Get Blogging Courses Launch In Northern Ireland Libraries

Libraries NI roll out new learning series with TrainingMatchmaker

Aspiring bloggers will have the opportunity to create, promote and deliver their own blog with a three-week, free course in Holywood and Belfast’s Lisburn road libraries.

Libraries NI has appointed to deliver the digitally focused workshops with expert Trainer – Chartered Marketer Christine Watson.

The ‘Get Blogging’ courses will offer training to help library users develop their skills and grow their confidence to enable them to become successful bloggers.

Margaret Bell, Deputy Head of Service, Libraries NI said: “We have been delighted with the success of the Blogging Inspiration events and the educational courses that have delivered so far and are confident that these new workshops will be a tremendous opportunity for library users to enhance their digital capability and grow their online footprint in a positive way.”

Trainer Christine Watson, who founded said that the course will benefit individuals, businesses, communities and charities.

“Over the three week programme the Get Blogging workshop will focus on helping attendees develop the skills relevant to the creation, distribution and monetisation of their blogs.”

There are many benefits from upskilling in the art of blogging including enhanced employability, proven digital competence, confidence, access to a peer community of bloggers, mental health and personal wealth.

The brand new three week courses follows a series of Blogging Inspiration Sessions, featuring active local bloggers in talks in libraries across Northern Ireland and an inaugural ‘Get Blogging’ programme in Lisburn City Library.

Christine said that getting online via a blog has many advantages.

“Active blogging helps individuals develop the specialist skills that many organisations and communities need to help keep pace with and benefit from the latest technology and working practices.

“Many businesses have reported that using blogs, as part of their digital marketing strategy, has helped sales growth, which they believe is directly attributable to improvement in the digital performance of their businesses coupled with a real sense of service by providing content sought on the web.”

Lisburn Road Library in south Belfast will host learners on February 26 and March 4 and 25. 

Holywood Library in south Down will host learners on March 5, 19 and 26.

These courses are free to attend and places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Individuals interested in participating in the free three week ‘Get Blogging’ course by for Libraries NI can find further information or register a place via

11 International Social Media Speakers Lined Up For Belfast Conference

The 2020 OnlyJustMedia Summit will see 11 national and international speakers reveal the secrets of success on social media in today’s increasingly crowded online marketplace.

On February 29 at Belfast’s Odyssey delegates will hear inspirational content professionals from England, Ireland, Northern Ireland and USA on how to accomplish more across the many platforms now available.

The summit is the brainchild of influencer and content creator Lucy McMullan, owner of OnlyJustMedia.

Supporting Lucy is co-organiser and brand and project manager Alan Walace and host Cool FM star and influencer Rebecca McKinney.

Speakers for the event which will see delegates hear “how to build a social media community, influencing and impacting your audience, the secrets of making more of Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, as well as storytelling, brand building, visual marketing and more” said Lucy.

Travelling from the USA, UK and Ireland the speakers are:

1. Lucy McMullan (NI)

Owner, OnlyJustMedia

Lucy McMullan, also known as ‘OnlyJustLucy’ is the CEO of OnlyJustMedia LTD. She has an extensive background in digital marketing, business strategy, personal branding, content creation and growth hacking. Lucy has worked and met with a variety of the world’s top influencers and change makers from Gary Vaynerchuk to Sheryl Sandberg to HRH Prince William. Her main passion however is running events, like the OnlyJustMedia Summit, as she feels they make the most impact at scale.

2. Alan Wallace (NI)

MD, Impress Live

Alan is an experienced account, brand & project manager who has a decorative history working for some of the world’s most renowned brands. He is the founder of Impress Live, Insta Belfast, Belfast Vegan Map & has other business interests in the wellness industry. Alan has a Degree in Communication with Advertising and a Masters in business development with innovation. Recognising himself as a serial collaborator, Alan states that he seeks to add value to any person, project or organisation he is involved with.

3. Pete Lonton (NI)

Entrepreneur, coach, property investor & creator of Fire In The Belly podcast series

Pete’s background is in Project Management and Property, but his true passion is the ‘Fire In The Belly’ project itself. His mission is to help others find their potential and become the mightiest version of themselves. Pete openly talks about losing both of his parents, suffering periods of depression, business downturn and burn-out, and ultimately his years spent not stoking ‘Fire In the Belly’. Pete has the ability to connect with people and intuitively asks questions to reveal a person’s passion and discover how to live their mightiest life.

