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02 Launches Think Big Funding Opportunity

Published: 27th April 2010 17:05
 
Think Big

Are you aged between 13 and 25? Are you interested in changing adults' attitudes to young people?  Why not apply for a £300 grant to run a local community project? 

O2 are supporting young people to help create social change by unveiled Think Big, an ambitious new five million pound scheme designed to back young people making a difference in their communities.

Research shows that 46 per cent of adults believe there is a negative view of young people in society. To help counter this perception, and to help harness the energy, ideas and enthusiasm of young people, this innovative social action programme will put £300 directly in their hands. In addition to the cash, young people will receive training, support and mentoring in partnership with some of the UK's leading youth charities to help tackle the issues that really matter to them.

New research commissioned by O2 from New Philanthropy Capital demonstrates that a little investment can make a big difference in the hands of a passionate, skilled and engaged young person. They estimate that giving £300 to one young person would deliver £3,300 in terms of return for their community.

To inform the economic analysis, New Philanthropy Capital used the example of 18-year-old Jamie Coley from Huddersfield. Jamie runs a bike recycling scheme with local charity Pit Stop. Jamie fixes bikes that have been donated by West Yorkshire Police and trains other young people to do the same.

O2's UK Chief Executive, Ronan Dunne, says: "Research shows that today's society paints a negative picture of young people in Britain. We want to help change that by supporting grassroots social action. We believe young people's ideas can have a huge positive impact on their communities and we want to enable and empower them to deliver change for themselves.

"Our customers tell us we should do more to support young people and this is a totally new approach; it's not about top-down corporate social responsibility, it's about listening to young people and working with them to create genuine social change."

Think Big has been developed in conjunction with two of the UK's leading youth charities, National Youth Agency and UK Youth, and with the support of the Telefónica Foundation, accessing its world class expertise in social action to support children and young people.

Young people aged between 13 and 25 can apply for £300 grants to run projects to help their local communities. This could include helping to fight local crime, overhauling a community garden, teaching music to other young people or starting a local youth group.

The most important thing is that the projects are chosen and run by young people themselves. In addition to the cash injection, the young participants will also benefit from a comprehensive package of training and support: from project management to communications, and from presentation skills to networking. After the initial grant, they will then have the chance to apply for £2,500 to further boost their project. Training and support will be delivered through O2's charity partners.

Fiona Blacke, Chief Executive at the National Youth Agency added, "This project will help to combat the negative image of young people in the UK and change how they are being portrayed in the media. We need more initiatives like O2's Think Big programme, which give young people the opportunity to make a difference, both to their own lives, and to their communities."

To find out more about Think Big, visit http://www.o2thinkbig.co.uk/ 

Check out the Get Inspired page on the website, talk to your friends and come up with an incredible and innovative project in your community to help create more positive attitudes towards young people.

If you have applied for this grant, we would love to hear if you were successful and to help support your community project.

Please call 01992 651066 or email: jeffen9@aboutmyarea.co.uk or comment below if you are a registered user.

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