Applegreen continues support for Irish Youth Foundation
Applegreen is donating €100,000 to support children and young people experiencing disadvantage through the Blossom Fund in aid of the Irish Youth Foundation. The primary focus of the fund is to support children and young people aged 6-18 from disadvantaged areas to remain in education.
The Blossom Fund is part of the Applegreen charitable fund providing monetary support to four Irish charity partners. Every time an Applegreen customer makes a shop or fuel purchase in Applegreen in Ireland, the company donates 1 Cent to the Applegreen Charitable Fund on the customer’s behalf, to the Irish Youth Foundation, Pieta House, Food Cloud and Enable Ireland through the fund.
Research carried out by the Irish Youth Foundation has revealed that 1 in 10 young people from disadvantaged areas are no longer progressing from primary to secondary education as a direct consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. This trend has prompted the Irish Youth Foundation to use the Applegreen Blossom Fund to encourage young people to re-engage with their services and continue learning.
This year’s fund will specifically support successful transitions through education due to the growing need in this area outlined in the recent, ‘Futures are On the Line’ report from the Irish Youth Foundation. At present 4,500 children stop attending school before Junior Cert – with twice as many dropping out from DEIS schools compared to non-DEIS schools. As a result of the pandemic over two thirds of youth workers now say they fear young people’s aspirations have regressed, and they are experiencing loss of motivation as a result of the past year and lack of engagement with school.
Fiona Matthews, Applegreen Ireland, Managing Director, said “At Applegreen, it is important to us that we give back meaningfully to our local communities. Over the past two years, we have seen first-hand the significant value that the Irish Youth Foundation gains from Applegreen Blossom Fund contributions. This year, the fund seeks to address a particularly concerning trend in education, and we hope to play our part in supporting children in our communities.”
The fund has previously supported projects in the area of health and mental wellbeing such as Venture Out Wilderness (offering nature based therapeutic programmes to young people) and The Shona Project (offering a primary school wellbeing course for young girls in 5th and 6th class). The Applegreen Blossom Fund has directly impacted over 8,000 children and young people in its first two years, funding 111 projects throughout the Republic of Ireland.
The Blossom Fund is accepting proposals from community groups from October 1 to 27. Applicants should submit their proposal on the Irish Youth Foundation website with approved projects to be awarded funding in December 2021.