4. Adrian Vasquez (USA)

Creative Director for Ryan Serhant

Speaking on: “How to Build a Brand That Stands Out and Thrives”

Adrian Vasquez is the brand director for Ryan Serhant, best known for his appearances on Bravos ‘Million Dollar Listings.’ Adrian is responsible for all things branding and content creation for the Serhant Media Group. He will be flying from NYC to share all his top secrets on how to build and sustain a personal brand.

5. Gabriel Desanti (USA)

Content Creator, influencer 

Speaking on: “The Cost of Learning: Finding Happiness in Your Field”

Gabriel Desanti is a talented videographer and photographer from NYC. Gabe has worked with some of the worlds top brands and influencers, and will be sharing tips on storytelling – and finding happiness in what you do. He will also be premiering his new film which is about just that.

6. Tyler Babin (USA)

Creative Resident with Adobe

Speaking on: “Social Media Success – Storytelling, Community and Culture”

Adobe Creative Resident, Tyler Babin, will be speaking on mental health as a person working in the creative field. Babin previously worked as a creative for Gary Vaynerchuk and is incredibly experienced in all things social media & content creation. He will also be sharing some social media tips and secrets.

7. Melanie Murphy (IRE)

Youtube creator, best selling author

Speaking on: “Influencing and Improving: Instagram, Youtube and more…”

Melanie Murphy is a two-time bestselling author and award-winning online content creator from Dublin. She has over 800,000 followers across her social media platforms and her YouTube videos have amassed more than sixty million views online, reaching people with her warm personality and her life lessons as well as her views on divisive topics such as sexuality, women’s rights, health and relationships. Also some silly fun stuff, just ’cause. She will be sharing her insight into influencer marketing.

8. Niamh MacAuley (NI)

Video marketing manager and owner of Purple Dot Media

Speaking on: “Video Marketing – Tips and Tricks”

Niamh MacAuley is best known for her informative tutorial videos for businesses and individuals on how to create better video content. Niamh is a firm believer that video is the future of marketing every business! She has experience in camera operation and producing promotional videos throughout the island of Ireland, and has been growing and working for Purple Dot Media for the last 5 years. In this time she has produced over 400 promo videos, for businesses’ websites and social media platforms.

9. Joel M (NI)

Illusionist, mentalist and TikTok influencer

Speaking on: “How to Make an Impact on TikTok : as an Individual or Business”

Joel is currently the most followed magician in Ireland & Northern Ireland. His unique style has earned him over 100 million views in the last year alone, across Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok. He currently has over 500k followers on TikTok and has worked with brands such as Samsung, Fanta, Mastercard, Starbucks and more.

10. Mike Winnet (UK)

CEO of IAM Productions Group

Speaking on: “Fast, Easy & Non Sleazy LinkedIn Marketing”

Mike Winnet is the CEO of IAM Productions Group, where he helps people and companies create a LinkedIn, and Social Media strategy that helps them get seen by more of the right people. In  his free time, he dedicates himself to exposing ‘contrepreneurs’ and people who sell terrible online courses. He documents this journey on youtube The Contrepreneur Series.

11. Cody Wanner (USA)

Youtube content creator

Speaking on: “The Power of Real: Vlog-Style Video For Business”

Cody Wanner makes video content for Youtube, Instagram, TikTok, Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter. He is the founder of the ‘#NoSmallCreator’ movement- which preaches the message of ‘it doesn’t matter how many followers a person/business has, but what really matters is the good work that they do’. 

Tickets for the OnlyJustMedia Summit which will be hosted by Cool FM presenter and influencer Rebecca McKinney include lunch, snacks and a goodie bag, are priced at £100 and available from

12 Delicious Burgers You NEED To Try In Belfast

Do you see yourself as a bit of a burger connoisseur? Think you’ve tried every combination in the book? 

Belfast’s newest burger joint Burger Burger on Stranmillis Road have put together a menu they believe has “a burger for everyone”.

