Gaisce and The Mercy Hospital Foundation

We’ve done some great work with students applying for Gaisce, The President’s Award. If you are a Gaisce applicant, we’d love for you to choose the Mercy Hospital Foundation for the Community Involvement aspect of your Award. We work to help the Mercy University Hospital develop projects and services which benefit patients on a day-to-day basis. Our fundraising efforts allow us to support advancements and innovation in the treatment and care of patients at the Hospital. If you’d like to get involved in the work we do, get in touch with Deirdre on 021 4274076 or click here to contact us.

What is the award?

Gaisce is an old Irish word which means a ‘great achievement’ and it is in the spirit of this meaning that the programme challenges young people to set and pursue personal goals in four different areas of activity: Community Involvement, Personal Skills, Physical Recreation and Adventure Journey.If you are aged between 15 and 25 years you can apply for Gaisce, The President’s Award. Most schools now have a President’s Award Leader (PAL) who will help you throughtout the process. The Award is a self-directed personal development programme in which participants are supported and mentored by a more experienced person, a volunteer, a President’s Award Leader (PAL), to set and achieve a personal challenge over a period of time. You can find out more information about Gaisce, The President’s Award click here:

In the News: Awardee, Emma and her work with the Children’s Leukaemia Ward

Seventeen year old Emma O’Callaghan, a student at St. Mary’s Secondary School, Mallow, Co Cork won a Bronze Gaisce Award and was chosen to oversee the makeover of a storeroom in the Children’s Leukaemia Ward at the Mercy Hospital. The makeover resulted in a new and much-needed family room for the young patients and their families.

Gaisce Schools Award in Conjunction with the Mercy University Hospital Foundation

The design concept focused on a circus theme for the children with adult elements, the result of a brainstorming session between Optimise Design’s principals, Denise O’Connor and Catherine Crowe, (better known for a stint as RTɒs House Doctors), and the Gaisce awardee, Mallow teenager Emma O’Callaghan. I love design, so when I saw a competition on Facebook last summer for someone to get involved in the project, I entered and didn’t tell anyone. I never thought I’d win. “It’s brilliant to see some of my ideas used.” says Emma who was 16 when she applied (the upper age limit of children being treated in the unit, so she had a keen sense of what would work).

She spent a day with us in Dublin gathering themes and ideas, says designer Denise O’Connor. We decided on the circus theme but we wanted the room to be calming, so we painted the walls in stripes like the big top to appeal to the kids, but kept to neutral colours to make it suitable for adults. Parents of children attending the unit said it will have a positive impact. This room will make a huge difference to us, said Therese. Her daughter, Lauren, 7, is undergoing shared treatment between Crumlin and the Mercy for lymphoma behind her eyes. The new room is bright, it’s cheery, it’s just so lovely. Before this, the children would play in the corridor, but now you can sit down here and relax; you can watch the kids playing, rather than sitting in the corridor. All Lauren remembers, really, about her time here is playing, and the toys, which is great. DFS supplied colourful purpose-built couches and stools, covered in hospital-grade material. The room was kitted out with toy boxes, shelves heaving with books, and a TV.

If you would like to discuss community involvement opportunities with The Mercy Hospital Foundation, please contact Deirdre on 021 4274076 or you can also click here to contact us.