Help your local youth project win up to €20,000 in grants from the 2019 Coca-Cola Thank You Fund
Are you part of a youth organisation that could use a serious financial boost?
Broadcaster Ryan Tubridy has launched Coca-Cola’s annual Thank You Fund for 2019, aimed at nurturing youth projects across Ireland, with up to €20,000 in grants available to winning entries. Started in 2011, the Thank You Fund is seen as a way to give back to those non-profit and community groups that help to inspire young people in Ireland.
Over the last eight years, the fund has supported projects including community, social and education programmes aimed at young people between the ages of 16 and 25, promoting healthy and active lifestyles, and environmental leadership.
To date, €955,000 has been given to 83 non-profit organisations across the island of Ireland, and this year’s overall fund of €100,000 - to be shared among a number of projects – will take it past the €1m mark for the first time.
The fund is now accepting online applications here – these applications should fall under one or more of the following three categories:
• Educational and Training Programmes for Young People
• Programmes that support diversity and inclusivity in young people
• Programmes that take an innovative approach to demonstrating sustainability to young people
The fund’s application form invites people to select which funding amount is most suitable to their project, whether it’s €5,000, €10,000 or €20,000.
Applicants are also asked to submit a 50-word summary of their project in support of their entry. A total of 20 shortlisted projects will be announced in August, with the winners of the 2019 Thank You Fund honoured at Ireland’s largest youth conference, Zeminar, in October.
This year will also see the return of The People’s Choice Award, with members of the public voting for their favourite project among the final 20 shortlisted organisations.
The closing date for applications is Friday, July 12, 2019.
The Thank You Fund – which has helped 83 different projects since its inception - has had a hugely positive effect on communities across Ireland as it aims to bridge the gap between full-time education and the workplace.
Previous winners from 2018
Of the 13 winners in 2018, none proved more popular – particularly with The Late Late Show host and avid reader, Tubridy – than Children’s Books Ireland. They were awarded €10,000 for the development of their project, designed to provide teenagers living in emergency accommodation with a library of books and a Patron of Reading, author Brian Conaghan.
Their sole aim? To get those teenagers re-engaged with books and the idea of reading for pleasure.
Children’s Books Ireland secured funding due to their stated mission to make books central to every young adult’s life by enlisting the support of ‘passionate and informed adults in families, schools, libraries and communities all across the island’.
Ryan Tubridy spoke about how this initiative highlighted the difference that the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund can make to young peoples’ lives.
“Literacy is one of the best investments we as a community can make in our future, so to see projects like this one from Children’s Books Ireland come to light because of the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is great!” he said.
“It’s so important that young people are involved in projects that will empower them to become confident leaders of the future. They need to be supported to bring about change and the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is giving community leaders and hardworking non-profit organisations across Ireland the ability to activate programmes that are doing just that. If you’ve an idea for a project that will inspire young people in your local area, I’d encourage you to check out the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund, with €100,000 in grants up for grabs.”
The Mary Peters Trust was another deserved winner of funding last year.
Helping young athletes whose careers are cut short due to injury, who can go on to experience mental health difficulties due to the sudden change in their lives, the trust facilitates those same athletes to go on and become Level One coaches.
The Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind also received funding for their Next Step programme, developed to improve retention of blind and vision impaired students in third level education, through skills training and supports in technology and mobility.
Petre Sandru, Country Manager at Coca-Cola Ireland, says the Thank You Fund can have a life-changing impact and promote healthy and active lifestyles among Ireland’s younger generations.
“Inspired by the creativity of the leaders in our local community each year, we feel so privileged as a company to be part of their story and supporting their efforts to empower our future change leaders.
“The Coca Cola Thank You Fund was set-up to enable a network of youth-orientated groups and organisations to effect change, so we’re delighted to once again be making €100,000 in funding available to this year’s applicants.
Applications for this year’s Coca-Cola Thank You Fund are now open. If you’re a youth-orientated non-profit organsiation or the leader of a local community group with an innovative idea to support and inspire young people, apply now on the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund website for your chance to secure grants of €5,000 to €20,000.