Macnaughton Blair Proudly Continues To support Aware NI and CRS

According to the Northern Ireland Audit Office, Northern Ireland is reported to have the highest prevalence of mental ill-health in the United Kingdom, yet mental health funding in NI is the lowest. On top of that, there were 10,953 missing related calls in 2021/22 in Northern Ireland alone, according to the Police, and for NI, the average number of incidents for a child in care who went missing was significantly higher than elsewhere in the UK.  

Without the engagement of conscious communities, these facts could remain pure statistics. This is exactly why Macnaughton Blair has chosen to support the depression charity Aware NI and Community Rescue Service – a search and rescue organisation operated by volunteers across Northern Ireland.

On Friday 2nd of February, Macnaughton Blair had the great pleasure of welcoming their esteemed charity partners back to their central support office in Belfast to present them with the latest charity contributions. It was reported that determined teams from MacBlair, Watershed Bathrooms, Doorways, Wood Floor Warehouse, P. McDermott & Sons (Omagh) and B. Mc Namee & Co. courageously took on Cycle, Golf and Tug of War challenges and in less than 5 months raised a remarkable £35,000 for these two deserving charities.


Derry Good Day For Rosie’s Trust

LISA McGee, the creator of Derry Girls, has been appointed as an ambassador of Rosie’s Trust. The local charity has also announced that it has received a substantial financial donation from the Kingsbridge Healthcare Group. Aileen Martin, Chairperson of Rosie’s Trust said: “We are honoured to have Lisa McGee as an ambassador for Rosie’s Trust. As one of Northern Ireland’s leading writers and creators we are so excited to have her support in helping us to raise awareness of the difference our services make to some of the most vulnerable members of the community.

“In addition to this, we are thrilled to have received a most generous £20,000 donation from the Kingsbridge Charitable Foundation. This will make a huge contribution to keeping even more people and their pets together when they need each other the most. What makes this donation even more special is the fact that Kingsbridge staff voted for it.

We’re looking forward to working with Lisa and Kingsbridge in the months ahead and have lots of activity planned as part of these partnerships, including information days and volunteering opportunities.”

“Rosie’s Trust could not operate without the support of our volunteers, who visit our beneficiaries in their homes to care for their companion pets and also provide a vital ‘check-in’ service,” Aileen added.

Lisa McGee said: “Rosie’s Trust is a unique charity, which is dedicated to supporting people living with cancer, people receiving end of life care and older people with mobility issues who are unable to look after their companion pets independently and have no other support. I am excited to work with the Rosie’s Trust team, to find out more about the great work they are doing and use my own platform to support them and, together, help even more people across Northern Ireland.”

Dr Martin Shields, Chair of Kingsbridge Foundation and Medical Director at Kingsbridge Healthcare Group, said: “We are delighted to provide Rosie’s Trust with a £20,000 donation. Pets play such an important role in people’s lives and we sometimes find that patients might delay treatment as they worry over who will help take care of their beloved dog or cat. Rosie’s Trust is a great charity that removes this concern for beneficiaries, not only when they are faced with this situation, but in their daily lives.”

Pictured with Molly the dog at the announcement are Mark Regan, Chief Executive of Kingsbridge Healthcare Group, Lisa McGee, Dr Martin Shields, Chair of Kingsbridge Foundation and Medical Director at Kingsbridge Healthcare Group and Aileen Martin, Chairperson of Rosie’s Trust.

Harp Gets Global Beer Recognition

HARP lager, one of the leading and most-loved lagers in Northern Ireland, has struck gold at a prestigious global beer competition.
The Global Beer Masters is an internationally renowned blind-tasting competition welcoming beers from around the world to compete for recognition and the chance to benchmark their taste against competitors. The beers were judged by a panel of industry experts who evaluated each one based on appearance, smell, taste, and style characteristics, resulting in Harp Irish Lager proudly scooping a gold medal in the International Lager category.
Noting Harp Irish Lager was a lesson in how to achieve crispness and balance in a subtle brew, judges shared their tasting notes, “A pale gold lager with great clarity and a slightly sweet malt aroma, a little bitterness on the body, but very gentle. It has a grainy aroma alongside fresh herbal notes. Palate is well round, supported by good carbonation and herbal notes. Nice balanced finish.”
Harp is an authentic pilsner lager, brewed with pride for Northern Ireland. First produced in 1960 under the guidance of distinguished German brewer Dr Herman Muender, Harp fused German knowledge with Irish brewing heritage to create a delicious Irish Lager. Today Harp is still naturally brewed for a refreshing, crisp taste using only four ingredients: pure water, malted barley, barley, and hops of which are all locally sourced.

