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EXTRA

January 2019

MONTHLY NEWSLETTER OF LONDONDERRY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

CONNECTED, the official publication for the Hamilton’s Design for the Heart of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, is being Community published three times a year in 2019! Hamilton Architects of Derry, Belfast and London are delighted CONNECTED is available in a glossy print format plus a digital version accessible via our website as well as being delivered across a range of multi-media platforms by all of our key regional stakeholders in the region. The publication is a showcase product which delivers positive messages about the North West region being open for business and CONNECTED. It is an informative magazine that keeps the business community informed of regional developments and lobbying activities that are helping to support the commercial life of the region. The magazine offers a vibrant blend of topical feature articles, essential business news, business advice pieces and interviews with well-known local business leaders and others. It reflects the passion, innovation and business that is taking place across this region each and every day. We showcase business news across the North West, engaging with businesses beyond the City which shows that we are a thriving and exciting yet connected region.

Welcome to the first edition of CONNECTED Extra, the monthly newsletter of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce! If you have a story or announcement you’d like to share in CONNECTED Extra, please send text and images to lorraine@londonderrychamber.co.uk for consideration by the 22nd of each month.

connected extra is kindly sponsored by:

that contractor Ganson UK Ltd have just been appointed to deliver the Hamilton design for the new £2.3m St Mary’s Youth Club right in the heart of the community in Creggan. Demolition of existing buildings starts next month, with construction beginning in March and a completion date of Spring 2020.

The new single storey building will include a three-court sports hall, dance studio, boxing studio, activity area, group rooms, classrooms, offices, changing rooms, toilets, plant rooms and stores. The project also provides attractive new fencing and new pedestrian and vehicle access to the site, which will help open it up to the wider community with the aim of educating and empowering local young people. An Grianan Hotel Wedding Fayre In Association with Perfect Bliss Wedding Shows Sunday 17th February from 2pm - 5pm Two Catwalk Displays – Over 50 Wedding Specialists Complimentary Admission


Aine McFadden, who studied for a Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies at NWRC, was singled out as a finalist in recognition of her “brilliant academic results and extracurricular success within the Vocational category”.

Huge turnout for Hotel Jobs Fair at NWRC The Holiday Inn Express Jobs Fair which took place at North West Regional College has been described as a huge success. Students, jobseekers and people from across the North West were among those turned out for the event which was hosted at the college’s Flying Clipper Restaurant. Marc McGerty, Business Development Executive, NWRC explained: “This investment in jobs and in tourism is a great opportunity for the city and wider region. ‘’As part of the NWRC’s economic engagement strategy we are keen to help develop the economy, including supporting local, small businesses and inward investment for global companies. “Over the past three years, NWRC’S Business Support Centre has helped over 1,000 businesses including training staff and managers, offering specialist consultancy and mentoring in product development and innovation projects.” “We have an excellent track record delivering pre-employment training. We work with employers to recruit suitable candidates, we train and upskill these potential employees which gives businesses a pool of candidates to appoint from. ‘’As a result of this successful delivery we are the chosen provider for Danske Bank, Alchemy and Fin Tru.” Kathleen McCaul, Head of Hospitality and Tourism at NWRC added: ‘’We are delighted to see the expansion of jobs within the Hospitality sector within the city and wider region which will open up new career opportunities for our highly trained Hospitality and Tourism students in particular.” Councillor John Boyle, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council said: ‘’This is a much welcomed investment for our city and for the wider Northern Ireland region. It’s also a great opportunity for people who wish to create a career in the catering and hospitality sectors. “We are an area renowned for our rich tourism, culture and heritage offerings. Investment in our tourism product is an integral part of Council’s economic development strategy and we will continue to attract inward investment.’’ Stephen Redden, General Manager, Holiday Inn Express added: ‘’We were delighted to work with North West Regional College to host our recruitment open day for the Holiday Inn Express Hotel which will open with 119 bedrooms, bringing over 40 jobs to the city. ‘’We were extremely impressed with the skillset available and look forward to building a passionate and professional team to deliver the very highest standards of quality and service at this exciting new hotel development. We thank all those who came along to meet with us and also the team at the college for their support in delivering a fantastic event.‘’

