Jacintas Smile are more than happy to team up with Gaisce and feel that this programme is an incredible incentive to young people to be involved in their communities for both their own self worth and for others.

We believe that having a purpose and a goal gives us reason to continue when sometimes we simply just do not know how. Or when living with sadness of death we don’t even want to continue through the day. Well this programme provides tailored and achievable goals for all members and it is there choice how big or how little the goals can be.

It is about the small things, the simple steps simply to work towards something. A purpose. Even if its agreeing to hold a door open for someone or a lift it is still an achievement especially when going through such heartache and feelings of isolation.

We believe that our days out are not enough just now and so we would like to be able to offer more and refer our participants to the different places and organisations in their community that can empower their growth and personal development in a simple and supportive way. This is where Gaisce comes in.

Gaisce – The President’s Award is a self-development programme that encourages you to find your passion, get active and make a difference in your community! Gaisce is a direct challenge from the President of Ireland to young people aged 15-25 to dream big and realise their potential.

There are three levels of Gaisce – Bronze, Silver and Gold. The more time and energy you give, the greater the reward! By taking part in Gaisce, you will take on exciting personal, physical and community challenges and develop new skills and new friendships.

Where Jacinta`s Smile comes in, is: we refer you through to the application process. We pay your application fees and we are a back up support for those moving with this programme. Ashley, Katie-Anne and Charlotte are all also qualified as PALS through Gaisce.

In short, our overall aim here is to have many members of Jacinta`s Smile complete the process and achieve the Gaisce Gold Award. We will have an award ceremony for these participants and we would encourage them to the apply to be a big brother or big sister in their community with Foroige. This is of course, always a choice.

We personally love this link with the Presidents award as our brother Fintan was a massive fan of President Michael D Higgins. As a writer, a poet and a gentle minded Spirit Fintan was honoured when he was informed that through his work on Athlone Community Radio Station he was to meet the President. Fintan marks this as one of his real days, where he felt like a human again.