But which burger are you? Are you a thrill seeking firecracker or a classic plain Jane?

Gavin Rennick, project manager of the new restaurant in South Belfast said food choices can often tell you a lot about a person.

He added: “Let’s be honest, we’ve all judged someone by what they eat at some point or another. From sweetcorn and pineapple on pizza to brown or red sauce on your Ulster Fry.

“Whether you take avocado on your toast or plain old butter or have your tea milky white or tar-like black our choice of cuisine reveals whether we’re risk takers and thrill seekers or someone who likes to play it safe.”

1. Big Girl

For the indecisive one 

It’s true what Mika said big girls you are beautiful, especially when you’re the name of a delicious burger. Can’t decide between chicken and beef? Why not have both? This burger combines two titans of the meat world with classic bacon and cheese toppings for a new take on the classic favourite that is the bacon cheeseburger. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! 

2. Black Burger

For the breakfast lovers

If it’s 5pm and you’re craving an Ulster Fry look no further than this ‘Breakfast For Dinner’ inspired burger. Combining classic elements of everyone’s favourite breakfast this burger comes topped with a fried egg and black pudding crumble, for that authentic home cooked breakfast feel. 

3. Firecracker

For the chicken connoisseur 

Not a beef fan? But still want something meaty then this signature chicken burger is the one for you. 

Gavin from Burger Burger said: “With the perfect balance of spice, topped with jalapeno mayo and cheese drip, this burger is sure to ignite a fire in your belly.” 

4. Above & Beyond

For the lover of luxury

Looking to add that little bit of extra luxury to your regular burger? This beef burger oozes grandeur, topped with brisket and tobacco onions served with a tomato and chilli drip. 

5. Thrillseeker

For the risktaker 

Want to try something a bit different than your usual classics? Step outside your comfort zone with the Thrillseeker. This beef burger is topped with fried mushrooms and cheese and finished with a creamy peppercorn sauce sure to thrill your senses. 

6. Asian Equation

For the one who just wanted a chinese 

Do you ever find yourself in the situation where you want a chinese but your wife wants a burger? So you compromise and go for a burger? Well this burger is the one for you. 

“Have all the flavours of your favourite Chinese takeaway in the form of a burger” said Gavin from Burger Burger, adding: “Don’t ruin your relationship over your food choices, instead tuck into this sumptuous blend of Hoisin and Plum Shredded Duck tossed in sesame seeds topped with a fried egg.”

7. Vegetarian 

For the meat haters 

No Meat? No problem. Tuck into this veggie burger delight topped with a fried egg, mozzarella cheese, cheese drip and jalapeno mayo for that extra kick. You now have no excuse to not go for burgers with your meat eating friends. 

8. I’m a Vegan

For the one that has to tell everyone they’re a vegan 

If you haven’t told anyone in at least 5 minutes, this burger gives you the perfect opportunity to drop into conversation that you’re in fact a vegan. You tell your waiter ‘I’m a Vegan’ and you don’t need to say anymore you’ll be met with a vegan patty topped with mushroom, onions and vegan garlic mayo. It’s the perfect way to save the planet and still keep your friends. 

9. Hot Dog 

For the one who doesn’t like burgers

Going out with some mates who love a good burger, but you’re just not that into it? Try the burger that’s not really a burger and have this classic hot dog instead. A well loved childhood favourite of three sausages in a bap with your choice of toppings, what could be better? 

10. Plane Ticket, No Frills

For the ‘Plain Janes’

Are you a plain, no dressing, sauce on the side type of person? Well Plain Jane, this is your ‘plane ticket’ to your new favourite meal. No longer should you have to feel the embarrassment of being a grown adult and having to ask for your food plain, you like what you like and that’s alright. So there’s a burger especially for you.

“This is the ‘Plane Ticket, No Frills’ burger – it’s just the patty and bun” said Gavin. “If you want to add toppings you can add them, if you like to keep it plain you can, simple.” 

11. Big Boy

For the lover of the classics

If you feel you can never beat the classics, this is your burger of choice. It’s the classic of all classics. The bacon cheeseburger with BBQ Sauce which you really can’t beat! It’s a classic favourite of many for a reason and it doesn’t plan on going anymore. But this isn’t just your average fast food burger, it’s a gourmet take on the classic using local ingredients that’s sure to satisfy your appetite. 