Hothouse Flowers to headline Beamish Sessions at Court House

LIVE music lovers are in for a real treat over the coming months as The Court House in Bangor hosts The Beamish Sessions, a series of intimate gigs with a stellar line-up that includes Hothouse Flowers, David Holmes, Duke Special and punk legend Jah Wobble.
Supported by leading stout brand Beamish in partnership with Arts & Business NI, the sessions get under way at the award-winning Court House on Sunday February 11 when punk legend and former PiL bassist Jah Wobble and his band The Invaders Of The Heart perform ‘Rebuilt in Dub’ a reinterpretation of PiL’s seminal 1979 album ‘Metal Box’ with ‘heavy yet sophisticated dub interpretations and mind-expanding production’.
When it comes to local artists and pioneers within the music industry, names don’t come much bigger than Belfast-born David Holmes who brings ‘God’s Waiting Room’ to the Court House on Saturday February 17. Expect a selection of cinematic, library music, rock’n’roll, psych, experimental, electronic, techno, unclassifiable and independent tunes as the world-renowned DJ, producer and soundtrack composer takes over all three rooms of The Court House.
March will see one of Northern Ireland’s finest songwriters Duke Special take the Court House stage with three back-to-back shows from Thursday March 7 to Saturday March 9. With 15 albums under his belt, inspired by his love of music, theatre, books, poetry, art, love, life, redemption, and death, and 78RPM records, fans are in for an extraordinary evening of original music.
The Beamish Sessions conclude on Saturday March 30 with a headline show from legendary Irish band Hothouse Flowers, returning to Bangor for the first time since their sell-out Open House Festival appearance at Bangor Castle Walled Garden in 2022. Formed in 1985, Liam Ó Maonlaí and Fiachna Ó Braonáin’s first album was the most successful Irish debut record in history. Since reforming in the late ‘90s, the band has continued to write, perform and tour.
Only last month, The Court House become the first Northern Irish venture to win National Lottery Project of the Year. Located on the seafront in the heart of Bangor, County Down, the venue provides the perfect backdrop for an intimate and memorable live music experience.
Through the Beamish Sessions at The Court House, our aim is to curate an unforgettable live experience for local music lovers in Northern Ireland and take them on an extraordinary musical journey with a series of captivating and diverse original gigs,” said Kieran Gilmore, Director of The Court House and co-founder of local music and arts charity Open House which owns and operates the venue.
We hope The Court House will become the beating heart of Bangor’s burgeoning music and arts scene, and we appreciate the support of companies like Beamish and Arts & Business NI in our efforts to achieve this goal.”  
Maeve McKervey, Head of Business at Arts & Business NI, said:  “At Arts & Business NI, partnership is at the heart of everything we do and connecting our members is an important focus for us.
 We are delighted to support this new creative partnership between Open House Festival and United Wines, which has enabled the programming of The Beamish Sessions, a series of live music performances in The Court House, featuring international artists alongside respected local artists.
By working together on this exciting new project, United Wines and Open House are forging new connections, reaching new audiences and bringing benefits to the local cultural scene, positioning Bangor as a vibrant creative city.”   
Andrew Hollywood of United Wines, the company that distributes Beamish in Northern Ireland, said:  “We are delighted to support The Beamish Sessions at The Court House which is gaining a reputation as one of Northern Ireland’s finest live music venues. 
“With its historic charm, The Court House offers a unique and intimate setting that allows for a more personal and immersive musical experience, giving music lovers an opportunity to be up close and personal with their favourite artists.
“We see this as a perfect fit for Beamish which, although celebrating its 232nd birthday this year, is one of the fastest-growing stout brands in Northern Ireland. Through our partnerships with music venues such as The Court House in Bangor and The Sunflower in Belfast, Beamish is becoming more and more popular with a younger customer demographic, appealing to those who reject the mass marketing of bigger brands – in favour of a traditional stout brand that is understated and doesn’t try too hard.”

For more information on The Beamish Sessions at The Court House, Bangor, visit .

