Black background, gold glitter. Text: Celebrating 20 years of women of distinction

30 Years of Women of Distinction Awards: Helen Turner-Fischer, 2005

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the YWCA Cambridge Women of Distinction awards, we’re highlighting recipients from over three decades of celebrating ordinary women doing extraordinary things.

Helen wears a blue top and a pearl necklace. She's smiling and you can see from the background that she is sitting in a paint studio

Helen Turner-Fisher

Woman of Distinction award recipient in the category of Education, 2005.

Helen Turner-Fisher received a Woman of Distinction award in 2005 in the field of education. Her journey, marked by dedication, community service, and a profound commitment to education, exemplifies the transformative power of individual effort and collective support. 

Receiving the Women of Distinction award in the field of Education in 2005 served as a shining moment in Helen’s life. It wasn’t merely an accolade; it was a testament to her unwavering commitment to fostering learning and empowerment. Reflecting on the impact of this recognition, Helen shared, “It represented not only a recognition of my dedication to fostering learning and empowerment through education but also a celebration of the collective efforts of the remarkable women who have inspired and supported me along this journey.”

The Woman of Distinction award, “served as a reminder of the impact that passionate educators can have on shaping the future and instilled in me a deeper sense of responsibility to continue advocating for inclusive and quality education for all,” said Helen.  “It remains a cherished milestone, a testament to the enduring power of education in transforming lives, and a source of inspiration as I strive to make a meaningful difference in the world.

To young women and gender-diverse individuals navigating their own paths, Helen offered sage advice: “Embrace your strength, intelligence, and unique perspective. Know that you have the power to shape your own destiny and the ability to make a positive impact on the world.”

In a time when organizations like YWCA Cambridge play a crucial role in supporting and uplifting women, girls and gender-diverse individuals, Helen emphasized the importance of community: “When we honour women and support them, we are making our community a better place.” Through initiatives like YWCA Cambridge’s pre-employment and lifeskills program, Small Steps to Success program (with which Helen has volunteered),  women find affirmation, encouragement, and a network of allies, supporting them as they take steps forward and overcome barriers in their lives.

As Helen prepares to retire from her 30-year career in education, her journey of impact continues. Engaged in self-care through painting and dedicated to suicide prevention through the Champions Program, she embodies the spirit of compassion and resilience. 

Asked what are some words of wisdom she’d share with her community, Helen said, “Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, and never underestimate the strength that lies within you.”

In commemorating the 30th anniversary of the YWCA Cambridge Women of Distinction Awards, we celebrate not only Helen’s remarkable achievements but also the enduring legacy of women who dare to dream, inspire, and uplift. 

We invite you to join us in celebrating the 30th Anniversary Women of Distinction awards gala. The 2024 Women of Distinction Awards will take place June 12, 2024, at Whistle Bear Golf Club. Tickets will go on sale this Spring.

Are you a former Woman of Distinction recipient who wishes to be featured on our blog? Reach out to Roz Gunn at!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top