British readers of a certain generation may remember a rather charming children’s television programme called Pigeon Street. The website reminds us of Mr Macadoo (the petshop owner), Daisy and Rose (the old ladies) and of Mrs Patel, about whom, some 27 years after launch, ’no information is currently available’. My personal favourite was Long Distance Clara, the lorry driver. Friendly, resilient, driven. Just imagine her on a plinth in Trafalgar Square. Clara, you see, would have approved of the Wincanton Truck Club, which scooped the education award at this month’s Hollis Sponsorship Awards. Devised by the fantastic TomTom Nation, the club teaches school children all about road safety, whilst encouraging them to keep track of how many miles each week they are walking. A simple idea which has really worked. Yorkie Bars all round.
TomTom Nation have been on a roll lately with their cracking ideas, as my visit to the launch of Boom! last week confirmed. Imagine challenging young people to make short films and music videos, with the support of Apple equipment, the best of which will be shown on MTV. From music videos to films about their local community, this scheme, also supported by volunteering organisation V, is really taking off. It’s one of the best executed examples of education working with business working with government that I’ve ever seen. And in a country in which young people are demonised by the media on a daily basis, it’s a far more accurate reflection of their real talent and enterprise.
One solution to the anti-social behaviour coming from the very small minority of young people in Britain could be to lock them in a room with Anne Weinstock. Calling the dynamic new head of the Youth Task force ‘no nonsense’ would be the understatement of the week. This can only be a good thing, as last night’s launch of the Action Plan proved. During the evening, I began talking with police sergeant Paul Dunn from the Metropolitan Police and anti-litter campaigner Louise Arnold from EnCams. I shared with them a diemma which I had faced only five hours before; Walking past Admiralty Arch, I had spotted a queue of people, all carrying various documents and shuffling their feet nervously. It seemed to me that they were hoping for a positive response, in some way or another, from Her Majesty’s Government. So it was a little sad to see one of them tossing an empty cigarette packet to the floor (I am reminded of Daniel Snell’s recent post). My question was; which cause to adopt; Keep Britain Tidy, or Keep Myself Safe. Which one would you have chosen? For better or worse, on this occasion, I carried on walking…
There will be no hitch-hiking with friendly lorry drivers or anyone else for that matter, for Ben Saunders, explorer and Daily Networker favourite. He’s just unlocked the sponsorship needed to send him packing, solo, to the North Pole. A massive thumbs up to Ernst and Young for backing Ben’s world record attempt. You and I can follow the adventure from the comfort or our living rooms by visiting the expedition website here. Did you know that one of Ben’s most recent expeditions was the equivalent of 31 Marathons back to back? 31 MARATHONS. I dread to think how many Yorkie Bars.