Helen Keenan has been on a boat, more than once. Her sea legs have failed on both trips to Holland and Harris, she once ran out of fuel in a Shetland Cruisette on Loch Lomond and was promptly escorted from a Tenerife whale watching boat for looking a little green around the gills. Despite this she was once given a participation certificate for skippering a barge from Linlithgow to Edinburgh with a bunch of young people who were being prepared for a 10 week expedition in Costa Rica. A great pedigree to look at our organisation with an external view.

Helen commented. “On the Brightside I am an experienced senior leader across youth work and the 3rd Sector, who has dedicated time and passion to improving young people’s lives through volunteering, I am excited at the opportunity to bring my skills and experience to RYA Scotland.”

Helen has been making an impact across youth work in Scotland for the past 20 years, with her confident and compassionate approach. Within the last ten years Helen has driven organisational change to the structures and culture of volunteering at the two biggest young organisations in the UK.

“I led the change to volunteering at the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and The Prince’s Trust in Scotland bringing a fresh and innovative approach to volunteering, challenging culture, making it relevant to young people and future proofing by introducing digital programmes. Continuing the Volunteering theme I am also taking up the reigns at Marie Curie leading their 13,000 passionate and committed volunteers into their next 5 year strategy.”

Helen joins RYA Scotland as Director of External Communications and will work with the Staff and Management team to increase the RYA Scotland’s reach and participation throughout the boating communities in Scotland.

To find out more about volunteering with RYA Scotland committees visit here or contact admin@ryascotland.org.uk