12. Double Trouble

For the one who wants extra everything

“As Queen once said you want it all and you want it now” said Gavin. “Average is not enough, you need to take it a step further with this burger.” 

There are no small measures here, as you’ll be able to feast on your beef patty topped with slavings of double bacon and cheese!

13. Strictly No Bun

For the one that’s calorie conscious   

Still trying to stick to that post Christmas diet? Take the carbs out of the equation with the ‘Strictly No Bun’ burger, all the same beefy goodness with the guilty feeling, what more could you want? This burger is packed with a fully loaded salad, so you can get some of your five a day too. 

Find out which burger you are at Burger Burger, Stranmillis Road, Belfast. For more information call 028 9543 3131 or find us on social media.

International Speakers To Speak In Belfast At Social Media Conference

The 2020 OnlyJustMedia Summit will see 11 national and international speakers reveal the secrets of success on social media in today’s increasingly crowded online marketplace.

On February 29 at Belfast’s Odyssey delegates will hear inspirational content professionals from England, Ireland, Northern Ireland and the USA on how to accomplish more across the many platforms now available.

Lucy McMullan, owner of OnlyJustMedia, who organises the conference alongside event co-founder Alan Walace said this was the biggest summit they have staged and promises to provide more than just an educational day.

“In 2018 we not only sold out the event in a few weeks, but created a huge buzz from local attendees and our international speakers,” she said. 

“This year is not only 10x bigger but will have more opportunities to learn, be inspired and have fun.”

“Delegates will hear how to build a social media community, influencing and impacting your audience, the secrets of making more of Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn content, as well as storytelling, brand building, visual marketing and more.”

Headline sponsor Pete Lonton of the Fire In The Belly podcast series says “I had to back the OnlyJustMedia Summit. The event showcases everything I stand for.” Pete is an entrepreneur, mentor, coach and property investor whose mission it is to help others find their potential and become the mightiest version of themselves. Pete’s podcast launches on spotify, itunes and other platforms on Monday 24th February.

From New York, Adrian Vasquez, Creative Director for Million Dollar Listing star Ryan Serhant will explain How to Build a Brand that stands out and thrives, while influencer Gabriel Desanti will outline how to find happiness in your chosen field.

Also from the Big Apple Tyler Babin of Adobe will be speaking about storytelling, community and culture, as well as protecting your mental health online.

Dublin best selling author and YouTube sensation Melanie Murphy has 800,000 followers and her YouTube views top 60m. She will be sharing her insights into influencer marketing.

“From keynote addresses to intimate conversations the OnlyJustMedia Summit 2020 has been designed so that delegates have access to so many creative and talented people,” said Alan Wallace.

 “This is an essential day for everyone who wants to develop their online presence, as well as all the networking opportunities a day like this presents.”

Among the other speakers will be YouTuber Cody Wanner from Pennsylvania who will talk about creating vlog-style video for business, while content creator Mike Winnet from Warrington will be covering Fast, Easy and non-Sleazy LinkedIn marketing.

Northern Ireland’s Niamh McAuley of Purple Dot Media will outline tips and tricks of video marketing and illusionist and Mentalist Joel M will explain how to make an impact on TikTok as an individual or a business.

The event is sponsored by amazing international and local brands- from Coca Cola, The Body Shop and Estee Lauder, to Tayto, Irish Black Butter and Bullitt Hotel.

Tickets for the OnlyJustMedia Summit which will be hosted by Cool FM presenter and influencer Rebecca McKinney include lunch, snacks and a jam-packed goodie bag, are priced at £100 and available from

Investment Of £60k In New Gourmet Burger Bar Sees Creation Of 7 New Jobs In Belfast

Burger Burger – so good they named it twice

A new gourmet burger bar has opened on Belfast’s Stranmillis Road following an investment of £60,000.

Burger Burger, the brain child of food lover Gavin Rennick, is set to create up to seven new jobs with plans to expand into a further two more restaurants later this year.