She will now go on to the awards ceremony on Thursday 31st January in Manchester where young people, their families and educators, along with politicians, professionals and celebrities come together to celebrate educational attainment. Aine, who was nominated for the award by her NWRC Early Years Lecturer Ann Tracey, is part of a group who recently created a virtual video map of Derry-Londonderry’s City’s Walls for wheelchair users, and in September she was recognised by Junior Chamber International as an “Outstanding Young Person”. Aine, who now works for the Tuned in Project in DerryLondonderry as a Team Leader, said she was overwhelmed and thrilled to be shortlisted as a finalist: “When Ann told me she had nominated me it felt like such an honour,” she said, “I’ve stayed in touch with Ann even though I have now completed my studies at NWRC. Ann has been so supportive. I’m really thankful that she thought of me for this. Ann has been so supportive throughout my time in college and since I finished my course. I’m still in touch with my lecturers and tutors at NWRC who are so approachable and down to earth. It is a really good learning environment because you are not afraid to ask questions.” Aine first studied the BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Early Years (equivalent to 3 A Levels) at NWRC and returned to the Strand Road Campus to complete the Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies. “The Foundation Degree was perfect for me,” said Aine. “I wanted to continue to study but I didn’t want to move away. It was more accessible to me than going to university and it was a great stepping stone to going on to get a full degree.” After completing her studies Aine went on to work in Ardnashee College and is currently working with the Tuned In Project. She explained the work she is doing there: “At Tuned In I am working with a range of young people and adults with a range of disabilities. A lot of the work we do is through Creative Media and the Arts and we decided to embark on a video project looking at how accessible the city is for people who have a physical disability. “The City’s Walls were a great place to start because they are so famous. It also tied in well with our students who are from the town. I suppose when you live here, you don’t think too much about tourist attractions and other places you see on a daily basis. The Walls have always been here and you don’t always consider whether they are accessible to everyone. The Tuned In project also thought about visitors to the city and the questions they have when they visit the historic walls. They may not always know what to expect. “It started to go a bit further then, and we considered more than the physical disability. We thought about people with Autism and how they may be frightened of new spaces. However, our video project would allow people to take a look at the space before they come up to the Walls.” The project is currently online and Aine and the group are researching turning the project into an app.

Aine is Tuned In for National Education Awards night

“We want it to be really user-friendly,” explained Aine, “so anyone can access it with little or no help. It’s been such a worthwhile project and we are really excited about it. I’m really delighted that we’ve been able to highlight the work of the project through my nomination. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me getting this far, especially Project Manager at Tuned In, Phil Conn.”

A graduate of North West Regional College (NWRC) has been shortlisted as a finalist in the 2019 British Education Awards.

Visit http://www.nwrc.ac.uk/ for courses, news and information on NWRC


your business idea.” Derry City and Strabane District Council’s £10K Business Start Up Challenge is also currently available for local business startups. It is aimed at those thinking of starting a new business or who have started a new business and have not yet registered on the Go for It programme. The Mayor added: “The Challenge is a key element of the business development and promoting entrepreneurship commitment that is set out in the Council’s Strategic Growth Plan and includes a prize fund of £10,000 is broken down into seven cash prizes including, £2,500 for the first prizewinner, £2,000 for the second prizewinner and £1,500 for the third prizewinner with three runner-up prizes of £1,000 as well as a £1,000 student prize.

Derry City and Strabane District Council urges local entrepreneurs to ‘Go For It’ in 2019 New Year, New Business? Is 2019 your year to ‘Go For It’? Derry City and Strabane District Council is urging local wouldbe entrepreneurs thinking about starting a business as their New Year’s Resolution to take that first step with the support of the Go For It Programme. This project is part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth & Jobs Northern Ireland (2014-2020) Programme.

“In addition to the cash prizes, the Council is working with a range of partners including Northwest Regional College, Ulster University, Intergrade Ireland, Invest NI and other support providers to establish a package of support for all the winners. “The closing date for entries is 12pm on Monday 04 February 2019. The application process will comprise of a completed application form which will be reviewed by a panel of five judges who will shortlist seven businesses to pitch their business idea at a winners’ announcement event which will be held as part of Enterprise week on Thursday 07 March next year.” If you have a business idea you’d like to develop or if you are thinking about starting a business call 0800 027 0639 or visit: visit www.goforitni.com For more information on Derry City and Strabane District Council’s 10k Challenge and how to enter visit: http://www. derrystrabane.com/10Kchallenge

