The winning recipients of this year’s Coca-Cola Thank You Fund were revealed, one of which is Cushendall Development Group who received €5,000 from the fund.
The Thank-You Fund, which totalled €130,000, was launched this year in partnership with Youth Action Northern Ireland and the Irish Youth Foundation; they encouraged applications from youth groups with project ideas that foster self-esteem, confidence, well-being and leadership in young people.
Cushendall Development Group was formed in 1990 with the goal of identifying needs within the local community and implementing plans to make positive changes. The group specialises in training for young people in the Glens who are not currently in employment or education to help them reach their full potential.
Paul McAlister from Cushendall Development Group said: “We can’t thank the Coca-Cola Thank-You Fund enough for selecting us as winners. Since Cushendall Development Group was founded, over 25 years ago, it has sought to make a positive contribution to our local community. This funding we’ve received today will greatly assist us in our efforts to help young people in our community make a positive contribution to society, now and in the future.”
The overall winner, Extern Limerick and its ‘Jumping Hurdles Horse Project’ will receive the top prize of €30,000 while the 12 runner up groups including the six from Northern Ireland will receive grants of either €5,000 or €10,000.
Those from Northern Ireland who have been awarded €10,000 grants include Co-operation Ireland from Belfast who run the Legacy Youth Leadership Programmes and Drake Music Project from Newry who facilitate young people with disabilities in music workshops.
The €5,000 rewards have been allocated to Orchardville Society from Belfast who enhance the leadership skills of its User Forum which is comprised of users with intellectual disabilities; Cushendall Development Group who provide specialist training to young people; Antrim Youth Information and Counselling Centre which delivers a Health and Wellbeing Programme and Cedar Foundation from Belfast who implement a recruitment and training programme for disabled young people.
Matthieu Seguin, General Manager, Coca-Cola HBC Northern Ireland & Ireland, thanked all the organisations who entered the Fund this year and also the judges who helped determine the winners.
“We are so 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. The response we received to the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund in 2016 was the strongest in some years, which shows that the appetite and enthusiasm is there for helping our young people fulfil their potential. Thank you to everyone who entered the Fund this year – the contribution you make in the lives of young people every day across local communities is immensely valued,” he said.
More information about the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is available at www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou.