Belfast’s first Social Souk showcases social enterprises and co-operatives  


Belfast’s first ever Social Souk is being hosted at St George’s Market next Wednesday, 31 May from 11am-2pm as part of Belfast City Council’s ‘Go Social’ Programme.

(L-R) Mark Anderson, Loaf Catering (a social enterprise delivering outside catering across Belfast), Colin Jess, Social Enterprise NI, Claire Ferris Work West and Cllr Aileen Graham, Chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee get ready for Belfast’s first Social Souk – a free event which will showcase social enterprises and co-operatives at St George’s Market next Wednesday 31 May from 11am-2pm. For more information, go to

The event is designed to help those interested in setting up a social enterprise or co-operative by giving them the information, guidance and support they need and brings together expertise from Belfast City Council, Work West and Social Enterprise NI, along with other Belfast based support organisations, social enterprises and co-operatives.

Councillor Aileen Graham, Chair of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee commented: “The Social Souk is an event that everyone with an interest in establishing a social enterprise or co-operative should attend.

“There’ll be a real bazaar type buzz at the social enterprise and co-operative marketplace, where you can find potential new customers, you’ll also be able to access one-to-one specialist support and advice on the day, and you’ll benefit from peer support through our ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ networking sessions.

“Social enterprises marry the social mission of a not for profit organisation with the market driven approach of a business – and that poses quite distinct opportunities and challenges. So that’s why we’re organising this groundbreaking event for Belfast and bringing together the best expertise available to support the growth of social enterprise in the city.”

The event is free of charge you are welcome to drop in at any time between 11am – 2pm, but if you wish to attend any of the sessions you must register in advance at

For more information on the support Belfast City Council offers small businesses, visit:

All aboard the Friends’ Goodwill as four-day festival launches in Larne

The Friends’ Goodwill Festival launches with a wave of top music artists and bands heading to Larne.

Four action-packed days of maritime-themed family fun are taking place in the town to mark the 300th anniversary of the departure of the Friends’ Goodwill ship from Larne to America back in 1717.

The entertainment includes outdoor concerts, exhibitions, displays, history re-enactments and American sports.

Singer-songwriter Una Healy will touch down in Larne having wowed audiences in the capital of American country music, Nashville, earlier this week.

Una, who recently embarked on a solo career after her chart-topping exploits with The Saturdays, headlines a fantastic line-up of artists and bands performing a wide range of music including country, Ulster-Scots, bluegrass and dance.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Audrey Wales MBE, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this festival which celebrates the legacy of the Friends’ Goodwill voyage and the deep links forged between Ulster and America.

“The Friends’ Goodwill Festival, organised by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, is free for the public to enjoy.

“I look forward to seeing a strong turnout to celebrate the rich shared culture and heritage of which we are so proud.”

The festival runs until Sunday (21 May).

American Dreams, a special play recounting the Friends’ Goodwill’s epic journey and the Ulster emigrants’ impact on the fledgling nation, is being staged at the McNeill Theatre, Larne, this evening (Thur).

Then three days of outdoor activities, including concerts at Sandy Bay Playing Fields, take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Other events scheduled include a parade of sail, strongman competition, American football, living history performances and walking tours.

As well as Una Healy, other top performers who will take to the stage include Jim Devine, The Broken String Band, Marty Mone, Dana Masters, Philomena Begley, Four Men and a Dog, Barry Kirwan and Niamh McGlinchey.

The Friends’ Goodwill voyage is so significant as it is believed to have been the first emigrant ship to sail from Ulster to America in the 18th century.

A free park and ride facility will be in operation from the Caterpillar site at the Old Glenarm Road, bringing visitors to the drop-off point at Larne Leisure Centre, close to the event site at Sandy Bay.

There will be three access points to the site: Rugby Road, Bay Road and Chelmsford Place. Disabled access-only via Tower Road.

There will be additional pick up and drop off points on Agnew Street.

The 359D Harbour service will also be in operation, picking up from Dunnes Stores, Main Street, and drop off at the Curran Road/Tower Road junction.

A specialised changing and toilet facility for disabled adults and children will make its Northern Ireland debut at the festival.

The Mobiloo houses state-of-the-art equipment and ensures dignity and respect for disabled festivalgoers.