The Go For It programme is delivered free of charge by a team of experienced business mentors through Northern Ireland’s wide network of enterprise agencies. It provides expert advice and help with developing a robust business plan to help turn ideas into a commercial enterprise. Providing advice on everything from accounts to marketing and business growth, by mapping out a formal business plan, many people find it puts them on the path to progress and gives them the confidence to make the leap of faith that is needed to start their own business. Over 260 business plans have been completed in 2018 through the Go For It programme in Derry City and Strabane District Council. Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr John Boyle, said: “The New Year is a key time of year when people begin to really think strongly about pursuing a dream of being their own boss or going self-employed. ““All great businesses must start somewhere and we would encourage anyone who has an idea to take that leap of faith in 2019 and change their life with the help of the Go For It Programme. “The Go For It Programme offers expert mentoring in the business related challenges of starting your own business such as financial and business planning, accessing funding and best practise to help build the foundations for a sustainable business model. “So, if you’re thinking about starting a business, we have a team of experienced business mentors through our network of enterprise agencies that are fully equipped to provide expert advice and support. They will explain how the Go For It Programme will help you create a business plan tailored to

Join this year’s Derry-Strabane Enterprise Week, 4-8 March 2019 A week long programme of FREE events to guide you through all stages of your business journey. Whether you are an entrepreneur in need of inspiration or specific training or an established business seeking advice on planning, marketing or lead generation, there is something for you with over 30 custom events. #EW2019 For full details of events each day and to register visit: http://www.derrystrabane.com/enterpriseweek-1 You can also follow us on Facebook @Business Support Derry Strabane / @dcsdbusiness


The four-week Academy will be delivered by North West Regional College. Nicola Curry, Business Development Manager at NWRC, added: “NWRC is proud of the strong links we have established with the local business community through continued collaboration. We have a track record of delivering support for business in the form of training for new and existing staff and providing cutting edge research and innovation expertise. “We look forward to welcoming the next cohort of Danske Bank Assured Skills Academy participants and helping them learn the skills they need to progress their careers.” Applications for the second Danske Bank Assured Skills Academy are open until 20 January 2019. Applicants must have a minimum of three A levels and six GCSEs including maths and English. An information evening will be held in the City Hotel, Derry~Londonderry, at 6.30pm, on 15 January 2019, providing further information on the Academy. For more information and details of how to apply visit https:// www.nidirect.gov.uk/assured-skills

Danske Bank launches further Assured Skills Academy in North West Danske Bank is launching a second North West Assured Skills Academy offering 20 people the chance to gain industryrelevant training and a possible career with the bank as a Customer Protection Analyst. Following on from Danske Bank’s announcement last August of the creation of 67 new jobs in Derry~Londonderry, support from the Department for the Economy will see the company collaborate with North West Regional College to deliver 20 high quality training opportunities. Participants in the Academy who successfully complete the course will have a guaranteed job interview with Danske. Ann Williamson, Head of Employer Skills at the Department for the Economy, says: “Increasing the skills levels of the workforce in the North West, through Assured Skills Academies, helps to meet the needs of growing companies, support economic growth and enhance productivity. “Assured Skills Academies enable employers to work with training providers in the Further and Higher Education sectors to deliver industry-relevant, pre-employment training, helping ensure that expanding businesses can bring on board the people they need to grow and compete.” Niall McGarry, Senior HR Business Partner at Danske Bank, comments: “This Assured Skills Academy follows on from the success of the first NW Academy last year and is a signal of our continued commitment to the local area. Applicants need no experience in the financial services sector; all we ask is for a minimum of three A levels and six GCSEs including maths and English.” The Danske Bank analyst positions are part of a team which plays an important role in protecting the Bank’s customers through managing the risk of financial crime and fraud on their accounts. The team is based in the Bank’s historic Shipquay Place building. Mr McGarry added: “We are keen to bring a range of people and skills into the company and I would encourage anyone who meets the criteria and who is looking for a new challenge to apply.”

For all Chamber News & Events visit www.londonderrychamber.co.uk


New residency explores lived experience of the tragedies of South Armagh and Border counties BAFTA winning film and theatre maker Robert Rae has undertaken a six month residency in Newry as part of an ambitious EU PEACE IV funded truth recovery arts initiative. Rae has been collaborating with those worst affected by the conflict with the goal of developing a contemporary piece of theatre for The Playhouse Theatre and Peacebuilding Academy. Rae’s final piece, ‘Blood Red Lines’ will tour Newry, Dundalk and Belfast in February/ March next year.

Whether its Graffitti, Djing, Visual Arts, Crafts, Drama, or Dance, building a large scale art piece for an organisation’s building, The theatre can take staff out of their normal routines to find new creative opportunities and solutions. Why not also consider The Playhouse as a unique creative space for your next meeting, workshop or conference? Situated in the heart of the historic walled city of Derry Londonderry, The Playhouse has flexible, state of the art facilities including our 146 Seat Theatre and additional break out and training rooms. The theatre’s recent clients include: British Council, ILEX, Princes Trust, Derry City Council, BBC Children In Need, Peace & Reconciliation Group and Arts Council of Northern Ireland. To find our more contact The Playhouse on 02871268027 or email hire@derryplayhouse.co.uk.

