Jessica is a 2018 Spirit of Community Awards finalist!

Well done to Liffey Brownies Leader Jessica McMahon (pictured left above) who has been named by Pramerica as one of the 20 finalists in the 2018 Spirit of Community Awards.

Jessica will attend the award ceremony in the Aviva Stadium on 22 March where she will be presented with €500 and an engraved silver medallion.

The Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards programme recognises and rewards post-primary students for volunteer work carried out in their communities.

Jessica, who joined IGG as a Ladybird at the age of five, has been volunteering with Liffey Brownies, Celbridge, since 2016, helping them with their badge work and weekly meetings. She helps plan the weekly schedule, organises games and encourages the girls to believe in themselves. She has taught the girls first aid, road safety and other essential life-skills.

“I have gained confidence, experience and a whole lot of amazing memories,” she says. “I’ve learnt how to work with young people and come up with new ideas to give them a whole new experience of learning life-skills and fun facts such as first aid, Spanish, dance etc. Working with the Leaders who were, in fact, my Leaders growing up is an amazing experience and I feel it will help me grow in the world of IGG where I one day hope to run a Unit and become a strong Leader like them.”

Jessica is a member of Celbridge Senior Branch and has appreciated the opportunity Guiding has given her to travel. She visited Germany with Celbridge Guides and Belfast with Liffey Brownies.

“I’ve had the opportunity to camp and see other parts of Ireland, such as Tipperary, Galway and Wicklow,” she says. “I had the opportunity to take part in two international camps, Camp 101 in 2012 and IGGNITE in 2017 where I made many new friends, took on new jobs and challenges and gained a life experience that is priceless.

“I hope to continue to grow in the world of IGG and I look forward to seeing what else I can accomplish. I once heard it said, ‘We rise by lifting others’, and through my work with the Brownies and Girl Guides, I have seen this statement to be true.”

As well as volunteering with IGG, Jessica also volunteers with her school, St Wolstan’s Community School, her local church and St Raphael’s – a residence where people with intellectual disabilities live. She has also raised money for the Marie Keating Foundation and AWARE.