Challenge Partners

Challenge Partner Logo

Gaisce Challenge Partners support and involve young people to participate in one or more Gaisce Challenge Area, allowing Gaisce participants to use relevant activities to count towards achieving their Gaisce Award. Challenge Partners frequently act as activity supervisors, signing off on weekly activities for Gaisce participants.

If your organisation currently supports and involves young people to participate in a Gaisce Challenge Area, contact us at challengepartner@gaisce.ie to find out how you can become an official Gaisce Challenge Partner.

Current national Gaisce Challenge Partners:

An Óige – Ireland aim to help young people appreciate the countryside, foster an appreciation of Ireland’s cultural and historical heritage and provides safe, affordable accommodation and travel experiences around Ireland.

HOW: An Óige facilitates Gaisce participants to complete their Adventure Journey by offering low cost, accessible hostel accommodation. They will also offer (where available) the services of a Guide (an experienced and Garda vetted volunteer with knowledge of the surrounding trails and walks) to organisations/groups using An Óige hostels for the Bronze Award.

Contact: 01 830 455; programmes@anoige.ie or visit https://anoige.ie/bronze-adventure-journey/

Arch Clubs were established in 1976 to provide a secure, social environment for people with special needs, their siblings and friends to learn, form friendships and above all have fun. At present, there are over 50 community-based social-inclusion-for-all Arch Clubs spread across the country.

HOW: Arch Clubs facilitate Gaisce participants to complete the Community Involvement challenge area by volunteering with a club or becoming an active member of an Arch Club, the Personal Skill area can be achieved through participation in any of the skill based activities in the club and the Physical Recreation area could be met by engaging in sports based activities run by the club.

Contact: 01 2951081 or archclubs@eircom.net

BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition is a project based STEM initiative open to all second level students on the island of Ireland.  Individuals or groups of up to three can enter a science based project in the competition.

HOW:  BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition facilitates Gaisce participants to meet the Personal Skill challenge area by planning, researching, preparing and creating a project.

Contact: 1800 924362 or youngscientist@bt.com

Children’s Books Ireland aims to engage young people in reading and fosters a greater understanding of the importance of books to unlock a passion for literature.

HOW: Children’s Books Ireland facilitates Gaisce participants to meet either the Personal Skill or the Community Involvement challenge areas through involvement in their Shadowing Scheme. The Shadowing Scheme and Children’s Choice Award are tangible ways of making young people’s voices heard and offers Gaisce participants the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young readers as well as developing their own skills in a specific area of interest.

Contact: 01 8727475 or info@childrensbooksireland.ie

Cycle Against Suicide raises awareness about the issue of suicide, offers reassurance that ‘It’s ok not to feel ok and it’s absolutely ok to ask for help’ and direct people to get help locally and nationally. A two week cycle is organized each year.

HOW: Cycle Against Suicide facilitates Gaisce participants to meet the Community Involvement challenge area by promoting the charity or assisting adult volunteers. Participants can meet the Personal Skill area by getting involved in the Communications (social media, website and promotion), leadership or organisation of events. Participants can also meet the Physical Recreation area by cycling with the aim of taking part in a section of the Cycle Against Suicide cycle. Involvement in the cycle could also meet requirements for an Adventure Journey.

Contact: info@cycleagainstsuicide.com

Don Bosco Care works with some of the most at risk people in Ireland and provide residential care, residential aftercare and outreach aftercare for young people who can’t live at home because of violence, neglect or addiction.

HOW: Don Bosco Care facilitates Gaisce participants to meet their Community Involvement challenge area through volunteering with them in general and through involvement in their Don Bosco Cares TY Challenge.

Contact: 01 833 6009 or info@donboscocare.ie

ECO-UNESCO promotes the personal development of young people and raises environmental awareness through practical environmental projects. Their work is based on two simple ideas: “learning by doing” and “thinking globally, acting locally”.  

