Paws for a Cause

It is with tail wagging excitement that Cancer Focus Northern Ireland is calling all dog lovers to sign up to its Waggy Woodland Walk at Springhill House in Moneymore on Saturday 28th May 2pm to 5pm, to raise vital funds for their cancer services. 

Sign up to the Waggy Woodland Walk HERE

The event will feature the central Waggy Woodland Walk with a choice of a long or short walks – suitable for dogs and owners of all ages, shapes and sizes. The family fun day will also include dog agility show, meet and greet with the PSNI police dog unit, doggy stalls, doggy raffles, and much more. With top prizes to be won on the day

Local Cancer Focus fundraiser and dog lover, Emma McCann said, “The Waggy Woodland Walk will hopefully help raise awareness of the charity’s incredible services which are available for local cancer patients and their families in Northern Ireland. “It’s great to see an event like this in my community, bringing everyone together in joint support, so I want to encourage all the local dogs and owners to turn out for this brilliant local charity.” Emma continues: “I am so excited to launching the first dog walking family fun day event for the whole community. We are inviting all the family to come along and of course dogs of all shapes and sizes. “Our walk will not only increase awareness of Cancer Focus NI and the support services we offer but will also raise vital funds. All the money will go towards funding their many services which support patients and carers who are struggling with a cancer diagnosis”. 

The walk will kick off on Saturday 28 May at 2pm in Springhill House, Moneymore. ‘Pawty’ bags are guaranteed for the first 150 dogs on the day. Contact the fundraising team at . Anyone who has concerns about cancer can speak to a specialist nurse on the Cancer Focus NI free Helpline, 0800 783 3339.

Click HERE to register today!

Boardroom Apprentice Programme Set To Return Next Month

2020 Boardroom Apprentices Jo McGinley (right) and David Esler (middle) with founder Eileen Mullan.

The Boardroom Apprentice programme is set to return this year as applications for this year’s apprentices are set to open on May 3.

A UK first, the Boardroom Apprentice is a 12-month unique board learning, development and placement programme which enables those who would like to serve on a public or third sector board to learn and gain experience through in-depth training and support.

Founded by Eileen Mullan in 2017, the programme is now in its sixth year and has helped 223 candidates across Northern Ireland to begin their Boardroom journey thanks to its support from the Department of Finance

Open to those aged 16 or over from all backgrounds and all abilities, the programme seeks to enable a wider diversity of individuals to play their part within boardrooms and helps move the board member role from aspiration to reality.

Eileen Mullan, Boardroom Apprentice founder, said: “I decided to create a programme that brings together three key elements – knowledge and understanding, experience and support. Over a twelve-month window Boardroom Apprentices will get practical board experience, a suite of learning days and support to fully equip them to serve on a board in the public or third sector.

“Being a Boardroom Apprentice is a gift. You get the programme as a gift with the expectation that you give it back. Being a Boardroom Apprentice is about preparing you for public service, which is about you playing your part.”

Boardroom Apprentice Nikita Brijpaul believed his time in the 2019 programme was just the beginning of his journey. 

“It is exceptionally important in encouraging particularly women and ethnic minorities,” he said, adding: “The programme acts as a springboard for those seeking to go on to serve on boards.

“It gives underrepresented groups the self-belief and self confidence that is integral. I think all boards wish to see more diversity however it’s exceedingly difficult to recruit, without the support and encouragement of the likes of Boardroom Apprentice.”

During the year, each Apprentice has to attend a number of learning days on topics such as finance and governance and along with the board placement on a board of their choice, matched by both Eileen and a selection of former apprentices.

2018 Boardroom Apprentice, Lisa McGonigle said that the programme has “a sense of equal opportunity for all at its heart. No matter what gender, age, culture or race. If you possess the drive and commitment, a place on any board is within your grasp.”

“If being on a board giving your time and sharing your skills is something you aspire to do, but are not sure how to do then Boardroom Apprentice will enable you to do just that,” said Eileen.

