Pete Snodden with Thank You Fund supporters at the launch in Dublin.

This week saw the launch of the 2017 Coca-Cola Thank You Fund in Dublin. The fund is giving away grants totalling €100,000 to youth charities across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. We caught up with one of the fund’s ambassadors, radio host Pete Snodden…

What made you want to become an ambassador for the Thank You Fund this year?

It's a no brainer for me as the fund is all based around the youth in this country. There's €100,000 up for grabs – and fingers crossed we get a fair share of it in Northern Ireland!

“€100,000 is a lot of money, but what that will pay back to society in the years to come could be twenty times as much.”

It's great to see investment being made in our young people because they are the future of this part of the world. We need future leaders, we need people who are empowered and people who are motivated. And the youth groups that can apply for the fund do that great work within their community and develop the people who will lead us into the future.

Pete Snodden holding a photo of his role model: Chris Evans.

Why is the Thank You Fund so important?

What Coca-Cola is doing is giving back. The groups who end up winning this money will do great good. The money will support young people to better their lives and, in turn, they will bring their skills to our society going forward

€100,000 is a lot of money, but what that will pay back to society in the years to come could be ten or twenty times as much. Volunteers in these groups go above and beyond, trying to turn young people’s lives around and give them a direction. But that stuff doesn’t happen without support.

“It's about getting the message out there that this money is available and you should apply for it!”

How do you think the Thank You Fund will help young people?

For me it’s about empowering young people, it’s about confidence building, about giving them belief that they can go and do something they put their mind to. I would like to think we are going to see projects that are helping young people who are reluctant about coming forward in terms of their demeanour.

“It's great to see what Coke are doing – reinvesting in society and doing great good with this money."

Each of us has our own hang ups and issues and some of us can get over them easier than others. If I was one of the people on the judging panel I would be looking at projects that will empower young people, give them confidence in themselves and belief to be able to go and better themselves and, in turn, better society.

Who was your role model growing up and what did they teach you?

In terms of my own career, I haven’t modelled myself on anyone but I have looked at what others did and why they did it, and why they were successful. For example, Chris Evans. No matter what has come along, he has always maintained a positive attitude and he’s always pushed on to his final goals. He’s one of those people who has not only got the belief in himself but has got this way of getting people to buy into his ethos and what he does.

What will you be doing as an ambassador?

I will be speaking to youth groups and telling them to apply for the money. It’s a pot of money that can do great good and I want to make people aware that this funding is actually there and it’s available.

It’s about getting the message out there that this money is available and you should apply for it, because all those ideas that you have had, those projects that you have wanted to do and maybe you haven’t had the funding… this is possibly the time to get those off the ground.

What helped boost your self-confidence as a young person?

My parents were always good at backing at me. I also learnt early on that you need to back yourself. I suffered from bullying and people doubting whether I could be a DJ. It was about trying to create an inner belief and actually prove those people wrong. That was a massive factor for me – wanting to prove people wrong. I suppose still to this day I have an awful lot of that in me.

Find out more and apply to the 2017 Thank You Fund