Milestone year as all-island campaign celebrates over €1,000,000 donated to youth projects since 2011
€100,000 in funding available to non-profits
Breakfast radio show host, Pete Snodden joined YouthAction Northern Ireland and Mary Peters Trust in Lisburn today, for the launch of the 2019 Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund. Marking a major milestone year for the Fund, which will see the total figure donated to youth-oriented non-profit groups reach over €1,000,000, Pete called on community leaders across the island of Ireland to put their ideas into action and apply for funding at coca-cola.ie/thankyou.
Now in its ninth year, the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund works with a range of charities, community groups, sporting organisations, voluntary groups and NGOs to support new initiatives that inspire and support young people aged 16-25.
In 2019, grants totalling €100,000*, approximately £85,000**, will be awarded to projects under the categories of education and training, diversity and inclusion in young people and those that take an innovative approach to demonstrating sustainability.
Successful Northern Ireland groups who received grants of either €10,000 or €5,000 in last years’ Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund include the Northern Ireland Youth Forum, Willowfield Parish Community Association, Include Youth, Patrician Youth Centre and Mary Peters Trust.
As one of the beneficiaries of last years’ fund, Dame Mary Peters, said: “I am delighted that my Trust received €10,000 from the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund. It has enabled us to support 28 athletes across 12 sports to take their Level One Coaching Award. This will make a huge difference to the athletes as they progress and develop in their sport and also later in their sporting careers. Their knowledge will inspire the next generation of sporting champions that the Mary Peters Trust will also help to support and fund.”
Speaking about this initiative as a positive example of the difference the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund can make to young peoples’ lives’ Pete Snodden said: “I’ve had the great privilege of seeing the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund grow over the years and indeed the real impact it has had on local community groups here in Northern Ireland.
“The grant awarded to Mary Peter Trust and indeed all of last year’s winners, has the capacity to change the lives of young people who may otherwise have lost their way, so I encourage youth workers and change leaders across Northern Ireland to apply to this year’s Coca Cola Thank You Fund for the chance to make a real difference in their own local community.”
Applicants can apply at www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou where the straightforward online form includes a 50-word summary of their project in support of their entry.
This year a ‘People’s Choice Award’ will also operate, whereby members of the public will be invited to vote for their favourite project among the final 20 shortlisted organisations. Further details of the People’s Choice Award will be announced over the summer.
Speaking at the launch of this year’s campaign, Matthieu Seguin, General Manager of Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland said; “2019 marks a major milestone for the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund, as we prepare to celebrate the donation of over €1,000,000 to non-profit groups across the island of Ireland. Inspired by the creativity of the leaders in our local community year on year, we feel so privileged as a company to be part of their story and to support their efforts to empower our future change leaders.
“The Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund was set up to enable a network of youth-orientated groups and organisations to effect change, so we’re delighted to once again be making €100,000 in funding available to this year’s applicants. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Pete Snodden for his continued commitment to the fund, as well as our long-standing youth partners, YouthAction Northern Ireland and the Irish Youth Foundation.”
The Fund is operated in partnership with YouthAction Northern Ireland and The Irish Youth Foundation, and June Trimble MBE, CEO, YouthAction Northern Ireland said: “We’re calling on all charities and voluntary organisations in Northern Ireland to get involved in this year’s Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund. We, at YouthAction NI are delighted to be a partner of the Thank You Fund and to assist in ensuring the funds reach out to the widest range of young people.
“We are overwhelmed year on year by the innovation and creativity of the projects that are submitted and the impact that they are now having on young people in their local communities. It couldn’t be easier to apply, with the Fund this year surpassing over €1 million in grants donated to non-profit groups across the island of Ireland. If you have a fresh idea for a project that will empower our young people to become leaders of the future, encourage them to embrace diversity or promote sustainability, we want to hear from you! “
Applications for funding can be made via www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou until midnight on Friday 12th of July. Leaders of the shortlisted projects will be invited to present their ideas to a panel of judges in September, with the winners of the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund and The People’s Choice Award announced at Zeminar, a 3-day exhibition focusing on the mental and physical wellbeing of 15-20 year olds in Ireland, which takes place in National Sports Campus in Dublin from 8th – 10th October 2019.