In the play, survivors and former combatants wrestle with the complexity of how and what to tell the next generation, their individual rights set against the refusal of the state to share the truth, growing anxiety about the effect Brexit will have on peace… and the impact upon their own lives of the events they endured. The play is part of a wider ‘Border Stories’ programme, delivered by the Theatre and Peacebuilding Academy in Spring 2019, to foreground stories related to The Troubles in the South Armagh and Border Counties region. Local projects include award-winning documentary filmmaker Declan Keeney using ground-breaking VR technology to create an immersive documentary filmed in Virtual Reality in March 2019; composer, musician and vocalist Emer Kenny composing music inspired by interviews and experiences related to The Troubles, to be released as an album in April 2019; and playwright, scriptwriter and filmmaker Laurence McKeown creating a multi-media, live event with focus upon the land and the landscape, to be staged in April 2019. The Playhouse Theatre and Peacebuilding Academy creates theatre and art that allows reflection, active dialogue on consequences of conflict, and builds techniques to engage with painful memories. Artists will draw upon the skills of internationally-renowned artists with extensive experience in the use of drama and art to help heal divided communities emerging out of conflict. The PEACE IV Programme is an EU funded Programme designed to support peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the border region. It is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Match-funding for the project has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland. The Playhouse will work in partnership with Holywell Trust, Thomas D'Arcy McGee Foundation and Queens University Belfast to deliver the two and a half year project, which will work with representatives from interface and highly segregated areas, historical atrocities, victims and survivors and public sector. performance. The theatre can team staff up with the best local (and fully quantified!) artists and facilitators to use the arts to explore brand new approaches to collaboration, communication, and leadership.

Find out how you can take a lead on responsible business in 2019 Join Business in the Community to learn what you can do to tackle mental health awareness in the workplace and what the ‘circular economy’ has to offer your business. As an organisation committed to doing business responsibly, you and your key staff won’t want to miss this FREE seminar. Taking place on Friday 1 February at the BEAM Social Enterprise Centre, Invista House, Maydown Works, BT47 6TH - from 11.30 am – 1.00 pm, this event will also be a useful networking opportunity for you and your staff to meet other Business in the Community members in the North West area and to share good practice. A light lunch will be provided and parking is available . For more information, contact Maria Harvey or call (028) 7186 1550

Did you know The Playhouse offers new creative experiences for local business? The Artillery Street theatre has announced bespoke creative training for local businesses and organisations - encouraging staff engagement, increased morale, and improved

contact mairead reid for magazine advertising rates on 028 7126 2379


FinTrU warmly welcomes North West Academy II FinTrU North West office opened its doors in October 2018 and has since welcomed two Financial Services Academies to the city. The second North West Academy last week embarked on a six-week training programme before they begin their career at FinTrU. The graduates will complete their training at the North West Regional College and Ulster University. The Financial Services Academy provides graduates with practical, real world training and enables graduates the opportunity to work within FinTrU’s main product areas; Compliance, Legal, Risk, Operations, KYC and Consultancy. After successful completion of the Academy the additional twenty graduates will join the North West office in February bringing the FinTrU total employee count to 370. FinTrU would like to wish everyone good luck during their Academy experience and we look forward to working with you all in the near future. The new North West office is located at Carlisle House, 3 Horace Street, Derry/Londonderry. FinTrU is currently hiring a number of roles for its North West and Belfast offices including, Legal professionals, a Senior Software Engineer and a Legal Vice President. Read more about FinTrU opportunities on www.fintru.com/careers or contact careers@fintru.com. To keep up to date follow ‘FinTrU Careers’ on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram for the latest opportunities at FinTrU.

Niall McKeever, Director of Airporter and Fergal Rafferty, Foyleside Centre Manager at the Foyleside Coach park.

AIRPORTER MOVE CUSTOMER DROP OFF AND PICK UP POINT TO CITY CENTRE FOLLOWING RECENT GROWTH North West transport firm Airporter has moved its customer drop off/pick up point to the city centre to deal with a substantial increase in demand. The firm, which provides a vital transport link between the North West city region and the two Belfast airports, has been operating from the new bus stop at the Foyleside Coach park, beside the shopping centre, from 7 January 2019. The company made the decision to move its pick up and drop off points as part of its wider strategic move to deal with a steep rise in demand for services. Founded in 1996, the company has seen passenger numbers increase from around 5,000 in its first year to approximately 155,000 last year. It has a fleet of 21 vehicles and operates 30 journeys every day. The new customer drop-off point will provide Airporter customers with easy access to car parking, public transport connections and city centre hotels. Niall McKeever, Director of Airporter said: “We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of people using our service and this move is a direct reaction to that. We want to ensure there is a seamless connection between the North West city region and the UK and Europe. “The investments that we have made as a company over the last twenty years have shown our commitment and dedication to the North West City region. There is a lot of energy, passion and talent in this region and what we need now is a functioning executive that can take long term strategic decisions on the best way to invest in infrastructure and promote economic growth.” Visit www.airporter.co.uk or call 028 7126 9996 to book your journey now! 028 7126 2379 info@londonderrychamber.co.uk www.londonderrychamber.co.uk


