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Six non-profit organisations from Northern Ireland in the running for share of €100,000 Coca-Cola Thank You Fund

Coca-Cola Thank You Fund

Coca-Cola Thank You Fund ambassador Pete Snodden is pictured at the Youth Action NI offices in Belfast with representatives from each of the Northern Ireland shortlisted groups

Public encouraged to vote for shortlisted groups in People’s Choice Award

Shortlisted charity and community groups to pitch their ideas for empowering and supporting young people across the island of Ireland

Coca-Cola today revealed the shortlist of 20 non-profit organisations, six of which are from Northern Ireland, in this year’s Coca-Cola Thank You Fund, which aims to empower and support young people across the island of Ireland.

The shortlisted groups were selected for their ideas to bridge the divide between education and the workplace, foster diversity and inclusion in communities and empowering young people to become the leaders of the future. They will now continue in the process to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges in a bid to receive grants of €30,000, €10,000 or €5,000. Winners will be announced at Zeminar, Ireland’s largest Youth Conference, in the RDS on Tuesday 13thNovember 2018.

A new element this year is ‘The People’s Choice Award’. The 20 shortlisted organisations have been posted on www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou where the public are encouraged to vote based on a summary of each project. The winning organisation will receive up to €10,000 in funding from the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund.

Matthieu Seguin, General Manager, Coca-Cola Hellenic Ireland and Northern Ireland, said: “The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund has a long history of supporting non-profit organisations with particular focus on supporting initiatives aimed at young people. We’re looking forward to hearing from each of the shortlisted groups over the coming weeks and ultimately choosing our winners. I wish all of the shortlisted groups the best of luck throughout this exciting phase.”

June Trimble, Chief Executive, Youth Action NI said: “It is with great pleasure that we are today announcing the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund shortlist. We reviewed over 200 applications this year and while it was great to see so many quality applications it also meant that we had some tough decisions to make. We look forward to meeting the shortlisted organisations and seeing the grants awarded to those groups which are in a position to have the most profound impact.”

Pete Snodden, campaign ambassador for the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund said, “I’m excited to once again be involved in the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund. I think it’s extremely important that initiatives such as this exist to help community groups from across Northern Ireland and further afield and I love getting the chance to meet so many people who are eager to bring about positive change in their local area. I’m thrilled to be able to lend my support to the Fund and would encourage everyone to get behind the campaign and vote in the People’s Choice Award. Good luck to everyone involved!”

Shortlisted groups from Northern Ireland include the Antrim Youth Information and Counselling Centre, an organisation that provides counselling support on a wide range of issues such as drugs, alcohol, depression and bereavement for young people; Include Youth, a rights based charity for children either in care or leaving care based in Belfast; Partrician Youth Centre, an activity centre for young people in Downpatrick; the 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 and the Northern Ireland Youth Forum, a Belfast based youth led organisation that helps give young people a voice. In their local communities.

Now in its eighth year, the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund was set up in 2011 to mark the 125th anniversary of the company. Over the years, the Fund has supported projects including community, social and education programmes aimed at youth. To date €855,000 has been given to 70 non-profit organisations across the country and this year €100,000 will be made available in grants. The groups are being invited to pitch in October with the winners set to be announced in November.

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

To vote for the People’s Choice Award visit https://www.coca-cola.ie/Thank-You-Fund-Peoples-Choice-Award

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