For more details, including a full listing of events and times, visit the Friends’ Goodwill Festival pages.


Northern Ireland boasts a unique collection of irresistible places to stay including quirky B&Bs, luxurious spa hotels and hidden gem properties for an ideal short break. Tourism NI has selected the best offers of the week for you to choose from.


  • Shop in the city, Clayton Hotel, Belfast, from £122. Discover Belfast and shop ‘til you drop.  Enjoy an overnight bed and breakfast in the city centre, a Champagne cocktail on arrival, £10 Victoria Square gift voucher and use of the leisure facilities including swimming pool. The 4* Clayton Hotel is ideally located at Ormeau Avenue in the historic Linen Quarter of Belfast. Offer valid until 31 December. To book call (028) 90 328511.


  • Girls’ weekend away, Robeth Cottage, Co. Tyrone, from £47pppn. This 4* cottage is a cosy, beautifully designed holiday home nestled in a peaceful location in the stunning Co Tyrone landscape. The property sleeps four and a package can be tailored for each group’s stay, from a private chef serving a three-course meal to freshly-baked afternoon tea delivered to the doorstep. Offer valid until 30 November. To book call (017) 89 720027.


  • County Down golf break, Slieve Donard resort & Spa, from £154pps. Nestled in the heart of County Down where the ‘Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea’, the 4* Slieve Donard hotel has been providing the best of Irish hospitality for over 100 years. Offer valid until 31 October and includes one night’s B&B with golf at Ardglass Golf Club, situated along the Irish Sea. To book call (028) 43 721066.

For further information visit

*All offers are subject to availability.

Ten exciting things to do in Northern Ireland next week!

Tourism NI has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland (May 22 – May 28)



  1. County Derry Fleadh, 25 – 28 May. A showcase of traditional Irish music and culture, this year’s County Derry Fleadh will be hosted by the Jimmy O’Hara CCE Roe Valley branch in Limavady. The launch event will take place in Granny Annie’s. For more information call 07792846699.


  1. Stand-Up Paddleboard River Trail, Limavady, 22 May. Stand-up paddleboarding is an ancient form of surfing (with a paddle) with a Hawaiian heritage, emerging as a popular and competitive global sport. After a quick change and safety briefing you’ll be off for 1.5 hours of exhilarating yet peaceful stand-up paddleboarding, meandering down the river alongside your instructor who will give you tips on technique. From £30. For more information visit visit


  1. Laurentic Exhibition, Derry~Londondery, until 21 June. It has been 100 years since the famous Laurentic sank off Lough Swilly on a bitter cold night in January 1917. This Tower Museum exhibition tells the story of the famous ship, the numerous salvage operations and the search for the elusive gold still on board. 10am-5.30pm, free entry.


  1. Fermanagh’s Hidden Treasures – Help Save our Magnificent Meadows, until 25 June. The Ulster Wildlife project “Save our Magnificent Meadows” showcases the abundance of wildlife such as butterflies, bees, flowers and birds that can be enjoyed among these precious remaining farmland habitats. Normal admission rates apply. For more information visit


  1. The Armagh Craft Fair, 27 May. The renowned Armagh Craft Fair returns to Market Place Theatre & Arts Centre, bringing high-quality crafts to the heart of Armagh City. It features over 45 craft stalls from makers across Ireland, with demonstrations from master crafters throughout the day, free children’s workshops, musical entertainment, and great food. Free entry, 10am – 6pm. For more information call (028) 3752 1821.


  1. Tea with the Lord Coach Tour, 27 May. A superb opportunity to visit Ballywalter House, the beautiful stately home of the Dunleath family for over 150 years. Become a member of the gentry for the afternoon as the affable Lord Dunleath guides you around his remarkable home and joins you for a chat over tea and a treat in the historic conservatory. £18. For more information call (028) 9182 6846.


  1. The RNLI Portrush Raft Race, 27 May. One of the most popular family fun days on the Causeway Coast. Large crowds of spectators gather to watch as homemade rafts race from West Strand beach to Portrush Harbour. Side attractions include a Junior Raft Race at 11am and speciality stalls throughout the day. 10am-5pm. For more information call 07969 814 605.