Previous Boardroom Apprentice David Esler said his time on the course in 2020 provided him with an opportunity like no other: “Previously, I had seen different boards but I had no idea how to go about taking part in a board. The Boardroom Apprentice exceeded my expectations and it gave me a lot more confidence that it’s attainable, it’s something that you can do” he said.

2020 Boardroom Apprentice Jo McGinley recalled her experience was ‘phenomenal’, “The program is a phenomenal learning experience.

“It really does set you up as a top class board member going forward because you’ve got the experience, you’ve got the learning and then you’ve got this fantastic amount of peer support going forward.”

This year’s programme will run from 01st September 2022 – until 31st August 2023 in adherence to all relevant Covid-19 guidance.
For more information on Boardroom Apprentice visit

Paddleboarding Sensation In Carrickfergus

The world’s fastest growing water sport can be enjoyed all-year round in Carrickfergus with WaveRides Paddleboarding now offering a range of classes in the coastal town’s sheltered harbour.

A mixture of punting, surfing and canoeing, paddleboarding is taught by Robbie Richardson, a qualified instructor with over 35 years maritime experience.

“I’m delighted to bring the joy of paddleboarding to Mid and East Antrim ,” he said.

“It is a fun activity for all the family that combines the pleasure of learning a new skill on the water with real fitness and mental health benefits.”

WaveRides Paddleboarding courses feature a two-hour beginner’s class in Carrickfergus harbour, that includes full instruction on and off the water and the chance to take to the board.

“Participants get to learn how to stand up on a wide and stable paddleboard, using an elongated paddle to power them through the water,” explained Robbie. “This is a special leisure activity that is suitable for everybody.

“Simply put on a wetsuit and buoyancy aid and grab a board and paddle.”

Each two-hour session begins with a full safety session and, if participants don’t have access to a wet suit they are provided with one, together with the board and flotation aids and basic instructions on how to get on the board.

There is also a night time paddleboarding course branded the Dark & Stormy that sees paddleboarders enjoying the illuminated views of the Castle and across Belfast Lough.

WaveRides Paddleboarding also runs Away Day Group paddling outings that sees those who have a little experience on a board travel up and down the lough shore. Or for more beginner group days the ‘Mammoth’ board is available which holds up to 12 people making it the perfect test of balance for team building days or birthday parties.

“Our main base is Carrickfergus harbour for the Away Days,” Robbie said. “We put into practice all our chat about meteorology, weather and how to interpret going downwind at venues like Fisherman’s Quay

“We might paddle from there to Carrick or the other way then go and get ice cream.”

They also do away days to the Loughshore Park, Hazelbank, Browns Bay and Whitehead. To learn more visit the WaveRides Paddleboarding Facebook page here.

Derry City & Strabane District Council To Host Careers Inspiration Event For Year 9 Pupils

Derry City & Strabane District Council has announced it is hosting a pilot careers inspiration event for over 700 Year 9 pupils called 4C UR Future LIVE in June 2022. 

Designed and delivered by local social enterprise, 4C UR Future, the industry-led Community Interest Company – founded by business leader Rose Mary Stalker – works collaboratively with a wide range of employers from the key sectors in Northern Ireland, with the aim of empowering young people to make more informed education and career choices.

4C UR Future LIVE is a fun, fast-paced, and action-packed day of interactive skills games and work-based challenges, with each game co-created and delivered by local employers, giving Year 9 students an insight into the future world of work, as well as their own strengths and talents. 

Announcing support for the event, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke said: “We are delighted to be working with 4C UR Future to deliver this event in Foyle Arena, which will be an exciting, informative, and interesting day for all of the schools attending. 

“This will give our local pupils opportunities to learn more about the working world, making plans for the future, and about themselves, their skills, and qualities, and what professions might suit them. It offers them the chance to engage directly with local employers that they might one day find themselves working for. 

“It’s great to see so many businesses signed up to be part of this fantastic event and I would encourage any local employers who are not signed up yet to consider getting involved.”

4C UR Future Managing Director, Rachel Doherty, added: “With the support of Derry City & Strabane District Council, we’re delighted to be holding a pilot 4C UR Future LIVE event at Foyle Arena in June. Over 50 employers are involved in 4C UR Future LIVE 2022 and we’re mobilising almost 300 ‘Career Heroes’ from our volunteer community to deliver and facilitate the LIVE events across the province.