GREAT NIGHT STOUT: Live music lovers are in for a treat over the coming months as The Court House in Bangor hosts The Beamish Sessions, a series of intimate gigs in February and March featuring a stellar line-up that includes Hothouse Flowers, David Holmes, Duke Special and punk legend Jah Wobble. Supported by leading stout brand Beamish in partnership with Arts & Business NI, the sessions get under way on Sunday February 11 with punk legend and former PiL bassist Jah Wobble, and conclude on Saturday March 30 with a headline show from legendary Irish band Hothouse Flowers. Launching the Sessions at The Court House are (l-r) Maeve McKervey from Arts & Business NI, Matthew Fitzpatrick of United Wines, the company that distributes Beamish in Northern Ireland, and Kieran Gilmore, Director of The Court House and co-founder of local music and arts charity Open House which owns and operates the venue. For more information on The Beamish Sessions at The Court House, Bangor, visit

Down Royal and Friends of the Cancer Centre announce winning charity partnership

Down Royal has announced Friends of the Cancer Centre as its official charity partner for 2024. The partnership will see Friends of the Cancer Centre hold collections at thirteen of Down Royal’s scheduled race meetings in 2024 in aid of its work supporting people with cancer across Northern Ireland. Pictured (L-R) are Ciara Bainbridge, Corporate & Events Fundraising Officer at Friends of the Cancer Centre and Susan McCartney Racing and Event Operations Manager at Down Royal.
The racecourse will continue its longstanding tradition of supporting local causes this year by partnering with the leading cancer charity, dedicated to supporting local patients and their families.
The partnership will see Friends of the Cancer Centre hold collections at thirteen of Down Royal’s scheduled race meetings in 2024 in aid of its work supporting people with cancer across Northern Ireland.  
Ciara Bainbridge, Corporate & Events Fundraising Officer for Friends of the Cancer Centre commented: “Without support from local businesses like Down Royal we would be unable to continue our vital work which is making a real difference to thousands of patients and their families. This includes our funding of additional members of staff across cancer services and providing practical support, like financial grants, which can help make a difficult time a little easier.
“In addition, the funds raised will allow us to continue our investment in locally led cancer research through our partnership with the Northern Ireland Cancer Trials Network and the Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research at Queen’s University, which is helping find new and improved ways to treat many different types of cancer and giving hope to many.
“We are extremely grateful to the team at Down Royal and its racegoers for their vote of support. We’re asking the public when they see a Friends of the Cancer Centre volunteer at the fabulous race days to think of those across NI who are facing the most difficult of circumstances and give all they can. Thank you to everyone for the opportunity to become Down Royal’s official charity partner for 2024.”
Speaking about the collaboration, Emma Meehan, Chief Executive of Down Royal said “Friends of the Cancer Centre is well-known for its unwavering dedication to improving the lives of cancer patients across Northern Ireland and we are delighted to be able to support a cause which is so close to the heart of both our team and our valued customers. We look forward to a great year partnering with the charity’s team to raise as much as we can for this incredibly important cause.”
To learn more about Friends of the Cancer Centre, visit
For full details on Down Royal’s fixtures for 2024 visit

AbbeyAutoline’s 50th anniversary celebrations help over 40 local community and voluntary organisations

AbbeyAutoline, Northern Ireland’s largest insurance broker, has successfully concluded its ambitious 50th Anniversary programme by supporting more than 40 charity and voluntary organisations across the region.

More than 400 staff from AbbeyAutoline’s 15-branch network and head-office helped raise over £9,000 for local community organisations as part of the insurance broker’s half century celebrations.

AbbeyAutoline committed to the ambitious programme as part of its 50th Anniversary with a focus on giving back to communities that have played a crucial role in the company’s success over the past 50 years.

The ambitious calendar of activity included the hugely successful ’50k in May’ challenge with over 120 staff members embarking on a gruelling challenge to each walk, run, bike or hike 50km in May.

Staff laced up their running shoes, fastened their cycling helmets and put their hiking boots to the test to collectively cover an astonishing 6,000km to raise over £4k for AWARE NI.

‘50 Ways of Giving Back’ supported numerous local charities and voluntary organisations across Northern Ireland with staff offering support and practical assistance to make a meaningful difference to their communities.

Staff got involved in a variety of projects including volunteering at food banks, donating in demand items to a variety of community organisations, tidying up community gardens, and fundraising for local charities.

The hugely successful 50th Anniversary programme of activities included staff pledging 50 hours of volunteer support to the Northern Ireland Hospice, a long-standing charity partner of AbbeyAutoline, aimed at benefiting the important work the charity does in caring for adults, children, and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses.

Staff took on a variety of voluntary roles across some of the 24 Hospice shops and supported a series of bucket collections in towns and villages. Staff also tended to the gardens at the charity’s Adult In-Patient Unit at Somerton House and the Children’s In-Patient Unit at Horizon House.

Coinciding with this ambitious programme of community activities, staff also reached the impressive milestone of raising a staggering £150,000 for Northern Ireland Hospice as part of parent company Prestige Insurance Holdings’ wider support of the local charity.

