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Longford RehabCare Resource Centre Service Users Receive Gold Gaisce Award from President Higgins

18/02/2015 Longford RehabCare Resource Centre Service Users Receive Gold Gaisce Award from President Higgins

James Mahon and Daniel Smith (both 24) who use the services provided by RehabCare in the  Longford  Autism  Resource Centre were awarded Gold Gaisce Awards by President Michael D. Higgins at an award ceremony in Dublin held on Wednesday February 4th 2015.
Newtown Forbes natives James and Daniel Smith, both of whom have autism,  travelled to the ceremony in Dublin Castle with  their Gaisce Pal Jennifer Manning who also works at the RehabCare centre based In Red Leaf House, Town Park, Longford Town. In all, 61 young people from around the country were presented with Gold Awards at the 30th Annual Gaisce Awards which was hosted by RTÉ’s Mary Kennedy. The Gaisce Awards honour those who undertake extreme challenges in order to benefit their community and good causes. There are four sections to be completed, Physical Recreation, Personal Skill, Community Involvement and an Adventure Journey.

Sally Gibb, Community Services Manager, RehabCare, said “This is a fantastic achievement for both James and Daniel. We are very proud of their commitment and their achievement. The highlight for them was the Adventure Journey part of their challenge. They completed a wilderness adventure, camping on an island at Lough Key Forest Park. They canoed out to the island where they set up camp. They searched for firewood to keep a campfire burning that they used to cook their meals on and to keep them warm. There was plenty of fun involved as well as a lot of hard work and effort put in by the two men. We’d like to thank Deirdre Cunningham and Des Egan from the North West Adventure and Outdoor Education Centre who helped James and Daniel in achieving their goal.”

It has been quite a month for the Mahon Family.  James Mahon’s sister Kathleen Mahon who is the current Longford Rose, was a contestant recently on the Voice of Ireland television show and a contender for this year’s Eurovision song contest. RehabCare would like to wish Kathleen the very best of luck in both competitions.
Speaking at the event President Higgins said: “This award recognises and honours your journey of personal development and generous commitment in the service of your community, a journey which involved great perseverance and the achievement of the testing targets you had set yourselves. Today is your day of celebration, a very special occasion on which you, your families and friends, your teachers and mentors, and all those who have been part of your path to Gold can and should feel immensely proud.”


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