O2 Think Big
Start small…Think Big
4 How to use this toolkit
4 Why volunteer?
5 Why O2 Think Big wants to help young people
6 What counts as volunteering?
7 The Helpers’ web pages
7 Activity Type
9 Skilled and Unskilled
9 Team Size
10 What happens next?
11 Helping as a team
12 Helping as an individual
13 Fundraising guidelines
14 Helpful links
14 Volunteering as a development tool
15 Managing risk and staying safe
16 How was it for you?
Helping out at Middleton Park, Leeds
How to use this toolkit
This toolkit is designed to help you get the most out of being a Helper. You’ll find
everything you need to help you get started. There are hints, tips and resources that
you can use.
We’ve included loads of ideas and examples of activities that you can use to make
your Helper experience more than just a day out of the office.
So you can feel confident taking on a Helper challenge, armed with the right
If you have any questions that aren’t answered in here, you can email:
email@example.com. We’re always happy to help.
Knowing that you’ve helped someone is one of the best feelings you can have.
The trouble is, volunteering has always struggled to sound fun, dynamic or exciting.
Many people still think of volunteering and volunteers as do-gooders doing boring
But these people are wrong.
Volunteering, when it’s done properly, is effortless. It’s enjoyable. Most of all, it
makes you feel good inside. It allows you to give something that you have to
someone else, whether that’s your time and effort, money or skills.
Apart from helping others, volunteering provides a chance to:
develop new skills or build on your existing ones
understand more about an organisation or cause
experience new situations
improve your CV and job prospects
meet new people and make new friends
connect with your local community in a new and important way
Why O2 Think Big wants to help young people
Young people are full of great ideas. They’re full of energy and enthusiasm. But they
need help to turn it all into action. Training. Support. Money.
Think Big is our programme to challenge young people to make positive changes in
their community. If they’ve got a great idea, we’ll help them get going. We’ll give
them funding, support and training to make it work.
We believe that young people can make a difference. The ideas they have can have
a big impact on their community. And as one of the biggest companies in the UK, we
can back them. Invest in them. Campaign for them. Give them a platform and a
We want to help young people make the most of their potential, and inspire others.
To change the way young people think about themselves and their communities.
And change the way people think about them.
Employee Supported Volunteering is a massive part of O2 Think Big. We want to
harness the incredible talents and enthusiasm within O2, and use this to help young
people and the youth organisations that support them.
By the end of 2012, our aim is for 40% of our people to have donated their time,
money or effort to Think Big.
The O2 Think Big programme is reaching out to young people in an amazing way.
Our Helpers are doing all sorts of things to help young people.
giving guidance to young people who are running Think Big projects
mentoring young people face to face
answering young people’s questions online
taking on volunteering challenges with youth organisations
lending a hand to young people’s Think Big projects
What counts as volunteering?
You can get involved in many ways. You could:
Complete a team challenge: with a team of colleagues you could go into the
community and take on a project that will help young people. These
challenges can be great ways of team building. For further information on
this see the helper section.
Give solo support: some people would like to do something on their own.
This could be a one-off activity or maybe someone would be interested in
starting up an on-going volunteering opportunity with an organisation in their
area. For further information on this see the helper section.
Donate you pennies: you can set up donations through our payroll giving
scheme “Small Change Think Big”. All of the money raised in this way goes
directly to the funding of young people’s projects. For further information
and to set this up please speak to payroll.
Fundraising: you could choose to fundraise for Think Big or you could
fundraise for a number of charities at once. For further information on how
to get involved in this see the fundraising section.
Painting at Make a Difference in Milton Keynes
The Helpers’ web pages
If you want to get involved, visit our dedicated area for Helpers:
You’ll find loads of volunteering opportunities with youth organisations and
charities. If you have a preference, you can search for an opportunity by:
skilled or unskilled
team size (whether you’re on your own or bringing 100 people)
Whatever you choose, please make sure you have your managers approval for time
out of the office.
We have tried to identify suitable opportunities around the five main O2 sites as well
as those for people that are further afield. You can use the web pages to search for a
particular area. If you have no luck finding an area that is close to you drop us a copy
of the O2 Think Big helpers form which you can find in appendix a and we will have a
look in the area and find something suitable for you.
It may be that you have a date in mind for when you would like to volunteer. Maybe
you just have a timescale in which you would like it. You can use the web pages to
search for activities based on whether they are one-off dates or ongoing. With
specific requirements just drop them into the O2 Think Big helpers form in appendix
a, and we will see what we can find.
We’ve organised our volunteering opportunities into nine categories, so you can find
what you’re looking for more easily. Use the drop down list on the helper challenge
home page to select what activity you would like to part in. A short description of
each activity can be found below:
1. Decorating / Refurbishment – ‘do up’ a building, repaint a youth centre hall,
or help with a clean-up operation. Depending on the size of the building
these can suit quite large teams.