Julie Gibbons, Managing Director of AbbeyAutoline, said: “Customers, and the communities we operate in are the focal point of our business, therefore we wanted to mark our 50th year in business by giving back to the communities which have enabled the growth of the company over the past five decades.

“Our ambitious calendar of community activity would not have been possible without the generosity and support of our staff members. It is their dedication, passion, and tireless efforts that has allowed us to support more than 40 charity and voluntary organisations across the region.”

AbbeyAutoline also celebrated significant milestones in its 50th year, including being named the Commercial Lines Broker of the Year at The British Insurance Awards and Best Professional Services Business at the Greater Newry Business Awards.

The business also expanded its presence on the high street, relocating its Newtownards and Portadown branches to vibrant new town-centre premises, as well as launching an innovative new apprenticeship programme with Belfast Met.

Julie added: “As we sign-off on our 50th Anniversary, AbbeyAutoline proudly stands as Northern Ireland’s largest insurance broker — a testament to five decades of remarkable growth, unwavering resilience, and an enduringcommitment to our valued customers.

“We stand tall as the trusted name in the local insurance sector, providing a diverse range of insurance offerings that are meticulously tailored to meet the diverse needs of our loyal customers.”

For more information on AbbeyAutoline visit:

AbbeyAutoline has successfully concluded its ambitious 50th Anniversary programme by supporting more than 40 charity and voluntary organisations across the region. More than 400 staff helped raise over £9,000 for local community organisations as part of the insurance broker’s half century celebrations. Pictured (L-R) are Jackie Elliott (Commercial Director) Julie Gibbons (Managing Director) Jeni McKelvey (Personal Lines Director) and Wendy Close (People Director).
AbbeyAutoline has successfully concluded its ambitious 50th Anniversary programme by supporting more than 40 charity and voluntary organisations across the region. More than 400 staff helped raise over £9,000 for local community organisations as part of the insurance broker’s half century celebrations. Pictured (L-R) are Trevor Shaw (CEO), Julie Gibbons (Managing Director) and Paul Hanna (Finance Director).

Sport Inspires Event Celebrates Our Sporting Champions

Mary Peters Trust supporters, their guests, and athletes past and present came together in the spirit of sport for the Trust’s annual festive fundraising get together. Hosted by BBC NI’s Stephen Watson, the 2023 Sport Inspires Christmas Lunch was a look forward to the Paris 2024 Olympics as well as a look back at the incredible achievements of our local athletes at Olympics and Paralympics across the decades. On stage and joining Lady Mary Peters were guests of honour; rower Philip Doyle and athletes Ciara Mageean and Michael McKillop. Lady Mary was presented with the first bottle produced of the Goldengirl Gin by Peter Lavery of Titanic Distillers who will donate proceeds to the Mary Peters Trust. Taking place at Belfast’s Hilton Hotel, the convivial gathering celebrated Northern Ireland’s sporting excellence whilst raising funds for talented athletes both disabled and able-bodied to go forward and progress to the highest level possible.

For full coverage check out the January Ulster Tatler.

Integrated Education Celebrated at the House of Lords

Lord Dubs, former Northern Ireland Minister and a long-standing supporter of integrated education, welcomed almost 100 guests to the House of Lords recently to celebrate the crucial role played by the Integrated Education Fund (IEF) in Northern Ireland. The dinner was attended by major donors and supporters, as well as leading political figures and former students of integrated schools. Supporters travelled from far and wide to enjoy the celebration. The IEF works to support the growth and development of integrated education in Northern Ireland. The exclusive London event was a chance to celebrate the successes and achievements of the integrated education movement over the past year. It also offered an opportunity to reflect on the challenges of the work yet to be done.

Full coverage featured in the January Ulster Tatler!

Kelly Morris and Tim McGarry.

Brian Small and Kathryn Wilson.

John Clare, Ian Paisley MP and IEF Chair Peter Osborne.

Christmas at Beauty Culture

Beauty Culture, Belfast recently hosted a Christmas event for their clients.

The latest skin treatments by Dermalogica and Guinot were demonstrated as well as skin scanning.

Those in attendance enjoyed treats by J&L Gluten Free Delights, goody bags and special offers.

Full coverage in our December issue, on sale Saturday!

