Annie Carr is a student at Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT), is the current President of the college’s Gaisce society and is working toward her Gold Award. “As part of the role of President I’d be charged with getting students to sign up to Gaisce. Organising fundraisers, organising trips and making sure the residential project goes ahead.”
Recently Annie and her sister Nell, who is also working toward her Gold Gaisce Award, held a coffee morning to raise funds for their residential trip, “The coffee morning was very successful, we raised €2,000. We also, throughout the year, raised money through a raffle and a strictly come dancing event.”
Annie explains how for their residential trip the LIT Gaisce group travelled to Thailand and to a centre called ‘The Garden of Eden’ based in Rayong, “The College have a connection with the centre. The College send a group every year to help out with different projects such as building cattle sheds and renovating living accommodation. Thailand was a wonderful experience and a great honour to work with a great group of people who appreciate everything we did for them. An unforgettable trip with loads of happy memories.”
Annie originally took up Gaisce in secondary school and completed her Bronze Award. She then decided to take up the Gold challenge in College and she believes the programme has been of huge benefit to her, “My communication has definitely improved since I started Gaisce. I just had to get out there and to talk to people, particularly when I became President. Before I would sit back and let other people do the talking.”
In terms of other things Annie has got involved with through Gaisce she explains how she volunteers every Saturday morning at a local gymnastics club for kids with disabilities, volunteered in her local GAA club, took up dancing as a new skill and runs regularly as part of her Gaisce programme.
With the pressure of College work Annie explains how important it is for other Gaisce Gold Awardees to stay dedicated to the programme, “It’s about being organised and dedicating the time. Some things fit in with your schedule and then others you have to make time for and keep on top of but overall it’s not too difficult.”