Meet Our Team
Co-Founder & Chief Executive
Helen Nolan is an ambitious, passionate and community driven Social Entrepreneur who is the Co-Founder & CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of the multi-award-winning Social Enterprise Spraoi agus Spórt in Carndonagh Co Donegal. Holding a BA in Accounting & Finance (DCU (Dublin City University)) and a chartered accountant, Helen enjoyed a successful career across several large Irish firms including Kepak and Boyne Valley Foods before returning home to Carndonagh in 2007. Passionate about community, Helen applied her business expertise and life experiences to help build and develop the successful and socially innovative Spraoi agus Spórt.
Helen freely gives of her time and expertise within her local community and has successfully helped to secure funding of over €14 million. Helen is a previous recipient of Rethink Ireland funding and has completed the Empower Growth programme. She knows the highs and lows of growing a social enterprise in rural Ireland. She is currently Chair of Inishowen Development Partnership, she also sits on the Board of Management of St Patrick’s Girls’ School, Carndonagh Community School, Donegal PPPN (Public Participation Network) Carndonagh GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) and 8th Donegal Scouts. She is married to Mark. Together they have 4 daughters. She enjoys walking the beach, swimming in the sea, reading, and watching movies with her daughters.
I joined Spraoi in 2012 under a Tús Scheme, and since then I worked my way up the ladder. I went back to adult education training in Business. Due to mum life, I now work part-time as the Finance Manager. I absolutely love my work!
We have new office premises and high tech equipment which makes my working day easier. I love the social aspect of Spraoi and getting to meet so many people on a daily basis. Spraoi is a very busy social enterprise and I am constantly faced with new challenges to overcome. So, no two days are the same which means there is never a dull moment. I hope to be in Spraoi for many years to come.
Co-Founder & Activities Programme Co-Ordinator
Co-Founder & Activities Programme Co-Ordinator
My name is Louise, a mum of two children. I live in the carndonagh area and have been working in Spraoi agus Spórt for over 13 years. I love working in Spraoi as I get to meet , chat, and help so many people from different areas. I especially love working with the children and new mums and babies and helping them out in any way I can.
I was child minder for over 15 years and worked part time In the local filling station/shop for over 12 years when my children were small . Me and my husband Kevin work opposing shifts so one off us was always with Erin and Senan. It was crazy but we made it work! I then went on and helped to set up Spraoi agus Spórt in 2003 and I’m still here working today!
My Name is Kathleen McDaid. I live in Glengad Malin Co Donegal. My interests are walking and minding my Grandchildren..
I have been working here in Spraoi agus Sport for over three eears now. I originally came in to cover maternity leave as office Administrator. I am now working 3 days per week. My main role at the minute is as the Community Builder for Spraoi agus Sport and I also play a part in the Admin and Accounts. I also look after our Charity shop which I love. My huge achievement here in Spraoi is getting our Co-Working Hub offices up and going which I found very interesting. I have built a great relationship with my work colleagues and the co-workers and managers . I have learned more over the past three years than I have done in any other employment.
Long may it last!
I am the Service Reform Fund Transition Co-ordinator. My role has been created through a partnership with Spraoi agus Sport and the HSE. Since January 2022, we have been supporting the transformation of how we deliver services to people with disabilities throughout Donegal.
Spraoi agus Spórt has enabled the promotion of social inclusion, equality of opportunities and supporting persons with disabilities to live more inclusive lives in their local community.
Digital Creative Lab
DIGITAL CREATIVE LAB
Paul McCay is a Designer of all things Fab, working within the growing Digital Fabrication industry for almost 10 years. Paul’s drive is delivering exciting education in disadvantaged communities to nurture and establish social change.
He works towards a more positive, inclusive creative culture for all ages and abilities. “I believe creativity is a vast portal for stimulating change and everyone can harness creativity to better there circumstances. I love being a part of team Spraoi because of their philosophy of Connecting people, Changing Lives. I really feel we are achieving this and that means a lot to me.
Digital Creative Lab
DIGITAL CREATIVE LAB
My name is Aine Kelly and I live in Carndonagh. I have worked in Spraoi for almost 2 years.
After working in the hospitality industry for 2 years along with my Hons Degree in Business with Tourism, I knew it was time for a change. I always knew I wanted to work in a sociable environment so when a job became available in Spraoi, I knew it was a good match for me. I joined Spraoi as a part of the After-school team. I loved this as I got to work with children but also work with various parts of the team. I gained many other qualifications through this role. From this, I started to take on more roles in Spraoi such as organising School Tours, Administration and co-ordinating Respite and July provision. I got the chance to help in the FabLab through a school tour and loved it. I loved the creativity and educational aspect of it. I am now full time in the Fablab as a technical assistant helping to deliver workshops weekly to various schools and working on developing projects. I hope to gain more skills and qualifications through the FabLab and see both Fablab and Spraoi grow.
I enjoy working at Spraoi as there are so many different opportunities. You get to meet so many different people and no day is ever the same. I love meeting and chatting to new people, so this role suits me perfectly.