“The world of work is changing rapidly with new jobs, and even entirely new sectors, emerging. This has resulted in a complex careers landscape that can make choosing GCSE subjects, further education pathways, and future career options overwhelming, confusing, and stressful for our young people.

“Through 4C UR Future LIVE events and our first-generation CAREERS PORTAL, which is launching in September, we aim to inform young people of the wide range of opportunities available to them, help them navigate the complex careers landscape, and inspire them to achieve their ambitions and become the best version of themselves.” For more information on 4C UR Future, and local employers can get involved, go to:

George Ezra announces full UK Arena Tour

New single Green Green Grass

The second song to be taken from new album Gold Rush Kid, due 10 June

Announces full UK arena tour, to follow biggest ever headline show at London’s Finsbury Park

28 September: The SSE Arena Belfast

29 September: 3Arena Dublin

Tickets on sale Friday 29 April at 10am

George Ezra – Photo : Adam Scarborough

“another insatiable earworm” – The Guardian

“a sugar-sweet pop banger that’ll catapult his ascent even higher,” – DIY

“its arena-friendly chorus already sounds like classic Ezra” – The Times

BRIT Award-winning, multi-platinum selling musician George Ezra today debuts his hugely infectious new single ‘Green Green Grass,’ the second song to be lifted from his forthcoming new album Gold Rush Kid, due for release on 10 June via Columbia Records. The single arrives alongside the announcement of a huge nationwide UK arena tour, scheduled for September and October, following George’s special show at London’s Finsbury Park in July.

Listen to ‘Green Green Grass’

Pre-order / pre-save Gold Rush Kid

‘Green Green Grass’ is an irresistibly joyful song about making the best of things, even when it might feel like the worst of things are afoot: “Green green grass, blue blue sky, you better throw a party on the day that I die.”

“I was on holiday in St Lucia with a few friends at Christmas 2018, with two of my closest mates from home,” explains George. “We were in this beach bar, drinking homemade rum punch and Piton, the local lager, flip-flopping between the two, pissing about with three local guys who worked there. And this music started up, three streets back from the sea.

“After about half an hour, I had to go see what it was. And there was a street party going on, with three different sound systems, people cooking in the street. I asked a woman what was going on and she told me it was a funeral – for three people. They were celebrating three lives! I thought: that is not how we do this at home. And it’s really beautiful.”

‘Green Green Grass’ follows the euphoric first single and album opener ‘Anyone For You,’ which continues to climb the UK Official Singles Chart and is the number one song at UK radio, with A-list rotation across all major stations.

George debuted both songs to a rapturous reception at his recent intimate gigs in London, Manchester and Edinburgh – shows praised as “a joyous singalong that was impossible to resist” (5*, The Telegraph), “blazing sunshine tempered by subtle shadow” (4*, Evening Standard) and a set filled with “hooks so plentiful he could go long-line fishing with them” (4*, The Guardian).

Listen / watch ‘Anyone For You’

“The Gold Rush Kid? That’s me,” says George, reflecting on the title of his third record – a 12-strong suite of marvellous, transporting, elevational songs, that more than anything “sound like me. That’s what ties them together.”

After two blockbuster albums – Wanted On Voyage (2014) and Staying At Tamara’s (2018), both of which reached number 1 in the UK and sold millions around the world, and the latter of which earned him his first number 1 single in ‘Shotgun’ and won him the 2019 Brit Award for British Male Solo Artist – it was time to return to heart and hearth, with an album written and produced entirely in London with longstanding collaborator Joel Pott.

George Ezra – Gold Rush Kid album art (download high res assets)

Following the release of Gold Rush Kid, Ezra will play his biggest headline show to date, a special all day event at London’s Finsbury Park on 17 July 2022. Joining George at his first live show in almost three years, presented by Festival Republic, will be special guests Blossoms, Holly Humberstone, Mimi Webb, The Big Moon, Mychelle and the London International Gospel Choir. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster.

