Inspirational young people from all over Ireland have received Gaisce Gold Awards from President Michael D. Higgins for outstanding community work and significant personal achievements.
Gaisce, the President’s Award, is presented to modern day heroes and heroines aged between the ages of 15 and 25 years who achieve personal goals in different types of activity including community involvement, personal skills, physical recreation and adventure.
70 Gaisce Gold Awards were presented to young people north and south who excelled and achieved their goals at a ceremony in Dublin Castle.
Among the Tipperary winners were Leah Coyle from Clonmel, a 20 year-old who volunteered with the Irish Cancer Society and Avena Mansergh-Wallace from Tipperary town who volunteered at the Moorehaven Volunteered at Moorehaven Resource centre for people with disabilities.
It is estimated that Gaisce participants contribute over 550,000 voluntary hours in their local communities each year, a total of six million voluntary hours since the Gaisce Award programme was established in 1985.
This year’s Gold Award recipients include young people who spent time volunteering with organisations working with the poor, the elderly, people with disabilities, and getting involved in youth groups and clubs. Gaisce Award recipients also work with community groups, sporting organizations and charity shops.
As well as community work the recipients fulfilled remarkable physical challenges including walking the Camino in Spain, organising a scout jamboree in Sweden, cycling from Clare to Mayo and learning new skills such as embroidery and classic guitar from scratch.