Service Reform Fund
SERVICE REFORM FUND
My Name is Caroline Mc Daid. My Role in Spraoi agus Sport is Social Buddies co-ordinator for this HSE region. Social Buddies is a pilot social reform programme initiative, which is being developed between Spraoi agus Spórt and the HSE. The partnership is a new model of Service delivery that aims to develop a more person-centred approach for Intellectual Disability day service users in the north west area.
Social Buddies aims to provide social supports to Adult Intellectual Disability day service users outside of day service hours and at weekends with the assistance of a trained and vetted Volunteer . Working as a team member of Spraoi agus Spórt gives me access to all the resources, tools and experience that Spraoi have available to them to develop. This enables me to promote the Social Buddies befriending service in the community. Being linked to a social enterprise such as Spraoi allows Social Buddies to create a direct link to the local community.
Administration & Marketing
ADMINISTRATION / MARKETING
My name is Margaret Doherty, I am the administrator and class co-ordinator here at Spraoi agus Spórt. I spend my time in the office organising classes and communicating with our service users. I enjoy being a part of the Spraoi team and bringing new classes to the community.
School Age Childcare
SCHOOL AGE CHILDCARE
I am a mum of two boys and live in Carndonagh. Before joining Spraoi agus Spórt, I was working as a Classroom Assistant in St Patrick’s Girls School.
I really enjoy working with all the different kids which come through our doors in Spraoi. I am usually based in both breakfast and afterschool clubs. But I can be situated in any of our classes, camps, school tours or club Spraoi depending, where help is needed.
I have gained valuable experience and knowledge working in Spraoi. I have also gained many opportunities to achieve numerous certificates such as Làmh and Fire Marshal, to name but a few.
I’ve worked in Spraoi now for the last 8 years and over the years I have had many opportunities to learn new things within this organisation and I am proud to work here. I began working here while I was in school as weekend staff and kept my foot in the door while attending college. I studied Arts with English and History and more recently completed a General Science course. I always looked forward to coming into work and being part of the team here. I love meeting new people, helping people and being creative. Luckily, I get to dabble into my interests a lot here at Spraoi.
Since joining Spraoi I have worked in areas including childcare, p&t, special needs assistant, birthday party leader and classroom assistant. Over the past 2 years I’ve been predominantly in the office. I currently work part time as part of the administration team, mainly dealing with the National Childcare side of things. But you could often find me anywhere an extra hand is needed. I love the sense of community we have here at Spraoi and the fact that we do our best to facilitate anything that comes our way. We are always kept busy and I love that my skills and qualities get to expand here while helping to contribute to the positive attitude that Spraoi projects and the exciting amenities we bring to our wee town of Carndonagh.
Patricia is a native of Galway, living in Malin, Inishowen for the past 22 years. She is married to Liam, and they have two children – as well as a rescued dog and cat. Patricia loves to walk on the many fabulous trails around the Inishowen Peninsula, can disappear with a good book and is always up for adventures and travel. Having graduated in Psychology from the National University of Ireland, Galway, then as a postgraduate of the University of Limerick (HR Management) and of Ulster University (Social Policy and Administration) Patricia believes that education can lift all boats.
With a background in social justice, equality and tackling disadvantage, Patricia has worked with and for the community and voluntary sector for over 35years. This started in Limerick working with disconnected young people in the late 1980s, working in Léargas on ESF funded Programmes and then programme managing the ESF New Opportunities for Women (NOW) Programme within the National Women’s Council of Ireland up to 2000. Having moved from Dublin to Donegal in 2000 she has run her own social research consultancy in tandem with managing cross-border projects and then a parenting support charity (2007-2019).
In her current position as IDP Research Officer the work involves identifying needs, making the case, advocating for change, amplifying impact, and telling the story. Patricia leads the IDP work that involves education, young people, health and well-being and family support services. Recent work through IDP includes securing the Sláintecare contract for Inishowen, a consultative policy submission on the impact of Brexit on our collaborating coastal communities and successfully securing funding for several transnational projects. Patricia volunteers on a wide range of committees and working groups and believes wholeheartedly in giving back.
Cliodhna hails from West Donegal and is a native Irish speaker. Following her graduation from LYIT with a NCEA in Business & Secretarial Studies Clíodhna travelled and worked in the USA, Germany and England for many years before returning to Ireland to take up a permanent position with National Irish Bank.
Clíodhna worked for over 18 years in the Bank as a senior bank official where her main area of responsibility was that of mortgage advisor. Whilst in employment, Clíodhna obtained many banking qualifications and a JEB Teachers Diploma in IT. In 2010 National Irish Bank now known as Danske Bank closed forcing Clíodhna into redundancy. At this time Clíodhna decided to pursue a career in Childcare. Having gained FETAC Level 5 qualification in Childcare, Clíodhna commenced employment in Naíscoil Dhomhnach Óg. She is currently the manager of the childcare facility which operates through the medium of Irish.
