Gaisce Spring 2024 E-Zine

Welcome to the Spring 2024 E-Zine from Gaisce – The President’s Award, with all the details about what’s been happening and news on what’s in store over the next few months!

It’s been an exciting start to 2024. Read about some special projects Gaisce has been a part of including A Breath of Fresh Éire and the 2024 Gaisce PAL Appreciation Awards.

Summer is fast approaching, and we can’t wait to see current Gaisce Participants achieve their Gaisce Awards. It’s never too late for young people to start their Gaisce Journey and young people can sign up at any stage throughout the year.

As always, we couldn’t do it without the dedication and hard work of all our PALs across Ireland. Keep up the excellent work and we can’t wait to see what your young people have been getting up to.


Maith Thú – Campaign

It’s that time of year when so many Gaisce participants complete their awards after investing months of hard work and dedication into their Challenge Areas. Throughout April and May we’ll be saying MAITH THÚ to everyone who is completing their awards on Gaisce’s social media channels.

Encourage your young people to share their achievements and experiences with us on our socials using the hashtag #GaisceMaithThu to be in with a chance of winning some fab Gaisce merch!

Go raibh míle maith agat!

Completions – Reminder

When marking your participants as approved, it’s advisable to do so in bulk to reduce the number of deliveries. If your organisation has multiple PALs, coordinating your approvals with each other can also help minimize deliveries.

If you need any additional support, get in contact with your Development Officer: Contact – Gaisce

To receive them ahead of any ceremonies or holidays, please be mindful that processing and delivery will take up to 10 working days.

Think Global, Act Local – Online PAL Event

Our exclusive online event Think Global, Act Local is fast approaching, set to take place on April 16th, 2024.

Think Global, Act Local, is an exciting opportunity for PALs to learn about promoting global citizenship action through the Gaisce Award and hear from leading voices in the field. This event is exclusively for PALs to learn how they can support their participants to engage in topics around global citizenship on their Gaisce journey.

Hosting the event is Jennifer Salmon, Climate Youth Delegate for Ireland and member of the Shared Island Youth Forum. The event will also feature a keynote from Oisín Coghlan, CEO of Friends of the Earth Ireland.

At Think Global, Act Local you will hear from leading voices in the Global Citizenship field and learn from case studies how you, as a PAL, can encourage young people to get involved in this movement through their Gaisce Journey.

We are excited to highlight the incredible work of organisations such as LYCS, a north inner city Dublin organisation that works to prevent young people from getting involved in anti-social behaviour and drug/alcohol use by providing alternative programmes that meet their needs.

Gaisce President’s Award Leaders (PALs) play a key role in encouraging young people in Ireland to play an active role in their communities through their involvement in the Gaisce Award. At a time when collective global action is more urgent than ever, this event aims to develop your knowledge of global citizenship and explore how you can empower young people through their Gaisce journey.

Don’t miss this opportunity to build your PAL skillset and support all young people to be part of this important conversation!

Gaisce Defence Forces Challenge

In June 2024, 30 lucky Gaisce Participants will be taking part in the Gaisce Defence Forces Challenge for Bronze and Silver Gaisce Participants aged 15-17.

The challenge weekend will push young Gaisce adventurers to their limits and beyond. Over four days and three overnights, the young people will take part in outdoor pursuits, aerial runways, zip wires, river crossings, obstacle courses, hiking and survival skills.

The Gaisce Defence Forces Challenge aims to provide a unique, challenging, and memorable experience that creates strong bonds between participants as well as the opportunity to develop self-sufficiency and leadership skills.

This event has been taking place for 35 years, with Gaisce and the Defence Forces working together to provide an unforgettable and unique experience to Gaisce Participants. The Defence Forces Challenge provides young people with an opportunity to find out more about themselves and explore how taking part in these activities with other young people they have never met before can challenge them.

We are delighted to have been inundated with so many applications this year. We have contacted our lucky 30 Gaisce Participants and we can’t wait to see them take on this once in a lifetime challenge.

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Approved Adventure Journey Providers

If your Participants are still looking to organise their Adventure Journey, check out our Approved Adventure Journey Providers!

An Approved Adventure Journey Provider is a recognised national network of centres to build on excellence in the sector by highlighting and signposting Approved Adventure Journey Providers more clearly to Gaisce Award Partners, President’s Award Leaders and Gaisce Participants. It aims to ensure consistency, quality, and safety across Adventure Journey experiences for all.

Our Adventure Journey Providers partnership with Gaisce creates a strong connection and support between the Approved Adventure Journey Providers and the Gaisce Development Officer team to ensure accessibility of the Adventure Journey for different types of groups.

PALs are responsible for signing off on the Adventure Journey and can choose a journey that suits their needs. The Approved Adventure Journey Providers offer support from centres that work directly with Gaisce and can give up-to-date advice.


A Breath Of Fresh Éire – Oberstown Art Project

A Breath of Fresh Éire is an exciting collaboration between Gaisce- The President’s Award, Oberstown Children Detention Campus and An Garda Síochána, Balbriggan. The project consists of three art installations, created by the young people of Oberstown and overseen by artist Joe Caslin.

The three pieces of art that make up A Breath of Fresh Éire are:

  • Life’s Patterns, a series of ten individual art pieces drawn by Gardaí and the young people at Oberstown.
  • A Breath of Fresh Éire, a large art piece created by the young people and community Gardaí.
  • Outreach, a large mural, created in collaboration with Gardaí, artist Joe Caslin and the young people at Oberstown.

The goal of this project was to foster a sense of understanding and connection with the young people in Oberstown, Community Gardaí in Balbriggan and the Balbriggan community. A Breath of Fresh Éire project highlights the impact that the Gaisce Award can have in the lives of young people and how the Gaisce programme gives a voice to young people who are often voiceless.

Creating a common ground between the Balbriggan Gardaí and the young people in Oberstown was an essential factor in the success of the collaboration. A Gaisce team member, using the Narrative 4 Story Exchange process which employs storytelling as a basis to create empathy, worked closely with both groups to empower the participants and to empathise with each other.

Joe O’Brien, Minister of State for Community Development and Charities and TD for Dublin Fingal officially unveiled the Outreach mural which is now displayed on the side of Balbriggan Garda Station.

2024 Gaisce PAL Appreciation Awards

We were proud to host the 2024 Gaisce PAL Appreciation Awards on 27th January in beautiful Farmleigh House in Dublin’s Phoenix Park.  We celebrated fifteen incredible President Awards Leaders (PALs) at the event; PALs who have supported young people to take part in the Gaisce programme for more than five years; retiring PALs; and PALs who mentored a Gaisce Gold Awardee in 2023. The PALs in attendance represented many organisations that work with Gaisce, including post-primary schools, youth organisations, prisons and prison schools.

Speaking at the event were former Chief Medical Officer of Ireland, Dr Tony Holohan, and Adam Donovan of Citywise Education. We were delighted to have Irish Actor and Writer Tara Flynn at the event as event MC to welcome and entertain all our guests.

The Gaisce PAL Appreciation Awards are Gaisce’s opportunity to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of all our PALs. Each Gaisce PAL is a brilliant and dedicated volunteer, and Gaisce would not be the successful programme that it is without the work of the more than 1,300 PALs across Ireland.
The awards were an enormous success, and we were delighted to host so many PALs from all over Ireland. We here at Gaisce will never miss an opportunity to show our appreciation for all our PALs.

We’re looking forward to making this event even bigger and better in 2025!

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