Bill Eyres, Head of CR and Sustainability at O2, unveils Think Big – a £5m investment in young people.

Bill Eyres Young people today get a bad rap. Amazingly, research shows that 46 per
cent of adults believe there is a negative view of young people in
society. It’s not fair. And more importantly, it’s not accurate.

That’s why today, I’m delighted to unveil O2’s new Think Big youth programme. Quite simply, it’s about believing in young people and backing them to make a difference in their communities.

From today, young people aged 13-25 across the UK will have the opportunity to apply for a cash grant of £300 to support a project of their choosing in their local community. If successful, young people will also receive a package of training and support to help them make the most of the cash investment. But we won’t stop there. We will also offer successful applicants the opportunity to re-apply for a further £2,500 cash injection.

It might sound simple and that’s because it is. We’re listening to young people and putting cash into their hands to help them take positive action in their local area. We’ll be supporting a huge variety of projects – from starting a local youth group to building a skate park, we’ll be encouraging young people to Think Big.

We believe a little investment can make a big difference in the hands of a young person. In fact, our research shows that giving £300 to one young person who is passionate about making a genuine change in their community could deliver up £3,300 in tangible benefits for the local community.

Take 18 year-old Jamie Coley from Huddersfield who runs a bike recycling scheme in his home town. Not only does Jamie fix bikes damaged bikes that have been donated by West Yorkshire Police, he also trains other young people to do the same. Jamie’s got big plans for his bike recycling scheme, that’s why we are backing him with a £300 grant.

If you want to get involved, check out where you can find out how you can get involved with supporting the Think Big youth programme.

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on: 01753 565656
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