New funding helps young people use tech to benefit the environment


3 Nov 2016

A new green grants programme to fund young people’s tech innovations to tackle climate change launches today (1 November 2016).

The Environment Now, an exciting new opportunity from O2’s Think Big in partnership with the National Youth Agency brings together O2’s digital expertise and environmental leadership with the NYA’s commitment to championing youth work.  The programme will provide support and funding for young people aged 17-24 years to create their unique digital ideas to help the environment, such as improving energy efficiency, reducing waste, or recycling.

The Environment Now is receiving around £1million through Our Bright Future to help young people step up and create what is rightfully theirs: a healthy planet, a thriving economy and a better future.

Made up of 31 projects across the UK, Our Bright Future is gathering robust evidence about the development of the environment and young people – and the importance of addressing both issues together through growing our green economy. As a result, Our Bright Future is giving a platform to an unstoppable force of young, engaged, empowered and skilled citizens who believe in a brighter future.

With 50 projects receiving funding of up to £10,000 per project, The Environment Now will support young people over two years, helping them develop their ideas, confidence and skills with the aim of empowering them to become sustainability leaders of the future.

Successful applicants will be supported by the The Environment Now team, their own professional mentor and other sustainability partners through work experience and insight sessions with industry professionals. Young people will be able to tap in to O2’s unique experience and business expertise,  in areas such as  networking, presenting, project management, budgeting and more to ensure projects are a sustainable success.

The Environment Now programme is funded by O2 and the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund as part of the Our Bright Future programme.

Bill Eyres, Head of Sustainability at O2, said“Young people are very aware of the pressing environmental challenges our planet is facing, recognising that it will not only affect their future but the future of the generations to come. With young people having the passion to make change, it’s extremely important that we back them  by giving them the tools to develop solutions, and the confidence to become the sustainability leaders of the future.”

Cath Hare, Our Bright Future Programme Manager, said: “TEN is an excellent example of enabling young people to be the change they want to see in the world; it’s a fantastic opportunity for young people, communities and the environment. We’re really excited and can’t wait to see the imaginative pitches for the project and the successful innovative projects take shape.”

Catherine Bishop, Director of Programmes at the National Youth Agency, said; “This new programme is a really exciting mix – bringing the dynamic creativity of young people, their innovation with digital tech and the imperative of a sustainable environment. We’re expecting some truly inspirational ideas as we give young people the tools to change their future.”

For information and to apply please visit http://www.o2thinkbig.co.uk/the-environment-now

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