HOW: ECO-UNESCO facilitates Gaisce participants to meet the Community Involvement challenge area by involvement in the YEA Action project or the Eco-Community Development QQI Level 3 module. Participants can also meet the Personal Skill area by taking on a specific role within their ECO-UNESCO team e.g. Communications, environmental audit etc.

Contact: 01 662 5491 or info@ecounesco.ie

 

Habitat for Humanity Ireland transforms lives by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Their self-help model provides families and communities with a ‘hand-up’ to pull themselves out of poverty.

HOW: Through their schools programme or the Volunteer Overseas Programme, Habitat for Humanity Ireland facilitates Gaisce participant to meet the Community Involvement challenge area by planning/fundraising/raising awareness and then going on the trip. The trip could also meet the requirements for the Adventure Journey (Exploration) by living in the local community, building with local families and engaging in cultural activities. At Gold Award level, the schools programme and the Volunteer overseas programme can be used for the Residential Project.

Contact: 01 531 0033 or info@habitatireland.ie

Irish Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) is the national governing body for all towed water sports including water skiing, wakeboarding, disabled skiing and barefooting.

HOW:  IWWF facilitates Gaisce participants to meet the Physical Recreation challenge area.

Contact: info@irishwwf.ie

CoderDojo’s vision is a world where every young person has the opportunity to learn code and be creative in a safe and social environment.

HOW:  Coderjo facilitates Gaisce participants to meet either the Personal Skill challenge area by developing their coding skills through the programme or could meet the Community Involvement area  by voluntarily teaching others how to code.

Contact: ross@coderdojo.org or tara@coderdojo.org

Irish Youth Music Awards (IYMAs) is a flagship programme of Youth Work Ireland. The programme focuses on using music as an educational tool for young people aged from twelve to nineteen years of age and offers them hands on experience learning new skills in the music industry.

HOW: The IYMAs facilitates Gaisce participants to meet the Personal Skills challenge area by involvement in the programme; activities could include: when a song / act is chosen at the Local Live Selection Night, participants of the ‘support team’ volunteer in roles such as social media management or membership of the fundraising team.

Contact: iymas@youthworkireland.ie

Sail Training Ireland is a fun and exciting adventure that has a profound impact on the lives of participants. ‘Trainees’ take part in voyages at sea on tall ships and yachts during which they become part of the working crew.

HOW: Sail Training Ireland facilitates young people to meet the Personal Skill challenge area by learning nautical skills. Gaisce participants who volunteer as Youth Mentors could use this to meet the Community Involvement area.  The Tall Ships trip could also meet the Adventure Journey or the Residential Project requirements.

Contact: 01 855 9597 or info@sailtrainingireland.com

Young Saint Vincent de Paul  is a youth development programme that encourages and supports young people to engage in positive meaningful volunteering activities within their own communities where they have the opportunity to learn about issues of social justice and work towards creating a fairer and more just society for everyone. 

HOW: Young Saint Vincent de Paul facilitates Gaisce participants to meet their Gaisce requirements by volunteering for their Community Involvement or developing Personal Skills by taking on elected roles  (e.g.President,Secretary,Treasurer etc.).

Contact: 8848233 or becca@svp.ie/youth@svp.ie

SciFest is a series of one-day science fairs for second-level students hosted in schools and at regional level in third level colleges with a national final each November. The project encourages a love of science, technology, engineering and maths through active, collaborative, inquiry-based learning and provides a forum for students to present and display their scientific investigations.

HOW: SciFest facilitates Gaisce participants to meet the Personal Skill challenge area through involvement in the programme via their science based projects. Gaisce participants, particularly college students involved in supporting a regional coordinator to organise SciFest@College, can use these activities to meet the Community Involvement area.

Contact: 086 379 6143 or sheila.porter@scifest.ie


Team Hope
is an Irish, international Christian development aid charity, working with children, and through them, into their families and communities in Eastern Europe, former Soviet Union and Africa. Team Hope is best known for their Christmas Shoebox Appeal, but they also help children all year round through a variety of community development projects, an International Sponsorship Programme and International Volunteer Teams.

