More than a dozen local community groups catering to Ireland's youth have been awarded a portion of a €100,000 corporate donation to offset isolation and other challenges thrown up by the pandemic.
A total of 13 community organisations, both north and south of the Border, were announced yesterday as the recipients of the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund.
Organisers of the fund, now in its 10th year, encouraged community groups working with young people to apply for the grants of €5,000 and €10,000.
This year they focused on those disproportionately affected by the social and economic hardships due to the pandemic.
A record number of applications were received across all 32 counties, in which 23 organisations were shortlisted and invited to make a pitch to the online judging panel.
The initiative was aimed at projects for 16 to 25-year-olds that are designed 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".
Seven of the successful candidates will receive a grant of €10,000 each, including Enactus Ireland Dublin, for its 'Live Like Never Before Project'.
It challenges third-level students to develop social entrepreneurial projects to ensure healthy lifestyles and promote well-being among vulnerable people in their community.
Other recipients include the nationwide BeLonG To Youth Services providing support to LGBTI youth during the pandemic and lockdowns.
The national network of migrant women, Akina Dada Wa Africa (Sister from Africa), was also awarded the grant to fund its Young Migrant Women Project. AkiDwA supports women between the ages of 18-25, especially during the pandemic.
Six other organisations, including the Dublin City Farm and Ecology Centre, will get €5,000 for their projects.