2012 Volunteer Ireland Awards, Children and Youth

Cel Fennessy, The Irish Girl Guides

Clonmel, County Tipperary, Category Winner

Cel Fennessy is a Brownie Leader based in Clonmel, Tipperary. Cel volunteers with the Brownies who are aged 6+ in an honest and supportive way that is truly rare. Her support and gentle encouragement gives the girls she interacts with the strength and courage to be happy just being themselves. Cel has been one of the keystones in keeping the organisation up and running in Clonmel.

Cel brings the girls out into the wider community and helps them to learn about the public services in their area and how to interact with and help other people who live in the same community. She has organised several projects, from simple fundraising to planting flowers in a local retirement facility. She strives to enhance the life of every child she meets by introducing them to new ideas, teaching them new skills but most importantly for a lot of children, giving them moral support and someone to talk to. 

In the past 18 months Celestine (Cel) has survived the murder of her brother and the loss of her mother whom she also cared for; through all of this she has tirelessly and selflessly thrown herself into working with her Brownie Unit in Clonmel.

“Having the Girl Guides in Clonmel means that the girl who isn’t sporty, who doesn’t like dance or is a little shy can find a safe place to develop. And with Cel’s help that little girl will experience a wide variety of things from trying a new food, learning how to greet a stranger in several different languages, to simply learning a craft that she may just have a flair for.”

“Full of excitement, enthusiasm and wholehearted enjoyment for the time she gives up so willingly - not just as a local leader but also on a regional level. Her dedication, commitment and ethos is what keeps IGG going strong and encourages every girl and every woman to make of herself all that she can be.”

Photography by Derek Fanning.