The long wait is over. After a record year for entries and votes, we can officially reveal the 12 organisations throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland that will benefit from the €100,000 in funding from the Thank You Fund prize pool.
Our winners will each receive a game-changing sum of money that’ll help them achieve their goals for 2020 and beyond, collectively marking a milestone for the programme since its inception in 2011: Coca‑Cola has, to date, donated €1,055,000 to worthy Irish causes. Here’s everything you need to know…
Looking to apply in 2020? The theme for this year is “A fund to help with young people’s recovery post COVID-19”. Applications are now open: www.coca-cola.ie/thankyoufund2020-apply.
This week, broadcaster Doireann Garrihy joined Cool FM’s Pete Snodden and Coca‑Cola at Zeminar in Dublin as we unveiled 2019’s brilliant roster of Thank You Fund winners, with the former taking the time to explain the difference winning can make for the shortlisted organisations:
“I had the great privilege of meeting one of last year’s Coca-Coca Thank You Fund recipients,” Doireann said, “so I’ve seen first-hand the impact this funding can have on a local community. I was delighted to get involved with the Fund this year and it’s so rewarding to be here today to celebrate the class of 2019.”
So who are our lucky winners? Each organisation, as chosen by our panel of judges, came under categories of education and training; diversity and inclusion in young people, and those that took an innovative approach to demonstrating sustainability. Seven were chosen from ROI, and five from Northern Ireland, with eight of the 12 recipient organisations each received a grant of €10,000 for the development of their local project:
Good Shepherd Cork provide vital care for people who are affected by homelessness, including emergency shelters and residential services. Their new outreach project ‘Equip2Educate,’ will help young vulnerable women to develop their life skills and gain confidence through educational, therapeutic and recreational activities.
ReCreate Ireland is a social enterprise promoting sustainability. Their project ‘Plastic Planet’ will engage young adults aged 16-19 in visual arts workshops, challenging 120 young artists to creatively transform single-use plastics into new works of art. This will increase their environmental awareness and enable the group to creatively express their concerns, while offering new solutions.
Providing a complete youth theatre experience to young people living in the Mosney Direct Provision Centre, the Mosney Youth Theatre project will use the funding to develop a programme of workshops and masterclasses. Sharing skills with the local Droichead Youth Theatre in Drogheda, participants will have the opportunity to develop artistically and enjoy inspirational field trips, while also building relationships with their local peers.
Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland is a powerful community, supporting Irish people living with the condition. Their new project ‘Mind your Health’ will enable young people with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus to maximise their own physical health and mental wellbeing through a life-changing, tailored education and training programme.
National Gallery of Ireland will deliver ‘Creative Careers,’ a new series of arts programming by young people, for young people. This project will provide new resources to enable young people of diverse backgrounds to explore careers in the arts, with the goal of inspiring and empowering the next generation through workshops, exhibitions and community partnerships.
Monkstown Boxing Club provides a diverse programme of activities focused on addressing different social and economic issues in the community. They applied for funding to set up a 'Second Step' programme, aimed at achieving sustainable, positive change in the lives of marginalised young people in Monkstown (Co. Antrim).
The Mary Peters Trust, Northern Ireland's leading sporting charity, help disabled, and able-bodied young people achieve their sporting dreams and ambitions. They were awarded funding for the development of a 'Youth in Sport' conference, designed to empower the employment and educational decisions of high-level athletes.
Liberty Consortium @ The Playtrail. An inclusive play and educational facility, providing a range of self-led and programmed opportunities for all, will deliver ‘Tea in the Park’ with thanks to the funding received. The goal of this project is to provide young people with disabilities and specific needs the opportunity to gain training, develop skills and participate in meaningful work placements.
Four other causes were each awarded €5,000 – much needed funding towards innovative community projects: St Malachy’s OB Football Club and Albert Foundry Academy FC; Horn of Africa People's Aid Northern Ireland; Moville Family Resource Centre and Manulla FC & Mayo Autism Camp.
The extra funding will have a huge impact on each winning organisations’ vision and capabilities, which in turn will greatly benefit communities and young people up and down the nation. As Lucy Masterson, Chief Executive of the Irish Youth Foundation puts it: “Non-profit groups are invaluable to our local communities,” adding that the impact is “immeasurable.
“While the financial support is invaluable to these groups as they work to provide vital supports and interventions at ground level, simply backing their belief can act as a catalyst for even greater change.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by Claire Kearns of Coca‑Cola Ireland “It has never been more important to invest in our future change leaders,” she explained, “with the funding provided through the Thank You Fund bringing projects to life that otherwise might not happen.”
All in all 2019’s record-breaking Thank You Fund was a huge boon for young people all across Ireland.
Applications to the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund 2020 are now open!
Grants totalling €50,000 to be awarded to charities, community and voluntary organisations, sporting groups and NGOs.
Apply to the 2020 Fund here: www.coca-cola.ie/thankyoufund2020-apply