Local group S.O.S Congolese Youth Galway is the running to get a share of this year’s Coca-Cola Thank You Fund along with 22 other shortlisted groups across Ireland.
The shortlisted groups will continue to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, competing for grants of €10,000 or €5,000 from a pot of €100,000.
This year’s 10th anniversary fund focused on those most impacted by COVID-19, receiving a record number of applications from all 32 counties.
Due to the level of demand and the escalating pressures facing young people across Ireland as the impact of the pandemic is realised, the fund was increased from €50,000 to €100,000.
The deadline for applications was also extended to give more community leaders working directly with vulnerable young people the chance to benefit.
“We could never have anticipated the significance of this year’s anniversary Fund as we mark a decade of support for community leaders, non-profit organisations and local youth groups at a time when they need it the most,” said Petre Sandru, Country Manager, Coca-Cola Ireland.
“While we were prepared for an increase in demand, we were overwhelmed by the reaction and delighted to have been in a position to increase the Fund, giving more groups the opportunity to apply and avail of this support.
“The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is an all-island initiative, with projects from all 32 counties submitted this year – which is a first for the Fund and a marker of the impact this pandemic is having on our young people and the fundraising streams of those working in the non-profit sector.”
He added that shortlisting this group from a record number of applications has been an impossible task for the judging panel, as the need greatly outweighed the resources available.
“While 23 groups have been shortlisted today, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank and indeed congratulate the hundreds of local champions on the frontline who have worked so hard to identify real solutions to the immediate need of those young people in their local area.
“Since 2011, the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund has donated over €1,055,000 to 95 non-profit organisations and we hope that this year’s Fund will allow the recipient youth groups maintain their vital service to the community and realise their goals of building resilience, meeting the education gaps and tackling the mental health challenges of our young people over the coming weeks, months and even years. ”
Breen Centre; Armoy (Radio Station), Antrim
Dreamscheme; Belfast (Outer East), Antrim
Greysteel Community Enterprises, Derry
Enactus Ireland, Dublin
Down Syndrome Tipperary, Tipperary
Purple House Cancer Support, Wicklow
Roscommon Young Carers Project via Vita House, Roscommon
Belmullet Swimming Club, Mayo
Willowfield; East Belfast (Inner), Antrim
Shankil Women’s Centre; Belfast (West), Antrim
Buddy Bench Ireland, Kilkenny
BeLonG To Youth Services, Nationwide
Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, Nationwide
Dublin City Farm and Ecology Centre, Dublin
Akina Dada Wa Afrika (AkiDwA) (Sister from Africa), Dublin
Street Feast CLG, Dublin
Co-operation Ireland, Dublin
S.O.S Congolese Youth/Galway, Galway
Club Óige Árainn Mhór, Donegal
Atlantic Corridor Links, Offaly, Longford, Laois, Westmeath
Ablevision Ireland, Louth
SERVE in Solidarity, Cork
A lust for life, Nationwide