11:01AM, Saturday 17 August 2013
Backed by the Maidenhead Advertiser, the Royal Borough's Bright Idea challenge is giving people who live and work in the area the chance to come up with solutions to problems in the borough, with suggestions encouraging healthy people and lifestyles among the key areas organisers are looking to hear about.
Ideas could range from new ways to help people quit smoking, ways to raise awareness of cancer symptoms or suggestions on how to encourage residents to see their GP about problems earlier.
Chat show king Sir Michael Parkinson, who is an ambassador for the initiative and will help with the judging, has backed ideas which could help doctors spot illnesses early.
He said: "Having been diagnosed with prostate cancer I know only too well the importance of being aware of the symptoms and getting early diagnosis and treatment.
"Any bright idea that raises awareness of the risks and symptoms of cancer and other conditions such as heart disease or diabetes is always going to be beneficial."
Cllr David Coppinger, cabinet member for adult services and health, added: "With the council now having direct responsibility for public health, we are keen to look at new ways of reaching out to residents to help improve and promote healthier people and lifestyles.
"The Bright Idea challenge prize could be just the way to encourage new thinking and different approaches."
A first prize of £800 is on offer for the best entry, with two runners-up receiving £400 and £250 respectively.
The rest of the £20,000 pot will be used to create and implement the winning ideas.
The deadline for entries is midnight on Monday, September 2.
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