He today announces a full nationwide UK arena tour to follow in September and October, beginning at Liverpool M&S Bank Arena on 13 September and taking in 11 shows, finishing at Sheffield FlyDSA Arena on 2 October. Fans who pre-order Gold Rush Kid before 3pm on Tuesday 26 April can access tickets via exclusive pre-sale, before they go on general sale at 10am, Friday 29 April via Ticketmaster.

George Ezra tour 2022

Sunday 17 July – Finsbury Park, London

Tuesday 13 September – M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool

Wednesday 14 September – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

Friday 16 September – The AO Arena, Manchester

Tuesday 20 September – Utilita Arena, Newcastle upon Tyne

Thursday 22 September – Utilita Arena, Birmingham

Sunday 25 September – P&J Live, Aberdeen

Monday 26 September – The Ovo Hydro, Glasgow

Wednesday 28 September – SSE Arena, Belfast

Thursday 29 September – 3Arena, Dublin

Saturday 1 October – Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham

Sunday 2 October – Utilita Arena, Sheffield

Alongside the tour announcement, George has partnered with YouTube Music to be their Sustainability Partner for 2022. He says: “I am conscious that creating, touring and promoting a record has an impact on the environment, so I am delighted to announce I will be working with YouTube Music as their Sustainability Partner for 2022. They have very generously provided a significant financial contribution to support a cause of my choosing; this is going to be The National Trust, who are working hard to reverse the decline in nature and reduce the impact of climate change by planting trees and restoring landscapes. Together, we’ll directly use this money to plant 17,000 trees across the UK.”

The National Trust has committed to planting or establishing 20 million trees covering an area the size of Birmingham as part of their plan to become net zero by 2030. The carbon benefits from the 17,000 trees will go towards the charity’s own net zero ambitions.

National Trust Director General Hilary McGrady said: “We are enormously grateful to George for this donation, and it serves as an important reminder that only by a collective will and everyone playing their part will we help reverse some of the impacts of climate change and help the nation to reach net zero.

“This gift represents an important step as part of our ambition to try and tackle the effects of climate change. We are planting the trees in the right places to maximise the impact they will have in locking in carbon.”

YouTube Music is a music app made for music listening, on top of the magic of YouTube: making the world of music easier to explore and more personalised than ever.  Whether you want to listen, watch or discover – all the ways music moves you can be found in one place – not just music videos, but official albums, singles, remixes, live performances, covers and hard-to-find music you can only get on YouTube.

instagram / tiktok / youtube / website / facebook / twitter

Ponies, Fun, Learning And Therapy On Offer At Glenview Farm

Glenview Farm Equine Learning Centre provides a unique blend of pony parties, play dates and riding lessons for adults and children, complemented by specialist therapeutic horse riding, in the picturesque countryside between Slemish mountain and the coastal village of Glenarm.

Developed and run by Jane Magee, a well-known show rider who has competed at National level since she was a child with three decades of experience, it has been operating since Jane inherited the farm in 2017. She developed the idea after she saw Equine Assisted Learning in practice during a visit to Australia and decided to undertake specific training. 

“Equine assisted learning is a unique service, which harnesses the sensitive and reactive nature of the horse to promote social and emotional growth,” she explained. 

“This is especially effective with those who have become disengaged with, or disinterested in, traditional ‘talk based’ support.”

Jane’s passion isn’t just for horses, but partnering with them to help young people who struggle with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. The centre has a unique sensory riding trail, allowing autistic young people to experience the location on horseback while playing sensory games, to create an autism friendly experience.

“I think families are so thankful there’s somewhere a sibling and another sibling with additional needs can go – parents can even take part themselves”

Visitors can also take advantage of a new all year round family session experience, with two-hour sessions available for families of up to four to groom, ride, play games and go on trail rides with the horses.

The centre is operational all year round and also offers an alternative children’s party experience. Pony parties at Glenview Farm can be booked for special occasions, such as birthdays, and can cater for six to 12 attendees.