relationships no matter how big or small. We have some clients who have been with us since we opened our doors 22 years ago. So, we are extremely proud of being named as top Multi Sector recruitment company as well as achieving a Top 10 spot in Recruiter’s Fast 50. “We, of course, have to thank our founder Mary Pat O’Kane, a County Derry native, who spent 20 years building the company into the well known, home grown brand that it is today.” After winning several Northern Ireland industry awards this year including the North West Professional Services Company of the Year, MPA Recruitment is delighted with this outstanding news regarding their company. Ciara Campbell, Operations Manager MPA Recruitment said, “Our award-winning team has played an instrumental part in this achievement. We pride ourselves in investing in our people and as a result we are more productive, happier at work and able to offer better value added experience to our customer base, one that’s now stretching globally. “It’s in our strategic plan to grow by a further 25 per cent over the next year. We will continue our branch expansion here in Northern Ireland as well as our international growth plans throughout 2019 so we have high hopes to make this list again next year. “It’s showing no signs of slowing down for our team and it’s just an extremely exciting time for MPA Recruitment. We’ll be working just as hard to maintain this into 2020 and beyond.’’

MPA Recruitment Named Fastest Growing Multi Sector Recruitment Company in UK MPA Recruitment, with its headquarters based in DerryLondonderry, has been named in the established Recruiter’s Fast 50 as top Multi Sector Recruitment Company in the UK and has been placed 10th overall. MPA is the first Northern Ireland company to top the Multi Sector list and this accolade recognises their exceptional growth over the last three years. The Recruiter Magazine Fast 50 programme, now in its 12th year, ranks the UK’s fastest growing recruitment companies, out of 39,000, and recognises those organisations that has demonstrated exceptional growth in turnover in the last three financial periods. Founded in 1997, MPA Recruitment is one of the largest staffing providers in Northern Ireland, employing around 1300 people, around 90 of which travel across the Irish border daily, throughout six offices in Derry-Londonderry, Belfast, Omagh, Armagh, Ballymena and Coleraine. Managing Director MPA Recruitment, Paul McQue said, “As the first Northern Ireland company ever to top the Multi Sector List and to make the Top 10, I’m extremely proud of what the MPA team has achieved. To stay on course, to treble the organisations turnover to £20M+ in less than three years, with no acquisitions, is rare in any business, particularly one with so much competition here in Northern Ireland. Paul McQue attributed the company’s growth to its outstanding team throughout all of their branches and the loyalty of their diverse customer base, saying; “We have unparalleled retention rates for staff and clients within the sector and here at MPA we have led the way in Northern Ireland in embracing new technology and in how we interact with our candidates and our clients, driving sustainable innovation in the recruitment market. “We work in partnership with our clients and our candidates,

Find out more at www.mparecruitment.co.uk, call 028 7136 0070 or email info@mparecruitment.co.uk


James Nesbitt, Chancellor of Ulster University commented: “The life changing impact of the work of Ulster University’s students and staff is felt locally and globally across a range of sectors and I’m proud that the world leading expertise of NeuroCONCISE has been recognised by Universities UK on the UK’s best breakthrough list. Our research and expertise coupled with industry leading collaborations in data science, stratified medicine, mental health sciences and the create industries continue to support the development of a better society for all. The real life impact of our work is evidenced in projects such as SafeWater, providing pioneering solutions to tackle global clean water challenges, to ActionSense, an organisation creating wearable technologies that aid remote rehabilitation and analysis, to SonoTarg, a new microbubble technology found to kill pancreatic cancer cells and SolaFin2Go creating standalone solar systems for cost effective access to electricity and thermal hot water for households in sub-Saharan Africa. The MadeAtUni campaign is an incredibly important initiative for Ulster University as it allows students, alumni, the local community and the wider population to understand the work that we do and the impact it has.”

