4th May 2023: BAFTA-winning Irish actor Barry Keoghan returned home to launch the 2023 Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund, encouraging non-profit community groups that empower young people through programmes of learning, inclusion, and sustainable development, to apply for funding at www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou before Thursday 15th June at 6pm.
Operating in partnership with the Irish Youth Foundation and supporting partners YouthAction Northern Ireland, The Coca‑Cola Company and its partner Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland are this year joining forces to double the size and impact of the Fund, making €200,000 in grants available.
Having supported the Fund in 2020, the Oscar nominee returned to launch this year’s programme, visiting former Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund recipients Global Action Plan in their Green Living and Sustainability Garden (GLAS), which aims to empower young people from disadvantaged areas with the skills they need to take action in their homes and communities for a more climate-positive future.
Speaking about his own experience, as an advocate for the importance of local youth groups, and the role of the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund in empowering and equipping young people across Ireland and Northern Ireland, Barry Keoghan said: “I launched the 2020 Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund just before the pandemic, and it really struck a chord with me; meeting the young people whose lives had been so positively impacted by the programmes delivered as a result of this great support.
“The Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund is giving local groups in communities the ability to help vulnerable young people build positive relationships and develop skills that will have a lasting impact on their future and their communities, but also on our environment, and that’s something that’s important to me. I’m a proud example of the impact of local projects and hope that I can help other young people by encouraging community-based programmes to apply for funding.”
Commenting at the launch, Coca‑Cola Ireland Country Manager, Agnese Filippi, said: “This is a milestone year for the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund as we join forces with our partners in Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland to double the size and impact of the Fund, making €200,000 in grants available.
“Through this funding we’re seeking to provide opportunities for young people to realise their potential, achieve their goals and contribute positively to society. With these added resources, we’re directly investing in youth orientated organisations that are empowering young people through programmes of learning, inclusion, and sustainable development, working in partnership with the Irish Youth Foundation to ensure no one is left behind.
“The Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund was set up in 2011 to mark the 125th anniversary of the company, with the increased investment in this year’s fund seeing the total grants donated to non-profit organisations reach over €1.5million, which we as a business are extremely proud of.”
Miles Karemacher, General Manager, Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland went on to say: “We believe in the power of investing in our youth and their future. Every young person has the potential to create positive change in the world and together with our partners in The Coca‑Cola Company, we want to empower them with the skills and resources to do so.
“Through this year’s increased Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund, we aim to promote sustainable development, foster inclusion in communities across Ireland and Northern Ireland and create pathways to meaningful education that will help build a brighter future for all.”
Operated in partnership with the Irish Youth Foundation (IYF), Lucy Masterson, Chief Executive closed by saying: “Working together with a panel of local industry experts, as the operating partners of this year’s Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund, we’re laser focused on identifying and supporting community-based programmes and projects that are engaging young people in models of innovative and inclusive practices under three key areas of change.
“With this significant increase in grants, we’ll be in a position to support even more groups with the aim of making a real impact on the future of young people at risk of low education attainment; encouraging applications from non-profit organisations promoting inclusive practices and empowering young people to challenge how they are currently engaging with the theme of sustainability in their everyday lives.”
Applications for this year’s Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund can be submitted via www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou until 6pm on Thursday 15th June, with entries assessed under the categories of education, inclusion and sustainable development. Applicants are encouraged to visit the website for further details and full terms and conditions.