“They can be anything from an hour to two hours and then they can do grooming, musical statues with the ponies, leading them, riding them,” she said.

“There’s dressing up depending on the age so there’ll be a theme like princess or cowboy.

“If there’s an evening session you can expect fairy lights and glow sticks and we can provide a unicorn hunt, it’s just tailor made to the age of the children and according to how long they want it to last.”

Glenview Farm operates as a social enterprise. They have recently developed self-catering accommodation for up to three in a converted attic and ‘as part of the social enterprise we then donate a free booking to a family who wouldn’t necessarily avail of a holiday,” she said. 

“We also provide free riding sessions for children from disadvantaged areas.”

In addition to Jane, there are two staff and 20 volunteers, who Jane said, have helped bring the atmosphere to Glenview Farm, which has been in the family for over 120 years and situated just half a mile away from where Jane grew up.

“People keep talking about how they’re made to feel like part of the family,” she said. “I believe it’s the kindness and respect that we show our clients – we genuinely care about them having a great experience and they keep returning, as opposed to them coming and doing half an hour and then we never see them again.”

They have also introduced their own version of the Saddle Club, courses for children (up to 9 per group) called Pony Tails for the juniors and Making Strides for young people.

Jane is an accredited Level 6 Life and Workplace coach and holds a certificate in Equine Welfare Management, as well as being a qualified first aider. Find out more about Glenview at

Slow Food Philosophies Positively Embraced By The People Of Northern Ireland

The demand for Slow Food in Northern Ireland has soared over the last decade, thanks to a change in consumer preference and attitude towards their food choices and following the launch of Slow Food Causeway by Taste Causeway in November 2021, there is no better time to get involved in the grassroots movement that seeks to promote good, clean and fair food and acclaim local products and traditions.

​​Slow Food Northern Ireland is part of a wider non-profit, eco-gastronomic organisation that has around 100,000 members in over 150 countries which originally started in Italy by Carlo Petrini in 1986, who rebelled against the arrival of the American fast-food chain McDonalds in Rome.

Today, the renowned chef Paula McIntyre MBE is the Slow Food Northern Ireland Director who alongside artisan food businesses and producers, aims to preserve the ‘unique culinary heritage’ of Northern Ireland.

“I like to describe Slow Food as the way our grandparents sourced and cooked food. They reared a pig and used all of it. They would have preserved some of it for the winter. They grew veg and they would have been naturally organic then. Everything would have been grown seasonally. You’d have thought about what was going to be available and you grew accordingly. It’s the opposite of fast food.” Paula explained.

After her trip to Turin in 2014 to represent the UK in the Terra Madre kitchen, Paula was offered a seat on the Board of Directors and became truly involved in 2015.

“I got involved with the movement in 2014, but before that, I had always been interested in seasonal food and local food before it was trendy. When I started in the late 80s, I liked using local things. Then Slow Food articulated for me what I was trying to do, it is what I do. “I’ve met so many friends through Slow Food, it’s not just business and networking.”

Slow Food Northern Ireland has spurred the public’s interest in the movement over the years by combining education with experiences. Since the Causeway Coast and Glens in Northern Ireland was awarded the accolade of becoming the first accredited Slow Food destination in Northern Ireland, Taste Causeway have been running a busy six-month programme of events, immersive dining experiences, foodie tours and special menus.

“We realised early on with Tourism NI that visitors coming here want to experience food of the place and they want traditional recipes so we might be self-deprecating and say ‘who would want to be arsed with a soda farl?’ but they actually love it and the story behind it.

“There needs to be storytelling and a celebration of our heritage. At the end of the day what matters is that what’s on the plate tastes really good.” Paula said.

There has been a wonderful wealth and breadth of expertise and styles of cooking showcased in the foodie experiences, bringing together different cultures and introducing exciting flavours to our palates. 

With more sell-out events to be held lasting until the end of April 2022, it is a testament to consumers across Northern Ireland who are still continuing to have a strong interest in the programme that showcases the Slow Food ethos and supporting local artisan producers.

“I know that a lot of the producers say that they really have become a lot busier recently. People were trying these different foods.”