Ulster University recognised in UK’s Best Breakthroughs List At Ulster University’s Magee Campus, invention using wearable technology has been named as one of the UK’s 100 best breakthroughs for its potential to significantly impact on people’s lives. The NeuroCONCISE project led by Professor Damien Coyle, is honoured in the UK’s Best Breakthroughs list of the last century for pioneering work in wearable movement-free communication technology which translates brainwaves into control signals and may be used to help people with brain injuries interact with technology and, communicate with their families.

Professor Dame Janet Beer, President of Universities UK, said: “Universities really do transform lives. The technology we use every day, the medicines that save lives, the teachers who inspire – all come from UK universities and the important work being done by academics. The UK’s Best Breakthroughs list is a testament to the difference that universities make to people’s lives and we want everyone to join us in celebrating the work they do.” You can find out more about the UK’s Best Breakthroughs and the MadeAtUni campaign here www.madeatuni.org.uk.

In November 2018 at the Institute of Engineering and Technology Innovation Awards, NeuroCONCISE won the best start up category and, competing against 350 other impressive innovations, won the overall Innovation of the Year Award. The judges stated that they felt that this project was something genuinely important, pulling on many interesting disciplines such as Artificial Intelligence, electronics, software and big data, and interweaves them in a solution that promises real developments in the field. The list of breakthroughs in the UK’s 100 best demonstrates how UK universities are at the forefront of some of the world’s most important discoveries, innovations and social initiatives, including the discovery of penicillin, work tackling plastic pollution, ultrasound scans to check the health of unborn babies and the establishment of the Living Wage. The list also highlights the less celebrated but vital breakthroughs that transform lives, including a speciallydesigned bra to help women undergoing radiotherapy; a toilet that flushes human waste without the need for water; the development of a new scrum technique to make rugby safer; a sports initiative that aims to use football to resolve conflict in divided communities; - and even work to protect the quality of the chocolate we eat. The list was compiled by Universities UK, the umbrella group for UK universities, as part of the MadeAtUni campaign to change public perceptions of universities and bring to life the difference they make to people, lives and communities across the UK.

Determined young mother overcomes debilitating health condition to graduate from Ulster University Young mother and Tyrone native Roisin O’Neill has graduated from Ulster University (Magee campus) with a BSc (Hons) degree in Business and Accounting despite battling severe health problems over the last four years. Just before starting university in 2014, Roisin was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a condition which affects over 150,000 people across the UK. Since then Roisin has undergone six operations and has been in and out of hospital, which has greatly impacted her ability to lead a normal day to day life. Her mental health has also suffered as a result of her illness but despite a number of setbacks Roisin was dogged in her determination to complete her degree with the help of her eight year old daughter Casidhe.


Roisin said: “The consultant, the doctor and even the pharmacist were telling me that there was no way that I could continue studying and that I should defer until my health improves. I hated hearing that and I wasn’t going to let my illness stand in my way. The more that people said this to me the more focused I became. I wanted to do it for Casidhe my daughter who was great in helping me in all my recovery.” Roisin also found her illness to be isolating however received great support from the staff at the Magee campus. “I was worried about going into lectures in case I had to leave at different stages for medical reasons. Lecturers were very supportive. I joined the camogie team which I loved, and although I didn’t get to stay at it, this was a real highlight during my time at university.” Despite the impact that her illness has on her life Roisin remains positive and is excited about her future. “I do have bad days; however, I try not to let it get me down. When I go to hospital you don’t have to look far to realise that there are plenty of others far worse off than you. I have started working in accountancy with an extremely supportive firm and I hope to continue to build on my career.” Dr Laura Bradley, Senior Lecturer at Ulster University said: “Roisin has spirit, determination, humility and guts that make her a true example of what it is like to face illness but still succeed.”

Santander Universities since 2011. To date the company has donated over £1.1million in funding support to enhance opportunities for student mobility, support internships, work placements and entrepreneurship. The initiative was launched by the Ulster University Students’ Union Enterprise Centre, a partnership service offered by Ulster University Students’ Union and the Faculty of Research & Impact. Chris Shannon, Student Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Manager at Ulster University Enterprise Centre said: “This initiative will see students working together on enterprise projects that can contribute to a successful business launch. The Fund will support our student entrepreneurs to help grow their new business ideas and turn them into reality, through collaboration with other students supporting them at different stages of their entrepreneurial journey. Innovation and entrepreneurship are the driving forces behind every growing economy and this fund breaks down barriers allowing for students to realise their dreams.” Graeme Elliott, Relationship Manager, Santander Universities said: “We are delighted to work with Ulster University to support the next generation of entrepreneurs. We look forward to seeing the new businesses which will grow from this fund and have an economic impact across the UK.” Sarah McAllanen, Product Design Student at Ulster University and Finalist at the 2018 Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards said: “Ulster University encourages an entrepreneurial spirit and drive. This fund is a great opportunity for students to go beyond their studies and capitalise on their skills, ideas and potential – regardless of their social, financial or geographical background.”

