Gaisce - The President's Award is the most prestigious Award in Ireland for young people aged 15 to 25. It was funded in 1985 and it's patron is the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins. The Award is what is called a 'self-directed personal development programme,' meaning that the award is all about you! You don't have to be part of a team to undertake this challenge but can complete the award on your own, with the help and support volunteer mentor, a President's Award Leader (PAL). With the guidance of the mentor you will set and achieve a personal challenge over a period of time. Gaisce is an old Irish word which means ‘a great achievement’ and it is in the spirit of this meaning that the programme challenges young people to set and pursue personal goals in four different areas of activity. These area's are:
- Community Involvement - Community Involvement is all about giving back to the community. Whatever passions you may have, whether it's care and concern for the environment, a love of animals, a desire to make a difference to the lives of those less fortunate than you or wish to help the sick or elderly, the Community Involvement section offers the structure to fulfil these passions. The Community Involvement section offers you the opportunity to engage with society and gain an understanding of the importance of your role within your immediate and global community. It also gives you the chance to connect with individuals and groups you may have not been aware of before and to make a difference in the wider community.
- Personal Skills - The aim of the Personal Skill is to encourage young people to improve on an existing skill or to try something new. A level of commitment over time to progress in a skill leads to a sense of achievement and well being. This skill section should stimulate the development of new interests or to improve existing ones. These interests are typically of a non-physically demanding nature and may include hobbies, vocational or job related skills, social or individual activities, cultural activities or life skills. You don't just have the opportunity to take part in an activity that truly interests you, you can also find yourself developing skills that were previously out of your reach. Activities chosen should be enjoyable and the goals set, should be realistic so that at the end of section, you feel a real sense of achievement and a desire for life-long learning.
- Physical Recreation - The purpose of this section is to encourage in physical recreation activity. Involvement in physical recreation should be an enjoyable experience, regardless of physical ability and this section is based on the belief that physical exercise is good for both body and mind and is essential for a person's well-being. As in the Personal Skill section, participants may either seek to improve their ability in an activity that they already do or take up a completely new activity. Activities chosen should be enjoyable and the goals set realistic so that at the end of the section, participants feel a real sense of achievement. Participants may choose a physical activity that they do on their own or as part of a team, and although the Award itself is non-competitive, competitive sports are perfectly acceptable for Award purposes. In the case of a team sport, it is the individual participant’s personal effort and commitment that counts.
- Adventure Journey - To inspire young people to develop a spirit of adventure and discovery, by planning, training for and completing an outdoor Adventure Journey as part of a team. The experience opens possibilities for new pathways to be explored and brings together much of the learning that has taken place during the Award, providing participants with a unique, challenge and memorable experience as well as a learning of self-sufficiency. The keys elements of the Adventure Journey are teamwork in planning and execution against the background of real challenges posed by unfamiliar environment. The Adventure Journey can either be an Expedition or an Exploration. An Expedition is a journey with a purpose, and an Exploration is a purpose with a journey.
PAL: Colm O'Sullivan Contact no. 0862029499 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org