“There’s always going to be people in NI who want a roast beef dinner….you can’t beat it now and again. But I think a lot of young people travel and try things, street food and those exciting flavours. 

“The good thing about the whole street food movement is that young people can taste really exciting flavours that aren’t going to break the bank. Food has become good food, has become more realistic, and you can get it more. That’s a big thing.”

As conversations open up globally about climate change and ways to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle through food consumption, Northern Irish consumers are leading the way and have become more educated and conscious about their food habits than ever before, resulting in a greater demand for fresh ingredients that are both nutritious and local. 

Typically, many popular Slow Food artisan specialties are loved by both locals and tourists alike, however, customers must know what to look for when they are engaging with a producer or retailer or hospitality venue.

Paula encourages people to ask questions: “If you’re looking at the menu and it doesn’t say where the steaks come from, just ask.”

Education is also key in pushing the movement forward and customers are encouraged to challenge outlets if they see something that doesn’t align with Slow Food values.

“Restaurants will put ‘local sea bass’. You need to call them out on that cos we’re not allowed to fish commercially for sea bass off our waters.” 

“It’s illegal if you put it on paper. All the seabass we have on the menus would be coming from Turkey, so I think you need to ask people why they don’t have Seaview Farm pork on the menu. It’s expensive but you can use cheaper cuts. You can call out where veg comes from locally.” Paula explained. 

With new and innovative artisan food businesses popping up across the province, there is more scope for both consumers and businesses to implement the Slow Food principles.

“You’ve got to embrace it or not embrace it. It has to be a holistic approach. The whole business needs to think about it.” Paula said.  

Through our food choices, we can all influence how food is cultivated, produced and distributed and in turn protect traditional foods on the island and change the world as a consequence. For more information about how you can get involved with Slow Food Northern Ireland, visit or follow the hashtags #SlowFood and #SlowFoodCauseway.

Mums At Work Founder Encourages Female Entrepreneurs To Join The Growing Movement

Founder of the Northern Ireland based female only networking group, Sinead Norton, is encouraging women in business across the UK and beyond to join the movement and reap the benefits of being a part of a like minded community dedicated to supporting and encouraging one another.

The inspirational networking platform Mums At Work launched in December 2018 as a free Facebook group for a small group of women after Sinead experienced first hand the many challenges that arise when setting up and managing your own business.

“I’m a mum of 7 and when I owned a large and extremely award winning busy wedding business, I quickly realised that survival is dependent on past brides and other suppliers referring you” said Sinead.

“So, I wanted to create a space where businesswomen working on their own could come together to stay motivated and work towards their dreams as I know how lonely it is when you start out and how hard it can be to achieve a good work-life balance.” 

Four years on, the Mums at Work Network group has thousands of members ranging from full-time employed mums looking to start a new business venture to successful female entrepreneurs, a VIP membership portal and an app available to download on the Google and Apple app stores.

In an attempt to bring women together all over the world without oversaturating the pre-existing social media platforms, Sinead created the Mums at Work business app which has had hundreds over installations since its creation in June 2021.

Sinead explained: “I realised that social media is so busy, and at times, negative. As a result, it can be difficult to reach people who are already busy, or moving and trying out different platforms so rather than try and be everywhere as well, I created a simple app for the network so that all the information was in one place.

“The app allows users to connect with fellow business owners, receive updates on networking events, access free resources and receive daily early morning positive affirmations to kick start their day with positivity.”

Catering to those who seek further collaboration, Sinead developed the Mums at Work VIP Membership portal where women in business can feature in their online members directory, attend online networking events at a discounted price and advertise their business directly into email inboxes. 

“The VIP membership is a great place to collaborate with others who have the same target audience. In addition to that, VIP members are featured on our social media and website and via our own community platform, so you can reach the email in-box of other members” she said.

All members across the groups are encouraged to work together, share knowledge and offer advice when they can through the ‘Connect, Support, Refer’ tagline which has been proven to bring real results to women who have joined the group.

“I love to hear about women working together on their business and achieving success. It’s great to see the results. If advice received has saved someone time and money and effort, this makes me feel like I have made a difference” she said.

