Bassetts raise over £20K for Barnardo’s NI

Local children’s charity, Barnardo’s Northern Ireland has been gifted over £20,000 from leading NI plumbing merchant and bathroom specialists, Bassetts, who chose Barnardo’s NI as the company’s charity of the year.

The impressive sum was raised fundraising by staff from Bassetts’ 17 branches across Northern Ireland through coffee morning events, payroll giving, a Christmas draw, and Christmas Shopping trips. Bassetts also gifted the charity the complete refurbishment of two bathrooms and two WCs at Barnardo’s House in Belfast which provides a safe and comfortable home for up to six primary school-aged children who are in the process of being placed with long-term foster parents.

Commenting on the fundraising efforts, Bassetts MD, Alan Wright, said:

“Barnardo’s Northern Ireland offers an invaluable service to children across Northern Ireland, so we were delighted to be able to help with a year of fundraising activities which have generated over £20,000 for a very worthwhile charity. Staff from across all 17 branches really got behind the important fundraising efforts and this impressive total is the outcome of their hard work.”

Pictured L-R: Gareth Archer, Branch Manager at Bassetts Dungannon is joined by the company’s Charity Co-ordinator, Brenda Hall as well as Aoibheann Doherty, Regional Fundraising Manager at Barnardo’s Northern Ireland and Bassetts Managing Director, Alan Wright.

Walking Festival Back for Another Giant Year

The Mourne International Walking Festival returns for 2019

The Mourne International Walking Festival celebrates twenty-one years of outdoor enjoyment and discovery this year when this award-winning event returns on Friday 28th June.

Celebrating everything the stunning Mourne Mountains area encapsulates and offering an adventure of discovery through its sweeping slopes and beautiful coastline views, the Festival brings three days of exploration and excitement.

This year’s special event kicks off on Friday 28th June and runs until Sunday 30th and will feature a range of routes suitable for those who are just starting out, those keen to put their best foot forward and those more experienced to walking a tougher terrain. Featuring new and exciting routes, one of which takes walkers past two stunning scenes where the legendary Game of Thrones was filmed and another which passes through a mountain via a tunnel, this year’s festival is set to be bigger and better than ever.

Launched by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, the annual festival welcomes hundreds of individual, group and family walkers of every age, and offers a choice of routes which have been carefully planned to impress at both low and high levels. Ranging in distance from 10 to 40km, everyone is encouraged to gauge the most suitable walk for them and get involved.

The Mourne Mountains have been named Northern Ireland’s favourite walking destination for three consecutive years in WalkNI’s annual awards, demonstrating the unrivalled popularity of the area and the incredible views and opportunities it offers all walkers. And the Mourne International Walking Festival has also won the WalkNI ‘Favourite Walking Event’ award for three consecutive years, a testament to the popularity of the festival and the appeal of the Mourne Mountains.

Mark Murnin, Chairman of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, said:

“The Mourne International Walking Festival offers walkers of all ages and abilities the opportunity to experience the outstanding beauty and breath-taking landscape of the Mourne Mountains. Building on the success of the last 20 years, the 2019 Mourne International Walking Festival is set to be another outstanding event.

 Welcoming visitors from near and far, the walking festival gives everyone the chance to sample not only the history, heritage, myths and legends of the local area, but also the wonderful welcome, hospitality and craic we have to offer.”

For those taking part, there is also the chance to celebrate their achievements by attending the special ‘Life and Sole Swing’ festival evening event on Saturday 29th, hosted in the new venue of the Anchor Bar in Newcastle.

 The Mourne International Walking Festival takes place from Friday 28th to Sunday 30th June 2019. For more information and to book tickets, please visit www.visitmournemountains.co.uk/MourneInternationalWalkingFestival or head to the official Mourne International Walking Festival Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MourneInternationalWalkingFestival/

 

Galgorm Resort & Spa welcomes innovative brand SkinCeuticals as official skincare partner

Galgorm Resort & Spa, now firmly established as one of Ireland’s leading venues for wellbeing and beauty, has announced the addition of advanced skincare brand SkinCeuticals as part of its spa offering, and will be the only stockist in Northern Ireland.

