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Appointment of John Cunningham as Chair of Gaisce – The President’s Award



Wednesday 2nd May 2018


Dr Katherine Zappone, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs today announced the appointment of Mr. John Cunningham as the new Chair of the Council of Gaisce – The President’s Award for a three-year term.

Making the announcement, Minister Zappone said, “I am delighted to appoint such an eminently qualified person as Mr. Cunningham to this important position.  Mr Cunningham is currently the Chair of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, and a Director of the Irish Youth Foundation, which supports projects for children and young people in disadvantaged communities. 

He also has a strong professional background in coaching, mentoring and entrepreneurship. He embodies all of the qualities that the President and I believe are essential to the role of Chair of the Council of Gaisce”.

Dr Zappone also pointed to Mr Cunningham’s particular focus on inclusivity, a demonstrated commitment to social justice, and a commitment to supporting and developing opportunities within Gaisce’s work for vulnerable and hard-to-reach young people.

Gaisce is a self-development programme for young people which enhances confidence and wellbeing through participation in personal, physical and community challenges. Gaisce is a direct challenge from the President of Ireland to young people aged 15-25 to dream big and realise their potential. Gaisce is non-competitive: participants are encouraged to choose their own activities and goals with the support of a trained, adult President’s Award Leader (or PAL).

ENDS//

 

Note for Editors:

Gaisce – The President’s Award is a company limited by guarantee and is governed by a board of directors called the Gaisce Council. 

Gaisce is a self-development programme for young people which enhances confidence and wellbeing through participation in personal, physical and community challenges. Gaisce is a direct challenge from the President of Ireland to young people aged 15-25 to dream big and realise their potential. Gaisce is non-competitive: participants are encouraged to choose their own activities and goals with the support of a trained, adult President’s Award Leader (or PAL).

Gaisce’s Vision: An Ireland where young people dream big and fulfil their potential.

Gaisce’s Mission: Provide opportunities for young people to realise their potential through personal challenges, facilitating the transition from young person to young adult and enhancing their potential and contribution as active participants in society.

Gaisce’s Strategic Priorities for the term 2015-2018:

- To provide an innovative and challenging Gaisce programme;

- To make Gaisce accessible to all young people and programme delivery effective and sustainable;

- To raise awareness and recognition of Gaisce and its contribution throughout Irish society;

- To ensure Gaisce’s sustainability to deliver.

The Gaisce programme is delivered by over 1,200 PALs working and volunteering in a variety of organisations (‘Gaisce Award Partners’) across Ireland. There are three levels of award – Bronze, Silver and Gold. The more time and energy participants give, the greater their reward. Since its inception in 1985, an estimated 300,000 young people have participated in the Gaisce programme with current annual participation rates of more than 23,000 young people.

The Articles of Association provide that there shall be 15 members of the Gaisce Council, appointed by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.