Sinead recognised the importance of networking as a businessperson and has been running free coffee mornings in conjunction with training seminars and vibrant networking evenings since 2019 when her first event was attended by 35 people.

However due to the pandemic, all in-person networking and training events over the past two years moved online which played a role in growing the Mums at Work audience to a bigger scale.

Sinead added: “In 2020, we moved all our events online which connected women all over the world and I believe the pandemic accelerated our learning as business owners were able to take their business online and reach customers worldwide, 

“Our members who attend our events are encouraged to complete positive action steps for each other, sharing each other’s business details, engaging on posts online, providing feedback and inspiring each other with ideas.” 

To join the group, go to or for membership see here

Download the Mums at Work app for Android here and for iPhones here.

From TV Screens To Dinner Tables, NI Celebrity Chef Paula McIntyre On Dominating The Local Foodie Scene

Pictured at the trade launch of Slow Food Causeway is Chef Paula McIntyre (Slow Food NI)

Since the age of 14, Aghadowey-born Paula McIntyre MBE, has had a passion for cooking and appreciating the local taste of her Causeway Coast and Glens surroundings which have paved the way to her successful professional career as an award winning chef, food writer and now, Slow Food Northern Ireland Director.Growing up, Paula nurtured her Ulster-Scots heritage, beginning her culinary adventure learning how to make classics in her family kitchen such as Scotch broth, tea brack and soda farls. 

From humble beginnings on the North Coast, Paula refined her childlike enthusiasm for food at the prestigious Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island USA, studying culinary arts and later returned to the UK where she opened her own restaurant, The Undrie in Manchester in 1998, picking up several awards for its quality dining.

When she returned to Ireland in 1998, Paula quickly began to dominate the Northern Irish food scene, with a flurry of media appearances including Ready, Steady, Cook, Taste for Adventure and BBC NI’s Summer Season programme with Eamonn Holmes which quickly grew her a loyal fanbase of foodies.

Over the past decade, Paula has released two popular cookbooks, contributed to various papers including the Irish News, Newsletter and Belfast Telegraph and held numerous food demos and catering events up and down the country.

Paula’s commitment to hospitality has also been royally recognised after her MBE honour from Prince William in 2018 at Buckingham Palace. 

Now, Paula has had her eyes firmly set on Slow Food after being appointed the Director of Slow Food Northern Ireland in 2021.  Alongside local  artisan food businesses and producers, she spearheads the campaign which aims to preserve the ‘unique culinary heritage’ of Northern Ireland.

The international food movement was set up by Italian journalist Carlo Petrini in 1986 when he noticed a new branch of the infamous American fast-food chain, McDonalds, being set up in his home city of Rome. The Slow Food movement has since inspired generations of Slow Food activists across the world who are dedicated to encouraging the enjoyment of good, clean and fair food as well recognising the local community it comes from, in a way that is conscientious towards the environment.“I got involved in 2014, but before that, I had always been interested in seasonal food and local food before it was trendy. When I started in the late 80s, I liked using local things. Slow food came to me before I knew about the Slow Food movement at a time when people didn’t understand it; but now it’s just a way of life for me” she said.

Paula describes Slow Food as the type of food that previous generations cooked which takes her back to her childhood roots.

“I like to describe Slow Food as the way our grandparents sourced and cooked food. They reared a pig and used all of it. They would have preserved some of it for the winter. They grew veg and they would have been naturally organic then. Everything would have been grown seasonally. You’d have thought about what was going to be available and you grew accordingly. It’s the opposite of fast food.” Paula explained.

After a trip to Turin in 2014 to represent the UK in the Terra Madre kitchen, Paula was offered a seat on the Board of Directors and became truly involved in 2015.

“I’ve met so many friends through Slow Food, it’s not just business and networking.”

Spearheading the six month Slow Food Causeway campaign with the Taste Causeway network, it’s Paula’s intense passion for cooking, the great local produce from across the province and bringing local communities together through food that keeps her going.