Widely recognised by skincare experts across the world as one of the most effective product ranges on the market, SkinCeutical’s position as a front-runner in the skincare industry with simple, effective principles – prevent, correct and protect – fit perfectly with Galgorm’s own skincare ethos and standards.

SkinCeuticals delivers advanced skincare to help improve the overall healthy appearance of the skin, using clinically proven beneficial ingredients such as vitamin C and final formulations backed by science. Partaking in studies to the highest dermatological standards means SkinCeuticals products bring out the best in every skin type.

Skincare conscious customers can choose from one-off facials or opt for a more in-depth regime with a course of four or six treatments and experience luxury wellness with each session including full use of Galgorm’s Thermal Spa facilities and refreshments.

Each treatment will include a personal skin consultation with a SkinCeuticals trained therapist who will assess skin under a Skinscope scanner and create a bespoke treatment regime for each customer using products specifically to prevent damage, correct and protect skin.

One of the most innovative treatments Galgorm Spa offers is the SkinCeuticals mild peel which continues to raise the bar and consists of Glycolic and Lactic acid which is used to gently exfoliate dead skin cells, whilst increasing moisture levels and cell turnover, as well as a specialised mask for brightening, deep cleansing, hydration and calming or pigment correction to leave skin feeling fresh, glowing and radiant.

Spa Manager at Galgorm Resort, said “SkinCeuticals is a pioneering brand which delivers advanced skincare to rejuvenate and maintain healthy looking skin. There is a wealth of skincare brands on the market to choose from, but few measure up to the scientific backing behind the exceptional results of using SkinCeuticals. We are incredibly excited and honoured to be the first spa in Northern Ireland to offer this to our customers”.

Elaine O’Reilly, Business Development Manager at SkinCeuticals said, “We’re delighted to partner with the award-winning spa at Galgorm who continue to raise the bar in health, beauty and skincare. Galgorm’s continued commitment and dedication to their clients in the wellbeing of their skin is truly commendable and we are incredibly excited to be a part of this”.

The SkinCeuticals treatment range is now available at Galgorm Resort & Spa, visit https://www.galgorm.com/expert-skin-specific-facial.html for more information.

 

CastleCourt Cracks it with Big ‘Unboxing’ Easter Eggstravaganza

CastleCourt brings back ‘unboxing’ phenomenon to Belfast with live YouTube heroes and a monster-sized inflatable Easter egg as part of a Cracking Easter Eggstravaganza

Northern Ireland’s best-loved shopping centre, CastleCourt, is bringing the internet phenomenon of “unboxing” alive in Belfast this Easter, as part of a fun-filled, experiential event for children over Easter weekend – The Big Unbox.

Unboxing is one of the latest crazes to sweep the internet, thrilling millions of viewers, which show youngsters inspecting their latest buys, toys, gifts and surprises in their own unique and entertaining way.

Now, CastleCourt has specially arranged another ultimate unboxing experience as part of its cracking Easter eggstravaganza on Friday 19th and Saturday 20 April from 12.00-4.00pm and is inviting families to take part in all the free action – which includes a giant-sized bouncy inflatable Easter egg to help burn off all that energy.

By registering your kids to take part using the special QR CODE (pasted below), they will be in with a chance to unbox a grand prize of £500 family holiday gift voucher alongside toys, Easter eggs and other great giveaways, all kindly donated by many of the centre’s top retailers, including The Entertainer and Hawkins Bazaar.

Other stores including American Candy, Matalan and Beleaf Juice Bar are also taking part, in what is one of CastleCourt’s biggest-ever prize giveaway events ever. Videos of your kids having fun inside the giant inflatable egg and ‘unboxing’ their surprise are available and can even be revisited back home to share with family and friends.

There’s plenty more though! YouTube sensations Beau from Beau’s Toy Farm will also be at CastleCourt on Friday 19 April from 1.00-4.00pm and both Tash Baller and his sister Tianna-Leanne will be at CastleCourt on 20 April 2019 from 12.00-3.00pm – which when combined with a Cool FM Roadshow and a walkabout by Peppa Pig and George, there’s no end to the thrills on offer.

