PUBLIC SECTOR: Ministers go on tour for Children’s Unit

The Children and Young People’s Unit (CYPU) – set up three years ago to improve the relationship between young people and Government – has hired August.One Communications to promote its first ministerial tour of youth venues.

Called the Str8 Up Tour, the events will take in nine UK towns and cities, and involve as many as three ministers at the same time at venues specifically selected as places of interest to youth.

Around a dozen ministers have signed up for the tour, including children and young people minister Hilary Benn and chief secretary to the treasury Paul Boateng.

Unit PRO Cathy Thompson said: ‘In terms of youth participation, this is the biggest [campaign] we have run.

‘Young people have come to us and said they would be more engaged in politics if they saw politicians face to face.’

According to August.One B2B and corporate director Ellie Springett, who heads the account team, the bulk of the PR work will be regional, with a strong emphasis on online and broadcast communication.

She said: ‘It’s important to target the media young people use.’

Local papers are also being approached, with the aim of one child or teenager who attends each event to write up their own account.

The tour was the brainchild of former children and young people minister John Denham, who resigned in March over the Iraq conflict. It also follows on from a similar event targeting the elderly, which was perceived as a success within the Government.

The August.One team reports to Thompson and works alongside the events team handling the tour, Crown Events.

Cities being visited are Guildford, Birmingham, Preston, Newcastle, Leeds, Bristol, London, Cambridge and Nottingham. Venues include Leeds and Preston North End football clubs.

Edited by Joe Lepper

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