Aoife Hammond is moving on from her current role as General Manager of Dublin Food Co-op.
As some of you will know in 2019 I purchased a cottage in Leitrim and have been working away on it over the past year.
In that time I have gotten to meet some lovely people from my local community in Manorhamilton, and from those meetings I came to know the brilliant crew of people who run Manorhamilton Castle. This castle and tourist attraction has, in the past, acted as social space for the community but has been closed due to COVID-19.
I have been offered the opportunity to come on board and manage the Manorhamilton Castle Community Café and local produce shop, in line with co-operative principles. This opportunity is something that I feel I cannot turn down. The role is ideal for me at this time, allowing me to meet and interact with my new community, and most importantly to spread the message about co-operatives–something you will all know is very important to me.
It also cuts out the travel to and from Dublin which has been difficult, especially throughout the pandemic. It is for these reasons I have decided to step down from my position of General Manager of Dublin Food Co-op. The decision to leave the Co-op is not an easy one by any means. I have been here for almost 13 years. I have, in a way, grown up at the Co-op. It has been a formative experience both personally and professionally.
It has been wonderful to work in an organisation that reflects my values and ethics. It has also been great to work with such a wonderful team – the staff and volunteers, many of whom I consider to be the greatest of friends.
I intend to work out my notice period until May, and will be working hard to ensure that the transition to the next stage for the Co-op will be well planned and organised. I believe that Dublin Food Co-op is in the strongest position it has been. We have been through a lot in the past few years and we are now in a position to look forward with hope for what’s to come.
Our shop in Kilmainham is thriving. We have just launched our online platform and our second Community Development Programme will be kicking off in a blended format in 2021.
Our Co-ordinating Body and staff team have just completed our strategic planning for 2021 – 2024, and our goals have a very clear focus on sustainability, community and education. I believe that my successor will be coming into a role that will be both fulfilling and exciting.
I would like to thank the members of the CB and the membership generally for their continued support throughout my time at the Co-op–it has not by any means been the easiest job to be our General Manager these past two years, but it has always been satisfying knowing that I have helped the Co-op to grow and develop throughout that time.