An Óige announced a new partnership with Gaisce. They will bring young people on mountain treks across the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains. For 20 years, An Óige volunteers have been leading free hikes for young people from their hostels. The volunteers will provide the same for groups of young people who attempt the Bronze Award.
Chairperson of An Óige Darragh Miller credits his Gaisce hike from Marlay Park to Knockree Youth Hostel as a transformative experience. He said “My Gaisce Adventure introduced me to a lot of things. It was the first time I had ever walked so far. It was the first time my legs had gotten so tired but I felt good because I had walked with my own two feet. I felt quite free being in charge of the bag on my own back for the first time – away from my parents.”
Marketing and Communications Officer for Gaisce, Niall Noonan said " Gaisce are delighted to team up with An Óige as part of our Challenge Partnership. Gaisce Awards are designed to improve physical and mental well-being, something we know is built in to the ethos of An Óige."
This partnership will help groups to keep Adventure Challenge costs down. An Óige will offer subsidised Bronze Award packages in Knockree and Glendalough Youth Hostels. This will include Gaisce Guides who are passionate and experienced hikers. The groups can also avail of information resource packs to help them complete the Bronze Award. They hope to roll out the project to more hostels across Ireland in future.