HOW: Team Hope facilitates Gaisce participants to meet their Community Involvement challenge area through involvement in their 13 week TY programme or by getting involved in the organisation and collection of the shoeboxes. Gaisce particpants may choose to use this activity to meet their Personal Skill requirements as it involves organisational skills, time management, Communications and team work etc. Participants could meet their Residential Project requirements by travelling with their faith-based International Volunteer Team. 

Contact: Rachel 01 294 0222 or info@teamhope.ie

Young Social Innovators (YSI) is a not-for-profit organisation that recognises and celebrates excellence in youth-led innovation and facilitates 12 – 18 year olds to make a positive change in their communities and beyond. YSI programmes promotes social innovation in education, empowers young people to realise their potential and to build their skills and confidence in tackling social issues that face them and their communities.

HOW: YSI facilitates Gaisce participants to meet the Community Involvement challenge area by involvement in any task that a participant does as part of their YSI Action project that enhances either their school or centre or their local, national or international community. YSI team members could meet the Personal Skill area by taking on a specific role within their YSI team (e.g. Communication, organisation, fundraising, budgeting, time management, leadership, photography etc.). 

Contact: 01 645 8030 or admin@youngsocialinnovators.ie

The HOPE Foundation works with street and slum children in Kolkata, India who are some of the most disadvantaged children in the world today. They reach out to those most forgotten; offering protection, healthcare, nutrition, education, rehabilitation and a family for life.

HOW: HOPE facilitates Gaisce participants who volunteer with them to meet the Community involvement challenge area through involvement in their School Immersion Programme, Overseas Volunteer Programme, HOPE Volunteers and their Third Level Partnerships. HOPE volunteers could also meet the Personal Skill area through their fundraising, awareness raising, organisational or mentoring/teaching activities. Travelling to Kolkata and volunteering would meet requirements for the Gold Award Residential Project.

Contact: 021 4292990; 01 8716930 or office@hopefoundation.ie

YouthBank is a unique way of involving young people in grant-making within their local community. It is an all-island of Ireland initiative of over 25 grant-making committees run by young people. The funding distributed by these decision-making committees supports projects designed and run by young people that address issues and concerns relevant to them and their community.

HOW: YouthBank facilitates Gaisce participants to meet the Personal Skill challenge area through their involvement in the programme and enhancing skills in leadership, team-work, decision-making, problem-solving, communication, etc. Involvement could also meet the Community Involvement area as they volunteer time and effort into being part of decision-making committees and distribution of funds in their community.

Contact:  086 8101107 or edel@iyf.ie

Cell EXPLORERS is a science education and outreach programme based in the School of Natural Sciences in the National University of Ireland Galway. They work on a unique model where volunteers and student projects combine to allow sustainable outreach.  There are 10 teams running science activities in schools on a voluntary basis. Third level students and employees are involved in public engagement in science.

HOW: Cell EXPLORERS facilitates Gaisce participants to meet the Community Involvement challenge area through their volunteering activities with the group. Region: Galway.

Contact: cellexplorers@nuigalway.ie

Deaf Communications Ltd. aims to promote Irish Sign Language (ISL) and publish ISL materials, with particular focus on creating an ISL dictionary. They create educational material and resources for children, students and Deaf children.  They have created a teaching module for second level students that introduces young people to ISL.

HOW: Deaf Communications Ltd.  facilitates Gaisce participants to meet the Personal Skill challenge area for a Bronze Award by completing their 13 weeks Irish Sign Language module. Region: Dublin, possibly surrounding counties.

Contact: 086 2573366 or pauline.mcmahon100@gmail.com

DLR Leisure operate 4 leisure centres in South Dublin in Loughlinstown, Meadowbrook, Ballyogan and Monkstown and provide gyms, swimming pools, fitness studios and all weather pitches.

