We are delighted to announce that the Think Big youth programme has been awarded not one, but TWO Big Tick Awards from Business in the Community. This is a huge achievement which recognises the quality, credibility and impact of O2’s investments in young people.

Our first Big Tick is a re-accreditation of the Think Big Youth Programme, our flagship social investment programme which puts money and trust in young people’s hands to lead social change projects in communities across the UK. Over the last four years, we’ve supported over 5000 young people to take leadership roles in their communities, enabling them to develop innovative solutions to key social issues such as education, climate change, health and well-being and employability. A new partnership with UnLtd is also helping us to accelerate some of these projects into serious social ventures, enabling talented young entrepreneurs on the journey to success.

Our second Big Tick is a new award for our Think Big School programme which gives school students the opportunity to develop their enterprise and digital skills, enabling them to prototype digital solutions to everyday problems. Since its launch in 2012, Think Big School has engaged over 3000 young people across the UK, helping them to develop creativity, business and digital skills that are increasingly in demand in the modern workplace.

At O2, we’re hugely proud of our commitment to supporting young people and that’s why independent endorsement from BiTC is so highly valued by our business. The success of our programmes is of course, in large part thanks to the brilliant NGO partners who work with us to deliver high quality opportunities and experiences for young people. With funding and support from the Telefonica Foundation, alongside the passion, knowledge and expertise of our NGO partners (National Youth AgencyUK YouthUnLtdYoung Enterprise and the Mozilla Foundation) we’ve created a winning combination to help young people start small and Think Big.

Our success is also thanks to the thousands of O2 employees, including those in our Capita partnership, who work tirelessly to support our Think Big Blueprint across the UK. Our people are the beating heart of Think Big, giving their time and talents to support our public goal to support 1 million young people to gain skills for life and lead community projects by 2015. We’re well on track to meet this goal, thanks to the dedication and commitment of our Think Big champions.

Most of all, we’re privileged to have the opportunity to work with a generation of creative, resilient, hopeful and talented young people, helping them on the journey to success. Young people are the engine of the future and we’re proud to back them, invest in them and nurture their skills and talents to deliver a fairer, more sustainable future for everyone.

For more details, follow @O2UKThinkBig or #BITCAwards

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