Coca-Cola Thank You Fund launches for 2017 – €100,000 made available for community projects that support and inspire young people

  • Parents are the most prominent role models for young people across Ireland
  • 72% of young Irish people describe themselves as ambitious
  • 94% believe hard work and dedication are essential to success
  • Only 14% of young people say they have high self-confidence

Wednesday, May 17 2017: New research revealed today at the launch of the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund 2017 shows that young Irish people believe their personal happiness is more than three times as important as money when it comes to defining success.

Furthermore, the findings show that young people are motivated, with 72% describing themselves as ambitious. Interestingly, females are 15% more likely than males to describe themselves in this way. However, 76% of males said they would prefer to keep their ambitions private compared with 58% of females.

The findings from a new study commissioned by Coca-Cola Ireland show that self-confidence is an important issue. 45% of young people describe their self-confidence as good but in need of improvement, while 10% say they have poor self-confidence. Just 14% say they have high self-confidence, with the rest saying they frequently wish they were more confident.

Role models are an important source of inspiration and guidance for young people. 63% of those aged 12-17 say they have a role model, with the number falling to 50% among 18-25 year olds. By far the most prominent role models for young people are one or both of their parents. Just 23% said their role model is a celebrity, while 14% said they look up to a current or former teacher.

With a Coca-Cola Thank You Fund of €100,000 launched today to further inspire and support young people, ambassador and comedian PJ Gallagher is encouraging non-profit groups to avail of the funding that will make a difference to their local communities.

Speaking about his role model, PJ also said, “Jason Byrne has always been there for me and helped me establish my comedy career. It’s good news that many young people have similar figures in their own lives. We need to support young people so they can live up to their ambitions and that’s why Coca-Cola Ireland is making €100,000 available to non-profit and community groups this year. If you have an idea for a new project that will inspire and support young people, we want to hear from you!”

47% of young people polled said they selected their role model based on that person’s life achievements and success in their field. This compares with 42% who said their role model had provided advice or guidance directly to them.

Only 10% chose their role model based on wealth, and this tallied with other findings of the research which show that just 16% of young people (25% of males and 11% of females) think of wealth as the most important measure of success.

Petre Șandru, Country Manager, Coca-Cola Ireland said: “This research points up that young people in Ireland are hopeful for their futures and have a mature interpretation of success. This high level of ambition is great to see – as a society we need to work with our young people to enable them to realise their potential. Confidence is a big issue and we need to develop programmes that will allow young people to become the leaders of the future. The findings also point to a need to work with young people to help them bridge the divide between education and the workplace. In helping to address these issues, we want to support the great work that is already being done in communities across the country, and we look forward to seeing new and exciting ideas in the entries this year.”

Visit for more information about the Fund.

About the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund

The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is delivered in partnership with the Irish Youth Foundation and YouthAction Northern Ireland. In 2017, €100,000 will be made available in grants to non-profit and community groups for projects that inspire and support young people. Applications will be received online via before July 14th. Applications are invited for new programmes which align with the following themes:

  • Bridging the divide between education and the workplace
  • Fostering diversity and inclusion among young people
  • Empowering young people to become the leaders of the future

Now in its seventh year, the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund was set up in 2011 to mark the 125th anniversary of the company. Over the years, the Fund has supported projects including community, social and education programmes aimed at youth, promoting healthy and active lifestyles, and environmental leadership. To date €755,000 has been given to 56 non-profit organisations in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Sabina Cotter, Head of Grants and Programmes, Irish Youth Foundation said:

“The search is on for new projects that will inspire and support young people. Last year we discovered some fantastic initiatives such as one which focused on building currachs on Inishbofin to teach young islanders the value of teamwork. This a fantastic opportunity for not-for-profit organisations across Ireland to apply for funding for innovative projects to benefit young people”

June Trimble, Chief Executive Office, YouthAction Northern Ireland said:

“The great thing about the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is that the grants it provides give non-profit groups the power to bring innovative schemes to life. This year, we want to empower young people by developing their leadership skills. We also want to help them as they bridge the divide between education and the workplace and we aim to foster diversity and inclusion in their communities. If your organisation has an idea that will accomplish these aims, we want to hear from you!” 

The research published today was commissioned by Coca-Cola Ireland and carried out by iReach Insights.
252 young people aged 12-25 in Ireland and Northern Ireland were polled.