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UCC Gaisce Project

About the Initiative

The UCC Gaisce Project is a new student led initiative that supports students in University College Cork undertaking their Gaisce Award. Orla Leahy (BCLGA Student) is Chairperson of the UCC Gaisce Project. Orla has spearheaded the UCC Gaisce Project, together with her student peers in UCC Students' Union, Clubs and Societies. Their initiative is championed by Paul Moriarty, Director of Student Experience at UCC, with the support of Gaisce, the Civic and Community Engagement Committee and a newly formed UCC Gaisce Project Committee. 

The Committee is made up of staff drawn from across a number of UCC departments and initiatives that support a quality student experience, enabling opportunities for students to engage in volunteering and other extra-curricular activities and experiences that enhance their personal and professional skills, values, and attributes, including the Graduate Attributes Programme, and the Careers Services.

Check out our socials:

Instagram - @uccgaisceproject

Facebook - @uccgaisceproject

Twitter - @uccgaisceproj


The UCC Gaisce Project was officially launched in October 2021 during UCC Community Week

Guest speakers included the President of UCC, Professor John O'Halloran, the CEO of Gaisce, Yvonne McKenna, and UCC Alumnus and Member of the Gaisce Council, Dr. Ali Khan.

Find Out More

'Gaisce' is an old Irish word meaning 'great achievement'

Every year, over 20,000 young people in Ireland receive a Gaisce President's Award in recognition of their achievements.

Gaisce - The President's Award

What is Gaisce?

Gaisce - The President’s Award is a self-development programme aimed at young people between the ages of 15-26. There are three Awards, Bronze, Silver and Gold. Gaisce has been proven to enhance confidence and wellbeing through participation in personal, physical and community challenges. It is a direct challenge from the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, to all young people to dream big and realise their potential. Non-competitive and self-directed, participants choose their own activities, goals and projects with the support of their President’s Award Leader (or PAL). There are more than 1,000 President’s Award Leaders working or volunteering in a variety of organisations all across Ireland, supporting and mentoring Gaisce participants.

Gaisce was established in 1985 – the UN International Year of Youth – as the national youth award and Ireland’s highest recognition of a young person’s achievement and voluntary contribution. To date, more than a quarter of a million young people have achieved their Gaisce Award. And counting …

Today more than 20,000 young people under 26 register to pursue their own Gaisce Award journey annually.

Whether you already volunteer, or are looking to begin volunteering, The UCC Gaisce Project is an excellent opportunity to make friends, develop skills and to reach your full potential.  Gaisce is the most prestigious youth award in Ireland. To achieve a Gaisce Award, participants need to complete activities for at least one hour a week in each of the three challenge areas which include Personal Skill, Community Involvement and Physical Recreation. Participants must also undertake an Adventure Journey and an additional Residential Project and Portfolio at Gold.

Gaisce is focused on, and driven by, the following core values:

  • Empowerment - Making a difference, effecting change and enabling young people to shape their own path to self-discovery.
  • Inclusion & Equality - Every person has the opportunity to grow their potential through equality of access, participation and outcomes.
  • Respect - Valuing people equally, recognising diversity, and ensuring everyone is treated with dignity.
  • Excellence - Making an impact through pursuing the highest standards, operating with integrity and in a transparent manner.

Civic & Community Engagement

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