CastleCourt Centre Manager Paul McMahon said.

“Unboxing is the runaway YouTube phenomena and we’re thrilled to be bringing it back to Belfast. With the biggest inflatable Easter Egg you’ve ever seen, free prizes, YouTube stars to meet and greet kids, Peppa Pig and her brother George for photo opportunities, Cool FM and treats a-plenty, this is a truly magical two-day family fun experience that’s going to be really hard to beat this Easter”.

Over the course of the two-day event, CastleCourt will also have a special electronic gaming area with eight screens, an inflatable ball pit, a bouncy castle, and a piñata game.

Register now and let your child giggle with delight as their imaginations take flight at the free family ‘Big Unbox’ at CastleCourt this Easter weekend. Pre-registration is essential using the QR code below or this link https://x33q5.app.goo.gl/kngY

 

LEGENDARY MUSICAL EXTRAVAGANZA RETURNS FOR MAJOR 12 MONTH UK TOUR

Since it first opened in London in June 1973 at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show has become the world’s favourite Rock ‘N’ Roll musical, having been performed worldwide for 45 years in more than 30 countries and translated into over 20 languages. This critically-acclaimed stunning new production is now back by public demand and returns for a 12 month UK tour starting at Theatre Royal Brighton on 13 December 2018.

This classic musical extravaganza will star West End star Stephen Webb* as Frank, Strictly Come Dancing Champion Joanne Clifton* as Janet and a1’s Ben Adams* as Brad. Kristian Lavercombe will also be reprising his role as Riff Raff, following more than 1300 performances in The Rocky Horror Show around the world. Directed by Christopher Luscombe, the smash hit show features all of the famous musical numbers which have made The Rocky Horror Show such a huge hit for over four decades, including “Sweet Transvestite”, “Science Fiction/Double Feature”, “Dammit Janet” and, of course, the timeless floor-filler, “The Time-Warp”.

Joanne Clifton said: “I’ve always loved Rocky Horror. I learnt the Time Warp in my dance classes in Grimsby when I was 4 years old … 30 years later and I’ll be jumping to the left on the actual Rocky Horror stage, I can’t quite believe it!

“It is such a loved show and anyone who has done it will tell you it’s the funniest show to work on….Rocky Horror is a show about being who you want to be – and that’s what we’re all striving for.”

Ben Adams added: “Performing in Rocky Horror is a dream come true – I love the show so much it inspired me to write my own musical Eugenius! Joanne and I make quite a team and I’m sure that the whole cast will be raising the roof night after night as we perform for all the amazingly devoted Rocky fans. Bring on the stilettos!”

Ben also commented on how the audience “can come into the theatre and enjoy two, two and a half hours of just forgetting about everything else and having the best time. That’s what Rocky Horror did for me…it’s all about being yourself and the interaction with the audience.”

Stephen Webb said: “What an incredible opportunity to bring such a bold, energetic show across the UK. Frank is a dream role! I’m so pleased to be a part of the Rocky team, and can’t wait to give it everything I’ve got.”

The Rocky Horror Show tells the story of Brad and his fiancée Janet, two squeaky clean college kids who meet Dr Frank’n’Furter by chance when their car breaks down outside his house whilst on their way to visit their favourite college professor. It’s an adventure they’ll never forget, with fun, frolics, frocks and frivolity, bursting with timeless songs and outrageous outfits.  The Rocky Horror Show is a guaranteed party, which famously combines science-fiction, horror, comedy and music while encouraging audience participation meaning, of course, getting dressed in the most outrageous fancy dress.

 The Rocky Horror Show first began life in 1973 before an audience of just 63 people in the Royal Court’s Theatre Upstairs.  It was an immediate success and transferred to the Chelsea Classic Cinema, before going on to run at the Kings Road Theatre, 1973-79 and the Comedy Theatre in the West End, 1979-80.  In 1975 it was transformed into a film called ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’. This film adaptation took over $135 million at the Box Office and is still shown in cinemas around the world more than 40 years after its premiere, making it the longest running theatrical release in cinema history. Many stars including Russell Crowe, Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Jerry Springer, Jason Donovan and Meatloaf have appeared in The Rocky Horror Show over the past 45 years.

