Pete Snodden and Joanne O’Riordan join forces to inspire youth leadership with £100k* Coca-Cola Thank You Fund

Coca-Cola's Thank You Fund (2)

Workshop announced in Northern Ireland to encourage youth groups to ‘dream big’

Today (21st April 2016) broadcaster Pete Snodden joins youth inspiration and disability campaigner Joanne O’Riordan at the launch of this year’s Coca-Cola Thank You Fund which seeks to fund projects that that inspire and support young people in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

As ambassadors for the campaign, they are calling on youth groups with project ideas that foster self-esteem, confidence, wellbeing and leadership in young people to apply for the fund which totals €130,000, upwards of £100,000*, in celebration of 130 years of Coca-Cola.

The Fund launches this year in partnership with YouthAction Northern Ireland and the Irish Youth Foundation to encourage non-profit and community groups to apply. On Friday 6 May, a workshop will be hosted at YouthAction Northern Ireland and all groups who are keen to apply and want to find out more about the Fund are urged to come along.

Pete Snodden, who will also be participating in the workshop, said, “We want to hear from groups who seek to make a positive change in their communities, and those who are passionate about leading from the front to make it happen. I urge any groups thinking of applying for the funding to come along to the workshop with YouthAction NI on the 6th May to learn more about the process, and the types of projects we are hoping to hear from.”

Joanne was also delighted to get behind the initiative saying: “It’s time to dream big! I am calling on all youth groups across the island of Ireland to put their heads together to develop a project that will make a real difference in young peoples’ lives.”

According to the Department of Education’s Priorities for Youth report, just over a third of young people are involved in youth work activities in Northern Ireland.

June Trimble, MBE, Director of YouthAction Northern Ireland hopes that this funding will help to increase youth engagement and participation in community initiatives saying,  “Young people need support if they are to develop and reach their full potential, and the community plays an important role in that development. We are all influenced by our parents and our siblings, but as we move through our teens and into our twenties, we look more and more to our peer group to discover our role models. Youth groups and activities are vital to helping young people become contributors and leaders in society.

“Through the Fund, a wealth of new programmes will come into existence that will have a very real impact on the local community, and that’s something we are very happy to support.”

Matthieu Seguin, ‎General Manager Coca-Cola HBC Ireland & Northern Ireland, said; “Young people are the change-makers in our society. They have a vital role to play as leaders of our economic, social and community development, and we want to empower them to do so.

“We are delighted to be making €130,000 – more than £100,000* – available to support the rollout of new and inspiring community-based projects that respond to a real need among young people. Thirteen projects will be selected and will receive funding in the amounts of €30,000, €10,000 or €5,000.

“I would like to thank our inspirational ambassadors, and also our youth partners who will help us to make a real and lasting impact in communities across the country with this funding.”

Applications from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland for the Fund are being accepted online now until 7 June at www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou.