Record number of young people achieve Gaisce Awards in 2018

9th July 2018: Gaisce – the President’s Award today launched a new Impact Report illustrating the activity of the organisation throughout 2018.  2018 was a record year for Gaisce – The President’s Award, as more than 15,000 young people achieved a Gaisce Award, and The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, presided over the largest ever Gold Award Ceremony in Dublin Castle.


President Higgins has long had a special interest in the Gaisce programme, and as Patron of Gaisce, the President has presented Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards to countless participants. Throughout his Presidency, President Higgins has paid tribute to Gaisce and other programmes that assist young people in \”taking charge of change,\” and building up young people\’s confidence to use their energy, ideas and creativity to find solutions to some of the most pressing issues our society faces.

Speaking about the record number of young people undertaking the award, Chairperson of Gaisce John Cunningham said, “I am delighted to see such a high number of young people achieving Awards in 2018, especially during my inaugural year as Chairperson. It is testament to the determination and dedication of young people towards their own personal development – and the mentorship of our President’s Award Leaders. These record numbers are a wonderful indicator of young people’s sense of adventure and openness to new experiences. I hope that undertaking Gaisce has enriched their lives, has made them more conscious of the importance of community involvement, encouraged them to get physically active, and helped develop their life skills.”

Speaking about the 2018 Impact Report, CEO of Gaisce Yvonne McKenna said, “Gaisce is particularly delighted to see an increase, not only in the amount, but range of organisations delivering the programme, ensuring equality of access for young people. It is wonderful to see that more youth, community and disability organisations are availing of the Gaisce programme and recognising its value. We are also pleased to announce there was a 20% increase in DEIS schools offering Gaisce.”


During 2018, Gaisce focused on increasing the accessibility of the programme more generally, and secured funding for a number of projects that reflect the organisation’s ethos of Diversity and Inclusion. Gaisce secured funding for LikeMinded, a bespoke personal development project supporting LGBTI+ people aged 14-17 – which launched in December 2018, and Wavelength, which aims to ensure people aged 18-25 who are seeking asylum or have refugee status in Ireland have the opportunity to participate in the programme.

Gaisce also continued its Dublin Urban project, and was delighted to have 11 Gaisce Award Partners from Dublin participate in the programme in 2018, with over 60 awards achieved.



Gaisce – The President’s Award is a self-development programme for young people between the ages of 15-25, which is proven* to enhance confidence and wellbeing through participation in personal, physical, community and team challenges. It is a direct challenge from the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, to all young people to dream big and realise their potential.

You can read the Gaisce\’s full 2018 Impact Report here


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