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Youth charity in memory of tragic Max, 19
Wednesday, 25 July 2012
THE family of a young man who died in a bus crash in Thailand have set up a charity to provide opportunities for young people in music, sport and arts.
Max Boomgaarden-Cook was on holiday with his friends, Conrad Quashie and Bruno Melling-Firth, in June last year when their bus was hit by a coach.
The three former pupils of The Charter School in Red Post Hill, Dulwich, were planning to start university after the trip.
The 19-year-olds were travelling from Bangkok to the northern town of Chiang Mai on June 28 when tragedy struck just four days into their trip.
Max’s family launched the MBC Foundation on Sunday at Brockwell Lido in Herne Hill.
It included performances from local hip-hop artists and a rap competition.
Max’s mum Polly Cook said: “This foundation has been set up to honour Max’s ferocious passion and energy for life, and to support two local community organisations which had a hugely positive impact on him – Whippersnappers and the Lambeth Cricket Academy.
“I think Max would have been really proud and happy about the foundation.
“He lived and breathed music, especially hip-hop and, by helping to promote local musicians in this field, we are fulfilling his ambitions.”
Ms Cook said the charity would also support young people fundraising for their own youth projects, offer overseas volunteering opportunities and help them achieve long-term dreams and aspirations.
She said: “Most projects that support these ideals struggle financially, especially at the moment, and we believe we can help them and honour the boys’ memories.”
The foundation was officially launched by Streatham MP and shadow business secretary Chuka Ummuna and Lambeth council leader Steve Reed.
Since the boys’ deaths, their families have been lobbying the Thai government for road safety improvements.
Ms Cook said her campaign to improve the information the Foreign & Commonwealth Office gives to British travellers about the dangers of travelling on Thai public transport would continue.
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