Bright Future Prize

Empowering and investing in the next generation of community leaders.

Through the Bright Future Prize we invest in tomorrow's community leaders today.

Launched in 2021, the Bright Future Prize empowers and invests in the next generation of leaders and innovators – those exceptional young people who are committed to driving positive change and inspiring others around the world. The opportunity is open to teenagers, who live anywhere The Ardonagh Group has a presence, including the UK, Ireland, Australia, Brazil, Portugal, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Greece and South Africa.

Congratulations to our Bright Future Prize 23/24 winners!

We are delighted to announce the winners of this year's ACT Bright Future Prize across our four categories. Together, they share £40,000 prize fund, receiving £10,000 (or equivalent currency) each to invest in their bright ideas to make a difference. Many congratulations!

Creating a network of community first aiders

Aid Avengers are a group of six teens based in Cork - Carrie, Louie, Mikayla, Emma, Robyn and Amy. Together, they are determined to improve the life-saving skills of young people in their local area and more widely across the whole of Ireland. Being in a rural area, the importance of first aid is paramount to community wellbeing and they aim to educate a new generation of first aiders by creating a network of trained young people in communities around the county.

Combatting climate change through coding

Chloe has two passions, coding and taking action against climate change. She's brought them together through her own initiative, Code<Green/>, which uses interactive programming to raise awareness and educate young people about the environment. Already, Chloe has mentored over 150 children in Melbourne through workshops and created a prototype of an online learning platform. Now, she wants to take Code <Green/> to the next stage, expanding to reach more young people.

Taking action to prevent forest fires

Íris grew up in Brazil, but just over a year ago, moved to Portugal. Since this transition, she's seen the devastating impact that forest fires can have on a community and the environment, having experienced them first hand in her local area. With dreams of being an engineer, Íris has harnessed these aspirations to begin her own project to improve safety in her home of Leiria by installing fire defences.

Establishing a community bakery to inspire entrepreneurship

Manganye has a keen entrepreneurial spirit and aspires to open his very own community bakery business in his hometown of Itsani. Already, he's been part of a host of pop-up events and markets to hone his baking and business talents, and now wants to set up his own bakery to develop not just his own skills but to support other people in the community to do the same.

Bright Future Prize grants awarded

This year’s eight-strong shortlist were so incredible that for the first time, ACT has awarded grants to each of our four remaining finalists to help them develop their projects.

Tackling youth suicide through conversation and listening

Anna is a hugely passionate advocate of good mental health, and has already been at the forefront of action in her local community in Rio de Janeiro to support youth wellbeing. She has established her own youth project, called Weaving, Listening and Embracing, which aims to further understanding of mental health and ultimately to prevent suicide.

Inspiring young people to reach their goals

Kagiso is incredibly enterprising, having earlier this year set up his own community development project called 'Kagiso Kgatle Foundation'. Through the foundation, Kagiso works to inspire young people in his community to develop their leadership skills and support them to reach their personal goals. Through the project, he's worked closely with several schools in his local area to hold mini events and is currently establishing a board of young people to take the foundation even further.

Championing gender equity in sport through technology

Isabel is a keen advocate of girls in sport. Statistically, girls quit sports at one and a half times the rate that boys do, and by the age of 17, over half of girls take part in no sport. This is where Isabel's innovative idea, 'HerSportHub', aims to make a difference. Through the dedicated app, Isabel hopes to cultivate a network of girls passionate about sport and to connect them with clubs and groups in their area where they can access activities. In addition, the app will provide a hub to showcase women role models in sport and to share resources and events.

Supporting and connecting young people affected the youth justice system

Imogen is on a mission to create a support space for young people who have experienced or been impacted by the youth justice system in Australia. Unfortunately, many young people are directly or indirectly affected by crimes, which may or may not result in the perpetrator's conviction. Imogen wants to make sure these young people do not feel isolated or abandoned, by creating a hub where young people can connect and access support.

Our four Bright Future Prize categories

Each of our four prize categories connect to a different way young people can make a difference to the world around them. The winners of our categories will share the £40,000 prize fund to help make their bright idea for a community project a reality.

This category is all about the people you share your world with, whether that's a geographical area or a network of people you are connected to. Your cause or project might relate to a societal issue, health, wellbeing, education or something else that is important to your community.

This category is all about caring for the world we live in by looking after nature and the climate. Your cause or project might support green spaces, provide new ways to live sustainably, or something else that ensures the Earth will have a bright future.

This category is about creating new ways to bring about positive change. This might be a project or cause for an ethical business, a campaign, or something else that will enable a better way to live and engage with the world.

This category is all about sharing your passion so that even more people can enjoy and benefit from it too. Your project or cause might improve access to those who are less able to take part, promote outreach or inclusivity, or something else that will help bring what you love to more people in the community.

Inspired by a simple act

The Bright Future Prize was launched in the memory of Freddie Williams, the son of Ardonagh colleague David and his wife Sarah.

In 2015, aged seven, Freddie was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. When Freddie died four years later, the contents of his money box were donated to ACT with the message: “To help pay for special treats for the next poorly child.”

