BAFTA-winning Irish actor Barry Keoghan has returned home to Dublin from the US to launch the 2023 Coca-Cola Thank You Fund.
According to the soft-drink giant, the initiative was set up to encourage non-profit community groups that empower young people through programmes of learning, inclusion, and sustainable development.
Operating in partnership with the Irish Youth Foundation and supporting partners YouthAction Northern Ireland, the Coca-Cola Company and its partner, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland, are this year joining forces to double the size and impact of the fund, making €200,000 in grants available.
Commenting at the launch, Agnese Filippi, country manager, Coca-Cola Ireland, said, “This is a milestone year for the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund, as we join forces with our partners in Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland to double the size and impact of the fund, making €200,000 in grants available.
“Through this funding, we’re seeking to provide opportunities for young people to realise their potential, achieve their goals, and contribute positively to society.
“With these added resources, we’re directly investing in youth-orientated organisations that are empowering young people through programmes of learning, inclusion, and sustainable development, working in partnership with the Irish Youth Foundation, to ensure no one is left behind.”
Oscar Nominee Support
Having supported the fund in 2020, Oscar nominee Keoghan returned to launch this year’s programme, visiting former Coca-Cola Thank You Fund recipient Global Action Plan in its Green Living and Sustainability (GLAS) garden, which aims to empower young people from disadvantaged areas with the skills they need to take action in their homes and communities for a more climate-positive future.
Speaking about his own experience as an advocate for the importance of local youth groups and the role of the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund in empowering and equipping young people across Ireland and Northern Ireland, Keoghan, said, “I launched the 2020 Coca-Cola Thank You Fund just before the pandemic, and it really struck a chord with me, meeting the young people whose lives had been so positively impacted by the programmes delivered as a result of this great support.
“The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is giving local groups in communities the ability to help vulnerable young people build positive relationships and develop skills that will have a lasting impact on their future and their communities, but also on our environment, and that’s something that’s important to me.
“I’m a proud example of the impact of local projects and hope that I can help other young people by encouraging community-based programmes to apply for funding.”
Applications for this year’s Coca-Cola Thank You Fund can be submitted here until 6pm on Thursday 15 June, with entries assessed under the categories of education, inclusion, and sustainable development.