Funding Awarded to Community Projects Serving Young People Across Ireland and Northern Ireland

Ireland, 14th November 2018: Coca‑Cola today announced this year’s Thank You Fund award recipients and the successful non-profit organisations were presented with their certificates during a celebration event on the main stage at Zeminar, Ireland’s largest youth conference (RDS Dublin).

A total of €100,000 has been granted to 13 community groups across Ireland and Northern Ireland for innovative projects that will support and inspire young people.

The seven organisations to receive €10,000 grants are: Autism Support Louth and Meath; Blossom Ireland; Children’s Books Ireland; Include Youth; Mary Peters Trust; Patrician Youth Centre; and Willowfield Parish Community Association. The judges selected these projects for larger grants as they felt that each of them were unique and compelling and that with the €10,000 investment they could achieve sustainable impacts in their communities.  


  • Autism Support Louth & Meath’s project is called “Capacity Building through Drama & Music for young adults with Autism or Communication Difficulties”. The goal of this project is to empower and build confidence in young adults with Autism to participate not only in this project but also more actively in their own local community.
  • Blossom Ireland Community Inclusion Teen Development Programme is an educational skills-based programme for teenagers with an intellectual disability. The overall goal is for young people to leave the service, aged 20 with a clear plan about what they want to achieve, a sustainable support network and a specific set of skills and knowledge to help them achieve this.
  • Children's Books Ireland’s project will give young homeless teenagers in Family Hubs in Dublin access to books and to build a library of books for them. In addition, the project wants to have a Patron of Reading visit the Family Hubs in Dublin to inspire and engage these young people in books and reading. The organisation would then hope to re-engage these young people in reading for pleasure and enjoying sessions with the Patron of Reading to encourage them in their reading.
  • Include Youth’s overall goal for this project is for Include Youth and the young people they engage with to create a youth-led and youth-focused conference with a difference in Belfast. A major goal of the event will be to bring together a committee of young people, who will be seen as ‘Experts by Experience’ and will take the lead on workshops, themes and the general running of the event.
  • Mary Peters Trust’s project will facilitate young people who excel in their sport to become level one Coaches. Young athletes whose careers are cut short can experience mental health problems when the routine they have known for years ends. Coaching is a route to channel their passion for their sport and overcome the disappointment of not competing.
  • Patrician Youth Centre’s project will foster diversity and inclusion among young people. The Centre will work with an identified group of young people and shape them into volunteers of the future. Through groupwork, the i-Volunteer young people, will assess their own prejudices and how these are manifested in order to work through arising issues.
  • The final recipient of €10,000 is Willowfield Parish Community Association. Their Leaders in Training project has been designed to enable young people from inner city East Belfast, an area known for its high levels of antisocial behaviour, low academic attainment and socio-economic challenges, to engage with positive leadership principles, the importance of personal development, and community ownership.

An additional six organisations will each receive €5,000 for programmes including the County Wexford Youth Film Project; Dublin North West Area Partnership; Global Action Plan; Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind; Love and Care for People; and Northern Ireland Youth Forum.

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 amazed and in awe of the people working in communities across the country. The impact of the work they do with young people has an immeasurable impact on our society. Pete Snodden, Thank You Fund Ambassador

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. We are grateful to our distinguished panel of judges who met all our shortlisted groups and had the difficult task of determining who was to receive funding. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to enter and specifically to congratulate those who were successful. I particularly look forward to next year when we will reach a significant milestone in the Thank You Fund as we celebrate giving over €1 million in funding to non-profits since 2011. Petre Sandru, Country Manager, Coca‑Cola Ireland

The Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund is delivered in partnership with the Irish Youth Foundation and Youth Action Northern Ireland.

Speaking today, Sabina Cotter, Head of Grants and Programmes, Irish Youth Foundation / June Trimble, CEO, Youth Action Northern Ireland 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.

By investing in community groups that specifically target young people, 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 €955k in community groups and non-profit organisations throughout the island of Ireland.   

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