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Our Chief is Trustee of the Year!

We are delighted that our Chief Commissioner Helen Concannon was named Trustee of the Year at The Wheel’s Charity Impact Awards in Dublin’s Mansion House on 11 December!

The Wheel – the national association of charities, community and voluntary organisations and social enterprises – established the Charity Impact Awards to celebrate the positive impact made in communities throughout Ireland by the country’s 29,000 non-profit organisations.

104 organisations and volunteers were nominated for this year’s awards and over 19,000 people voted for their favourite nominees.

“For all of us in Irish Girl Guides Helen is an inspiration,” says IGG President Maureen Murphy. “She has worked tirelessly to provide new, exciting opportunities for our members and volunteers enabling everyone to meet their full potential.

“She has overseen the implementation of policy changes making our organisation stronger and up to date with all our compliance obligations. She is a team leader, good at networking inside and outside Guiding, and promotes Irish Girl Guides at every opportunity. Helen is a volunteer and we are very proud that she has received this much deserved award.”

Helen says it was an honour to be nominated and shortlisted “and an absolute privilege” to be selected. “Being a trustee has been a wonderful experience and an opportunity to give something back to the organisation that I joined as an eight-year-old Brownie,” she says.

“I would also like to pay tribute to my fellow volunteers and staff who make my job easy by being such a wonderful team. As a girl-led organisation, it is important that trustees listen to their members and respond to their needs.”

Helen, who has been Chief Commissioner of IGG since April 2013, has worked hard to ensure the organisation remains current and relevant for the youth of today. She has ensured IGG’s full compliance with the Governance Code for the community, voluntary and charitable sector, has overseen the development of a new award-winning website and has overseen the review and updating of all Leader resource books.

She has spearheaded a campaign to encourage girls to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects and careers with over 500 IGG members participating in a Lego robotics initiative developed in partnership with Dublin City University. She has also overseen the development of a #FutureCEOs Cookie Project, which fosters business and entrepreneurial skills in girls from age five plus as they sell packets of cookies in their local communities. She developed this initiative in partnership with Dragon’s Den investor Alison Cowzer, who co-founded East Coast Bakehouse where the Irish Girl Guides cookies are made.

In 2016 Helen also came up with the innovative idea of a North to South Pole Trek to see if IGG members could walk 20,000 kilometres – the equivalent of walking from the North Pole to the South Pole. Girls and Leaders embraced this challenge so wholeheartedly that they succeeded in hiking a total of 40,000 kilometres, so it ended up as a Global Trek!