2. Gardening / Environmental – you could turn an unloved outside space into a
garden, help young people to promote green issues, or help with a
3. Training / Advice – share your knowledge in marketing, IT or customer
service, or be a critical friend to an organisation that wants to improve their
knowledge or skills in a particular subject area.
O2 staff go on tour promoting the Think Big programme and O2 Learn
4. Sport – help to run sporting activities for young people. Volunteering
activities within this category will be for leading activities under supervision
only, and will not require volunteers to hold specific qualifications (e.g. a
National Governing Body coaching award or similar).
5. Fundraising / Sponsorship – fundraise for O2 Think Big. Whether it’s a
sponsored 10k run, or a fundraising golf day, the money you raise will go
directly to fund young people’s Think Big projects. See more details about
how you can get involved in our fundraising section.
6. Events – some organisations might need a hand with an event they’re
planning. Examples include a local park re-opening, a children’s storytelling
day, and a community festival. These events tend to be one-offs, but some
preparation may be involved, for example helping out with stocks and
supplies for the day, dealing with suppliers, etc.
7. Working with Young People – you may wish to work directly with young
people. An example would be venturing out in groups to speak with young
people in local parks and encourage them to engage in local activities and
projects. Most of the opportunities that would involve working with young
people would be under the supervision of a youth worker. Those without
supervision would need to have been CRB checked.
8. Creative/ Media – some youth organisations just need some help with their
media or an injection of creativity from their volunteers. This could include
building a website, helping with branding or building their social media
presence. This sort of volunteering opportunity can often be carried out from
your desk and is one for those of you who can’t bear to drag yourself away
from the office.
9. Various – If you have no real preference, indoors or outside, training or
delivery, dirty or clean, a mixture or all the above.
An example of the home page for helper challenges
Skilled and unskilled
Some of you may wish to show off your wonderful skills when you are out
volunteering; helping youth organisations with specific needs. Examples of this might
be helping set up a computer network and Wi-Fi, or the design of advertisements
and branding for the organisation. It could even be that skills in areas such as
electrical or plumbing work are needed. However, there are also volunteering
opportunities that don’t necessarily need any prior skills set or knowledge. Examples
of this might include general gardening and basic decoration. You can use the search
facility on the helper challenge pages to search under either category.
We think that it is great that you want to volunteer whether you want to do it by
yourself or as part of a team. You can search for options based on team size too.
Once again just use the search facility on the helper challenge pages to find what you
Once you’ve found something inspiring to do, click on the listing and you’ll be taken
through to read more about that specific opportunity. If on reading it you think you
have found the one for you all you have to do is register your interest by filling out
the boxes on the right hand side (as seen below).
An example of a specific volunteer opportunity
What happens next?
So you may now be asking “What happens next?” Well, once we will receive
confirmation of your request through firstname.lastname@example.org and we have a
conversation with the volunteer organisation you identified to check that they can
accommodate all your specific needs. If they can then we have a match. We will send
an introductory confirmation email to both you and the volunteer organisation and
then you can start planning for your fun volunteering.
The introductory email will include a team confirmation form along with health and
safety and risk assessment documentation (discussed in the Managing Risk and
Safety section). If you complete and return your forms to email@example.com
we will be able to send you t-shirts for you team and organise a photographer who
will capture images of you team getting involved.
Don’t worry, if you can’t see anything on our helper challenge pages that is suitable
then all you need to do is complete the O2 Helper Challenge request form and we
will have a look around for you and try to find you the perfect volunteering
Helping as a team
Volunteering through Think Big offers you a great chance to mix a bit of team-
building with giving something back to the community. There are many benefits to
taking on a team challenge together:
it gives you a chance to get away from the office and all of its distractions
you can use the team challenge to welcome new team members
a collective experience can help the team adapt to change or prepare for a
you have the whole team together, so you can schedule it around a team
meeting or conference
Holding a team challenge can be a team building exercise from the outset. You may
want to canvass opinion from the team about the challenge first; who to help, what
kind of activities to get involved in, and how to organise the logistics of the day.
An O2 team who worked together to paint play equipment in Manor Park, Slough
If you plan the activity far enough ahead, you may be able to do some fundraising or
sourcing of essential items for the work.
You might decide to vote on a number of options, or to support a particular type of
cause, e.g. a children’s hospital. It’s important to get the support of the team as
early as possible, as ultimately it’s their project, their hard work that will determine
whether it’s a success or not.
If you are planning to use the team challenge as a way to develop the team and to
solve problems e.g. communication between team members, you may decide to use
a facilitator to guide proceedings and to get the most out of the event. It’s often
easier to have an external person in these situations. Speak to your HR Business
Partner about this.
If you decide to facilitate your own event, remember:
good facilitation gives everyone an equal voice
don’t be afraid to challenge attitudes, values or behaviours
be objective, fair, and consistent
don’t be afraid of silence from the team; it often takes a while for people to
‘warm-up’ to a team discussion
actively seek the opinions of everyone, not just the people who speak more
often or loudest
Helping as an individual
We often get requests from organisations that just want one person to help out with
their work. Many youth organisations are tiny, so they might only need some help
with a bit of training, or bookkeeping, or help with an event. We post these
opportunities on the Helper pages of the Think Big website in just the same way.
