Coca-Cola announced that Leave No Trace Ireland, has been awarded funding through the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund. Award recipients and the successful non-profit organisations were presented with their certificates during a celebration at Zeminar, Ireland’s largest youth conference (RDS Dublin).
A total of €100,000 has been granted to 14 community groups across Ireland and Northern Ireland for innovative projects that will support and inspire young people.
Leave No Trace Ireland is to receive a €10,000 grant. The judges selected this project for a larger grant as they felt that they are unique and compelling and that with the €10k investment they could achieve sustainable impacts in their communities. Leave No Trace Ireland’s Breath of Fresh Air project promotes integration between communities in Ireland and empowers young people at risk of social exclusion. It provides opportunities for young people from a variety of backgrounds to take part in voyages along the Irish coastline on sail training vessels.
PJ Gallagher, Thank You Fund Ambassador, said “I have been overwhelmed by the diversity, thoughtfulness and potential impact of the projects that have received funding today through the Thank You Fund. Coca-Cola invited non-profit groups to enter projects that would inspire and support young people and there is no doubt that the grant recipients and the proposed projects will certainly do that. I am humbled by the people working in communities throughout the island of Ireland and believe that the impact of the work they do with young people has an immeasurable impact on our society. I look forward to staying in touch with the recipients as these projects come to fruition.”
Petre Sandru, Country Manager, Coca-Cola Ireland thanked all the organisations who applied for Thank You Fund grants this year and the judges who helped select the winners.
“We are delighted to invest in young people in our communities but it is important to us that the funding provided through the Thank You Fund is a catalyst for new thinking and helps support the delivery of projects and schemes that otherwise might not happen. It is clear from the strategic approach and new thinking that we have seen in the proposals that a lot of time and effort was invested in this process by those who participated. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to enter and specifically to congratulate those who were successful. It is important that the next generation of our society are given every possible opportunity to reach their full potential and we hope that the funding provided through the Thank You Fund will make a difference in the lives of those who have the opportunity to participate in the programmes. I would also like to sincerely thank our judges who gave freely of their time and expertise to select the worthy winners.”
The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is delivered in partnership with the Irish Youth Foundation and Youth Action Northern Ireland.
Speaking yesterday, Sabina Cotter, Head of Grants and Programmes, Irish Youth Foundation, said the projects selected had the potential to transform the lives of young people.
“The best way to reach young people and help them acquire skills that they will use throughout their lives is by getting them involved with groups that serve their passions. There is no such thing as one size fits all, and the projects funded by the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund will appeal to a broad cross section of young people. All are designed to make a strategic and impactful intervention in their lives and our communities stand to benefit as participants go on to set a positive example among their peer group,” she said.
At the outset of the process this year, Coca-Cola commissioned research to establish the ambitions and concerns of parents of young people. The number one aspiration of parents for their child is that they create a life they enjoy and derive personal satisfaction from. Nearly two thirds of respondents said they worry about their child being led astray by their peer groups. The issues that parents worry about most are drug addiction (21%) and societal challenges such as employment (15%).
By investing in community groups that specifically target youth, Coca-Cola is aiming to support those who provide targeted interventions for young people, helping to keep them interested in certain activities or providing supports and networks that help them to make the right decisions as they move from teenage years to young adulthood.
Since the Thank You Fund was launched in 2011 it has invested a total of €855k in community groups and non-profit organisations throughout the island of Ireland.
More information about the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is available at www.coca-cola.ie/thank-you-fund.