In 2015, as part of a sold-out season at London’s Playhouse Theatre, a special star-studded Gala charity performance in aid of Amnesty International was broadcast to over 600 cinemas across the UK and Europe. The live screening – featuring a host of celebrities playing The Narrator including Stephen Fry, Mel Giedroyc, Emma Bunton, Ade Edmondson, Anthony Head and Richard O’Brien – smashed box office records and was the biggest grossing film in cinemas across the UK.  The performance was subsequently screened on the Sky Arts channel.

Ready to thrill you with fun and naughty moments, The Rocky Horror Show is the boldest bash of them all. But be warned, this show has rude parts!

Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show runs at the Grand Opera House from 18th – 23rd March.

For tickets please visit www.goh.co.uk/whats-on/

Belfast’s St Thérèse of Lisieux PS lifts the Rainbow Communications Champion Shield in Belfast Primary Schools’ Football Association grand final

A determined team of young football enthusiasts from St Thérèse of Lisieux Primary School has won the Rainbow Communications Champion Shield at this year’s Belfast Primary Schools’ Football Association tournament at Shankhill Leisure Centre after a thrilling game against Holy Cross.

Sponsored by Rainbow Communications, the five-a-side grassroots junior league competition encompasses more than thirty-seven community primary schools from right across Belfast and is a major annual event in the school calendar for more than 225 schoolchildren keen to pitch their skills in a competitive arena.

The Belfast Primary Schools’ Football Association has been developing promising all-ability young players for almost 90 years and is committed to using football to promote mental, moral and physical development while encouraging competitive play at national and international level.

Northern Ireland’s largest independent telecommunications company, Rainbow, which has been sponsoring the growing tournament since 2001 and enlisted the support of Northern Ireland football hero David Healy two years ago to help power its growth, commended the students, their families and the association for the commitment, skills and determination on show this year.

“Taking part is everything, so we’re absolutely thrilled to see so many schools and children join a tournament that continues to grow and attract real interest and participation from right across the city,” Rainbow Communications Sales and Marketing Director, Stuart Carson, said.

“This tournament is all about competition, camaraderie, fun and learning and the students who took part have really worked hard to demonstrate their best.  Congratulations to all the team from St Thérèse Lisieux Primary School on the Antrim Road who played so well to win and congratulations to everyone who took part.”

Schools taking part in the final this year included Holy Cross, Nettlefield, St. Clare’s, St. Matthew’s, St. Therese of Lisieux and Victoria Park.  

Mervyn Bryson (chairperson of the BPSFA) stated that “the competition is now synonymous with Rainbow Communications and it is hoped that the co-operation between the two organisations will continue in future years.  We are also indebted to the staff at Shankill Leisure Centre who are always very cheerful, friendly and helpful with the arrangements and discharge their duties in a professional way.  I thank Rainbow Communications for their time and generosity which means we can bring so many Belfast schools together in the name of sport.  We wish them every success in 2019”.

For more further information visit www.nisfa.co.uk.

£7 million investment for Templepatrick

Galgorm Collection have agreed to buy Templeton Hotel, marking a staggering £10m investment in Northern Ireland tourism by the hospitality giant in the last 12 months

The Galgorm Collection, previously known as Tullymore House Ltd, will invest a further £7million in the local economy as they agree to buy the Templeton Hotel in Templepatrick.

The new property will add to Galgorm’s already impressive suite of hospitality investments, which includes £1.5million in Belfast-based restaurants’ Fratelli & Café Parisien and the £600,000 purchase and refurbishment of the Castle Kitchen + Bar at Galgorm Castle Golf Club in 2018. Galgorm Resort is also set to unveil a number of additional luxury cottages within the estate next month, offering guests a new way to enjoy the Galgorm experience.