  1. Micky Flanagan, Belfast, 24-25 May. One of UK Comedy’s biggest names, Micky Flanagan brings his ‘An’ Another Fing…’ 2017 tour to the SSE Arena. The event is a 16+ admission only. £30 – £35.50. For more information visit



  1. Belfast Craft Beer Festival, 25 – 28 May. The best Irish craft beer, cider makers and distillers come to Custom House Square to showcase their finest products, all in one place over a massive four-day festival. Enjoy the music, exclusive brewers’ talks and the best drinks around. £10. For more information call (028) 9027 7643.


  1. Trainspotting, Belfast, 24 – 27 May. A no-holds-barred immersive, in-yer-face theatre production – and not for the faint-hearted. This punchy production at The MAC recaptures the adult themes, passion and controversy of the famous novel and globally successful film. Suitable for ages 18+. £12.50 – £20. For more information visit


Visit to find  more things to do in Northern Ireland.

Jacqueline from shares her pick of What’s On across NI this weekend.


The Big Telly Theatre Company presents The Faerie Thorn at the Web Theatre, Newtownards, this Friday 19th May.  This production will recreate Talbot’s dark, imaginative and bewitching tales, propelling the audience into a world of devilish debts, trysts and trades, broken bargains and unjust trials; of magic, quick-wittedness, hoodwinking and revenge. The Faerie Thorn will be witty, dark and wickedly comedic dealing with inexorable human tensions in a way that is shocking and yet terrifyingly familiar.  Recommended for age 14+.  Tickets are on sale at


See Brenda Murphy & Martin Lynch’s ‘Crazy’ this Friday evening at the Market Place Theatre Armagh.  It tells the story of young Belfast woman Ruby and her search for true love. Throw in the greatest hits of Patsy Cline and Garth Brooks and audiences are set for a great night out. Starring Caroline Curran.


‘And Finally… Phil Collins’ are recognised throughout the industry as the market leaders and definitive Phil Collins and Genesis tribute show. Now, celebrating their ‘10th Anniversary’ year together, this truly amazing eleven piece band which includes the ‘And Finally Horns’ faithfully re-create all the classic hits from the Phil Collins and Genesis timeless back catalogue. See them live on stage this Friday at the Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen.


Cookstown goes continental when the food and flavours, sights and sounds of Europe and beyond come to the town centre this weekend (Sat 20th May from 9am – 9pm  and Sun 21st May 2017 from 11am – 7pm). The Continental Market will feature over 40 traders from as far afield as Morocco, India, Belgium, France, Russia, Holland, Spain and China, who will set up stalls alongside local traders from the weekly street market. As well as mouth-watering dishes, from freshly made Paella to delicious Bratwurst Sausages, visitors to the market will also be kept entertained with a variety of street entertainment and music.


For the first time ever the classic nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty is brought to the stage in a wonderful live interactive all singing and dancing production, this Saturday at the Millennium Forum.  Humpty Dumpty is going on a big adventure to climb the highest wall in the Kingdom, but Humpty needs your help!  Sing along, solve puzzles and meet lots of famous children’s characters along the way including The Three Little Pigs, Little Bo Peep, all the animals on Old MacDonald’s Farm and many more. When Humpty climbs the highest wall in the Kingdom, who knows what might happen next?


The annual Ballyclare May Fair takes place this weekend. The May Fair is one of the few horse fairs left in Northern Ireland. The event has grown to be more than a horse fair, with amusements, family activities, music concerts, Mayor’s parade, sports events and exhibitions. Local shops compete for the best dressed window, and children take part in fun days and competitions.


This Sunday 21st May,  the QFT’s autism friendly screening is Kiki’s Delivery Service. An exciting story about a young girl named Kiki, who grows in confidence as she adapts her flying skills to create a broomstick delivery service. This coming of age tale is a wonderful and humorous animation from Studio Ghibli. 30 mins before the film begins there will be free refreshments, a pre-screen art activity and short introduction to the film by Shelley Tracey.



­For more details on these events and to add your events free go to Follow us on twitter @whatsonNI and on facebook at for news, competitions and what’s on near you.



The first and original Little Wing Pizzeria on Ann Street, Belfast. Home grown pizzeria chain, Little Wing has announced an investment of £500,000 in two new restaurants in Lisburn and Newtownards, creating up to 40 new jobs. The major investment will bring the number of branches Little Wing across Northern Ireland to eight. Further sites are currently being explored across Northern Ireland, with ambitious plans to open several new Little Wing Pizzerias in the next 12 months, while options are also being considered in the Republic of Ireland.

