Tuesday 20 August 2019

What do Ireland’s parents want for their children?

Thank You Fund 2017 is giving €100,000 to youth charities in Ireland. From L-R: Aseel Bukhatwa, Azeez Yusuff and PJ Gallagher.
Thank You Fund 2017 is giving €100,000 to youth charities in Ireland. From L-R: Aseel Bukhatwa, Azeez Yusuff and PJ Gallagher.

What do Ireland’s parents hope for young people today?

What are their ambitions for the next generation and what are their concerns for them around the future?

A massive 82% of parents feel it’s important for their children to continue education into third level and 67% of parents say that they are concerned for their child’s future employment prospects.

An innovative €100k fund aims to help a wide range of groups across the country to respond practically to these concerns and act on them by creating ‘leaders of the future’ through supporting youth development and empowering young people all over Ireland.

The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund has shortlisted 20 non-profit organisations – charity and community groups – to pitch their ideas and focus on the future of Ireland’s young people. To further understand the crucial need for funding to support youth development, Coca-Cola also commissioned research * to delve deeper in to what exactly parents are thinking.

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PJ Gallagher at the launch of the Thank You Fund in Dublin.

Snapshot reveals what Ireland’s parents think 

This snapshot of what parents think right now has some very clear findings. Unsurprisingly, the number one aspiration of parents (35%) is for their child to create a life they enjoy, but 63% stated that they have worries and concerns over their children being led astray by peer groups.  Some of the areas of concern for parents include high costs of living, drug culture and general societal challenges such as unemployment.

The research also revealed that if their children wanted to emigrate, nearly half of parents (48%) would understand, but rather their child stayed in Ireland. 45% said they would be excited for their child to explore life in another country.

The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is delivered in partnership with the Irish Youth Foundation and Youth Action Northern Ireland. Pulled from over 200 entries, the 20 shortlisted youth organisations are in the running to receive a grant of €30,000, €10,000 or €5,000 following their presentation to the panel of judges. Winners will be announced at Zeminar, Ireland’s largest Youth Conference, in the RDS on Thursday 12th October 2017.

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The currach departs on its maiden voyage from the Old Pier on Inishbofin.

So what organisations are shortlisted for the 2017 fund?

So what organisations are shortlisted for the 2017 fund? The groups span across Dublin, Cork, Antrim, Sligo / Leitrim, Fermanagh, Mayo, Derry and Louth. They include the following:

ATD Fourth World - All Together in Dignity, Ireland works with those affected by chronic poverty. It’s an international human-rights movement that works through grass roots projects in partnership with people living in poverty.

An Cosan describes itself as a centre of learning, leadership and enterprise. A virtual Community College, its mission is to empower through education and it does this by providing people of all ages with pathways to learning, leadership and enterprise.

Cloyne Diocesan Youth Services Ltd. is a voluntary not-for-profit organisation that has worked with young people since 1962 in the Cork area providing free and low cost activities.

CoderDojo Foundation – CoderDojo has come to prominence over the past few years as one of the most exciting technology movements in the country and worldwide. It offers young people of 7 and up the chance to learn programming / coding skills for free.

Co-operation Ireland is an all-island peace building charity established back in 1979 to promote interaction, dialogue and practical collaboration between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

CRAICNI stands for Cultivate Respect, Appreciate Inclusion in Communities in Northern Ireland – it’s a social enterprise to develop and deliver quality learning experiences that focus on integration, cohesion and inclusive action and promote diversity in Northern Ireland.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award Northern Ireland spans volunteering to physical activities, life skills to expeditions and is now considered one of the world’s leading youth achievement awards.

Foroige Autism Specific Big Brother Big Sister Programme takes the internationally renowned youth mentoring programme that forms supportive friendships between a young person and adult volunteer and has tailored a specific programme around autism.

Girls Brigade NI is a youth organisation for girls of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. The Christian organisation now has over 300 companies all over Northern Ireland.

Guides Fermanagh is also a finalist in this years fund. “We are for all girls and young women whatever their background and circumstances.  We offer them fun, exciting activities and the chance to make life-long friends.”

Leave No Trace Ireland – Mayo – This member driven organisation teaches people of all ages how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly and is the most widely accepted outdoor ethics programme in Ireland.

Nerve Centre, Derry – This is a cultural hub with a gig venue, studio space and cinema that shows indie films.

Northern Ireland Youth Forum – The Antrim-based Northern Ireland Youth Forum promotes the voice of young people in Northern Ireland.

Oasis Caring in Action is a community organisation which aims to transform lives and transform communities through the provision of childcare, training and befriending services based within the heart of inner east Belfast.

Start 360 describes itself as Northern Ireland’s leading provider of support services to young people, adult offenders and families in the community.

The Stephenstown Pond is a nature park and coffee shop in Dundalk, Co. Louth with beautiful lakeside walkways and educational nature quizzes for children.

The Little Museum of Dublin is one of Dublin’s hidden gems and is now top of the list on all sorts of tourist guides – it showcases the history of modern Dublin like nowhere else.

Ulster GAA is shortlisted for the Thank You fund – it covers gaelic football, hurling, camogie and handball and has a range of initiatives at youth level.

The Willowfield Parish Association is a non-profit organisation in Belfast, Northern Ireland to benefit teenagers, elderly, lone parents, children, the unemployed and families struggling with poverty.

Westport Scoil Cheoil takes place in Westport town from July 2nd to 6th celebrating the very best in Irish traditional music.

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. This year another €100,000 in funding will be invested into non-profit organisations across the island of Ireland.

More information about the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is available at

*  The research was conducted by iReach Market Research on behalf of Coca-Cola Ireland.


Sponsored by: Coca-Cola Thank You Fund

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