President's Award - Gaisce

What is the Gaisce award?

The President’s Award – called Gaisce – is a self-development programme for young people in Ireland between the ages of 15 and 25. The word Gaisce means great achievement. If you achieve an award you get a medal in a presentation box, a certificate signed by the President and a lapel pin.

There is detailed information about Gaisce on gaisce.ie, including useful FAQs.

How can I get a Gaisce award?

To achieve a Gaisce award, you set a demanding challenge for yourself in 4 different areas of activity:

  • Community involvement - for example, helping older people or learning first aid or lifesaving skills
  • Personal skill - for example, learning a musical instrument, computer skills or driving
  • Physical recreation - for example, swimming, football or tennis
  • Adventure journey - for example, a cycling, canoeing or hiking group trip

To achieve the top level of award (Gold) you must also take part in a residential project, such as a residential Irish-language course, a residential sports course or a work placement in a care home.

When you have achieved your personal challenges, you will earn your award.

President's Award Leaders (PALs)

You will need a President's Award Leader (PAL) - an adult supervisor, who will support and mentor you along the way to your Gaisce award.

A PAL can be any adult (other than a family member) who is involved in supporting the personal development of young people - including teachers, employers, youth leaders, Gardaí and designated people in third-level colleges. As well as providing training for PALs and verifying their references, Gaisce ensures that they are Garda vetted.

Levels of Gaisce award

There are 3 levels of award bronze, silver and gold. Each award requires a different level of time and commitment. There are also different minimum ages for each award:

  • Bronze - the minimum age is 15
  • Silver - the minimum age is 16
  • Gold - the minimum age is 17

The maximum age for all awards is 25 - you can take part up to the day before your 26th birthday.

You don’t need to achieve the Bronze Award before attempting Silver, or achieve the Silver Award before trying for Gold.

Bronze Award

To achieve the Bronze Award you must:

  • Participate for at least 1 hour a week for 13 weeks in each of the following 3 areas: community involvement, personal skill and physical recreation
  • Participate for at least 1 hour a week for a further 13 weeks in 1 of the 3 areas listed above
  • Undertake a 2-day, 1-night adventure journey in a group, covering a minimum total distance of:
    - 25km to 35km (walking) or
    - 100km to 130km (cycling)

You will have to record your Gaisce activities on the official record card (pdf) and have it signed by the person supervising each activity.

Read more about the Bronze Award on gaisce.ie.

Silver Award

To achieve the Silver Award you must:

  • Participate for at least 1 hour a week for 26 weeks in each of the following 3 areas: community involvement, personal skill and physical recreation
  • Participate for at least 1 hour a week for a further 26 weeks in 1 of the 3 areas listed above (not required for Bronze Award holders)
  • Undertake a 3-day, 2-night adventure journey in a group, covering a minimum total distance of:
    - 50km to 79km (walking) or
    - 190km to 220km (cycling)

You will have to record your Gaisce activities on the official record card (pdf) and have it signed by the person supervising each activity.

Read more about the Silver Award on gaisce.ie.

Gold Award

To achieve the Gold Award you must:

  • Participate for at least 1 hour a week for 52 weeks in each of the following 3 areas: community involvement, personal skill and physical recreation
  • Participate for at least 1 hour a week for an additional 26 weeks in 1 of the 3 areas listed above (not required for Silver Award holders)
  • Undertake a 4-day, 3-night adventure journey in a group, covering a minimum total distance of:
    - 80km to 110km (walking) or
    - 300km to 350km (cycling)
  • Participate in a residential project for 5 days and 4 nights

In the same way as for Bronze and Silver awards, you will have to record your Gaisce activities on the official record card (pdf) and have it signed by the person supervising each activity. For the Gold Award, you will also need to prepare a detailed portfolio, introducing yourself, describing your Gaisce experience, why you did it and what you learned from Gaisce. Your PAL can help you to prepare this portfolio.

Read more about the Gold Award, including detailed guidelines for preparing your portfolio, on gaisce.ie.

Rates

It costs €15 to enter for a Bronze Award, €20 for a Silver Award and €25 for a Gold Award.

How to apply

For Gaisce applicants

You need to find a President's Award Leader (PAL) before applying. PALs include teachers, employers, youth leaders, Gardaí and designated individuals in third-level colleges. If you can’t find your local PAL, you should contact the Gaisce office.

When you have decided which activities you would like to attempt in each section of the Award, you can agree the challenge with your PAL.

When the challenge is agreed, you apply and pay the fee online. The PAL will then activate your application, so that you can begin the agreed activities.

Your PAL will monitor you during your Gaisce challenge and sign off at the end, if you have carried out your agreed challenges and met the standard of the award.

For PALs

To become a Gaisce PAL, you must attend a one-day training workshop. You must also be Garda vetted and have your references verified. For more information about applying to be a PAL, see gaisce.ie.

Where to apply

Gaisce - The President's Award

North Road
Phoenix Park
Dublin 8
Ireland

Tel:+353 (0)1 617 1999
Fax:+353 (0)1 670 7060
Homepage: http://www.gaisce.org/
Email: mail@gaisce.ie

Page edited: 26 September 2018