This year’s Coca-Cola Thank You Fund has been launched by celebrated Irish jockey and history maker, Rachael Blackmore – the first-ever female jockey to win the Grand National – who encouraged local community leaders to get applying at the 2021 Fund launch.
“The grants available through the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund are empowering local champions to establish very real networks of support that will have a lasting impact,” said Blackmore, from the launch event held at one of last year’s recipients, Dublin City Farm and Ecology Centre. “So, if you are a community leader with an idea to help young people get back in the race and develop the skills they need for the future, I would encourage you to check it out!
“As a jockey, winning races is a combined effort shared with the entire team and the horse of course! For young people in communities right across Ireland right now, those wins are going to be decided by the people you surround yourself with and the projects you immerse yourself in."
Now in its eleventh year, the 2021 Coca-Cola Thank You Fund will be supporting young people disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. To date, the Fund has given €1,155,000 to over 100 non-profit organisations. This year, with grants of either €5,000 or €10,000 on offer to successful applicants, a total of €100,000 will be available to youth-orientated non-profit groups across the island of Ireland that are committed to protecting the future of a post-pandemic generation.
Having grown up on a farm in her hometown of Killenaule, Co Tipperary, the daughter of a dairy farmer and a teacher, Rachael Blackmore celebrates the power of community and the importance of supporting local initiatives:
“My hometown and local community have played a big part in helping me the person I am today, and their support is very important to me.
“Growing up on a farm helped to prepare me for the professional environment I find myself in today, so to see local initiatives like this one at Dublin City Farm made possible because of the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is fantastic!"
Agnese Filippi, Country Manager, Coca-Cola Ireland, commenting on the launch of the 2021 Fund, shed some light on this year’s theme, Building for Better, which is seeing the Fund seek applications in three specific areas: educational, training, resilience programmes for young people, programmes that support diversity and inclusivity in young people, and programmes that take an innovative approach to demonstrating sustainability to young people.
“With the help of our wonderful ambassador Rachael Blackmore and the continued support of our long-standing partners, Irish Youth Foundation and YouthAction Northern Ireland, we hope to inspire local leaders seeking funding for initiatives that will help young people ‘Build for Better’ to apply to the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund and help drive some really positive change in their local communities,” said Filippi.
“The Fund was established to help marginalised young people and this year we’re looking to their future, working with our colleagues in Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling company to fund programmes and projects that are committed to building societal resilience across the island of Ireland.”
Applications to the 2021 Fund will be assessed under the categories of education and training, diversity, and inclusion in young people and those that take an innovative approach to demonstrating sustainability.
This year will see a return of the ‘People’s Choice Award’, with members of the public invited to vote for their favourite project among the final shortlisted organisations, with successful 2021 Coca-Cola Thank You Fund recipients to be announced in the autumn.
Applications for funding can be submitted via www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou until midnight 16th July. Good luck!