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Social Enterprise run by ex-gang members launches national peace track competition for young people

Social enterprise, the New Day Foundation, The Big Lottery Fund (BIG) and online youth broadcaster SBTV are calling on bedroom MCs, vocal divas, mix-masters and wannabe rappers to show exactly what they can do by contributing to an online mash-up track to promote peace among young people.

The Peace Mix challenge gives young people aged 16 – 24 a chance to think about what peace means to them and to communicate this through music, beats or lyrics. It was created after BIG and NDF joined forces to give young people across the UK a voice and the opportunity to be part of a campaign that promotes peace. Anyone can record their contributions over an online backing track available at www.peacemix.co.uk.

The track is curated by SBTV and inspired by the New Day Foundation (NDF), a social enterprise founded by former gang members in Birmingham. After ten years of fighting they have decided to focus on building a more peaceful future in their community and want to encourage others to do the same through the Peace Mix campaign The winning entries will join BIG, SBTV and NDF at a star-studded gig to reveal the peace anthem at London’s prestigious Roundhouse on 28 August. The track will be officially available to download on International Peace Day on the 21 September.

Sharif Cousins, CEO of NDF said: “NDF are a collective of people who share a vision to change our community for the better and put young people on a positive path. We’ve spent the last year negotiating with at-risk young people across Birmingham to prevent trouble. We’re very excited to be part of Peace Mix and to be promoting the studios and facilities as a way of uniting young people and giving them access to new opportunities.”

Linda Quinn from BIG commented: “This is a great opportunity for not only musicians, lyricists, MCs, songwriters and poets to come forward to showcase their talent but for all young people to support their peers and to be part of our peace themed collaboration track. This is a groundbreaking partnership where BIG acts as more than just a funder, and is able to bring people and organisations together to create a campaign that reaches out to young people across the UK to promote peace and understanding and make a positive difference in their community.“

Chart-toppers Rizzle Kicks, who are supporting the campaign, said: "Peace Mix is a wicked project. Every young person should be able to explore their musical talents, whatever their background. We want to see the UK's newest talents coming through so get involved!" Peace Mix has brought together a broad range of partners including urban youth charity XLP, social enterprise education through music education charity Blastbeat, youth engagement agency Livity plus community groups, the voluntary sector, youth organisations and regional charities. Together they hope to offer young people the encouragement and resources they need to improve their life-chances and realise their full potential.