Originally from Derry, Charles moved to Carndonagh in 2011 where he lives with his wife and three young children. A Fellow of the Irish Association of Chartered Accountants, Charles graduated from University College Dublin with a Bachelors degree in Commerce and a Masters in Accountancy. Five years working for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Dublin were followed by over a decade in the Banking industry, working in various Senior Relationship Management roles within KBC Bank in Dublin and Ulster Bank (Royal Bank of Scotland) in Belfast. In 2017 Charles changed career and became the 3rd generation owner-operator of Bradley & McLaughlin Funeral Directors in his native Derry. A successful family business which has been in existence for over 50 years.
Since moving to Carndonagh, Charles has spent time on a variety of volunteer roles within the local community including those of Treasurer of a local National school Parents’ Association, Director of the local Naíscoil Dhomhnach Óg, and as an underage coach with both his local football and Gaelic football teams. In his spare time Charles enjoys playing football, golfing, indoor rowing and reading.
My Name is Bernadette McElhinney. I live in Carigtown Carndonagh. I am a retired Primary School Teacher. My Interests are walking and reading . I 1st started volunteering in Fado back in 2019 . I volunteer twice a week. I meet loads of very nice interesting people and have made many friends . I like our little shop as it a little different than the rest, its more like a little boutique . By volunteering in Fado is my way of giving into the community.
My name is Sena McCreanor. I volunteer at Fadó Charity Shop in Carndonagh. In the shop I work with other volunteers sorting clothes and helping customers. I work two half days a week and during my shifts I sort through the clothes and other items that are regularly donated to the shop. I price items and I keep the shop tidy as well as engaging with our many loyal customers.
I really love working here as it’s such a sociable job. I love meeting new people and having the craic. Being a volunteer in Fadó has brought structure back to my week, something I really missed since I retired a few years ago. I am also very interested in clothes! My other interests include music, keeping fit (ish), Irish language and history and travel. I also love reading and am a member of a local Book Club.
My Name is Pauline McDaid, I live in Bunn Glengad. My Hobbies are walking gardening and enjoying time with my Family.I first started volunteering in Fado in 2021 I have not missed one day since I started. No matter what is happening that is my day for Fado.
I really look forward to my half day Tuesday every week. I have met loads of new people and some great characters while volunteering . I love the clothes and style in our little Boutique as we like to call it. At the end of my day I feel like I have gave something to the Community . I hope to be still here this time ten years from now
My Name is Mary McGettigan. I live in Carrowmena. My hobbies are walking and spending time with my Family. I started to volunteer in Fado back in 2019. I go in one half day per week. I love working alongside my colleagues and we do have good fun .
I like to see the Clothes and Style too . This gets me out of the house and gives me something to look forward to on a weekly basis. Because the proceeds goes to a Family Centre that makes it even more worth while for me . I wish Fado all the best and many more years in business.
My name is Mary Kelly. I started in fado as a volunteer over 4 years ago, I have made some great friends during this time. I enjoy meeting new people and being kept busy. When not in Fado I spend my time with my family and enjoy being able to help look after all my grandchildren and even a granddog now !
My Name is Mary Gallagher. I live on the outskirts of Carndonagh. My Hobbies are Jam making and Baking. I have been volunteering in Fado which we call our little Boutique since 2017. I volunteer 3 half days per week and I also make jam for the shop which there is quite a demand for . I have made many friends since I came to Fado after I retired. I think the best part about working here is that we are doing our part for all the Community young and old benefits from Spraoi agus Sport
My Name is Marie Henderson. My Hobbies are Waking gardening reading. I first started in Fado in 2016 and went off for a few years and I’m back since 2021 Fado is such a lovely little place to work. Meeting and greeting people is my favourite part and lately I have made such great friends with the Ukraine residents here in Inishowen knowing at the end of the day that if we have taken in some money that its going straight back into the Community and that’s what really matters .
My Name is Kathleen Gallagher I am a retired civil servant; my hobbies are reading walking and socialising. In 2016 when fado opened Fado they asked me would I be interested in volunteering in the shop. 6 Years later I am still here, and I really enjoy it. Especially the social side of it . I meet new people all the time and have made really good friends since I came here. I i also very satisfying to be part of a group that is helping all age groups in our Community
My Name is Imelda Reid. I live in Carndonagh. My Hobbies are walking an kayaking and tennis. I started in Fado back in 2021 and its been a great experience, I have met made loads of nice people and my work colleagues are a lovely wee bunch . I have a good eye for the style and like sorting out what should go online. Our shop is a little different than other Charity shops and is kept very well by all the volunteers. I am very happy that I am giving my time to a Community bases organisation. I would like to think that I remain in Fado for many years to come.
My name is Caroline McLaughlin. I live in Ballyliffin. My interests are walking and baking. I first volunteered in Fado back in 2016 and I am still here. It has gave me courage to open my own business but I still manage to spend time in Fado our little boutique. The fact that the harder we work means that it all goes back into the Community is a huge bonus for Me. Last but not least I have met loads on new people and friends since I started in Fado.
My name is Mary Gallagher, I’ve been a volunteer in Fado for a few years now. I love everything about it- meeting new people, sharing stories and having fun with the other volunteers. In my spare time I love gardening and cycling.