners will get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pitch their ideas to members of the Cabinet.  The nationwide online competition is being hosted on social-networking website Bebo in partnership with the Cabinet Office.

The people behind the top six ideas will be invited to London to pitch their suggestions to Goldie himself and a panel of other celebrities, which will be hosted by Minister for the Cabinet Office and Olympics Tessa Jowell. The panel will then pick three winners to present their ideas to Cabinet members the next day.

Goldie will be joined on the panel by record-breaking mountaineer Jake Meyer, Apprentice winner and successful business woman Michelle Dewberry and Ginny Lunn, head of policy and development at The Prince's Trust.

Goldie, drum ‘n’ bass artist, DJ, and star of the BBC hit show ‘Maestro,’ said:

“Kids need to know they're important and are our future. I’m glad they’ve got an opportunity to be heard and to tell the people who should be listening and acting on it”

Minister for the Cabinet Office and Olympics, Tessa Jowell, said:

“I am delighted that Goldie is backing this exciting campaign to get young people to put forward their ideas on how to tackle issues that really matter to them.  We have already received some interesting and innovative entries which could make a real difference to communities across the country. But there is still time to get involved, and with such fantastic names onboard we hope even more young people will get thinking and put forward their suggestions.”

Examples of the ideas which have been put forward so far include a job centre for young people to learn about the world of work, setting up youth football clubs in local parks and a scheme to protect the environment by handing out free bikes in cities.

Jake Meyer, the youngest man to have ever climbed the highest mountain on every continent – the Seven Summits - said:

“As well as being passionate about the outdoors, adventure and the environment, it’s also trying to motivate and inspire other young people that really drives me. This is a great initiative that gives young people the chance to make a real difference. I can’t wait to hear some of the ideas!”

A host of inspiring mentors has been lined up to give the finalists all the tips they might need to perfect their presentations before they go before the panel and Cabinet Ministers.

So far Henry Bonsu, co-founder of Colourful Radio, columnist and youth mentor Lindsay Johns, Colleen Harris, the former group director of communications for the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, Andy Hamflett, the chief executive of the UK Youth Parliament, Liam Black, the founder of the Fifteen Foundation and Dominic Stinton, the managing director of VCCP Group, have all signed up, with more to follow.

Notes to editors

Since Bebo's Big Think was launched in July 2009:

Bebo is a popular social network with over 8 million unique visitors in the UK. Since Bebo’s Big Think was launched in July 2009 it has offered young people an independent youth-led online forum to discuss their views on the future of Britain as part of the Building Britain's Future conversation [External website].

Bebo's Big Think - Take your Ideas to the Top is a competition offering six young people the chance to have their ideas heard by the people at the very top of Government. The competition launches on October 30 and closes on 15 November for UK residents (including the Channel Islands and Isle of Mann) between the ages of 16 and 24.  The six finalists will be invited to a session on 30 November where they will pitch their ideas to a panel of experts and celebrities chaired by Minister for the Cabinet Office and Olympics, Tessa Jowell. The three winners will then go on to present their ideas to Cabinet Ministers on 1st December, with the possibility of departmental support to help the young people move their ideas forward. For more information, visit: [External website]

For interview requests and further information contact Sinead Keller at the Cabinet Office press office on 020 7276 1146.

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