Hanging out with friends and family, doing stuff and learning things. These seemingly vague activities are important building blocks for the wellbeing of young people across Australia.

Communities are key to how we form our identities, what we think we can achieve and how we respond to challenges. In short, they make us who we are. That’s why the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation is funding 33 grants to inspire young people to find happiness and feel empowered for a more positive life.

“From scout halls, literacy programs and conservation projects to camps for young people with special needs, there’s so much great work happening in local communities to bring happiness to our young people,” said Malcolm Hudson, chair of Coca-Cola Australia Foundation. “It’s work we’re incredibly proud to support.”

Each of the 33 grant recipients has been endorsed by an employee of Coca-Cola Amatil or Coca-Cola South Pacific. The one-off grant projects are for communities in which employees live, work or have a personal connection.

Scout’s honour

In rural and remote Australia, a lack of social contact and activity is connected with reduced wellbeing for young people, and opportunities like Scouts can make a real difference.

It was a long-standing family connection with the rural town of Glen Innes that led to a grant for the Glen Innes Scout Group. Having grown up in the area, Susie Crumpton, external affairs manager at Coca-Cola South Pacific, discovered the importance of groups like Scouts.

“This project will have real, long-term benefits for the young people involved in the local Scout program now and in the future,” said Susie. “I’m proud that I could connect young people to the Foundation and couldn’t be happier for my hometown.”

On the court

It’s easy to underestimate the value of teamwork and the skills it teaches: belonging, collaboration and leadership. A bit of basketball can deliver all this and more.

Gregor Brownlee, national business manager at Coca-Cola Amatil in Melbourne, nominated Helping Hoops for a grant after volunteering there.

“I’ve seen first hand the difference that Helping Hoops makes in the lives of disadvantaged, migrant and disabled children, and it’s immeasurable,” he said. “I can’t wait to see the impact this will have on the wider Footscray community.”

Happiness and possibility

It’s these and other charities that will benefit from the Coca-Cola Australia Foundation’s mission – to inspire moments of happiness and possibilities for young Australians.

In order to fulfil this mission, a grant round was opened at the end of June, 2016 offering two kinds of grants: flagship grants for major partners across three years, and smaller, employee connected grants for one-off projects.

Stay tuned for more stories on the work being done by Australian charities and Coca-Cola Australia Foundation to inspire moments of happiness and possibilities for young Australians. Here’s the complete list of employee connected grants for 2016:

  • Helping Hoops
  • Wheelchair Sports NSW
  • West Australian Foundation for Deaf Children (Inc.)
  • Time for Kids Inc.
  • I-Manifest
  • Cerebral Palsy Alliance
  • Cowboys
  • Hawkesbury's Helping Hands
  • The Helmsman Project
  • HeartKids Australia
  • Beacon Foundation
  • Kimberley Group Training Inc
  • Oz Harvest Limited
  • Aboriginal Literacy Foundation Inc
  • Essentials 4 Women
  • Exodus Workforce
  • The Shepherd Centre - for deaf children
  • Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience Indigenous Corporation (AIME)
  • Sydney Story Factory
  • Ipswich State High School P&c Assn
  • St Francis Social Services - The Come In Centre
  • Variety - the Children's Charity
  • Belvoir
  • Giant Steps
  • First Hand Aboriginal Corporation
  • Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre
  • Birrang Enterprise Development Co Ltd
  • The Wayside Chapel
  • Blacktown Women & Girls Health Centre
  • Cerebral Palsy League of Queensland
  • Reachout Australia
  • Contarf Foundation