Located on the former El Chapo site according to Gavin the restaurant is offering diners a “laid-back atmosphere, delicious food choices and premium retro cocktails”

Gavin, who is the project manager for Burger Burger, said the food venue is more than just another re-treading of the traditional patty and bun options.

“We have worked to create a menu that focuses on taste, originality and fun,” he said.

“Burger will use local produce as much as possible, and we will offer vegetarian and vegan options across what is on offer.”

Gavin explained that the experience at the new restaurant has been carefully thought through.

“The concept of Burger Burger is just good grub where you can relax, chill out and meet with friends to go for a coffee during the day or a sweet treat or something more filling,” he explained. 

“We’re delighted to be able to create seven new jobs and are already beginning plans for our expansion later this year.”

According to Gavin the company will announce the opening of a Burger Burger express in the summer and another sit in restaurant in the autumn.

For Gavin the opening of Burger Burger marks an important step in his own personal journey with food.

“I had an unhealthy relationship with food when I was younger,” he explained.

“However, after re-adjusting and becoming more healthy I lost over four stone in weight and I wanted to show people that you don’t always have to lose your passion for food when you struggle with weight.”

The now fit and healthy Gavin said the Burger Burger menu has been a labour of love.

He added: “I used my passion for cooking in order to create a menu that matches my love of food, fitness and nutrition.

“Every item has been specially selected and the sauces have been named to specifically compliment every burger and every item and they’re just delicious to bite into.”

From the traditional burger, matched with a range of toppings and sauces, through to the vegetarian and vegan options Burger Burger will also offer wings, loaded nachos and the intriguingly named ‘Mega-Zord Fries’. Gavin is, however, keen to emphasise that they also do hot dogs!

Burger Burger is open now, ready for you to bite down a flavour experience that you won’t forget.

Contact Burger Burger, Stranmillis Road, Belfast for more information 028 9543 3131 or find them on social media.

Healthy Mind Coach Warns Don’t Delay Getting Help In 2020

Leading healthy mind practitioner, Sam Barr, has urged people not to delay seeking help in dealing with the mental crises the modern world and relationships deliver.

Through his Healthy Mind Coaching and Training practice Sam has seen that too often people delay getting the support and help that can help them turn the corner.

“People come to us mostly because of anxiety,” he said. “There are so many different situations that cause anxiety and when we meet them it can have a lot of different factors.

“It could be because of relationships, finances, addictions, or as a result of issues in the workplace and there are the associated fears, worry and even shame that come along with that anxiety.”

Sam says that social connections and environment leads to exacerbating the anxiety, and It developing into more serious issues.

Healthy Mind Coaching and Training offer a range of services for individuals and workplaces, but often the free 30-minute one-to-one is when the issues affecting a person can be identified and assess whether further sessions are required.

“Whether it is someone who is a senior manager, or an individual who is facing a life-changing decision often we can help identify issues and recommend changes in behaviour,” Sam said.

However, it is often delaying seeking help that can be a barrier for people – and organisations.

“Most people know that they have an issue with their mental health and wellbeing,” he explained. “Too often they come up with excuses, such as they don’t have the time. They have the time to get their car fixed or their boiler repaired when they are broken, and I would encourage them to change their mindset from ‘can I’ to ‘will I’. By asking ‘will I’ they are more likely not to seek excuses and get the help we can provide.”

Healthy Mind Coaching and Training is a provider of life & emotional wellbeing, therapeutic coaching and professional training courses in personal, professional development & workplace wellbeing.

“There are so many labels around mind wellbeing but we focus on enabling people to grow, flourish, excel and realise their potential, achieving outstanding results in their lives through a positive change mindset,” said Sam. “But the key thing is to take the first step. No matter what your reason is, whatever has prompted you to get help, you can change.”Learn more about Healthy Mind Coaching and Training at

Recruitment Agency Invests 150k In New Temps Service & Creates Four New Jobs

Northern Ireland specialist recruitment company, Tyson Wilson Recruitment is expanding on its success, by opening a dedicated temp employment division service for employers and job seekers.

Building on almost five years in business the locally owned and run company will be making a £100,000 investment over the next two years, creating up to four new jobs as well as a further £50,000 in developing a recruitment app due for completion within the next 18 months.