Little Wing pizzeria invests £500,000 in two new restaurants and announces ambitious plans to expand NI portfolio further in the coming months


Home grown pizzeria chain, Little Wing has announced an investment of £500,000 in two new restaurants in Lisburn and Newtownards, creating up to 40 new jobs.

The major investment will bring the number of branches Little Wing across Northern Ireland to eight. Further sites are currently being explored across Northern Ireland, with ambitious plans to open several new Little Wing Pizzerias in the next 12 months, while options are also being considered in the Republic of Ireland.

The newest restaurant, located at Lisburn Square will cater for 60 guests when it opens this summer, with a further restaurant is scheduled to open in Newtownards later this year.

Established in Belfast in October 2009, Little Wing prides itself in offering authentic, made to order Naples-style pizzas, cooked in its distinctive 6ft traditional woodstone pizza ovens. Sourcing the freshest and finest ingredients is at the heart of the Little Wing ethos, with 100% mozzarella cheese used on its pizzas; sauce made from San Marzano tomatoes, grown in volcanic soil near Naples and picked at peak ripeness; and dough made to Little Wing’s own secret recipe.

Over the last seven and a half years, Little Wing has gone from strength to strength, developing a cult following and selling over 1,250,000 pizzas to date.  The Lisburn branch is expected to open in August and will employ up to 20 new members of staff, bringing the total number of people employed across all Little Wing outlets to over 130.  The addition of the Newtownards restaurant later this year, will bring the number of employees to 150.

Commenting on the announcement, Luke Wolsey, Managing Director, Little Wing Pizzeria said:

“We are excited to announce this latest investment, which we hope will be the first of several new Little Wing openings over the next 12 months.

“Building on the success of our growing network of restaurants across Northern Ireland, the new Little Wing Pizzerias in Lisburn and Newtownards will help the brand to spread its wings further as we seek more opportunities to expand the business in the coming years.

“Little Wing provides real and meaningful long term career opportunities for people that are passionate about hospitality and customer service and we’re proud to bring a jobs boost, with the creation of up to 40 new jobs this year.”

The new Little Wing Pizzeria will be located at Lisburn Square and will open daily after it opens later this summer. Further details on the Newtownards restaurant will be announced soon.

Little Wing will begin recruiting for a number of positions, including or management positions, waiting staff, pizza chefs and kitchen porters in the coming weeks. Full details are available at

Little Wing is part of the Beannchor Group, Ireland’s largest hospitality group, which boasts a portfolio of over 40 pubs, hotels and restaurants across Northern Ireland.

For further information visit


Children’s show comes to Flowerfield Arts Centre

Flowerfield Arts Centre in Portstewart will play host to a child friendly performance of ‘Woofle’ on Friday 26th May at 11am.

The 30 minute show, aimed at 4 – 10 year olds, explores the world of Dan and his dog with lots of silly songs.

From chasing bees and getting mucky, to taking a walk and having a bath, the combination of video footage and live music gives an unusual view of the ups and downs of having a dog as your best friend.

Written and performed by Dan Leith, the production was inspired by his own four-legged best friend Tyla Brown who will make a special appearance in the show.

Targeted at school children and the general community, Woofle is an irresistible tribute to the fun, playful and unconditional love pets can bring to children’s lives.

Tickets are priced at £5 and booking is essential. To book please contact Flowerfield Arts Centre on 028 7083 1400


For a fantastic family fun day out by the water’s edge, Antrim Lough Shore Park is the place to be on Saturday 10 June from 12 noon until 3pm.  Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Viking Boat Race, in partnership with Cancer Fund for Children, features a spectacular river race with teams competing in replica Viking longships to win the coveted title of Viking Boat Champions.

As well as the river race, spectators can enjoy a display of Viking battle tactics and a living history exhibition showing that the Vikings weren’t just horned-helmeted raiders, but farmers, traders and settlers.

There will be a range of children’s entertainment on the day including free Viking themed arts and crafts, Jumping Clay, Jump, Jiggle & Jive dance workshops and much more!  Budding Vikings will also have the opportunity to design their very own Viking shield at a cost of £1.  To add to the excitement there will be a DHOL drumming display which has received financial support from The Executive Office through the Council’s Good Relations Programme.

