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19 May 2017

Personal Happiness is Most Important Measure of Success Among Northern Irish Youth

New research to celebrate the launch of the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund 2017 shows that young people in Northern Ireland believe their personal happiness is nearly three times as important as money when it comes to defining success.

Furthermore, the findings show that young people are motivated, with 56% describing themselves as ambitious. However, 71% of young people said they would prefer to keep their ambitions private.

The findings from a new study commissioned by Coca-Cola show that self-confidence is an important issue. 26% of young people describe their self-confidence as good but in need of improvement, while 16% say they have poor self-confidence. Just 18% say they have high self-confidence, with 40% saying they frequently wish they were more confident.

The Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is delivered in partnership with the Irish Youth Foundation and YouthAction Northern Ireland. This year, €100,000 will be made available in grants to non-profit and community groups for projects that inspire and support young people, particularly programmes which align with; bridging the divide between education and the workplace; fostering diversity and inclusion among young people; empowering young people to become the leaders of the future.

Role models are an important source of inspiration and guidance for young people. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of those aged 12-17 say they have a role model, with the number falling among 18-25 year olds. 57% of young people said that one or both of their parents are by far the most prominent role models. 34% said their role model is a sports figure, while 14% said they look up to a current or former teacher.

Over half (58%) of young people polled said they selected their role model based on that person’s life achievements and success in their field. This compares with 42% who said their role model had provided advice or guidance directly to them. Only 9% chose their role model based on wealth, and this tallied with other findings of the research which show that just 18% of young people think of wealth as the most important measure of success.

With a Coca-Cola Thank You Fund of €100,000, approximately £85,000**, launched today to further inspire and support young people, ambassadors including broadcaster Pete Snodden and community champion Baroness May Blood MBE are encouraging non-profit groups to avail of the funding that will make a difference to their local communities.

Speaking about his role model, Pete Snodden said, “Chris Evans has been an inspiration to me for many years. He started out in broadcasting as a teenager and he has continually reinvented himself throughout his successful career. His story inspired me to follow a similar path into broadcasting and it’s good news that so many young people have similar figures in their own lives.

Baroness May Blood MBE said, “My trade union officer, Billy Man, was a role model for me – he continued to push me through education after I left school when I had few qualifications. I wouldn’t be where I am today without his inspiration. I believe we need to support young people so they can live up to their ambitions and that’s why Coca-Cola is making €100,000 available to non-profit and community groups this year. If you have an idea for a new project that will inspire and support young people, we want to hear from you!”

Matthieu Seguin, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland said, “This research points up that young people in Northern Ireland are hopeful for their futures and have a mature interpretation of success. This high level of ambition is great to see – as a society we need to work with our young people to enable them to realise their potential. Confidence is a big issue and we need to develop programmes that will allow young people to become the leaders of the future. The findings also point to a need to work with young people to help them bridge the divide between education and the workplace. In helping to address these issues, we want to support the great work that is already being done in communities across the region, and we look forward to seeing new and exciting ideas in the entries this year.”

Applications will be received online via www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou before July 14, 2017. Visit Coca-Cola.ie/ThankYou for more information about the fund.

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