O2 Think Big wins a Big Society Award

We’re delighted to announce that O2’s flagship Think Big youth programme is the latest winner of the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award for our work to help thousands of young people across the UK to turn their ideas for positive social change into action.

O2 Think Big programme offers young people aged 13-25 funding, training and mentoring to kick-start great ideas, helping to build their self-confidence and leadership skills and address key social issues in local communities across the UK. Supported by the Telefonica Foundation and delivered in partnership with the National Youth Agency, Young Rewired State and over 40 youth organisations, O2 Think Big has supported over 6,000 youth projects across the UK and helped young people develop their skills and employability.

O2 Think Big has backed a wide range of youth projects across the UK – helping young people like Saeed Atcha to set up and launch Xplode – a successful youth media charity in Bolton; and Chloe Hine to develop Beat the Bullies – a music project in Portsmouth to help young people affected by bullying. O2 employees play a key role in supporting, coaching and mentoring young people, with over 74% of staff involved since 2010.

Think Big is also helping young people to develop and launch their own ventures. In 2014 Hannah Catmur, a Think Big ‘graduate’, was accepted in to the Wayra Academy start-up accelerator, developing her Think Big project into Pocket Explorers – a digital app that encourages children to get out and explore the natural environment. O2 Think Big continues to partner with the Wayra Academy, UnLtd and other organisations to help young people turn fledgling social action projects into sustainable social ventures.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“O2’s ‘Think Big’ is an innovative programme which offers 13-25 year olds funding, guidance and training to kick-start ideas and projects which will benefit their local communities and deliver positive social change. Partnering with National Youth Agency and Young Rewired State, they have already supported over 6000 ideas and have provided an opportunity to develop skills, confidence and experience for thousands of young people.”

Our investment in Think Big reflects O2’s belief in the talent and potential of young people to change the world. As a digital business, we’re excited to see how young people can use technology to drive social change, whilst also equipping them with the skills and capabilities required to compete in the digital economy. We are thrilled to win a Big Society Award – it is wonderful recognition not just for O2, but for the thousands of young people that Think Big has inspired and supported. For more details, visit www.o2thinkbig.co.uk