Maybe, instead of taking on a team or individual challenge you would like to help
raise funds to support Think Big. There are lots of ways in which you could do this.
You may want to get involved in some of the activities we will be running across the
main sites or you may wish to get sponsored for doing something you really enjoy or
would really like to challenge yourself to do.
However you want to go about we can help you. We have a JustGiving page that
allows you to set up online fundraising to support you. This is a great way to raise
funds. All you need to do is go to www.justgiving.com and on the home page where
is says donate to a cause type in “think big” and click on go.
Select NYA – Think Big and there you have it. This is our just giving home page. You
can make this you own page for fundraising. Just click on “Make your page” and then
follow the instructions given.
Our JustGiving page
If you wanted to raise money for more than one charity then you can do that too. All
you need to do is set up a JustGiving page for each or your chosen charities and
share all the links with your friends and family.
Some of the people you approach to ask for sponsorship may not have access to the
Internet so we have designed a sponsorship form which you can also download from
http://www.o2thinkbig.co.uk/Helper-Home Just print out as many copies as you
need. Of course, once you have carried out your fundraising event you will need to
go and collect from these people. Did you know you can include this figure on your
JustGiving page as funds raised offline? How great is that?
We want to make sure that you have as much support as possible with your
fundraising activity. We have put a few pointers below. You can also check out the
links we have provided for further information. If you have any questions though
please feel free to email them through to firstname.lastname@example.org
Fundraising can be fun so do something that you enjoy or have always
wanted to do
Whatever you do make sure that it is safe; see the following section on risk
assessment and health and safety for more information
Make sure that anyone who donates or takes part is communicated to clearly
and honestly about where the funds are going, this is even more important to
communicate clearly if they are being split between charities
It helps if donators can see examples of what their money will go to. Please
go to http://www.o2thinkbig.co.uk/Helper-Home for some real-life examples
of what projects Think Big ends up funding and how these funds are used
Below is just a few links to online resources that you can use to get further help with
your fundraising. There are many more too. Also, you can get help by emailing your
questions to email@example.com
Don’t forget… you can’t spell fundraising without the word fun so make sure what
ever you do you have fun doing it!
Volunteering as a development tool
Taking on a team challenge is a great way to build or develop new skills, and to
discover new interests. With these new experiences comes the opportunity for
A team challenge is much more than turning up and painting a youth centre. It
co-operation and sharing information
individual and team motivation and encouragement
taking pride in your work – your team challenge is a chance to boost O2’s
Think about how a team challenge could contribute towards your team’s personal
For example, take Customer Centricity. If a team commits to paint a youth centre,
this principle applies to the youth centre in the same way as an O2 customer.
Imagine a member of the public wandered over and asked someone from your team
what they were doing. Consider these two responses:
“we’re painting this youth centre. It’s a volunteering day”.
“we’re redecorating the youth centre because their budget has been cut this year.
They desperately need a bit of help, so we’re doing what we can to lend a hand
because they do such good work with young people”.
OK, no-one talks like that really, but you see the difference? Encourage your team to
understand the organisation that they’re helping, and you’ll have a team that
doesn’t need to be motivated.
Managing risk and staying safe
Whatever you want to do we want you to be safe. Before you go out to carry out a
team or individual challenge we ask that you complete a health and safety checklist,
risk assessment checklist and a risk assessment form. You can find copies of these
documents at http://www.o2thinkbig.co.uk/Helper-Home
Building planters at Make A Difference, Milton Keynes
Don’t forget, you are still at work and still need to make sure that you carry out your
work safely. As a project leader you are responsible for overseeing the safety of your
team too. If possible you should look at doing a site visit before going to do any
volunteering work. If this is not going to be possible then you will need to make sure
you have a conversation with the volunteer organisation and discuss the checklist
and form, addressing any problems before carrying the work out.
Should you be asked about liability insurance when talking with any organisation
that you are going to volunteer at, all O2 staff will be covered by O2 Telefonicas
liability insurance; however, please make sure that you are clearly visible as being
there on behalf of O2. You can ensure this by making sure you and your colleagues
all wear the O2 Think Big t-shirts that will be provided.
How was it for you?
Once you’ve completed your volunteering, we’ll be in touch to find out how it went.
We’ll ask you about the activities that you got involved in by sending you a link to a
short online survey. Additionally we’ll need to know:
what you did
the names and number of people involved
which Directorate you’re from
who you helped
how many hours you put in
All this information will need to be completed on the Staff Registration form. A copy
of this can be found in appendix h
Good luck and just remember it is supposed to be fun doing volunteering and
fundraising. Enjoy making a difference. Also, if you have any questions about your
volunteering activity, just contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help!