Having teenage sons is a worry a lot of the time, but especially now they are nearing the age of employment and the lack of work available at the moment. Volunteer projects are a great way to give young adults a taste of what is in store for their future whilst giving back to the community. This is just one of the reasons I am more than happy to support the #iwill campaign…
I recently spoke with O2’s Simon Miller about their Think Big Project.
The Think Big Project offers support, advice and opportunities to help young people get a foot on the career ladder whilst looking for big ideas covering environmental issues. Since 2010 O2 and the Telefonica Foundation have funded over 8000 social innovation ideas led by young people. If you have got an idea to help the environment, such as improving energy efficiency, reducing waste or increasing recycling, and you are aged between 17 and 24, then you could apply for up to £10,000 from O2 to bring your idea to life.
What is youth social action?
For O2 youth social action is a great way to empower young people to build their skills, confidence and experience whilst delivering a positive social impact – a real win-win.
It’s about doing something to make a difference, and the variety of what and for what also makes it a really personal thing. Young People can support a cause they care about and help lead change in a way that suits their own skills and passions. There is no ‘one size fits all’ with social action.
What are the benefits of youth social action for young people?
There are loads – firstly the satisfaction and pride in doing something good that is making a difference. Then the connections and networks with others who share a passion for helping. And then there is how social action can help young People grow and learn – from experiences that help develop skills, developing confidence and awareness, and having something really admirable on their CV that can help them demonstrate their talent and potential to employers.
O2 have empowered over 8,000 to lead a social action project to make a difference. We’ve seen where it can lead – some young people have used their experience to get a job, others have continued their projects to set up charities, social enterprises and businesses. Many have won recognition and accolades for their support, and have been asked to help advise and support more young People to take part.
What are the benefits to your sector?
We get to hear about the issues and causes that matter to young people, and their innovative ideas to make a difference. And we encourage and support issues we care about, such as being responsible online or tackling environmental issues,
through sharing our expertise and offering funding.
Why are you part of the #iwill campaign for youth social action?’
As one of the biggest companies in the tech sector we know the power of digital, and we know that young people, as the generation that are growing up with the internet, can do something amazing with just a little help and a little inspiration. And that we can share our expertise, knowledge and resources to help.
You can find out more about the benefits of youth social action and how you can support your children to get involved at http://iwill.org.uk/mumsnet
This is a campaign with the #iwill campaign and Mumsnet