Meet our 2021 Bright Future Prize finalists

14 March 2022


In 2021, Ardonagh Community Trust (ACT) launched the Bright Future Prize to fund the innovative ideas of the next generation of community leaders who are committed to driving positive change and inspiring others.

This was ACT’s first ever fund designed to specifically support projects developed by teens with big dreams to make a difference in their communities.


Discover the story behind our 2021 finalists

Find out more about our 2021 finalists and their projects, including our winner Dawn to the Light.



Our Bright Future Prize 2021 winner, Dawn to the Light, who received £20,000

Together, Demereece Green, Aaliyah Nesbeth and Ahtasham Akhtar created their project, Dawn to the Light. Having all experienced their own challenges, they used their shared passion to develop a concept for a video game as a way to help young people care for their mental health.

The game tells an interactive story set in a school, where the player learns more about mental health, and takes part in mini games, such as breathing and visualisation exercises, to learn techniques for coping with mental health challenges. The funding would be used to create the game to a high standard, to maximise its appeal to a broad audience, and to gain specialist training that would enable them to work on further versions as it developed.  

Learn more about our 2021 winner, Dawn to the Light


Plus, our three runners-up, who also each received £5,000 of funding to support their bright ideas

  • Grace Harman, working with Suffolk Music and Arts Alumni Trust (SMART)
    As a young trumpet player and pianist, Grace was support by a local music and arts trust, SMART, to further her aspirations to be a professional musician. Grace’s hope was to use the funding to overcome some of the challenges Covid-19 has placed on investment and access to music education, using it to provide greater access to instruments and lessons for young people and to support people just like her who want to pursue the arts through scholarships and a buddy scheme.

  • Ed Chaplin, working with BulliesOut
    Following a period of bulling at school, Ed discovered charity BulliesOut, which works with schools and workplaces to combat bullying. Ed is now a trustee of the charity and involved in its workshops and e-mentoring services. Ed’s plan was to use the funding to further develop BulliesOut Youth Ambassador programme, so that even more young people could benefit from the charity’s support.

  • Matt Stevenson and Carter Harrison, with their entrepreneurial project Northern Access Initiative
    Matt and Carter developed the Norther Access Initiative to provide support and mentorship to students in Northern England to help them access places at top universities after becoming aware the young people like them for the North were not equally represented at top institutions as the South. They planned to use the funding to build their own online platform to enable mentoring to happen remotely to increase the charity’s outreach and build a bigger network of mentors and mentees.

Find out more about each of our 2021 finalists and their projects

Discover our finalists for the Bright Future Prize 2022