Youth-Orientated Organisations across the island of Ireland Rewarded for Demonstrating Passion and Innovative ideas for Supporting Young People
13 local community groups committed to supporting the future of young people across the island of Ireland, today celebrated news that they will receive a grant share of this year’s €100,000 Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund.
Launched in May 2021 as “A Fund Supporting the Future of Young People across the Island,” grants totalling €100,000 were awarded by a panel of judges to projects seeking support for initiatives targeted at 16–25-year-olds. These projects will help to build their resilience, meet the education gaps that exist and tackle the mental health challenges young people are facing today and will continue to face.
Now in its eleventh year, over 280 non-profit organisations across the island of Ireland applied for the Fund under the categories of education and training, diversity and inclusion in young people and those taking an innovative approach to sustainability and environmental leadership.
23 shortlisted groups pitched their ideas to the panel of judges during a series of virtual judging sessions, with seven of the thirteen recipient organisations set to receive a grant of €10,000 for the development of their local project. These organisations include The Kabin Studio (Cork), Liquid Therapy (Donegal), The Yard @ Solas Project (Dublin), Helplink Mental Health (Galway), Kerry Diocesan Youth Service (Kerry), YEHA Project (Antrim) and Amber Women’s Refugee GLC (Kilkenny).
An additional six organisations will also receive €5,000 for their project ideas following their pitch to the panel including Monkstown Boxing Club (Antrim), St. Peter’s Immaculata Youth Centre (Antrim), Happy Trails Therapeutic Riding School (Wexford), Drogheda Youth Development Services (Louth) and SOSAD Ireland Navan (Meath).
This year’s Fund saw the return of the popular People’s Choice Award, giving the public the chance to have their say and vote for their favourite local group, with the winning group Down Syndrome Ireland Mayo Branch receiving a €5,000 grant for their Drama Therapy Camp. Designed to open a new world of communication, the camp will enable those living with Down syndrome to express and vocalise their feelings while giving them the tools and confidence to know that their voice can be heard.
Thanking all the organisations who applied for the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund this year, along with the judges who had the impossible task of selecting this year’s recipients Agnese Filippi, Country Manager, Coca‑Cola Ireland said: “The impact of the pandemic over the past two years has been particularly hard on our young people. Through the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund we are honoured to be in the position to support youth orientated organisations across the island of Ireland that are committed to supporting and helping young people to navigate their futures.”
“Established in 2011, the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund aims to empower local community leaders that support young people, enabling them to effect change and make a real difference in the lives of those in their local community. With renewed importance of community spirit throughout the country we were so encouraged by the number of community leaders in towns and villages across the island of Ireland who took the time to enter the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those who applied, as well as our distinguished panel of judges who had the impossible task of identifying the 2021 recipients. I wish all of the Fund recipients the best of luck in delivering their projects in the coming months. We look forward to hearing about the impact they have.”
Joining the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund judging panel once again this year Lucy Masterson, Chief Executive of Irish Youth Foundation closed by saying: “The number of applications to the 2021 Fund is a potent reminder that the need is still very much alive in the youth sector following Covid 19- restrictions and the impact that they continue to have on Ireland’s most marginalised young people.
“Helping them to rebuild their lives through education and training is more important now than ever before, with immediate action needed to renew their confidence in themselves and help to level the playing field for the next generation into the future. All of those who applied for this year’s Fund are worthy recipients as they’ve shown a commitment to their local community, while I believe those selected to receive funding will have a very real impact and I wish them the very best of luck as roll-out their various programmes.”
Since 2011 the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund has donated €1,255,000 to over 100 non-profit organisations across the island of Ireland involved in the delivery of youth targeted community, social and education programmes.