Michelle Tyson, CEO, said that the recruitment market has expanded and evolved in Northern Ireland, and that it was the right time to expand services.

“When I set up the business it was because I spotted a gap in the market to become the first call centre specialist,” she explained. “While we created a unique service in that sector we were quickly approached by other sectors.

“From the growing number of requests from call centre clients for temporary staff through to other industries such as warehousing and hospitality it was clear that the market was growing.

“I always had plans to open a temp division as a I ran a temp division desk for my previous employer and loved the buzz and the fast pace of helping clients with their needs”.

Established in 2015 Tyson Wilson Recruitment Consultancy has developed its services for prospective employees and those with staffing requirements, including not charging a fee until appointment of successful candidates.

With offices in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter and Bangor the company offers a value-added temp service with dedicated consultants that are dedicated to meeting your staffing requirements over and above the core full-time workforce.

“It is clear that Belfast is becoming a central hub for new and existing businesses expanding in Northern Ireland,” said Michelle. “Research and expert analysis shows that there is a greater need for temporary staff, especially within the growing sectors of call centres, warehouses, hospitality, administrative, customer service, sales and other sectors”

With that in mind each Tyson Wilson client has a dedicated local consultant to take on and understand the brief, to make sure that the right people are placed in the needed posts.

Furthermore, they can help with the induction process by completing background checks, health and safety training, assessments and aptitude testing.

She is clear that the advantages of temporary work are for both candidates and employees.

“For those who are considering ‘temping’ there are a series of benefits,” Michelle explained.

“It can help improve your CV, filling in a gap and offers the opportunity to learn new skills as well as gain much needed experience in an area that may be lacking.

“It can also lead to being hired much quicker. When the right position opens you can be placed within a day.

“It also means that you can look at a new career direction as you learn new skills and consider what path to take. That’s not to mention the financial rewards and flexibility of temping.”

But Michelle is clear that the benefits for employers are just as important.

“We have seen that more and more need to scale up their workforce quickly, whether that be for a large new project or to urgently fill a post as a result of in-house sickness or maternity leave,” she said. “Our service means there is fast-track hiring, cover while recruiting permanent staff, bringing in fresh skills, meet peak work periods, control of costs, ‘try-before-you-buy’ and the potential to discover future leaders.

“For us recruitment isn’t a transactional process, but a service that is dedicated to looking after both sides throughout the process.”

Tyson Wilson operates ‘24/7 for 52 weeks of the year as Michelle’s experience shows that businesses do not sit and wait when they need cover. In addition, they operate full report management information including agreed key performance indicators at approved intervals.

Michelle said: Our aim over the next three years is to have the largest pool of call centre, warehouse candidates and other sectors in Northern Ireland registered and waiting.

“We are planning on investing £50,000 into research and development of a new app to help our clients and candidates register. We want to lower our carbon footprint and be one of the first agencies in Belfast to go paperless to make sure we fulfil our corporate responsibility to measure how environmentally friendly we are.”

For more information log onto

CQ BID’s Lunchtime Learning Series Is Back With New Programme Of Events

The popular Lunchtime Learning programme is back with a bang with a new three-month programme to support businesses in an ever-evolving marketing landscape.

The Destination CQ (Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District) initiative focuses on the challenging digital environment with free 45-minute events are designed for all businesses in the Cathedral Quarter and are held in the Black Box.

CQ BID manager, Gareth Neill, said that these sessions have been designed to help all to enhance their online marketing profile particularly around positive engagement with new and existing customers.

“After the fantastic success of our first season of Lunchtime Learning, we are back again with a new batch,” he said. “evaluation after our last series, merited further sessions based on marketing and digital media and we are delighted to have curated a range of industry leaders from across the Cathedral Quarter to take part.

“This is part of the BID’s commitment to provide additional training and business support to businesses operating in Cathedral Quarter & Smithfield; we have an energetic and enthusiastic business community who are keen to learn, upskill, and share best practice amongst each other in the area.”

Most sessions in the past have been sold out; with an average rating of 4.5/5 across all our speakers and content choices. It’s a great opportunity to escape the office, learn something new and network with neighbouring businesses.

