Business Irish

Wednesday 26 June 2019

Irish business leaders draw on personal experience to support charity

Woodbrook Group Director of Operations Senan McGonigle (left) and CEO Michael Doherty with Charisma members and volunteers
Woodbrook Group Director of Operations Senan McGonigle (left) and CEO Michael Doherty with Charisma members and volunteers Newsdesk Newsdesk

Two Irish leaders of a leading international financial services company are drawing on their personal family experiences to promote corporate social responsibility as they expand their operations.

Woodbrook Group CEO Michael Doherty and the company’s Group Director of Operations, Senan McGonigle, have many years’ experience working with non-profit organisations. Both men have children who are wheelchair users, and Senan was previously co-founder of the Association of Irish Powerchair Football, a sport for people with disabilities whose only ability is to use a powered wheelchair.

"From my own personal and professional experience, giving back to the community benefits everyone, including the company," Mr McGonigle said.  "Building trust and developing strategic partnerships in the communities we operate in is essential to secure long-term sustainability, it fosters staff loyalty and helps to attract new talent while making a positive impact on society.”

The Woodbrook Group has offices in nine countries across Europe and Asia, and is on the cusp of further significant growth as it looks to extend its influence into Latin America and the Middle East.

In Cyprus, Woodbrook plays a lead supporting role to Charisma, an innovative charity that provides artistic services to ‘charismatic individuals with special needs’. The non-profit charity, established in 2016, enables children and adults with special needs to develop and display their talents and give them the confidence to emerge from the shadow of social alienation.

Michael Doherty said: “Almost all of us like to help others, but in our work and daily lives we are not presented with the opportunity to do this. Through our relationship with Charisma we let our clients and staff know about the charity and the extremely valuable work that it does, and how they might be able to help if so inclined.”

One of the goals of Charisma is to develop assisted living units with a support centre to allow people with disability to live independently from their families, albeit with the necessary support. Where this is not fully possible, the centres allow much-needed respite breaks for families of those with disabilities to have some time to spend together.

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