Freddie Williams (in who's memory the Bright future prize was set up for) in a helicopter flying over Anfield, in Liverpool

Freddie pictured flying over Anfield, the home ground of his favourite football team, Liverpool FC.

Freddie William's (in who's memory the Bright future prize was set up for) family standing outside a helicopter before flight

The Williams Family – Freddie together with his parents, David and Sarah, and his siblings Jack and Megan.

This simple act led to the creation of the Bright Future Prize, which enables young people to realise their dreams to make a positive impact in the communities that matter to them.

To continue Freddie’s legacy, David and Sarah help the ACT Trustees select our Bright Future Prize winners every year.

invested to date by ACT in community projects created by young people around the world.
Kaydi Scottsville's (Bright Future Prize Winner 2022) Diversified Hub's opening event, ribbon cutting group

Meet our Bright Future Prize alumni

Discover all our winners to date. Since Bright Future Prize was launched in 2021, ACT has invested over £110,000 in young people from across the globe, empowering the next generation of leaders in communities worldwide.

Bright Future Prize 2022

In 2022, Bright Future Prize evolved and we introduced our four different categories and a total prize fund of £40,000. Our four winners each received £10,000 (or equivalent local currency) to make their project a reality, alongside mentoring opportunities from ACT.

Supporting neurodivergent teens gain confidence and friends

The world is increasingly aware of the needs of people who identify as neurodivergent, which includes autism, dyslexia and Tourette’s. But there’s still more that can be done to support neurodivergence.

Kaydi Scottsville’s own experience of autism revealed the lack of support available in schools. When she initially left school at 14, she felt very isolated. It made Kaydi want to help other young people and their families have a different journey.

Kaydi initially set up her non-profit, Diversified, as a platform to sell affordable sensory toys. Since then, it has turned into a fully-fledged charity with online and face-to-face programmes for teenagers and families.

Now, thanks to Bright Future Prize, Kaydi has opened a physical home for Diversified, so that its services can be accessed by even more young people in and around West Lothian. In 2023, we were also delighted to share that Diversified had won national recognition, awarded Scottish Charity of the Year and Kaydi has since been nominated as a finalist in the National Lottery Awards in the Young Hero category.

Upcycling school uniform to give back

Uniformity upcycles school uniforms, enabling parents at Tauheedul Islam Boys’ School in Blackburn to donate and purchase used clothing via an innovative e-commerce platform. But here’s the difference – the profits go straight into funding the school’s food bank.

Muhammad coordinates all the dry cleaning and organising stock to get it to parents. Now, as the social enterprise is growing, the team have set their sights on expanding to more schools in the area.

Thanks to funding from Bright Future Prize, Uniformity are planning to purchase their own dry cleaning machine to reduce costs and upgrade their online platform to make it simpler to donate and purchase clothing.

Creating innovative wooden wind turbines

Sara’s bright idea started with the desire to find a more environmentally friendly way to generate wind power. Traditional fibreglass wind turbine blades are expensive and can’t be recycled. In fact, 43 million tons of fibreglass will end up in landfill by 2050. To tackle this, Sara has designed an eco-turbine blade made from wood, which she’s been testing and refining for over a year.

Sara’s design is ready to move from 3D modelling software to the machine, and she plans to purchase a computerised manufacturing machine to begin producing her blades to create self-build kits. Sara initially plans to sell her blades locally, but ultimately, she wants to take them across the world, particularly in Africa where affordable, renewable and reliable energy is so important to establish.

Since winning, Sara has continued to develop her idea, visiting an aerospace business to learn from experts and showcasing her own idea to charities and organisations. She's on track to purchase her own machine to begin producing the blades and taking her project to the next stage.

Helping 'Ninja Nannas' combat loneliness and share memories

Jeffrey earned his black belt in karate aged just 13, and in the four years since has used his skills to set up his own non-profit organisation Golden Age Karate, where he teaches martial arts to senior citizens (aka his 'Ninja Nannas') in local nursing homes. Having seen his own grandparents experience loneliness, he wanted to make sure older people living away from their family had something to look forward to. Whether they’re aged 70 or 101, Jeffrey believes his students have so much to learn and enjoy!

Jeffrey’s idea is to bring together this work with his other major passion – film. He wants to create a documentary that showcases the stories behind his Ninja Nannas, highlighting their life experiences and value to the community. Jeffrey previously appeared in a film that led to him setting up several new chapters in more nursing homes. Through this documentary he will go a step further to inspire other people to give back to older people who are local to them – whether that be martial arts or something else entirely.

Using the prize funding, Jeffrey has been able to work alongside experts to develop and edit his film, which features a whole array of his Ninja Nannas. Having just started at college, majoring in film, Jeffrey is further honing his own skills too. We can't wait to see the memories and stories the project brings to life very soon!

Bright Future Prize 2021

Meet the first ever winners of the Bright Future Prize, when it launched in 2021.

Supporting youth mental health through an innovative video game

Teen trio Demereece Green, Aaliyah Nesbeth and Ahtasham Akhtar joined together to create a purpose-designed video game to tackle the issue of youth mental health and provide support in a medium that connects to young people.

Following prototype designs, upskilling and development, the group launched their game to an audience in Manchester in September 2023.