“I’m still in love with cooking and am still passionate about that and Slow Food helps articulate what I do. I think that my passion for Slow Food is an extension of the passion for cooking.

“It’s sourcing food, meeting producers and feeling a sense of pride in what we do in this country, especially in Taste Causeway. I love what I promote and everything that is slow is good from rare breed pigs to nice raw milk cheese, it all tastes better and it’s fairer.”

Being the director of Slow Food NI also requires Paula to oversee the Slow Food business accreditation process which she openly admits is strict.

“I am strict. Nothing puts me off more than a massive menu as I prefer to see a small menu that changes often because food changes all the time. One of the things that I like is to see things name checked and not just local potatoes. I want to see invoices which tell me what variety of potato the mash is made from” 

“I’m really looking at whether the restaurant is sourcing locally. It doesn’t rule out using Parmesan or Irish cheeses or British cheeses or olive oil. It’s that they’re really trying to source as much locally as possible but supplementing it with other things.” she explained. 

Businesses who achieve the Slow Food stamp are able to use the trademark symbol of a red snail which tells customers that food served is high-quality, unique and sustainable and is actively helping make a positive environmental and socio-cultural impact in their local area.

After being awarded the accolade of becoming the first accredited Slow Food destination in Northern Ireland, Taste Causeway have been running a busy six-month programme of sell out events, immersive dining experiences, foodie tours and special menus, many of which feature Paula showcasing the Slow Food ethos and supporting local artisan producers.

Paula is preparing to host three events as part of the March and April programme including a Slow Cocoa event in collaboration with The Chocolate Manor and Basalt Gin, Benone showcase and a wild fish soiree with Native Seafood.

“I’m looking forward to my three demos all of which will feature local produce including Seaview Farm’s, Chestnut Farms dairy cow and Corndale charcuterie.”

For more information go to or follow the hashtags #SlowFoodCauseway and #TasteCauseway

Cairndhu Golf Club: Golfing, Dining And More Amidst Spectacular Views

Paul Stinson, Honorary Secretary of the club

Cairndhu Golf Course’s unique position as the only headland course in Northern Ireland means golfers can face a unique challenge and relax afterwards with a tasty meal at the New Fairways Restaurant and Bar.

As the host of the NI Open 2021 a qualifier for the ISPS HANDA World Invitational, the undulating fairways, ever-present breeze and small greens make Cairndhu a must-play course for all abilities.

Paul Stinson, Honorary Secretary of the club, explained the spectacular location that attracts so many to Cairndhu.

“The course extends onto a headland just above sea level. So we have outstanding views right up the North coast, including The Glens of Antrim, over to Scotland, inland to Sallagh Braes, which is featured as a film location in Game of Thrones and then back down into Drains Bay and Larne Lough.

“If you’re standing on Ballygally Head at our second hole, the views are stunning. You will find there’s hardly a hole on the course where you won’t get to see the sea.” 

Over the years some of the world’s best golfers have graced Cairndhu’s fairways, including major winners Darren Clarke, Nick Price and Ian Woosnam. 

Cairndhu’s location and its appeal are cemented by the many tourists who mark their card with a visit to the course.

“Like a lot of courses, there was a rise in visitors thanks to The Open in 2019,” explained Paul. “It’s very common to get groups of eight to twelve individuals from a club deciding to go away for a long weekend and they try and pick a few courses to play that are close to each other.”

For those wanting to be based closer to the course, they also work with Ballygally Castle and several other accommodation providers to offer a discounted rate.

The New Fairways Restaurant and Bar are open to visitors, even non-golfers, and offer a wide range of snacks, traditional clubhouse favourites and an exceptionally good value three-course Sunday lunch to members and visitors alike.

The club encourages non-members to book online and visit the restaurant even without playing golf. They are sure to receive a warm welcome from staff and members of the club.

“The bar and restaurant have the most spectacular views of the world-famous Antrim Coast Road, and a pint of the black stuff always helps put the icing on the cake after a round on the course,” said Paul.

To book a tee time go to Visitor Booking, for restaurant bookings please contact 07739400898 or 02828 583324 Option 4.

Find out more about the club at