Public encouraged to vote for local heroes in People’s Choice Award as all-island campaign celebrates over €1 million donated to youth projects across Ireland since 2011.

Popular broadcasters Doireann Garrihy and Pete Snodden recently revealed the shortlist of 22 non-profit organisations* in the running for this year’s €100,000 Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund. Developed to empower and support young people across the island of Ireland, they joined former winners and some of those shortlisted this year to showcase the fund in action and encourage communities to cast their vote for this year’s ‘People’s Choice Award,’ at www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou.

  • €1m in total, donated to youth-oriented non-profit organisations
  • €100,000 pot up for grabs

Marking a major milestone year for our Fund, which will see the total figure donated to youth-oriented non-profit organisations reach over €1 million, the 22 shortlisted groups will now continue in the process to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges for a share of the €100,000 pot.

Receiving over 260 entries from 26 counties across the island of Ireland, we are once again giving the public a chance to have their say and vote for their favourite, with the ‘People’s Choice Award’ winner receiving an immediate grant of €5,000.

Delivered in partnership with the Irish Youth Foundation and YouthAction Northern Ireland, the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund seeks to support projects that will provide young people with opportunities to participate in local programmes, equipping them with the skills and experiences they need to be involved in today’s society.

In 2018 Autism Support Louth & Meath received a Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund grant of €10,000 for the development of their drama and music project, “Capacity Building through Drama and Music for young adults with Autism or Communication Difficulties.” Hosting a special class with the former winners to celebrate the shortlist announcement, speech and drama teacher and Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund ambassador Doireann Garrihy said; “Creativity and artistic expression really helped my own self-esteem, so to see projects like this one from Autism Support Louth & Meath made possible by the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund is just fantastic.

It’s obvious that the classes are having a positive effect on the participants, but from speaking to volunteers, it’s given them a huge boost too. There are young people right across the island of Ireland who’s lives will be positively impacted by the work of these great local community groups Doireann Garrihy, Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund ambassador

Celebrating the shortlist announcement, Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund ambassador Pete Snodden added;Being involved in the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund over the years, I’ve seen first-hand the difference it makes to local community groups.  I would encourage everyone to check out the 2019 Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund Shortlist at www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou and cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award.  I look forward to revealing the winners at Zeminar in Dublin in October.”

Zoe Cunningham, Community Affairs Manager for Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland went on to say:The Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund was designed to identify and support local community groups in Ireland and Northern Ireland with creative ideas to affect change. While we’re calling out a shortlist of 22 non-profit organisations here today, who will continue to the next stage of the judging process, we were truly overwhelmed by the response to this year’s milestone campaign and the standard of applications we received.

A record number of counties across the island of Ireland submitted really creative project ideas to inspire young people in their local area, so the future is bright. I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate those shortlisted today but also to encourage the groups who didn’t make it through on this occasion to keep going with their amazing efforts. We’re looking forward to hearing each of the groups pitch in the coming weeks and ultimately choosing our winners, who will be announced at Zeminar in October Zoe Cunningham, Community Affairs Manager for Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland

All 22 shortlisted youth organisations are in the running to receive a grant of €20,000, €10,000 or €5,000 following their pitch to the panel of judges. Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund and People’s Choice Award winners will be announced at Zeminar on Wednesday 9th October 2019.

Votes for the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund People’s Choice Award can be cast for free at www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou until Friday 20th September.

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