Mind The Gap
The launch of an exciting new campaign has brought 62 year old former Eastender and star of Gavin & Stacy Larry Lamb, and 22 year old N-Dubz singing sensation Tulisa together.
The unlikely double act is backing the launch of Why Do ‘ a unique new online service, funded by O2’s Think Big programme ‘ which aims to increase understanding between adults and young people to help bridge the generational divide.
Run entirely by young people, the free Q&A service allows adults to find out anything and everything about young people and what they really think.
The O2 backed website, which is the brainchild of 22 year old Londoner Sabian Muhammad, aims to explode myths and misconceptions about young people by getting the generations talking online.
Sabian hit upon the idea of creating a unique online Q&A service while working as a volunteer youth worker in London. With funding and support from O2’s Think Big programme, which is designed to back inspiring young people, Sabian was able to turn his idea into a fully fledged, nationwide service.
From music, fashion and everyday trivia, to the big issues that impact young people today, adults will be able to log onto whydo.co.uk and quiz youngsters at the click of a mouse.
Once submitted, questions are sent out to the Why Do young advisors ‘ a team of 50 young people aged between 16 and 25 who are ready to help adults understand a little more about young people and what really makes them tick. Within a few short hours responses are posted on whydo.co.uk
O2 Think Big ambassador and hip-hop star Tulisa, said:
‘Perceptions of young people are more often than not way off the mark. I saw it as a kid growing up in north London and I still see it today. People take one look at the way young people dress, the way they talk, the music they listen to and they label them in a certain way. When older generations don’t understand young people, I imagine it can all seem quite threatening, Why Do aims to break down those barriers and help build understanding.’
O2 Think Big ambassador and actor Larry Lamb, said:
‘Tulisa and I are bit of an unlikely duo, an odd couple if you like, but that’s the point. The Why Do website is about bringing generations together. As you get older, it can be hard to relate to and understand young people and easy to feel out of touch. Why Do allows you to ask questions direct to young people in an anonymous environment ‘ it’s a great way to keep yourself engaged with young people and ultimately will help to bridge the gap between generations.’
Sabian Muhammad, the young campaigner backed by O2 Think Big, said:
‘My experience working with young people as a volunteer convinced me that something had to be done to bridge the generation gap and challenge inaccurate ‘hoodie’ stereotypes. I knew I wanted to step in and do something to help adults understand young people better, but I didn’t have the resources to bring my Why Do idea to life. It wasn’t until I received backing from O2 Think Big that I could turn my idea into a reality.’
Why Do is backed and funded by the O2’s Think Big programme which is committed to putting money in the hands of young people to help them to tackle the issues that really matter to them.
Bill Eyres, Head of Sustainability at O2, said: ‘We believe in young people. Through our Think Big programme we’re backing hundreds of young people, like Sabian, with funding and support to help them tackle the issues that really matter to them. Like hundreds of other inspiring young people, Sabian applied to the Think Big programme, he wanted to step in and re-connect the generations. So impressed with Sabian’s drive and determination to make a difference, we’re helping him turn Why Do into an exciting national campaign.’
The Think Big programme exists to champion young people and showcase the positive role they play in society. The five million pound scheme, which launched this year, is open to all young people aged 13-25. To find out more and apply online visit www.o2thinkbig.co.uk
Think Big has been developed in conjunction with two of the UK’s leading youth charities, National Youth Agency and UKYouth, and with the support of the Telefonica Foundation.