21 May 2022

Community group in running for share of €100,000 fund

The group have come up with an apprenticeship-style programme for their young people.

Community group in running for share of €100,000 fund

The Vale Centre in Greysteel.

A County Derry community group is among 23 non-profit organisations in the running for a share of a €100,000 grant scheme.

Greysteel Community Enterprises are one of five groups in the North that have been shortlisted for a share of the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund, which is run on an all-island basis.

The organisation, based in the town's Vale Centre, supports people living in the Greysteel area and provides events and activities to allow ongoing growth and development within the community.

As part of the process, they will make a presentation today on an apprenticeship-style employability programme for the area's young people.

“We are a park that has multiple businesses working in it,” said Columba Mailey, Project Co-ordinator at the Vale Centre.

“The idea is to get young people who have fallen through the gaps with Covid and lost their spot on an apprenticeship.

“They have a year now to go and learn in the different sectors here; woodwork, people doing CAD, care sectors, bakery, retail.

“We're looking to bring in 20 young people, put them through a couple of courses that will help with their employability.”

The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is run in partnership with YouthAction Northern Ireland and Irish Youth Foundation, with this year's theme focusing on helping young people affected by Covid-19.

June Trimble, CEO YouthAction Northern Ireland, said the standard of applications was testament to the good work going on in communities across the island.

“As we start to realise the true impact this pandemic is having on young people in our local community, the role of our community leaders and youth groups has never been more important,” she said.

“This funding from Coca-Cola will bridge the gap or put in motion programmes that have the capacity to change the course of a vulnerable young person’s life.

“Very difficult decisions had to be made this year, with the level and standard of entries really demonstrating the value charities across the Island of Ireland bring to our local communities.

“Their support and guidance is needed at that vital grass roots level to shine a light for those who may have lost their way during this incredibly difficult year.”

With the fund now in its tenth year, the shortlisted 23 will now continue in the process to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges for a share of the grant funding.

Each organisation is in the running to receive grants of €10,000 or €5,000, with the winners being announced on December 16

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