Best known as the creator of comedy-drama series ‘Can’t Cope, Won’t Cope’, Stefanie Preissner embodies the ability and potential of talented young people in Ireland. We caught up with her at the launch of the 2018 Coca-Cola Thank You Fund to find out more about the fund and why it was important for her to become an ambassador…

Stefanie Preissner is laughing as she swings suspended in the air from a hoop in the wood-panelled ceiling of a Victorian tenement where aerialist studio Aerial Cirque is based. As bizarre as this may seem, it’s all for a very good cause – Stefanie is one the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund’s 2018 ambassadors and she’s getting well and truly into the spirit of things.

How did you enjoy the launch event experience at Aerial Cirque?

That was super fun. I didn’t know I would actually have to get up on the swing. They told me I was going to be keeping my feet on the ground, which I was a little bit disappointed about. My motto is I’ll try anything three times. It went well – I’ll come back!

“It’s just incredible that there is this money there that all you have to do is just apply for it – there’s no catch.”

Why did you want to become a Thank You Fund ambassador?

When Coca-Cola came to me and I read about the Thank You Fund I was like ‘this is something I would apply for if I was still within the age limit’. It’s just incredible that there is this money there that all you have to do is just apply for it – there’s no catch. I rang my publicist and said, ‘what’s the catch, what do they have to do to get the money?’. And they were like ‘they just have to apply, and then they’ll be judged’. So that’s why I can totally get behind it.

Why are you excited about being a Thank You Fund ambassador?

Because it is helping teenagers and young adults and also because it’s not specific to any art form, or sports group or anything like that – it’s so broad that it’s exciting that anyone can apply to follow their passion.

“There isn’t a long list of companies, government bodies or NGOs lining up to give young people money to follow their passions.”

Why should youth organisations apply for a grant from the Thank You Fund?

If you have a project that you need support with, that the young people in your group are passionate about, you should absolutely apply. I am always of the opinion that it should come from the young people. If you’re in a group and you have something that you feel impassioned about or will take you to the next level of whatever path you are following you should apply. You have nothing to lose – why would you not?

Why is the Thank You Fund so important?

There isn’t a long list of companies, government bodies or NGOs lining up to give young people money to follow their passions. That’s why this is important - because when there are companies that see the value in supporting the interests of young people then they need to be taken seriously and the word needs to spread – apply!

How will you be promoting the TYF and People’s Choice Award?

I will be talking about it whenever I can, to anyone who will listen. I will be tweeting about it. I will be instagraming about it, I will be talking about it, I’ll be talking about it in all my interviews, I’ll be talking to taxi men at night time about it, I’ll be annoying my friends with links. Doing as much as I can, whenever I can.

The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is offering a total of €100,000 to youth-oriented non-profit organisations. Grants will be awarded ranging from anywhere from €5,000 to €30,000. You can apply now or any time up to 13 July 2018.

Apply to the 2018 Thank You Fund.