The Professional body for Occupational Therapists in Ireland

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AOTI Ann Beckett Award

Ann Beckett (1927-2002) was one of the first occupational therapists in Ireland. She was devoted to people, nature, music and her profession. Ann was an outstanding occupational therapist, who through her work enriched many lives by her humanity, humour and her practical approach to life.

The AOTI Ann Beckett Award Committee was formed by Ann’s colleagues and is a sub-committee of AOTI. The purpose is to:

  • Celebrate the life and work of Ann Beckett
  • Showcase occupational therapists’ practical interventions

The award is presented annually by AOTI. A commissioned sculpture is presented as part of the award to the successful participant.

The competition is not an academic exercise, but rather an enriching process for occupational therapists to demonstrate the core principals of occupational therapy in practice. Members of AOTI can apply or be nominated for the award by their colleagues and clients.

The committee look for practical projects and creative interventions which empower clients.

The Award is supported by O’Neill Healthcare

The closing date for entries for 2018 is the extended to 5th October 2018.  AOTI members can download the application form below and return it to


The Ann Beckett Award Winner 2017  

Della Murtagh was the 2017 winner of the Ann Beckett Award with her project – Occupational Therapy Special Hands Summer Camp. The Award was presented to Della at the AOTI Study Day on March 9th 2018 in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel, Athlone. 

Occupational Therapy Special Hands Summer Camp was a camp for children with mild and moderate learning disabilities focusing on developing independence skills and working on OT goals in a fun, community environment. A lot of the activities take place on a nearby activity farm which provides a staff member for the duration of the camp. The project linked existing community groups and focused on a two week camp to develop individual predetermined goals. These include social and domestic independence skills, gross and fine motor skills, planning, sensory processing skills, social communication and general fitness.

Previous winners:

2016 was won by The Discover Recover Theatre Project in Wexford.  The project group was led by Mairead Connaughton - OT, Paula Lowney -  Senior OT, Niall O’Muiri  - Community Mental Health Nurse.

2015 Trinity College Dublin Careers Pathways initiative, a transition to employment project for students and graduates with mental health difficulties

2014  Jenny Smith and Neasa Caulfield, with their project 'Sharing Skills' 

 2013 Fiona Mulholland & Brendan Rooney, Central Mental Hospital, Dublin for ‘The Hen Project’

2012 Rodrigo Frade, Sligo/Leitrim Mental Health Services, for the development of a Men's Shed for Sligo Town

2011  Margot Barry and Patrick Hynes, Sensational Kids.  A very practical, activity based social skills group for children aged 7 years to 12 years who presented with various difficulties including Aspergers Syndrome.

2010 Theresa Peacock ‘Organic Garden & Relaxation Area Community organic garden & relaxation area for mental health service users

2009 Rosemary Dillon ‘ Motorbike Restoration Project’ A project where participants with Acquired Brain Injury stripping, restored and reassembled a vintage motorbike

2008 Alice Rajaratnam ‘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 Mary McGrath ‘Home-based Memory Rehabilitation Programme A service established by Belfast City Hospital to provide cognitive rehabilitation in the area of memory for persons with early stage dementia and support for their caregivers.

2006 Eithne Kenny ‘Seating for Doing’ Maximising independence in a long term care unit through innovative seating and mobility systems.

2005 Frances Corozza ‘ Paediatric Powered Mobility’ A team approach to powered mobility in the Central Remedial Clinic.

2004 Linda Welford ‘The Otters Programme’ A sensory motor and pre-handwriting scheme in a local school.

How to apply

To apply, just download the application form on the righthand side of the page

Guidelines and rules

  • Applicants must be current members of AOTI
  • The project must be located in Ireland
  • The project must have been initiated within 18 months of the application
  • The commissioned sculpture is the property of the AOTI and must be returned to the Committee each year.
  • A replica trophy is given to the nominated lead therapist
  • Client consent and confidentiality must be respected
  • Applications must be in by closing date on application form
  • The award will be presented at the AOTI annual conference
  • Applicants will be invited to present a poster or presentation at the conference
  • In the event of the conference being cancelled, the award will be presented at the AOTI AGM

Marking Criteria

The projects will be marked under the following headings. All categories below have equal weightings.

  • Empowerment of clients
  • Clients’ enjoyment
  • Outcomes for clients
  • Involvement of clients
  • Fostering integration and community awareness
  • Sustainability of the intervention
  • Originality
  • Promotion of occupational therapy
  • Educational value for occupational therapists
  • Relevance to occupational therapy principles

Adjudication Process

The committee will adjudicate between applicants on the basis of the initial application and a subsequent visit to short listed therapists and clients involved with the interventions.

The visits by committee representatives are an opportunity for the clients and occupational therapists to reflect on and celebrate their achievements. This is a vital part of the process of being considered for the award.

The judges’ decision is final.



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