HOW: DLR Leisure Services facilitates Gaisce participants to meet the Physical Recreation or Personal Skills challenge areas by running a Gaisce only programme.  Participants can also use DLR leisure teen gym as their physical recreation activity area as a way to prepare for their Adventure Journey. Region:  South Dublin area

Contact: www.dlrleisure.ie

Dublin Youth Orchestra has four orchestras – Junior Strings Orchestra, Intermediate Orchestra, Concert Orchestra and a Symphony Orchestra.

HOW: Dublin Youth Orchestras facilitates Gaisce participants to meet the Personal Skill challenge area through their musical activities in the orchestra. They can also engage in voluntary activities that support DYO in the production of community based concerts by mentoring younger members of the orchestra, event planning, producing promotional material and involvement in community concerts etc. Region: Dublin, Leinster.

Contact: 086 8328127 or chair@dyo.ie

Neptune Rowing Club is one of the largest boat clubs in Ireland. The club is dedicated to promoting the sport of rowing. It’s one of the largest clubs in Ireland and is one of only two clubs in Dublin which is not affiliated to an institution.

HOW: Neptune Rowing Club facilitates Gaisce participants to meet the Physical Recreation challenge area for the Bronze Award by providing a series of rowing lessons for young people through their Junior Rowing programme. Participants may undertake group or individual lessons or may choose to row independently. Gaisce participants could also complete either the Community Involvement or Personal Skill aspect of their award if they volunteer with the club as a volunteer coach. Region: Dublin 7, 8,15.

Contact: www.neptunerowingclub.com

The SWICN Clubhouse in Dublin 8 works with 10 – 18 year olds and teaches them how to use professional software for design, exploration and experimentation. Members can explore professional and academic opportunities and learn from others in their chosen field.

HOW: The SWICN Clubhouse facilitates Gaisce participants to meet their Personal Skill challenge area through engagement with Clubhouse activities and may meet the Community Involvement area by volunteering time to sharing information with attendees.  Region: Dublin 8.

Contact: 01 4536674 or theclubhouse@swicn.ie

 

The Hunt Museum preserves and exhibits the original artefacts gathered by John and Gertrude Hunt. The museum displays its own collections, visiting exhibitions with the overall aim of maximising their cultural and educational potential for the people of Limerick and Ireland.

HOW: The Hunt Museum facilitates Gaisce participants to meet the Personal Skill and the Community Involvement challenge areas by volunteering in the museum in a variety of roles. Region: Limerick.

Contact: 061 312 833 or info@huntmuseum.com

Vita is an international non-governmental organisation based in Dublin and working within East Africa in Ethiopia and Eritrea. They work within rural communities mostly female headed households tackling hunger and climate change. Some of their programmes include the repair of water pumps, provision of fuel efficient stoves and training in climate-smart agriculture. All of these reduce the hours spent by people, mostly women and children from collecting wood and water meaning they have more time to spend attending an education.

HOW: Vita facilitates Gold Gaisce participants to travel to Ethiopia, take part in the 10km Great Ethiopian Run held in November and visit Vita programmes. This trip is organised by Vita which Gaisce participants fundraise and raise awareness about Vita throughout the year and then go on the seven day trip.

Contact: 01 873 4303 or communications@vita.ie

 

X-HALE  is an initiative set up by the Irish Cancer Society which partners with youth organisations and young people to work towards a tobacco free generation. According to research, about 8% of young people aged 10-17 in Ireland smoke.

HOW: The X-HALE 2018 Short Film Competition is an exciting opportunity for youth groups to spread the word about the impact of smoking by creating and promoting a youth-led short-film. Every year, the Irish Cancer Society support youth groups from all over Ireland in making a short film to encourage young people to be smoke free. This Partnership recognises that participation in X-HALE can be used for Community involvement or Personal skill for the Bronze Gaisce award.