Photo: (l-r) Chris Shannon, Student Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Manager at Ulster University Enterprise Centre, Graeme Elliott, Relationship Manager, Santander Universities and Sarah McAllanen, Product Design Student at Ulster University and Finalist at the 2018 Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards

Ulster University supporting next generation of entrepreneurs Ulster University, in partnership with Santander Universities, has launched its first ever Student Enterprise Fund. The Fund aims to remove the barriers student entrepreneurs face in the early stages of realising their business ideas, while providing opportunities for other students to participate in one of these projects through freelance work or by being selfemployed. Student Entrepreneurs will advertise the vacancies for fellow students across all campuses who will be awarded a grant to complete the work. Additionally, during the process, students will benefit from a range of support, tools, and guidance to help develop not only the venture, but also to develop professional and entrepreneurial skills. Ulster University has been working in partnership with


As well as a generous 23kg of hold baggage, the flybmi ticket price includes complimentary in-flight drinks and snacks, speedy 30-minute check-ins or online check-in and allocated leather seating on its all-jet fleet. For more information on flybmi visit www.flybmi or call 0330 333 7998

Go romantic in Europe with great fares from flybmi for Valentine’s Day With Christmas feeling like a distant dream, thoughts are heading towards Valentine’s Day so why not make it a year to remember in 2019 with a mini break to Europe. British airline, flybmi is offering great fares on routes from the UK to Europe and with 23kg of hold luggage included in all fares there is space to pack additional Valentine’s Day gifts! Additionally, with complimentary drinks and snacks on board, including alcohol, it’s time to say ‘cheers’ to a romantic break away. Paris, the City of Love - from Bristol (£72 one way) It’s enduring reputation as the city of love and romance makes Paris the obvious choice for a Valentine’s break. With its beautiful architecture, strolls alone the Seine and hidden cafes and bistros it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. Chocolates and beer in Brussels – from Bristol (£97 one way), East Midlands (£69 one way) or Newcastle (£83 one way) If artisan beer and delicately fine chocolates create an image of epitome of a romantic break, then Brussels should be the place to visit. Enjoy a cosy dinner in one of the restaurants on the main plaza, take in the many museums or even watch one of the many animated films about love as part of the Anima Crazy Love festival. Urban cool in Derry – from London Stansted (£39 one way) The up and coming city of Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland is a great destination for a quick Valentine’s break. Bursting with new hotels, breweries and even its own distillery, it offers Irish hospitality in abundance. The city is also gateway to some of the region’s stunning beaches, some of which have appeared in various guises during the Game of Thrones franchise. Romantic English Garden of Munich – from Bristol (£99 one way) One of Europe’s most beautiful and well-preserved medieval cities, Munich’s cobbled old town will melt even the iciest of hearts. The Englischer Garten (English Garden) is said to be a garden or romance and one of the most popular parts of the city. Mingle with locals and tourists alike, catch a brass band or visit the gardens very on Beer Garden. Love birds in Norway: Oslo – from Aberdeen (£96 one way) or Stavanger – from Newcastle (£83 one way) The Norwegians love a bit of romance and for them Valentine’s Day is an important part of the social calendar. Legend says that the sight of birds mating is a sign of spring and new love, so around Valentine’s Day in Norway, don’t be surprised to find locals looking for birds. In Oslo, stores are often highly decorated with red hearts and all types of Valentine’s Day goodies, while in Stavanger watch out for pop up speciality restaurants or visit one of the city’s many cafes for a steaming hot chocolate to share.

New Year New Offices for LAWLINK NI N.Ireland’s Leading Law Search Company LAWLINK NI have moved offices. With exciting plans in store for the company over the next 12 months and the recent recruitment of a Full Time Business Development Executive, this Investment shows confidence in the local Property Market. “Due to ongoing growth and expansion of the business we felt the time was right for new City Centre Offices and a new state of the art IT system”, said Catherine Denvir (Operations Manager) Lawlink NI was formed in 2006 following the amalgamation of two of Northern Irelands long established and well respected law searching companies – Lee & Co and Lyttle & Co Catherine added “We have one of the most experienced teams in this sector with over 70 years of experience between them, the company currently provide search content for over 1/3 of all NI Property transactions and deal with the Leading Solictors firms across the Country. The New Offices on 2nd Floor BIBLE HOUSE, 27 Howard Street, BT16NB, were completely refurbished just before Christmas and Lawlink moved in on 14th January 2019. Catherine confirmed that all other contact details for LAWLINK NI remain unchanged and she is looking forward to 2019 and continuing to work with existing clients and welcomes new clients to contact their Business Development Executive Aidan Young for Information on all their Products & services. “I believe in the personal touch, and developing relationships with New & existing clients is imperative to the growth plans of any business”, said Aidan, “We have already attracted many new clients and we are firmly focused on growing our book of business in 2019. I can be contacted on any of the numbers below or via e mail and I am more than happy to call to the firms offices to give a short presentation of all we have to offer”. Contact details for Aidan 02890 230095 (Office) DD: 02890 891037 M:07741727298


