About Gaisce

Find out about Gaisce, and read all about what Gaisce can do for you!

What is Gaisce?

Gaisce – The President’s Award is a self-development programme for young people aged 14-25. It is a direct challenge from the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, to all young people to dream big and realise their potential.

Our mission is to provide a positive youth development programme that encourages and rewards young people to discover their passions and challenge themselves, positively impacting themselves and the world around them.

Gaisce Participants achieve a Gaisce Award by completing Challenge Areas: Personal Skill, Physical Recreation, Community Involvement, and an Adventure Journey. President’s Award Leaders deliver, guide and support Gaisce Participants undertaking the Award.

Where does Gaisce take place?

Thanks to our President’s Award Leaders, there are currently over 800 Gaisce Award Partners in schools and organisations across Ireland!

You can find Gaisce in secondary schools, third level education, second-chance and further education, youth services, disability organisations, sporting organisations, uniformed organisations, youth justice, prison service and probation service, organisations working with young refugee and asylum seekers, and more.

Under the Joint Award Initiative, young people in Northern Ireland who fulfil the requirements of the Joint Award Initiative can choose to receive a Gaisce Award, a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, or a Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award at Bronze, Silver and Gold Award levels.

Our History

Gaisce – The President’s Award was established in 1985 to mark the UN’s International Year of Youth and was launched in Áras an Uachtaráin by President, Dr. Patrick J. Hillery, Gaisce’s founding patron.

Gaisce is recognised as Ireland’s national youth award and is the highest recognition of a young person’s achievement and voluntary contribution.

In 2005, prompted by the Good Friday Agreement’s commitments, young individuals in Northern Ireland gained access to the Gaisce Award through the Joint Award Initiative (JAI), a partnership between Gaisce, Duke of Edinburgh Award and Duke of Edinburgh International Award.

To date, more than 480,000 young people have registered for Gaisce and over 250,000 young people have achieved a Gaisce Award!

Our Values


Making a difference, effecting change and enabling young people to shape their path to self-discovery, through and with others.

Inclusion and Equality

Every person having the opportunity to grow their potential through equality of access, participation and outcome.


Valuing people equally, recognising diversity and ensuring everyone is treated with dignity.


Making an impact through pursuing the highest standards, operating with integrity and in a transparent manner.

Our Strategy

Here is the Gasice 2022-2025 Strategic Plan, which outlines our goals, objectives and strategies until 2025.

The pillars and strategic objectives in the Strategic Plan include:

Build on Achievement

Tell Our Story

Excellence In What We Do

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