Successful groups hailed as heroes by Thank You Fund Ambassador PJ Gallagher

Ireland, 12th October, 2017: 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 at Zeminar, Ireland’s largest youth conference (RDS Dublin).

A total of €100,000 has been granted to 14 community groups across Ireland and Northern Ireland for innovative projects that will support and inspire young people.

The five organisations to receive €10,000 grants are: The Little Museum of Dublin; An Cosán; Foróige; CDYS Ltd, Leave No Trace Ireland; and Girls’ Brigade. The judges selected these projects for larger grants as they felt that each of them were unique and compelling and that with the €10k investment they could achieve sustainable impacts in their communities.     

  • The Little Museum of Dublin will invest the grant in a bespoke photographic exhibition entitled 'A Woman's Work' that will document strong women in predominantly male professions. Throughout the three-month period, the exhibition aims to foster diversity and inspire young women to pursue their passions.
  • An Cosán, an organisation based in Jobstown, Tallaght will use the funding to develop a programme for young men from disadvantaged areas to enable them to come together in a safe space, and overcome barriers to employment or further education.
  • Foróige Sligo/ Leitrim has received funding for its Big Brother Big Sister programme. This innovative pilot programme matches an adult volunteer to a young person with autism who is of the same gender with similar interests and compatible personalities, helping them to navigate social, educational or work-related experiences.
  • Also receiving €10k is Leave No Trace Ireland whose project promotes integration between communities in Ireland and empowers young people at risk of social exclusion. It provides opportunities for young people from a variety of backgrounds to take part in voyages along the Irish coastline on sail training vessels with a view to developing confidence and a sense of self-worth.
  • The Antrim-based Girls’ Brigade project aims to give young women across Northern Ireland who are members of the Brigade (aged 14 – 25) the opportunity to train as leaders in developing a positive mental health programme and share these learning with the wider population of the Brigade.
  • The final €10k grant recipient, CDYS Ltd. in Cork, aims to bridge the divide between education and the workplace, fostering inclusion among young people. By partnering with iScoil - an online learning service – a blended learning centre for young people aged 13-16 will be established for those not in mainstream education.


 

An additional eight organisations will each receive €5,000 for programmes including the Ulster GAA Youth Leaders Programme; Co-operation Ireland’s project for youths to understand the impact of Brexit; the NI Youth Forum’s Without Boundaries project as well as the Change Makers project by Start 360.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award will also receive €5,000, as will Oasis Caring in Action Antrim which supports young mothers, Willowfield Parish Community Association and All Together in Dignity - ATD Fourth World Ireland.

PJ Gallagher, 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 humbled by the people working in communities throughout the island of Ireland and believe that the impact of the work they do with young people has an immeasurable impact on our society. I look forward to staying in touch with the recipients as these projects come to fruition.”

Petre Sandru, Country Manager, Coca-Cola Ireland thanked all the organisations who applied for 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. It is clear from the strategic approach and new thinking that we have seen in the proposals that a lot of time and effort was invested in this process by those who participated. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to enter and specifically to congratulate those who were successful. It is important that the next generation of our society are given every possible opportunity to reach their full potential and we hope that the funding provided through the Thank You Fund will make a difference in the lives of those who have the opportunity to participate in the programmes.

“I would also like to sincerely thank our judges who gave freely of their time and expertise to select the worthy winners.”

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

Speaking today, Sabina Cotter, Head of Grants and Programmes, Irish Youth Foundation, 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.

At the outset of the process this year, Coca-Cola commissioned research to establish the ambitions and concerns of parents of young people. The number one aspiration of parents for their child is that they create a life they enjoy and derive personal satisfaction from. Nearly two thirds of respondents said they worry about their child being led astray by their peer groups. The issues that parents worry about most are drug addiction (21%) and societal challenges such as employment (15%).

By investing in community groups that specifically target youth, 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 €855k 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.

