Funding to support new and innovative ideas from non-profit organisations that encourage communities to lead more balanced, healthy and active lifestyles

Monday 27th May 2013 - Coca‑Cola Ireland today launched the 2013 Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund (The Fund). The Fund, now in its third year, is once again making €125,000 available to eligible non-profit organisations on the island of Ireland. The Fund is inviting applications from non-profit organisations, charities and community groups who are seeking support to develop new and innovative projects or initiatives that encourage communities to lead more balanced, healthy and active lives. Entries are open from today until Friday 19th July 2013 and applications can be submitted on www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou.

The Fund is supported by The Federation of Irish Sport, The Wheel and The Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA). The Fund is seeking proposals from organisations who take an innovative approach to encouraging communities to lead more balanced, healthy and active lifestyles. Taking a balanced approach to nutrition as well as incorporating activity and exercise into daily routines is vitally important for the health of the nation. This year The Fund is specifically looking for interesting new projects which are promoting innovative approaches to nutrition and activity which could have the potential to be scaled and rolled out across numerous communities.

A total of €125,000 is available this year for distribution through the The Fund. The overall winner will receive €25,000 and a further ten organisations will receive €10,000 each. The projects selected will represent best practice and will serve as a model for other communities wishing to implement similar programmes. Applicant organisations will be required to provide details on the reach and impact of their proposed project, as well as the innovative aspect which will capture the imagination and interest of the local community and encourage them to become involved.

In 2012 the winner of the main award of €25,000 was The Irish Olympic Handball Association (IOHA). The IOHA applied for funding to introduce the concept of Street Handball to communities across Ireland. Their entry focused on introducing 10,000 new people to Street Handball and the training of 200 teachers and youth group leaders across Ireland who would be able to make this vision a reality in Irish communities. Other organisations were awarded €10,000 in funding for their initiatives which included the creation of a new well-lit outdoor walking track in the grounds of Ballyduff Football Club in Co. Waterford; a dancing programme by Cois Ceim Dance Theatre in Dublin, Fortwilliam & Macrory Presbyterian Church in Belfast and a boxing programme focussing on females developed by Ballina Boxing Club, Co. Mayo.

Erica Roseingrave, Public Affairs and Communications Manager, Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland, said: “Today we are inviting community-based non-profit organisations to take the opportunity to apply to the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund. We are keen to support projects that are new and take an innovative approach, and will engage people who may not be involved in sports and other activity-based hobbies at the moment as well as those that seek to highlight the importance of a balanced diet. The Fund also aims to recognise the enormous contribution made by organisers and volunteers each week across the country through worthwhile initiatives, and to maximise the effectiveness of their work through targeted financial support from Coca‑Cola.”

The Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund was formed in 2011 on the occasion of the Coca‑Cola Company’s 125th anniversary and has seen €125,000 donated to non-profit organisations throughout the island of Ireland each year since. The Fund began as a way for Coca‑Cola to say ‘thank you’ to the people of the island of Ireland for their loyal custom, and has since developed into a valued support mechanism for non-profit organisations.

The Fund will accept applications from today, 27th May, 2013, until 19th July, 2013. All applications should be submitted via the Coca‑Cola website: www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou. After the closing date, a judging panel, which will include representatives from The Federation of Irish Sport, The Wheel, NICVA and Coca‑Cola, will convene to agree on a shortlist of 45 organisations which will be published on the Coca‑Cola website on September 1st, 2013. The public will then be asked to vote on who should be selected. 50% of the final decision will derive from the public vote and 50% will be determined by the expert judging panel. The winners will be announced in November 2013.

To find out more about The Fund, or to submit an application, please visit www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou.

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For more information, please contact:
Suzanne Sullivan, Q4 PR, 01-4751444 / 086-3797291