O2 supports #iwillpledge day

As part of National Volunteer’s Week, O2 is celebrating their pledge to the #iwill campaign to increase opportunities for young people to make a difference in their communities through campaigning, fundraising or volunteering. O2 have pledged #iwill to support this growing movement to make youth social action a part of life for more 10-20 year-olds around the UK. Youth social action is defined as ‘young people taking practical action in the service of others to create positive change’ and at O2 we do that through Think Big.

Launched in 2010 O2’s Think Big social action programme has offered funding and support to young people aged 13-25 to lead positive change in their communities. With money, training and support, our social action programme can help turn their ideas into inspiring projects that benefit communities, give young people real purpose and give young people real purpose and help them to develop skills to go on and start an enterprise or their career.

In the arts and film world, it can be tricky to stand out and get noticed. But Ben Carlin found a way, when he decided to mix his interest in film making and storytelling with digital, using virtual reality headsets to get people fully immersed in his work.

The project bridged the gap between elderly members of the Sheffield community and young people, letting visitors use virtual reality to experience and explore different areas of Sheffield, from the perspective of Age UK members who grew up in the city after the war.

Ben says that being an O2 Think Big Project Leader boosted his people management, communication and budgeting skills as well as on-going support from O2. He now hopes to take on more clients and run as an independent business and already has a virtual reality performance tour lined up with a series of digital workshops in selected universities and colleges around the UK.”

Watch Ronan Dunne, Chief Executive of O2 talk about why O2 supports Step up to Serve’s #iwill campaign.

Since 2010 we’ve…

  • Helped over 1 million young people gain skills for life
  • engaged over 106,000 young people in community projects, both leaders and their teams
  • We’ve invested nearly £3 million to help young people develop, run, manage and deliver high impact community projects and provided project leaders with over 36,000 hours of training
  • As a result, 83% of Think Big project leaders developed new skills and 61% of those involved in a project reported an increase in confidence.

In 2015 we also partnered with Do-it to launch a brand new app called Gro which helps young people translate their volunteering into skills that employers understand and value. This is an example of how working with partners we can support young people to get on.

Today, as we launch our new strategy for Think Big, O2 will continue to say #iwill to supporting young people to take part in social action and no matter what their background, to learn, lead and launch themselves.

To show your support for youth social action, Tweet @O2UKThinkBig and @iwill_campaign using #iwill and pledge today.