Notes to the Editor

Grant Recipients

The full list of projects being awarded grants from the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund today is as follows:

Funding

Organisation

Location

About

€10k

The Little Museum of Dublin

Dublin

The Little Museum believe in actively inspiring young people in their local community to find their passions and achieve success. In light of this belief, they are planning, through the Thank You Fund, a three-month photographic exhibition entitled 'A Woman's Work' that will document strong women in predominantly male professions.

€10k

Foroige Autism Specific Big Brother Big Sister Programme

 

Sligo / Leitrim

They inspire and support

young people with Autism. The Big Brother Big Sister Programme matches an adult volunteer to a young person with Autism who is of the same gender with similar interests and compatible personalities.

€10k

CDYS Ltd - iScoil Cork

 

Cork

They aim to bridge the divide between education and the workplace, fostering inclusion among young people: By partnering with iScoil (an online learning service) to become a blended learning centre for young people aged 13-16 who are not in mainstream education.

€10k

Girls’ Brigade

Antrim

This project aims to give all young women in the Girls’ Brigade group (aged 14 – 25) the opportunity to train in the issues of; Leadership, Mental Health, Sex, Drugs & Alcohol, Online Safety & Social Media, Self-harm & Suicide.

€10k

An Cosan

Dublin

An Cosan are developing a programme for young men from disadvantaged areas to enable them to come together in a safe space, and overcome barriers to employment or further education.

 

€5k

Ulster GAA

Armagh

The Ulster GAA Youth Leaders Programme aims to empower young GAA volunteers to play a full role in the operations and decision making of their GAA club. It aims to develop leaders of today and leaders of the future by assisting young GAA volunteers to develop their knowledge and skills, across a range of areas which impact on the Association.

€5k

Co-operation Ireland

 

Antrim

The project aims to increase young people’s understanding of the Brexit process and its potential impact on their lives, now and in the future. They want to also facilitate young people from different backgrounds, North and South, to discuss and debate the implications of Brexit, raising awareness of other perspectives and viewpoints. And lastly, they want to support young people who want to identify and lobby for their concerns and priorities in the Brexit negotiation process

€5k

Leave No Trace Ireland

 

Mayo

This project promotes integration between communities in Ireland and empowers young people at risk of social exclusion. It provides opportunities for young people from a variety of backgrounds to take part in voyages along the Irish coastline on sail training vessels.

€5k

Duke of Edinburgh Award NI

 

Antrim

The Award is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of activities for anyone aged 14-24. The purpose of this project is to embed the Joint Award Initiative in three organisations which previously have no experience or history of offering the Award.

€5k

NI Youth Forum

 

Antrim

This project will: Foster diversity and inclusion among young people; and empower young people to become the leaders of the future. Through the application of youth interventions and academic input they will explore Islam, increase the understanding in Ireland and empower young people to take on leadership roles within NI Youth Forum and beyond.

€5k

Start360

 

Antrim

Their project, Change Makers will involve young people going out into their community and spreading positivity through acts of kindness. The young people will engage with communities and explore different concepts that will improve the lives of residents within.

€5k

Oasis Caring in Action Antrim

 

Antrim

The Antrim Young Mums Together are a group of mums who have come together with the aim of providing a dedicated service to teenage and young mums under the age of 25 in their area. This project has been developed by young mums for young mums and seeks to address the many social, emotional, and practical difficulties they face and to give them aspiration for a better future with the opportunity of developing employability skills.

€5k

Willowfield Parish Community Association

 

Antrim

Many young people aged 18-25 in the local community have left school with little or no qualifications and are struggling to find work opportunities, which leaves them feeling worthless and downbeat about their future. This project seeks to connect with those who find themselves in this situation and get them involved in activities which will help others in their local community.

€5k

All Together in Dignity - ATD Fourth World Ireland

Dublin

Their project, 'Ireland, I Have a Dream', will invite young members of communities in Ireland living in persistent poverty to write a speech inspired by Martin Luther King’s legacy. Through this creative writing process, they want their community members to find strength in sharing their experiences, finding their individual and collective voice with the aim of empowering participants and inspiring others to keep fighting to stop poverty.