25th August 2016

20 groups in the running to receive a grant from the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund

Shortlisted projects have vast potential to inspire and support young people across the country, says fund ambassador Eoghan McDermott

Shortlisted from 300 entries, twenty groups are in the running to receive a grant from the €130k Coca-Cola Thank You Fund.

The 2016, the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund will award 13 grants to projects that inspire and support young people in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The twenty remaining organisations will be invited to pitch their projects to a panel of judges for a chance to receive a grant of €30,000, €10,000 or €5,000.

The proposed programmes have been designed to support self-esteem and confidence building, wellbeing and leadership among young people aged between twelve and twenty-five years in a range of innovative ways.

“We asked community groups across the country to get creative for a chance to be awarded funding from the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund, and indeed they have. We were blown away by the quality of the entries received this year; each one with vast potential to inspire and support young people in communities across the country. I would like to wish the final 20 the very best of luck with the next phase of the process,” said broadcaster Eoghan McDermott, who is ambassador for the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund.

The Fund is being delivered in partnership with the Irish Youth Foundation and YouthAction Northern Ireland. The judging panel is made up of representatives from these partner organisations together with other experts who have extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector including James Galvin, CEO, Federation of Irish Sport and Chris Quinn, Director, Northern Ireland Youth Forum.

Matthieu Seguin, General Manager, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland, said: “The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund has awarded €625,000 to good causes since 2011, powering a range of projects including community, social and education programmes aimed at youth, healthy and active lifestyles, and environmental leadership. This year, we are rewarding projects which have the potential to inspire young people and equip them with a range of skills they will use throughout their lives and careers. There are many fantastic groups operating in our local communities and the aim of the Fund is to empower them to provide ambitious and innovative projects which really deliver for our young people.”

Each of the shortlisted organisations will deliver an elevator pitch to the judging panel and will field a series of questions to determine which projects receive the funding. Thirteen of the twenty organisations shortlisted will ultimately receive a grant.

“There is a real need among young people for support and guidance at critical transition periods in their development. The projects shortlisted have responded to the Fund’s themes in a variety of creative ways. All are innovative and engaging, and have at their core a commitment to setting up young people for positive futures. We look forward to meeting the shortlisted organisations and seeing the grants awarded to those groups which are in a position to have the most profound impact,” said Sabina Cotter, Head of Grants and Programmes, Irish Youth Foundation.

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

For further information, please contact:

The complete list of shortlisted organisations for 2016 are:

  • Antrim Youth Information & Counselling Centre which will enable its youth group FOCUS to deliver a new HI-5 Emotional Health and Wellbeing Programme in collaboration with local organisations.
  • Beacon of Light Counselling Centre which will address anger management issues by providing psychotherapy for young men from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Causeway Volunteer Centre for ‘All Aboard Leadership Express', a project which will engage young volunteers from disadvantaged backgrounds in a twelve-month leadership programme offering bespoke training and hands-on experience within 15 local management committees.
  • Cedar Foundation for a programme which will equip young people with physical disabilities, autism and brain injury with the confidence and skills to ‘Take the Lead’ in delivering disability awareness training.
  • Co-Operation Ireland for its Legacy Youth Leadership Programme which enable young people to engage with global communities to develop the skills required to become leaders of change in their communities.
  • Cushendall Development Group for its specialist training for young people in the Glens who are not in employment or education currently.
  • Drake Music Project Northern Ireland for ‘Music and Machines,’ which will facilitate young people with disabilities and their peers in accessing independent music making workshops at our its studio in Derry.
  • Extern Limerick for its ‘Jumping Hurdles Horse Project’, which will break down barriers and build bridges between young people across Limerick city by providing them with the competencies to seek and gain employment in the equine sector.
  • Gaisce will partner with a number of charities working with young people in Direct Provision to introduce them to its President's Award programme.
  • Inishbofin Community Services Programme for its ‘Less Stress is Best - Strive to Thrive’ programme which will equip the young population of Inishbofin with skills for life and wellbeing. The project involves the building of the traditional island curach under the guidance of a craftsman.
  • Irish Girl Guides for its first National Good Turn Week. This is a new initiative that is youth driven and aims to develop a stronger sense of community through kind deeds which promote self-esteem through being of assistance to others.
  • Junior Chamber International for its University Mentorship Project which will match second-year students in third level institutions with a mentor in their chosen field enabling the intergenerational knowledge transfer of key professional skills.
  • Mayfield Arts for its ‘Community Arts and Wellbeing’ programme for vulnerable young people at risk of experiencing social exclusion and isolation. The programme is aimed at promoting positive mental health through creative expression.
  • Musical Youth Foundation which will engage young people from disadvantaged backgrounds through music groups, focusing initially on the ukulele before broadening to include other instruments.
  • Nexus NI which will aid young people across Northern Ireland who have a range of special educational needs and who are at greater risk of sexual exploitation, violence or inappropriate sexual behaviours. The project will increase their wellbeing and personal safety, develop their confidence and sexual boundaries, and foster leadership skills.
  • Orchardville Society equips people with a learning disability/autism to achieve their individual ambitions. Its project will enhance the leadership skills of its User Forum, which is comprised of service users who have the opportunity to influence how Orchardville works and shape the services it offers.
  • Shine for its ‘See Change in Your College' project which will create an open culture around mental health in third level institutions in Ireland and challenge mental health stigma.
  • Sports Against Racism Ireland for its ‘Diverse City Soccernites Young Leader Programme.’ This is a series of free weekly soccer classes for girls and young women of all backgrounds in Dublin’s inner city which would include a certified Young Leader Programme that challenges prejudices, promotes cultural integration and active citizenship.
  • Tramore Community Radio for a young people's media project focused on confidence building and personal development through radio production and presentation.
  • Turn2Me to develop a safe, online community for young people where they can find support and share positive coping experiences with their peers, all under the guidance of a fully trained facilitator.