Funding Awarded to Community Projects Serving Young People across the country

Coca-Cola today announced this year’s Thank You Fund award recipients and the successful non-profit organisations were presented with their certificates during a celebration event on the main stage at Zeminar, Ireland’s largest youth conference at the RDS in Dublin.

A total of €100,000 has been granted to 13 community groups across the Island of Ireland, five of which are from Northern Ireland, each receiving either €5,000 or €10,000 to help fund innovative projects to support and inspire young people.

The community groups from Northern Ireland who are set to receive €10,000 grants are: Include Youth in Belfast, a rights based charity for children either in care or leaving care; Partrician Youth Centre, an activity centre for young people in Downpatrick; Mary Peter’s Trust, a sports related charity that supports future NI sporting champions; Willowfield Parish Community Association, a Belfast based community centre for local young people. The judges selected these projects for larger grants as they felt that each of them were unique and compelling and that with the €10,000 investment they could achieve sustainable impacts in their communities.

A €5,000 grant has also been allocated to Northern Ireland Youth Forum, a Belfast based youth led organisation that helps give young people a voice. In their local communities.

Pete Snodden, Thank You Fund Ambassador, said “I have been overwhelmed by the diversity, thoughtfulness and potential impact of the projects that have received funding today through the Thank You Fund.  Coca-Cola invited non-profit groups to enter projects that would inspire and support young people and there is no doubt that the grant recipients and the proposed projects will certainly do that. I am amazed and in awe of the people working in communities across the country. The impact of the work they do with young people has an immeasurable impact on our society.”

Petre SandruCountry Manager, Coca-Cola Ireland, thanked all the organisations who applied for the Thank You Fund grants this year and the judges who helped select the winners, “We are delighted to invest in young people in our communities but it is important to us that the funding provided through the Thank You Fund is a catalyst for new thinking and helps support the delivery of projects and schemes that otherwise might not happen. We are grateful to our distinguished panel of judges who met all our shortlisted groups and had the difficult task of determining who was to receive funding.

“I would like to thank everyone who took the time to enter and specifically to congratulate those who were successful. I particularly look forward to next year when we will reach a significant milestone in the Thank You Fund as we celebrate giving over €1 million in funding to non-profits since 2011.”

The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is delivered in partnership with the Youth Action Northern Ireland and Irish Youth Foundation.

Speaking today, June Trimble, CEOYouth Action Northern Ireland said the projects selected had the potential to transform the lives of young people.

“The best way to reach young people and help them acquire skills that they will use throughout their lives is by getting them involved with groups that serve their passions. There is no such thing as one size fits all, and the projects funded by the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund will appeal to a broad cross section of young people. All are designed to make a strategic and impactful intervention in their lives and our communities stand to benefit as participants go on to set a positive example among their peer group,” she said.

By investing in community groups that specifically target young people, Coca-Cola is aiming to support those who provide targeted interventions for young people, helping to keep them interested in certain activities or providing supports and networks that help them to make the right decisions as they move from teenage years to young adulthood.

Since the Thank You Fund was launched in 2011, it has invested a total of €955k in community groups and non-profit organisations throughout the island of Ireland.

More information about the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is available at www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou.

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