As young people across Ireland face an extended period of remote learning, community groups working directly with those most at risk over the coming months, are celebrating the news that they will receive a grant share of this year’s €100,000 Coca-Cola Thank You Fund.
Belmullet Swimming Club has received €5,000 in funding. Their funding will go towards offering programmes that aim to encourage local teenagers to participate in a supervised sea swimming social group and gain a valuable lifeguard qualification to build their confidence, social skills and employability status for their future.
“We found we would have a big uptake of our water safety classes until around the age of 15 and then we have a drop-off because we weren’t able to run lifeguard courses and things like that here. When we applied for the Coca-Cola fund it was with a view to being able to subsidise a lifeguard course that I would be able to run here locally in Belmullet,” said Michelle Healy, instructor and coach with Belmullet Swimming Club. The money will also go towards CPR equipment and a sea-swimming programme for teenagers in the summer months.
Launched in August the Coca-Col fund is designed to help with young people’s recovery post-Covid-19. Grants totalling €100,000 were awarded by a panel of judges to projects seeking support for initiatives targeted at 16-25-year-olds – to help build their resilience, meet the education gaps that exist and tackle the mental health challenges they’re facing today and will continue to face.