THE Minister for Rural & Community Development, Michael Ring, has joined Coca-Cola to announce that Mayo youth organisation, Leave No Trace Ireland, in collaboration with Safe Haven Ireland, have been awarded funding through the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund for their ‘Breath of Fresh Air’ programme.
A total of €100,000 has been granted through the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund this year to 14 community groups across Ireland and Northern Ireland for innovative projects that will support and inspire young people.
Leave No Trace Ireland and Safe Haven Ireland are to receive a €10,000 grant for their joint project which aims to promote integration between communities in Ireland and empower young people at risk of social exclusion. It provides opportunities for young people from a variety of backgrounds, including refugees and asylum seekers, to take part in voyages along the Irish coastline on sail training vessels.
The judges selected this project for a larger grant as they felt that it was unique and compelling and that with the €10k investment the organisations could achieve a sustainable impact in their community.
Minister Ring said: “I am delighted to be here today in Westport to recognise the great work that Leave No Trace Ireland is doing. It’s great news for them that they were one of the lucky recipients of a Coca-Cola Thank You Fund grant this year.
"I am truly humbled by the people working in communities, not just in Mayo but throughout the island of Ireland and believe that the impact of the work they do with young people has an immeasurable impact on our society and our natural environment.
“The best way to reach young people and help them acquire skills that they will use throughout their lives is by getting them involved with groups that serve their passions. Leave No Trace’s programme, for example, is designed to make a strategic and impactful intervention in young people’s lives and our communities stand to benefit as participants go on to set a positive example among their peer group and protect their environment.”
Ronan Farren, Public Affairs and Communications Director, Coca-Cola Ireland thanked all the organisations who applied for Coca-Cola Thank You Fund grants this year:
“I congratulate each of the organisations responsible for these worthy and exciting projects and, indeed, commend all the applicants of the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund this year for their many brilliant ideas and for their considerable efforts aimed at empowering young people in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
"It is clear from the strategic approach and new thinking that we have seen in the proposals, that a lot of time and effort was invested in this process by those who participated.”