News: Ashley Allen Receives O2 Think Bigger Grant

24 year-old Ilkeston creative Ashley Allen is to receive £2,500 in funding to showcase the work he does with young people in the local community.


Having already received the first stage of O2 Think Big funding, Ashley has now been approved for the Think Bigger fund to bring his youth media community project to real life.

The funding will enable Ashley to provide a six session training course, called ‘#DREAMBIG’, to eight people aged 16-24 who are looking to forge a career in media, whether it be journalism, creative writing, social media management, graphic design or photography. The course will help to promote the young talented people from the community, and provide them with the skills they need to find their dream job, start up their own business or just to for them to learn about something new. The target group of 16-24 year-olds includes the unemployed, college/university students, kids who want to do something positive, and young people that want to make a career change.

As part of the project, the funding will be used to promote youth culture and inner-town life by creating an A6 printed pocket guide that is the ultimate guide to youth and summer in our area. They’ll be music, fashion, festival guides, food to eat, drinks to drink, do’s and don’ts and a whole lot more inside the 70 page guide, which will be created and distributed by the eight people on the ‘#DREAMBIG’ course.

Ever since the 2011 riots, young people have been unfairly targeted by the media and older generation, which has had a negative impact on their quality of life and wellbein ever since. The ‘#DREAMBIG’ course is aimed to change that and show that not all young people are stereotypical yobs and that there are plenty of them that are striving to do good things and make the best from their lives as possible.

Ashley Allen said: “Younger people do not always recognise the rewards they should, they are more likely to hear about the problems instead. Without the right support and advice, we will lose the faith of these youngsters and find it increasingly hard to help them make a change. I want to make sure that the families of the kids know how talented they are, the ‘#DREAMBIG’ course isn’t just about media, it’s about improving engagement and people skills with these kids. I am overwhelmed to receive this funding from O2 Think Big and and hope this will be the first in many training sessions.

“I will be talking with local brands, organisations and communities to make sure that the training and information I provide is tailored and appropriate to the young people within our diverse community.”

O2 Think Big is about helping young people make a positive change in their communities, now that Ashley’s proposal has been successful, he has the potential to make national impact.

Ashley’s ‘#DREAMBIG’ training course is set to commence July 2013. Venue to be announced. To register your interest, please email .

Tags:  Ashley Allen O2 Grant Think Bigger Grant #DREAMBIG Youth Culture Guide Youth Media Community Project