Gaisce Summer 2024 E-Zine

This has been one of our busiest periods in Gaisce – The President’s Award!

So many young people around Ireland have completed their Gaisce journeys for this year, and we were delighted to share in the joy with our Participants, PALs and GAPs, at ceremonies around the country.

Read below to see what amazing things we’ve been up to over the past three months!

We’re looking forward to the next phase of our participants’ Gaisce journey and are excited to see how they continue to grow and thrive. We hope you will continue to support your young people through Silver and all the way to Gold.

For those President’s Award Leaders in schools, we hope you enjoy the summer break —you deserve it! For all our other PALs, we hope you get the recognition you deserve for your hard work and dedication.

What’s Been Happening

Maith Thú Campaign

Awards season has been in full swing over the past couple of months, and we were thrilled to witness the remarkable achievements of young people across Ireland who earned their Gaisce Awards.

Our Development Officers have been invited to Gaisce awards ceremonies nationwide, including at schools, youth organisations, disability groups, sports centres, youth diversion projects, and others.

We also hosted some fantastic young people at awards ceremonies in Gaisce HQ at Ratra House, Phoenix Park. We welcomed young people from organisations such as Prosper Navan, which provides services and support to adults with an intellectual disability in Meath and North County Dublin, and YES Clondalkin, a Youthreach centre that offers a range of educational programmes in a positive, supportive, and inclusive environment.

We are delighted to be able to share in the celebration with the young people and hear the stories about all the challenges young people did to achieve their Award.

We’d also like to take a moment to express our gratitude to each and every one of our President’s Awards Leaders around Ireland. Your hard work, dedication, and the countless hours you’ve put in to support young people are the heart and soul of Gaisce. We are incredibly fortunate to have you!

A big Maith Thú from the team at Gaisce- The President’s Award!

Gaisce Defence Forces Challenge

Congratulations to the 28 young people who participated in the 2024 Gaisce Defence Forces Challenge!

The Gaisce Defence Forces Challenge, a long-standing event that has been taking place for 36 years, provides a unique opportunity for young people to experience life in the Defence Forces. It fosters strong bonds, develops self-sufficiency and leadership skills, and encourages participants to push their limits.

From June 11th to 14th, 28 young people from around Ireland were put through their paces by the team in Custume Barracks, Athlone, over four days of outdoor pursuits, boating, obstacle courses, hiking, and survival skills.

The participants aged 15 to 17 started the week with wall climbing and manual handling training and were issued with their Defence Forces uniforms. Throughout the week, they participated in challenges, such as a 10-km hike in the Slieve Bán mountains, riding rib boats, and tackling an obstacle course. They were also trained in surveillance, camouflage, and fieldcraft.

A big thank you to the team at Custume Barracks, Athlone. We are grateful to them for taking time away from their work to oversee, train, and inspire young Gaisce Participants. The generosity of the Defence Forces allows us to offer this once-in-a-lifetime challenge to young people.

Keep an eye out for information on the Gaisce Defence Forces Challenge 2025; we can’t wait to see another group of Gaisce participants take on the challenge next year!

Gold Community Meetup

Gaisce hosted our first Gold Community meet-up on May 25th, 2024, in Gaisce HQ at Ratra House, Phoenix Park.

The Gold meet-up was a great success, with Gaisce Gold Participants attending and enjoying an afternoon of networking, swapping Gaisce stories, and learning from one another. We also had an informative Gold Award Information session hosted by Gaisce’s Education Officer, Kate Kelly, where the young people could get information, ask questions, and receive real-time, in-person support from Gaisce staff.

The event included a brilliant guest speaker, Gaisce Gold Awardee Miriam Keegan. Miriam is a hugely successful clothing designer who worked at the MET Gala in New York before returning to Ireland to work with the sustainable fashion brand Aoife.

When undertaking her Gaisce Bronze Award, Miriam took up sewing for her Personal Skill Challenge Area. Sewing and fashion were always interesting to her, and the Gaisce programme motivated her to explore this skill and passion. She was awarded the Fullbright Commission Ireland Scholarship to study sustainable fashion in the US and completed a Master’s in Fashion and Apparel Studies at the University of Delaware.

We hope to hold more in-person Gold Information sessions in the future. They’re a terrific opportunity for Gold Participants from around the country to build a community and help each other reach the finish line on their Gaisce journey. It’s also an opportunity for us to hear directly from our Gold Participants about how to improve their Gaisce journey!

Think Global, Act Local

Gaisce hosted the online global citizenship event Think Global, Act Local on April 16th, 2024. 32 attendees from seven countries logged in to learn about promoting global citizenship action among young people and hear from leading voices in the field.

Gaisce Awardee Jennifer Salmon, Climate Youth Delegate for Ireland and Shared Island Youth Forum member, hosted this event and was an essential voice for the youth perspective. The event featured a keynote speech from Oisín Coghlan, CEO of Friends of the Earth Ireland. PALs also heard from Ellen Corby, Global Citizenship Educator with LYCS and James Etheridge, of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Each of these speakers offered their individual and varied perspectives on how we can encourage young people to get involved in Global Citizenship activities through the Gaisce Award.

At a time when collective global action is more urgent than ever, the impact of Think Global, Act Local was significant. It gave our PALs a better knowledge of global citizenship topics, shared great ideas among the group, and explored how PALs can empower young people to improve their communities. Gaisce PALs are vital in encouraging young people in Ireland to be active in their communities through their Challenge Areas for their Gaisce Award.

What’s Coming Up

FIT’s ‘Choose Tech’ Live Webinars

FIT (Fastrack Into Information Technology) are a representative organisation of the technology sector committed to growing Ireland’s tech talent pipeline.

FIT run the Choose Tech Programme – a fun, accessible and relevant structured online course, introducing learners to the scope and potential of technology. Through the Choose Tech Programme, FIT is an official Challenge Partner of the Gaisce – The Presidents Award and our programme can be used for the Personal Skill Challenge.

To find out how you can use the Choose Tech Programme as an option for your young Gaisce Participants, feel free to join in on one of FIT’s online webinars: Wednesday 28th August at 10am or Wednesday 18th September at 12 noon.


Follow our social media platforms for the latest updates!

We love seeing what our Gaisce Participants, President’s Award Leaders, and Gaisce Award Partners are doing throughout the year. Share updates and tag us @GaisceAward / @Gaisce – The President’s Award.

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You can also bookmark the blog section of our website for Gaisce news, events and stories!

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