O2 GIVES AWAY OVER £1MILLION TO HELP LOCAL PEOPLE MAKE A DIFFERENCE

January 2009 – O2 It’s Your Community has now given away over £1million to more than 1,200 community groups across the UK to help them improve where they live with 172 successful projects coming from the North West region, the highest in the UK.

O2 It’s Your Community was launched in July 2007 after research showed that nearly half of Brits wanted to make a difference in their local area. The programme provides a quick and simple process that gives near instant cash awards of between £100 and £1000. To date, over 5,500 have applied for an It’s Your Community award.

£1,000 may not seem like a lot, but It’s Your Community is proof that a little can go a long way.

All over the country groups and projects have benefited from the programme with a great example in Halewood Town Junior Soccer Association in Liverpool, their £1,000 It’s Your Community award was just the kick start they needed to breathe belief into the club in the surrounding area. The award was spent on new training equipment and coaching course which in turn had included many more members of the community and set the benchmark for what a community can do when they work together.

Margaret Byrne, project leader at Halewood Town is delighted to see the new found belief in the club and the community, “The donation from It’s Your Community got us off to good start in raising the money we needed, by getting off to a good start everyone involved was then motivated with ideas of how to reach our goals and our target. It’s Your Community pushed us to achieve for the club and children from the very beginning”.

Bill Eyres, Head of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility for O2, is proud of what the programme has been able to achieve, “It’s Your Community is a unique programme in the way that it cuts out the red tape eliminating the many hurdles and loops a project would have to go through to achieve funding. The money is instant and easy to access to anyone wanting to make a positive change to where they live. The programme was set up to give people the chance to make a difference and I believe we’re hitting that target.”

O2 It’s Your Community awards have helped people to become heroes and make a difference to their communities all over the UK. And after this success, O2 are committed to continuing its support for projects into the future

Each month up to 60 projects throughout the UK receive up to £1000 of It’s Your Community funding. Awards must be for the benefit of the community or to build community spirit. For more information about the hundreds of projects which have already received an award and how to apply for one, visit www.itsyourcommunity.co.uk.