As well as supporting its world-class leisure proposition, the move represents a further strategic enhancement of the group’s hospitality assets, but also reinforces the company’s ongoing commitment to the tourism industry and Northern Ireland as a whole.

Managing Director Colin Johnston said: “Our multi-million-pound investment in Templepatrick will strengthen the local community and economy, as well as cement Northern Ireland’s reputation as a world-class tourism destination.

“The Galgorm Collection are an extensive investor in Northern Ireland and our latest exciting venture in Templepatrick will bring our current employee count to just short of 1000 people, reaffirming our commitment to the people of Northern Ireland. Over 50 jobs will be created and all current staff will be retained.”

Galgorm are renowned for creating world-class hospitality experiences throughout their award-winning properties in Northern Ireland; and exciting and energetic plans for the redevelopment of the Templeton Hotel are afoot and will be revealed soon.

Galgorm’s stellar reputation was also bolstered last year when the Resort was selected to host one of the world’s most prestigious hospitality award ceremonies, the World Luxury Spa & Restaurant Awards, and are the current holder of the Global Luxury Spa Hotel of the Year award.

The Templeton Hotel was built by Stephen & David McCombe in 1990. It is a popular location for weddings, conferences and events and is a firm favourite with locals. Galgorm look forward to offering their warm welcome to the local community and world-class service to hundreds of local and international guests in the coming months.

Owners of Galgorm Resort & Spa in Ballymena have agreed to buy the Templeton Hotel in Templepatrick and have confirmed an investment figure of £7 million, marking a staggering £10m investment in Northern Ireland tourism by the hospitality giant in the last 12 months.

LITTER LEGENDS & WASTE WARRIORS ASSEMBLE: Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful Announce Community Award Winners

Tuesday 12th February saw volunteers gather at the 3rd annual Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful Community Awards in Belfast City Hall with host, TV presenter Joe Mahon and guest speaker Jo Ruxton, filmmaker and campaigner who opened the eyes of the world to the problems of plastic in A Plastic Ocean and influenced Blue Planet II.

The evening was designed to recognise and thank all the volunteers who had been short listed for their continued hard work and dedication to the cause – with an opportunity to hear their inspirational stories which instil pride in our local communities through practical environmental action.

From regular litter picks to the creation of shared community spaces these unsung heroes dedicate their time and efforts into making our home cleaner, greener, safer and more sustainable.

The winners have carried out some remarkable work this year including addressing social isolation and loneliness among older people living in care homes by creating beautiful gardens – the only green space that some residents will see.  A keen canoeist has made a significant effect on the appearance of the waterways by removing debris and litter while a young 15 year old litter picker has collected around 100 bags of litter and even taken his litter picker on holiday. Another local hero raised over £1000 from biscuit wrappers alone for ‘Kicks Count’, a charity that promotes baby movement awareness to reduce still birth whilst one group reached out to minority groups to address language barriers by publishing an infographic pack that displays the dos and don’ts of domestic waste disposal and littering – improving community relations.

Guest Speaker Jo Ruxton encouraged volunteers to make a stand in their local communities and champion the reduction of litter: “Never underestimate just how much one single person can achieve. The problem might seem insurmountable but take that first step on your own and just watch how many people join you and help bring about change.”

Live Here Love Here Manager Jodie McAneaney comments:  “These awards are so important, they give us the opportunity to highlight the issues and reward those who are actively making a difference.  Plastic in particular has been hitting the headlines this year with its devastating effects, making our special guest Jo Ruxton the perfect candidate to inspire us to really strive for change.  The fact that every piece of plastic ever created is still on the planet is a real eye opener.  Hopefully in 2019 our continued efforts and that of our volunteers and partners can make steps towards tackling this terrible problem.”

At Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful we run a number of campaigns and programmes that embody the values of Live Here Love Here which would not be possible without the help of our dedicated volunteers.  If you would like to find out more or get involved with Live Here Love Here please visit our website; www.liveherelovehere.org or contact enquiries@liveherelovehere.org.