races and has gone as far as to designate The Joe Barr 500 as the 2019 European Championship, a nod to just how well these races are organized. Both races take place April 27-28th, 2019. Team Joe Barr has corporate partnership opportunities still available with benefits such as brand association with one of Ireland’s most respected athletes and endurance teams whose values include: peak performance, resilience, teamwork, and endurance; significant media opportunties and unique, original and compelling media content created by Team Joe Barr for your business. Sponsorship opportunities are available and to connect with jill@teamjoebarr.com to receive a potential sponsor package. For more information about Team Joe Barr please go to www. teamjoebarr.com or www.racejoebarr.com

A NEW AND EXCITING ENDURANCE CYCLING SERIES TAKES OFF When it comes to endurance cycling, local team - Team Joe Barr – has become one of the most recognized names in the endurance world. At 59 years old, Joe Barr was crowned the World Ultra-Cycling Association’s 2017-2018 World Champion in the 500-mile category, a first for Ireland. He is a two-time winner of the non-stop 1350 mile Race Around Ireland considered one of the hardest races in the global calendar and in 2014 he joined the elite endurance cycling community by completing the toughest race of them all, the non-stop 3000 + mile, Race Across America. Joe Barr has been racing bikes for 45+ years. It’s safe to say that for him the race is home. In 2018 he and his team took their passion for endurance cycling and created two unique routes that feature the very best that Northern Ireland has to offer. Their goal was to encourage more local cyclists to take a step beyond, to try longer distances and to attract national and international riders to the area. Entries have already tripled for 2019 demonstrating just how fast this exciting dimension of the sport is growing. The Team Joe Barr 200 is a non-stop 200-mile course that riders complete either as a solo or as a 2-person team. The Joe Barr 500 is a non-stop 500-mile course that riders complete either as a solo, 2-person or 4-person team. Both routes can be found at racejoebarr.com The start and finish area for both courses is located in the White Horse Hotel, Campsie, Co. Derry/L’derry. The World Ultra-Cycling Association, an organization that Joe has recently become a Board Member of, has sanctioned both

WHITE HORSE HOTEL WINS TOP RATED VENUE IN DERRY THROUGH WEDDING DATES The White Horse Hotel is thrilled that Wedding Dates have crowned then as best wedding venue in Derry-Londonderry. “Winning Top Wedding Venue Derry/Londonderry though WeddingDates was a great honour. We are proud of the weddings we host and winning this award was due to all the wonderful reviews our wedding couples took the time to post on this site, each one of which was verified. To receive such wonderful testimonials makes our job worthwhile. We have been looking after wedding couples at the White Horse for over 26 years. It is such a pleasure to be part of a couples most special day - helping them create and pull together the wedding of their dreams. It is all about them, their family and friends, ensuring that not only the wedding couple have a spectacular day but also their guests. What a wonderful feeling it is for the couple to hear, after all the excitement has died down, that every single person had an amazing day. Our Head Chef, Noel Ward, and his team create sumptuous food - offering a wide choice to suit every taste, budget and brief. Our banqueting team with their friendly manor ensure every guest is looked after. With the hotels Deluxe Modern Banqueting Suites we offer a blank canvas for our couples to show off their style and personalities. From small intimate events to opulent lavish celebrations, we are there to produce the wedding of their dreams.” Visit www.whitehorsehotel.biz for more info. You can read the glowing wedding venue reviews at www. weddingdates.co.uk


Profile for Londonderry Chamber of Commerce

CONNECTED Extra - January 2019  

CONNECTED Magazine has a little sister! CONNECTED Extra is Londonderry Chamber of Commerce's monthly newsletter featuring our member's good...

CONNECTED Extra - January 2019  

CONNECTED Magazine has a little sister! CONNECTED Extra is Londonderry Chamber of Commerce's monthly newsletter featuring our member's good...