Freestyle rap battles, the Brixton Whippersnappers and local hip hop acts launched the Max Boomgaarden Cook Foundation at the Lido last weekend, in memory of the three young friends from Brixton and south London who died in a tragic bus accident in Thailand a year ago.
Max, from Brixton, died aged 19 in a bus crash in Thailand last June, along with two of his friends Conrad Quashie and Bruno Melling-Firth. The group had been travelling on their gap year before starting university.
The foundation has been set up by Max’s parents, Polly Cook and Gerhard Boomgaarden, and it launched at an almost festival-like event on Sunday – a real celebration of Max’s love of music.
Chuka Umunna MP, who made a speech at the event, paid tributes to the parents of all three young men: “what they were absolutely determined about was that not only would they get to the bottom of the events in June, but they would stop it happening to anybody else and that they, out of darkness and grief, would bring light.”
“They singlehandedly pushed the issue of coach and bus safety in Thailand up the national agenda.”
MBC Foundation will provide opportunities to 17-25 year-olds to travel the world through volunteering placements and research projects, as well as offering young people the chance to create their own projects and fundraise through MBC Foundation. And it will honour Max’s aspirations by supporting young talent in hip-hop music.
Here follow some pics of the evening: