15 December 2022
By Tom Collins
15 non-profit organisations committed to developing a nation of change champions, are today celebrating news that they will receive a grant share of this year’s €110,000 Coca-Cola Thank You Fund.
Responding to the high level of demand for supports amongst community groups and the quality of applications received, Coca-Cola increased this year’s Thank You Fund to €110,000, enabling the delivery of targeted supports to even more local groups with ideas to help young people take an active role in shaping, creating and maintaining sustainable communities.
The successful Cork-based non-profit organisation is IRD Duhallow receiving €5,000 in funding.
- Identifying the need for better resources for young people with higher needs in the rural Cork area, IRD Duhallow applied for funding for their resilience programme. This programme will teach young people with higher needs to build their confidence through a series of activities including theatre, sailing, and public speaking classes, to become more active members of the community.
Now in its twelfth year, over 200 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 projects focused on encouraging young people aged 16–25-year-olds to care for the environment.
22 shortlisted groups pitched their ideas to the panel of judges during a series of virtual judging sessions, with seven recipient organisations identified to receive a grant of €10,000 for the development of their local project. These organisations include Sport Against Racism Ireland (National), Innovate Communities (National), Peter McVerry Trust (National), Venture Out Wilderness Project CLG (Galway), Sing Ireland (Limerick), My Streets Walking Tours Drogheda (Louth), and Bridge Western Care Association (Mayo).
An additional eight organisations will receive €5,000 in grants to help bring their project to life, following their pitch to the panel. These groups include Drumgor Detached Youth Work Project (Armagh), IRD Duhallow (Cork), Global Action Plan (Dublin), Mayobridge Youth club (Down), Ionad Óige Ghaoth Dobhair (Donegal), Stúidió Mór Limelight Creative Arts (Galway), and St Oliver’s Community Centre CLG (Meath)
Commenting on the standard of applications and the supports that will be delivered to local communities through this year’s Coca-Cola Thank You Fund, Agnese Filippi, Country Manager, Coca-Cola Ireland said: “Year on year we come way from the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund inspired by the courage and creativity of local leaders right across the island of Ireland, who are supporting and encouraging our young people to create a better future, for the benefit of us all.
“As a business we are committed to investing in the development of sustainable communities, where economic and environmental stability as well as social equity is at the heart, with this year’s Fund targeted at non-profit organisations empowering those young people with the skills they need to become change champions.
Congratulating the recipients and recognising the expert judging panel who had the impossible task of selecting the beneficiaries, Agnese closed by saying: “I’d also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the 22 groups shortlisted and 15 beneficiaries and thank our expert panel of judges which included representatives from our supporting Fund partners in the Irish Youth Foundation and YouthAction Northern Ireland.
“Community action plays a vital role in effecting sustainable change, so I encourage all those community leaders, charity groups and local sporting organisations who applied to this year’s Coca-Cola Thank You Fund to continue with their great work. While the need across the island of Ireland far exceeded what was available through the Fund, we look forward to seeing this year’s projects come to life with a shared vision to make the world a better place for future generations.”
Joining the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund judging panel once again this year Lucy Masterson, Chief Executive of the Irish Youth Foundation closed by saying: “The standard of this year’s applications and the quality of the presentations from the shortlisted organisations was just astounding. Seldom if ever does one size fit all, so the work these organisations do is invaluable to the lives of all our young people, but especially those who need added support to achieve their goals
“Creating a sustainable community for the next generation to thrive by enabling the development of valuable local resources is the reason why the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is so important. Sometimes even just the discipline of developing and submitting an application can set a local group on a new path of discovery and having worked closely with the shortlisted organisations during our special Thank You Fund workshop; we’re so encouraged by the possibility of what can be achieved both independently and collectively by these local champions!”
The ‘People’s Choice Award’ which gives the public a chance to have their say and vote for their favourite project was awarded to the Wexford Volunteer Centre who will receive a Coca-Cola Thank You Fund grant of €5,000 to develop their ‘volunteer toolkit,’ designed to equip young people with the skills they need to support their local community.
Since 2011 the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund has donated €1,365,000 to over 135 non-profit organisations across the island of Ireland involved in the delivery of youth targeted community, social and education programmes.
For more information about the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund check out www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou.