Youth Work Ireland Tipperary is a regional service that supports and empowers young people in Tipperary and East Limerick.

Youth project worker Moira Merrigan tells us how €25,000 from the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is helping to build the confidence of young people in Ireland. Find out more about Youth Work Ireland Tipperary.

What is Youth Work Ireland Tipperary?

We’re here to support and motivate young people. Our service includes:

  • youth sessions
  • employment support
  • training programmes and drug projects

There are also Garda Diversion projects, specifically for young people involved in offending behaviour, and we have a rural outreach programme that works with volunteers.

“Building young people’s confidence by going to different places and seeing new things, all helps to give them skills that are transferable in all areas of their lives”

How did you spend the €25,000 you received from the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund?

We were really lucky to get Coca-Cola funding for our Activ8 programme that we ran last summer. The initiative encourages young people to be physically active.

The scheme facilitates them to use the local amenities that there's a barrier to accessing, because they don't feel comfortable or don’t have the funds to pay for.

They need to be active for 8 weeks in a row and they get a card that they have to get stamped every time they do an activity.

Activ8 introduces them to new and fun ways to be physically active, such as:

  • Pilates
  • horse riding 
  • martial arts

We also had some national skateboarders give a demonstration at the local skate park in Thurles.

How many young people has the funding helped?

There are around 270 young people who participated in Activ8 over 8 weeks.

Some of the young people have engaged with things they’ve never tried before like bubble-soccer (soccer inside inflatable balls) and Kangaroo Jumps, which is a fitness workout where you wear boots with springs!

There are also more typical things like soccer, gym sessions, yoga and boxing. It’s utilising what's in the local community already and getting young people engaged and enjoying themselves.

“When you're dealing with a company like Coca-Cola it gives much more opportunity for the work to be seen and recognised”

What long-term advantages have there been to receiving the £25k grant?

The funding has a massive knock-on effect, giving young people confidence to try new things and make positive peer connections.

Building young people’s confidence by going to different places and seeing new things, all helps to give them skills that are transferrable in all areas of their lives, such as education and employability.

Is there anyone that specifically stands out as benefitting from the Thank You Fund?

Somebody that springs to mind is Blake. He’s transgender and was born a girl but identifies as a boy. Something like being physically active is really tough in Blake’s circumstances because what team do you belong to and which changing room do you use?

Blake was really positive about Activ8 and being able to be physically active, which is something he hadn't been involved in a while. It built up his confidence and helped him get back into sports and activities in an environment that was really supportive.

What are the non-financial benefits of being a Coca-Cola Thank You Fund recipient?

When you're dealing with a company like Coca-Cola it gives much more opportunity for the work to be seen and recognised and adds credibility to what we’re doing.

And they’ve been really supportive. Even for the Activ8 launch, the Coca-Cola team came along. It gave the young people a real boost and made them excited and keen to engage with the project.

Watch the video and find out more about the young people helped by the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund:


Applications for the Thank You Fund 2017 are now open. Find out more about the Thank You Fund 2017.