Here’s a look at the projects that will be supported by this year’s Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund.
Based in North Belfast, the YEHA Project works with young people to tackle issues affecting their health and emotional wellbeing. Identifying the need for supports for young members of the LGBTQIA+ community on the Autism spectrum, the aim of the YEHA Project is to equip young people with the tools & knowledge to create a Youth Led Podcast, giving them a platform to make their voices heard. Additional supports will include group work, one to one life coaching, peer mentoring and training.
The Kabin Studio provides music production and multimedia workshops in Cork City, creating musical, personal and social experiences for young people. The main aim of the project is to develop inclusive community learning with an integrated programme of 3 workshop programmes linking music, multimedia and outdoor art in an effort to connect marginalized young people in the local area. Those targeted with the supports will including those from the travelling and migrant communities as well as young people from disadvantaged backgrounds within the local area.
Liquid Therapy will launch a Surf's Up! Project, which will be the first adaptive surf program of its kind in Ireland. Based in Donegal, it will deliver an ocean experience that supports individuals who struggle to participate in mainstream activities. Surf's Up! will take the form of 10 'Come and try' coaching day events delivered twice a month, available to young people who have an adaptive additional need; from wheelchair users to amputees, those with Cerebral Palsy to para-athletes. This program will support each participant to help them reach their personal potential.
The Yard programme is a social enterprise with the aim to equip young people in Dublin with skills and knowledge that will empower them to fulfil their personal and professional potential. Each member of the Yard Crew receives hands-on work experience, learning everything from woodwork skills, sales and marketing to the ins and outs of running a social enterprise. The Yard will run a Workplace Readiness Programme which includes training and development for young people to prepare them for a return to work.
Helplink Mental Health, based in Galway, addresses the lack of accessible mental health counselling, information and education services in Ireland. Their Mind How You Go workshops on mental health and emotional wellbeing which will be available nationally for secondary and third level students to build resilience and reduce stress and anxiety. Young people can login and complete the modules in their own time over a 10-month period.
Kerry Diocesan Youth Services will run the RICE programme. The programme has the primary objective of assisting young people aged 16 - 20 to develop four essential pillars of life-skills: resilience, independent function, communication, and empathy. The programme will run in two phases - firstly with a training programme to develop 18 ‘skill supporters.’ The second phase will allow those skill supporters to work with 120 16-19 year olds through the RICE programme once a week for over 8 weeks.
Amber Women's Refuge CLG provide many services helping women and young people affected by domestic violence and abusive relationships in Kilkenny. As part of its One Million Stars project, Amber Women's Refuge want to partner with Young Irish Film Makers to deliver Outreach Workshops to young people affected by domestic violence. This project will take the form of a series of workshops and training sessions in the art of digital storytelling with the aim to help young people express themselves through the avenue of creativity - connecting participants from different cultures and backgrounds.
The Monkstown Boxing Club in County Antrim identified an increase in anxiety levels, lower levels of self-esteem and self-worth in the young people in their community. This encouraged the Club to develop the Brighter Futures Project. Their project will support vulnerable local young people impacted by the Covid-19 Pandemic - to improve mental wellbeing, educate and equip with the skills they need for the future.
St. Peter's Immaculata Youth Centre will run the Lower Falls Youth Education Project. Based in Antrim, the project will offer accredited learning opportunities to the most isolated and excluded young people to help them succeed in life. Enabling young people to tackle the barriers to education and employment, the project aims to support personal and social development through mentorships and skills training.
Drogheda Youth Development will offer young people in Louth aged 21 - 25 a 6-week course, preparing them for employment by engaging in several confidence-building activities. These activities will include personal decision-making, literacy and numeracy support, stress management, and goal setting. The aim of this programme is to establish short-term work experience for eligible young people in the local area providing them with an opportunity to gain insight into their chosen area of work along with the necessary accreditations to make them better placed to secure employment.
Down Syndrome Ireland, Mayo Branch, will run a Drama Therapy Camp by the Labyrinth Project. Designed to open a new world of communication for people with Down syndrome the camp will enable them to express and vocalise their feelings - giving them the tools and confidence to know that their voice can be heard. The Drama Therapy Camp will include a Psychotherapist and Counsellor supporting those who would not have access to mental health services or the language to explain what they are going through.
In recent months, SOSAD in Meath became aware of the need for increased support for young people dealing with anxiety and is seeking funding for the Anxiety Support Working group to help young people work together and learn the coping skills needed to navigate the ups and downs of life. The support group will run four times a year with workshops including personal care education, journaling, cooking skills, and art therapy.
This project will allow Happy Trails Riding Centre to develop a horsemanship and eco growers program for young adults with disabilities. Based in Wexford, the programme will teach horse welfare, grass management, health and safety and natural pony/horse training techniques to users. They’ll also learn how to sustainably sow and grow vegetables and plants as part of this programme with the aim to develop life skills that will help them become independent in a learning environment that is suited to their bespoke abilities.