Brookelynne Moffett and Ingrida Sidlauskaite at Beauty Culture
16 November 2023
Beauty Culture Belfast
Stella Bell Gina Burnside and Sarah Armstrong at Beauty Culture
16 November 2023
Beauty Culture Belfast
Nicole Palmer Caroline Purdy and Jessica Simpson at Beauty Culture
16 November 2023
Beauty Culture Belfast

GM Marketing ‘Sleighs’ with 12 Days of Christmas Campaign in aid of AWARE NI

Christmas is almost upon us, and GM Marketing is thrilled to announce the launch of its ‘12 Days of Christmas’ prize draw, a festive fundraiser to generate valuable donations for its charity partner, AWARE NI, the depression charity for Northern Ireland that offers support and education to people with low mood, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and their caregivers.
Taking place over 12 days, this mega-prize draw will give entrants the chance to win from a fantastic prize bundle worth over £5,000 in the run up to Christmas, all while supporting a meaningful cause.
Organised by ‘THRIVE’, the Social and Well-being Committee at GM Marketing, the 12 Days of Christmas draw will run from 4th December until 19th December, featuring a range of top prizes that have been generously donated by GM Marketing’s brands and suppliers, including a VIP trip to a Liverpool F.C. home match, an Apple iPad, a luxury hotel getaway for two, and much more!
Speaking about the giveaway, HR Manager at GM Marketing, Anna Mulgrew said:
“GM Marketing has committed to raising £20K for AWARE NI over the next two years, and as part of our fundraising efforts, we are excited to launch the 12 Days of Christmas prize draw to raise money, while spreading some Christmas cheer
“Thanks to the incredible generosity of the brands and suppliers that we work with, we have been able to create a fantastic prize pot that is sure to get people entering. By participating in this festive campaign, not only will people have the chance to win amazing prizes, but they will also be helping AWARE NI in its mission to support those affected by mental health issues.”
Clare Galbraith, Head of Fundraising at AWARE NI, added:
“We want to extend a huge thank you to GM Marketing for stepping up with their ’12 Days of Christmas’ fundraiser! GM Marketing’s support is making a real impact, and we’re grateful for their partnership in our mission to create positive change in mental health.
“Their commitment to raising £20K for AWARE NI in 2 years is a game-changer – these funds will go a long way to help us continue our crucial mental health initiatives. Here’s to a season of giving that truly matters!”
To enter the giveaway, individuals can text ‘GMCHRISTMAS’ to 70215, with each entry costing just £1. Participants can enter as many times as they wish between 27/11/23 at 12.01am and 18/12/23 at 11.59pm and each entry will automatically be included in the daily draw for the duration of the competition, increasing their chances of winning some of the prizes that are on offer over the 12 days.
All proceeds from the prize draw will be donated to AWARE NI. Established in 1996, the charity has a large network of peer-led support groups run by a team of trained volunteers. Support groups welcome people experiencing mental ill-health and offer them a safe space to open up and be around others who understand them. AWARE NI also delivers mental health and well-being programmes into communities, schools, universities and workplaces, teaching attendee’s techniques to look after their own mental health and wellbeing.
GM Marketing is committed to making a positive impact on the community and believes that this initiative will not only bring joy to the winners but also contribute significantly to the valuable work carried out by AWARE NI in Northern Ireland.
To view the prizes and find out how you can enter and donate, see the GM Marketing LinkedIn, Facebook page or visit GM Marketing 12 Days of Christmas Competition Fundraiser | GM Marketing for terms and conditions.

‘Gin-gle’ all the way with award-winning sustainable sips from Symphonia Spirits

Symphonia Spirits has redefined craft gin with its award-winning gin with a sustainable twist – it’s unique distillation process, inspired by luxury perfumery, cuts energy use to just 2% of traditional methods.
Combining spirits, style and sustainability, each Symphonia Spirits bottle is designed with repurposing in mind, with colourful glass and ornate metallic etchings making them ideal for upcycling.
With Dry Gin, Apple Gin, Raspberry Gin Liqueur and Apple Rum in its collection, every Symphonia Spirits product is crafted with love and sustainability in mind.
Exclusive offer (available online only): Symphonia Spirits Gin and Glasses gift set (£44.95/€50 + P&P) and Premium Gin Hamper (£99.95/€115 + P&P).

Remembering Gladys Maccabe

Art lovers gathered at the Ulster Museum, Belfast, recently for a special event: the unveiling of a Blue Plaque to commemorate the life and work of Gladys Maccabe.

The highly respected artist was the first President of the Ulster Society of Women Artists (USWA) in 1957, and the founder of the arts column in these very pages in the 1960s. 

It was officially unveiled on the Stranmillis Road by her sole surviving child, Prof Chris Maccabe.

This building had been Gladys’ home for 12 years, as well as her art studio and a meeting place for the USWA. 

Full coverage in our June issue, now on sale!