Coca-Cola today launched the 'Coca-Cola Thank You Fund' and announced the availability of 125,000 in funding to community and voluntary groups promoting active lifestyles throughout the island of Ireland.

The ‘Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund’ is open for entries from today until July 6th, 2012 and will be accepted through www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou.

The ‘Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund’, which is being supported by The Wheel and The Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA), has been developed to support innovative projects and initiatives that are helping people and communities adopt and enjoy more active lifestyles.

Speaking today, Erica Roseingrave, Public Affairs and Communications Manager, Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland said: “In 2011 Coca‑Cola Company celebrated its 125th birthday and marked the occasion in Ireland with the launch of the ‘Coca‑Cola 125 Years Thank You Fund’. The Fund recognised the very worthwhile work that is happening in communities all over the island. We were overwhelmed by the response that the Fund received with a total of 600 worthy applications. Fifteen grants were awarded to support initiatives in three broad areas: Youth programmes, Environmental projects and programmes supporting active lifestyles. The majority of applications were in this last category so as a result this year we have decided to make this area the focus of the fund.”

“Through the Fund we not only want to support relevant initiatives which are already in place, we particularly want to hear from organisations that have new and innovative ideas, which they want to introduce and require funding to make happen.”

A total of €125,000 is available for distribution through the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund to eligible organisations. Ten projects will €10,000 grants and this year, an outstanding overall winner will be awarded funding of €25,000. The project selected will represent best practice and will be a creative, innovative initiative capable of being replicated in other communities.

As the official partner to the ‘Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund’ Deirdre Garvey, Chief Executive of The Wheel said: “The Wheel is delighted to be partnering with Coca‑Cola again this year for the ‘Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund’. The Coca‑Cola Company is to be commended on its continued investment in communities in Ireland, particularly at a time, when many community and voluntary organisations are trying to meet an increasing demand for their services with less money. Corporate leaders, like Coca‑Cola, are helping to meet a growing funding gap for many organisations and we would expect this to be a keenly contested application process. I would encourage any organisation with an innovative solution in this area to apply.”

The ‘Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund’ is open for entries from today, 30th of May until the 6th of July. All applications will be accepted online at www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou. After the entries are closed a judging panel consisting of Coca Cola, The Wheel and the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action will create a shortlist of 45 organisations which will be published on the Coca‑Cola website on September 1st, 2012. The public vote will account for 50% of the final decision and a vote by an expert judging panel will account for the remaining 50%. The winners will be announced by November 2012.

Full details on ‘The Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund’ can be found at www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou.

ENDS

 

For further information please contact:
Suzanne Sullivan, Q4PR, 01-4751444/086-3797291

Notes to Editor:
The fifteen winners of the ‘Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund’ in 2011 included:
• Focus Ireland – received 10K in funding
• Titans Basketball Club – received 10K in funding
• Belfast Central Mission – received 10K in funding
• Irish Dogs for the Disabled – received 10K in funding
• Inishowen Development Partnership – received 10K in funding
• Special Olympics Ireland – received 10K in funding
• Autism NI – received 10K in funding
• Burrenbeo Trust Ltd – received 10K in funding
• The Children's Sunshine Home – received 10K in funding
• Acquired Brain Injury Ireland – received 10K in funding
• CanTeen Ireland – received 5K in funding
• Console – received 5K in funding
• Sligo Cancer Support Centre – received 5K in funding
• Royal National Institute of Blind People – received 5K in funding
• Tralee Bay Sailing School – received 5K in funding