 

Women In Finance Awards UK 2018

The Women in Finance Awards UK took place on Wednesday (10th October 2018) and Managing Director of local business, Insight.Out, Jayne Gibson was announced as Financial Advisor of the Year in Northern Ireland.

Run by Professional Adviser, Retirement Planner and Cover publications, the Women in Financial Advice Awards celebrate the achievements of women working within the financial advice community and also the broader financial services sector.

The glamorous occasion took place at the Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square in London.

This latest news follows a successful year for Insight.Out Financial in which the company re-branded from GWM Solutions, relocated its business to the Holywood Road in Belfast, and increased its headcount with five new members of the team joining Insight.Out this year.

Announcing Jayne as “A well-deserved winner”, the judges commented that she is “A wholly impressive individual whom is clearly setting the benchmark very high for all advisers, not just women.”

Managing Director of Insight.Out, Jayne Gibson, comments:

“I am absolutely thrilled to be announced as Financial Advisor of the Year for Scotland and Northern Ireland, especially after our major investment and growth over the past two years, which has witnessed our Northern Ireland client base – from businesses to private individuals – dramatically increase.

Jayne Gibson with Zoe Lyons

“These awards are amongst the most prestigious in the finance industry, and the win is a huge credit to my dedicated team here at Insight.Out whom support our clients and myself every day.”

 

Special Preview Screening of Johnny English Strikes Again At Movie House Dublin Road

Excited families and a host of well-known faces were spied at Movie House Dublin Road on Sunday 30th September 2018, as they attended a special preview screening of Johnny English Strikes Again.

Guests and their families, who included BBC Radio Ulster’s Ralph McLean, model and blogger Lucy Evangelista, and MMA Judo athlete Leah McCourt, enjoyed a spy-themed reception before a first look at the movie.

Johnny English Strikes Again is the third installment of the Johnny English comedy series, with Rowan Atkinson returning as the much-loved accidental secret agent.

The movie opens to the public on Friday 5th October 2018.

Lauren Child: ‘If we don’t take risks and fail, we will never make anything spectacular.’

Lauren Child MBE visited Queen’s University Belfast for the first time in honour of the UK Children’s Laureate for a special BookTrust Northern Ireland event on Friday 21stSeptember 2018.

Perhaps best known for her book series, Charlie and Lola, Child was also joined by children’s book illustrator, Bruce Ingman and Children’s Writing Fellow, Myra Zepf.

The 3 literacy enthusiasts enjoyed a lively discussion on creativity chaired by BBC Radio Ulster presenter, Marie-Lousie Muir.

Speaking at the BookTrust NI event Lauren Child said: “We need to be able to fail in our lives.  If we don’t take risks and fail, we will never make anything spectacular. I also think boredom and staring into space must be allowed.  These spaces are the beginning of the imagination.”

The authors and illustrators discussed the best types of literature to share with children to encourage them to read and the joy that reading and creativity can bring to children’s lives.

Myra Zepf, Northern Ireland Children’s Writing Fellow on inspiring a love of reading: “When trying to inspire a love of reading, those children who don’t want to read can be the most interesting. I hope this event helped shine a spotlight on the challenges of cultivating creativity in children’s lives – something we are arguably more in need of than ever.”

Children’s author and illustrator Bruce Ingman said: “Give a child some paint and a brush and see the pure joy it brings. They let us into their world, how exciting is that? I’ve learned so much from reading and drawing with kids.” 

Liz Canning, Head of BookTrust Northern Ireland, said: “We are delighted Lauren Child made a special visit to Northern Ireland as The Waterstones Children’s Laureate. We hope this BookTrust hosted event helped inspire families and practitioners in Belfast to get reading and get creative!”

 

Radiance Skincare Range Launch

Radiance Beauty & Day Spa in Finaghy, Belfast has recently launched its own signature skincare product range. The range has been developed by proprietor Christine Mackin and a team of dermatologists, & pharmacists to ensure a clinically proven range of products with multiple active ingredients, tailor made for different skin types.

For further coverage of this event see our November issue on sale this Friday!