Ann Beckett Award

Who was Ann Beckett?

Ann Beckett was the first professionally qualified occupational therapist to work in Ireland. She set up Occupational Therapy departments first in Cherry Orchard Hospital and then in the Central Remedial Clinic where she worked for 16 years. Following that, she taught in the first Irish Occupational Therapy College, St. Joseph’s in Dun Laoghaire. She was a co-founder of the Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland in 1965. Ann was an outstanding occupational therapist and was devoted to people, nature, music and her profession. Through her work she enriched many lives with her humanity, humour and practical approach to life.

What is the Ann Beckett Award?

The AOTI Ann Beckett Award Committee was set up by a group of Ann’s colleagues and the purpose of this committee is to:

  • Celebrate the life and work of Ann
  • Showcase occupational therapists’ practical occupation based interventions.

The Ann Beckett award is not an academic award but an acknowledgement of therapists who, through their work, demonstrate the core principles of Occupational Therapy in practice. The Committee look for practical projects which showcase active engagement in meaningful activity, and demonstrate creative ideas which involve clients and inspire colleagues.

How to enter:

Members of AOTI can apply or be nominated by their colleagues and clients. This Award is supported by O’Neill Healthcare.   

Please find award application form, entry rules and guidelines below:

Completed entry forms should be returned

Closing date for entries 2022 closed.




Ann Beckett Award 2021 winner:

The Ann Beckett Award committee would like to announce that Noreen Barry, Niamh McCormack, and Irma O’Keeffe are the 2021 winners of the Ann Beckett Award with their project:

“Our Space, Our Skillset

Noreen, Niamh, and Irma, as part of the Rehab and Recovery OT Department, set up a private online platform through Facebook.  This allowed them to share content with service users in all Rehab locations throughout Carlow and Kilkenny during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown, a business case was presented to the HSE IT department to purchase mobile devices as well as fitting smart televisions in all the residential units. They secured the finances, bought the resources, and provided in-service training to other staff in the service on how to connect the platform on their devices and TVs. This was successful and the Facebook platform was established.

During this difficult time of isolation due to country-wide lockdown, clients remained connected with the service.  The platform gave the clients the opportunity to share their own skills and knowledge with each other, no matter of age, gender or physical location. Here was a platform where the service user is in control, is the expert and is the one showing others how to get something done and succeed.

The project is strength based and recovery focused by its very nature, allowing service users to exploit their own passions and educate those around them.

Having developed the Rehab and Recovery private group on Facebook, they developed a service that can continue to be provided regardless of lockdown levels or Covid-19 restrictions.  They succeeded in developing their service within these adverse conditions and have an active focused rehab programme to offer their service users.

Noreen, Niamh, and Irma work in the HSE Tuiscint Day Services, St. Canices, Kilkenny.  They showed inspiring resilience and creativity to succeed in providing this service during the very difficult working and living conditions of the Covid-19 environment.  

This is an excellent project and a worthy winner of the Ann Beckett Award 2021.

The Ann Beckett Award will be presented to Noreen, Niamh, and Irma at the AOTI AGM.

The Ann Beckett Award Committee would like to thank all the other applicants for their excellent projects.


The Ann Beckett Award is kindly supported by O’Neill Healthcare.  


Previous winners of the Ann Beckett Award

  • 2020:  won by Charlotte Sullivan, Amanda Carstairs and Hannah O'Leary for their excellent and innovative project The WOW Group ‘Working together, Organising together, Welcoming new adventures together’
  • 2018: won by Helen Corrigan for her project Experiencing Success – A Gymnastics Group Partnership Programme for Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) 
  • 2017: won by Della Murtagh for her project Occupational Therapy Special Hands Summer Camp.
  • 2016: won by The Discover Recover Theatre Project in Wexford project group that was led by two occupational therapists Mairead Connaughton and Paula Lowney, and Niall O’Muiri a community mental health nurse.
  • 2015: won by Trinity College Dublin Careers Pathways Initiative, a transition to employment project for students and graduates with mental health difficulties
  • 2014: won by Jenny Smith and Neasa Caulfield for with their Sharing Skills project
  • 2013: won by Fiona Mulholland & Brendan Rooney, Central Mental Hospital, Dublin for The Hen Project
  • 2012: won by Rodrigo Frade, Sligo/Leitrim Mental Health Services, for the development of a Men's Shed for Sligo Town
  • 2011: won by Margot Barry and Patrick Hynes, Sensational Kids, for their very practical, activity based Social Skills Group for children aged 7 years to 12 years who presented with various difficulties including Asperger’s Syndrome.
  • 2010: won by Theresa Peacock for the Organic Garden & Relaxation Area for mental health service users she established
  • 2009: won by Rosemary Dillon for the Motorbike Restoration Project where participants with acquired brain injury stripped, restored and reassembled a vintage motorbike
  • 2008:won by Alice Rajaratnam for the Drawing Smiles Programme, a new approach to enhancing perceptual and learning skills, self-confidence, motivation & stress regulating ability for those with spina bifida and hydrocephalus.
  • 2007: won by Mary McGrath for the Home-based Memory Rehabilitation Programme established in Belfast City Hospital to provide cognitive rehabilitation in the area of memory for persons with early stage dementia and support for their caregivers.
  • 2006: won by Eithne Kenny for Seating for Doing to maximise independence in a long term care unit through innovative seating and mobility systems.
  • 2005: won by Frances Corozza Paediatric Powered Mobility, a team approach to powered mobility in the Central Remedial Clinic.
  • 2004: won by Linda Welford for The Otters Programme, a sensory motor and pre-handwriting scheme in a local school.


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