Cancer Fund for Children Corporate Fundraiser, Matthew Allen, is inviting companies to enter a team.  He says: “This is a fantastic teambuilding opportunity, and the gathering together of ten battle hungry colleagues in this spectacular and fun Viking race epitomizes what team motivation is all about.  We are absolutely delighted with the support and enthusiasm from Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and I would encourage any companies who would like to enter their team to contact me as soon as possible, in order to secure a place. The money raised will help us support families across Northern Ireland affected by cancer”.

The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor John Scott commented: We are delighted to be able to support such a worthy cause. The Viking Boat Race will be a family fun day for all, with teams competing against the clock in aid of a good cause. This is an opportunity for spectators to have a great day out and for participants to enjoy a spirit of comradeship with their team mates, while helping to raise vital funds”.

To enter a team please contact Matthew Allen, Cancer Fund for Children T. 028 9080 5599.


Armagh Craft Fair is returning to Armagh on Saturday 27th May from 10.30am to 6pm, at The Market Place Theatre & Arts Centre.


Bringing high quality Craft to the heart of Armagh City this annual event offers something for everyone. The fair will feature over 45 high quality craft stalls from makers across Northern Ireland and Ireland. The crafts on show at this year’s Craft Fair will include textiles, knitwear, jewellery, wood, metal, basketry, glass, soaps, leather, ceramics,  and candles to name but a few…..

There will also be 13 free craft demonstrations from master crafters throughout the day including hands on creative craft making opportunities for both adults and children. Why not have a go and learn a new skill? Ever had a burning desire to try your hand at Ceramics, Felting, Hand Loom Weaving. Basketry, Jewellery Making, Green Woodwork, Leather Working, Metal Sculptures, Needle Felting, Glass-Lampworking, Hemp Rope Making? Well now’s your chance to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in as they’re all available at this year’s Craft Fair.

In addition to all this, there will be children’s workshops, musical entertainment, great food & much more.

Also, don’t forget to take a look at the fantastic Art Of Craft Exhibition in The Market Place Gallery, featuring the work of Bernie Leahy.

For further information, bookings and to download the full programme go to You can also follow developments on Facebook ( and Twitter ( for the latest information and video previews.


Millennium Forum hosts Dementia Awareness even

The North West’s premier theatre will host a special event on Wednesday 17th May as part of Dementia Awareness Week.


This event is organised by a local partnership that includes Alzheimer’s Society, NI Deed and WHSCT and will bring organisations as well as members of the public together to raise awareness about living with dementia.

The Millennium Forum has already been leading the way as a Dementia Friendly theatre; in 2014, the venue was the first theatre in Ireland to stage a specially adapted performance of its Christmas pantomime and, last year, this offering was developed to form the ‘Sing Song Sessions’ which took the panto cast to various centres across the city, enabling people living with dementia to enjoy an afternoon of live music.

Lisa Heaney, Box Office Manager at the Millennium Forum says:

“We are delighted to be hosting this hugely important event.   Since staging our first Dementia Friendly panto show in Dec 2014, we have been working closely with local organisations including Deed, OLT and the Alzheimer’s Society to develop this aspect of our annual programming.  As a fully accessible theatre, we believe that everyone should experience a theatrical performance.”

Heather Lundy, Dementia Friendly Community Manager at Alzheimer’s Society said:

“It is wonderful that people affected by dementia can be confident that support is available throughout Derry~Londonderry as the event at Millennium Forum showcases.  Following a diagnosis of dementia it is vital that people access information and support to live well and plan for their future.  Staying connected to our local communities is so empowering and I am delighted that this event is being hosted by Millennium Forum who have been working tirelessly since 2014 to provide Dementia Friendly performances of some of their most iconic shows and raise awareness amongst staff and patrons.”

Registrations to attend the event can be made by emailing or calling 02871 373870.

The Dementia Friendly performance of the Millennium Forum’s panto, Jack & the Beanstalk takes place at 4pm on Sunday 10th December. For more information, contact Lisa Heaney, Box Office Manager, on 71 272779 or email

For information on the Forum’s Sing Song Sessions, contact Daryl Moore, Education & Outreach Officer, on 71 272776 or email