Contact: schadwick@irishcancer.ie or 01 231 6624

SYNDIC8 is a programme that focuses on engaging the youth of today in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

HOW: SYNDIC8 host a global competition encouraging students to develop and learn practical skills in sectors such as aerospace, automotive, robotics and programming alongside boosting their entrepreneurial skills under our year-long challenge. This programme involves the students learning key skills such as being part of a team, research and design skills, manufacture, presentation skills creating a portfolio as well as evaluating and modifying the car or drone they have designed. This programme is designed to fit into the school calendar year as a module to be completed each week. There are three areas: F1 in schools, RC Rally, Drone Racing. Taking Part in any of these areas can meet the Personal Skill requirements of the Bronze or Silver Award providing it meets the relevant time requirements.

Contact: info@syndic8.org or 01 565 4834

 

 

University College Dublin & Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland are running a ‘citizen science’ project that aims to explore that if a tax added to sugar-sweetened drinks might benefit public health. Through this project the team aim to collect data about attitudes to sugar sweetened drinks, purchasing of these drinks by young people and how retailers display such drinks. This national project will run until 2020 and welcomes input from young people with diverse backgrounds and from both rural and urban schools.

HOW: This project facilitates Gaisce participants to meet either the Personal Skill or the Community Involvement challenge area by getting involved in data collection for the project through interaction with local retailers and collecting information on the price and types of products on sale and on products purchased by people over a 2-day period. This project will nurture the skills of young people in critical thinking, scientific research, team work, problem solving, communication and leadership while also facilitating youth to play a part in shaping Ireland’s public health policy.

Contact: sugartaxucd@gmail.com

Barretstown offers free, specially designed camps and programmes for children and their families living with a serious illness – supported behind the scenes by 24 hour on site medical and nursing care. Barretstown is supported by donations and the fundraising efforts of corporate supporters, individuals and community groups. Barretstown is recognised as a centre of excellence in childhood cancer care and other serious illnesses. Children are referred to Barretstown based on their medical needs.

HOW: Volunteering with Barretstown will meet the requirements for a Gold  participants Residential project. Volunteering at Barretstown is a truly unforgettable experience – fun activities, lots of laughs and the knowledge that you are directly helping seriously ill kids and their families turn their lives around. As a volunteer you perform a key role in supporting and encouraging each child to take part in all aspects of camp, while making sure they’re safe and supervised at all times. Most importantly you’ll help them have fun!  You will be assigned to work with a family and/or activity group of children depending on the camp you attend. You will encourage and support the children and parents to partake in all activities and to act as a Cara “friend”. You must commit to the full camp session. Barretstown is a residential camp – Food and accommodation is provided. Training is provided for all camps.

Contact: Andrea Smyth at andrea.smyth@barretstown.org 

Teen Turn & The Digital Hub have created a programme for girls between the ages of 12-18 to work in teams to build a mobile app and develop a business plan. Participants are required to create apps that revolve around the themes of peace, poverty, environment, education, equality, and health. This will be supported by mentors and guided by the Technovation Challenge 12-week curriculum. Each team that reaches the finals will pitch their projects at Google’s Mountain View headquarters in California with (flights, accommodation and meals) paid for. 

HOW: Gaisce participants who get involved with this great programme can use the experience toward their community or personal skill section of their Award. You can find out more about this programme HERE

Contact: Joanne Dolan at contact@teen-turn.com

Fighting Words provides free tutoring and mentoring in creative writing and related arts to as many children, young adults and adults with special needs as we can reach. Our programmes and workshops are delivered mainly by volunteer writing tutors. Fighting Words runs a Write Club programme for young people aged between 13 and 18 to come to Fighting Words and work on their own independent writing projects.

HOW: Gaisce participants can get involved with Fighting Words and use this great experience toward their Personal Skill section of their Award.

Contact: Sara Bennett at sara@fightingwords.ie

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