Organised by Andi Jarvis of Eximo Marketing the upcoming sessions include: How to Write a Marketing Plan, marketing on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, Facebook and Instagram Ads, an introduction to Google Analytics.

In addition to the Lunchtime Learning series there will be bespoke ticketed three-hour workshops for advanced social media learning.

There will also be a series of bespoke three-hour workshops on marketing plans, Facebook and Instagram ads, Google Analytics and how to use WordPress.

Full details and how to sign up are here:

Level Up for Young Entrepreneur Success At Belfast Conference

The inaugural conference from the Young Entrepreneurs Network Northern Ireland (YENNI) will take place on Friday, January 31st at Riddel Hall, Belfast, bringing together inspiring speakers and aiming to help drive development of young people’s businesses. 

Entitled ‘Level Up!’ the YENNI conference will see the voluntary organisation take the next stage in its support for 18-30-year-olds interested in business, entrepreneurship, leadership and professional development. 

Pictured ahead of the Young Entrepreneurs Network NI (YENNI) conference on Friday, January 31st at Riddel Hall, Belfast are (from left) sponsor Aaron Furphy (Mourne Management Systems), Katie Matthews (founder, YENNI), Robert McConnell (Get Print) and Chiho Tang (Oranga Creative).

YENNI founder, Katie Matthews, was FSB NI Young Entrepreneur 2018 and was included in the NI 40 Under 40 List last year. “I set up YENNI to support other young entrepreneurs and professionals who have a wealth of potential, but perhaps not the means to pursue their dreams and explore their capabilities,” she said. 

“Our inaugural conference will support the vision to provide a safe space, platform and hub for sharing ideas, connecting, supporting, developing and mentoring the amazingly talented young people of Northern Ireland. I’m delighted that so many inspiring speakers have agreed to take part.” 

Keynote speakers will include FSB Chair, Tina McKenzie, CEO of Grafton Recruitment, Claire Stewart, Chartered Accountant and NI Young Leader of the Year 2019, and Dave Linton, founder of Madlug CIC and the UK’s Entrepreneur for Good 2019. 

“What all of the speakers have shown is determination to succeed, and the desire to take businesses to the next level,” said Katie. 

“Together with the other speakers, leaders and ‘Masterclass’ workshops this is an excellent opportunity to not only learn, but to take the next step in your own development and your business’ growth. 

“Level UP! Aims to educate, evolve, empower and elevate everyone involved. It will bring together like-minded, driven young people who are current or future entrepreneurs, leaders, professionals, leaders, innovators and disruptors for what I am sure will be a day that will change many people’s lives and outlooks.” 

Sponsors for the event include GetPrint, along with Grafton Recruitment, O’Reilly Stewart Solicitors, The Mind Tribe UK, Mourne Management Systems, Ruthless Media, Oranga and Excalibur Press.

The conference will last from 9:30 to 4:30, with tickets priced at £15 via Eventbrite – just search Level Up!

Get Inspired To Blog At Free Event In Omagh Library

Omagh Library will host an inspirational event on Wednesday, January 29th to help aspirational bloggers get ready to share life, experiences, and expertise as well as learning more about managing health and wellbeing.

The event by for Libraries NI is designed to encourage potential bloggers to get started, receive hints, tips and tricks towards success – and share the enjoyment of being a blogger.

The Tyrone Blogging Inspiration event will see transformational speaker, Deborah King talk about her own journey into blogging, as well as a panel of experts who will help you get online to tell your own story.

As part of the Libraries NI ‘New Year New You’ campaign the theme of the January event is health and wellness both online and offline.

Chartered Marketer Christine Watson of, said the event is for both existing bloggers and those that want to dabble for the first time.

She said: “Health literacy and digital skills are now necessary life skills and these continue to grow in importance as more and more everyday activities and sources of information and inspiration move online. 

“Most of us know when we are mentally and physically well, but sometimes we need a little extra support to keep well and guidance in terms of being aware of when we need to take more action.

“The Blogging Inspiration events aim to provide library users with the opportunity to stay informed, tap into the expertise of others ‘on the day’, to encourage socialising with peers on an ongoing basis, and to inspire audiences with real life stories and examples.”

The panel chosen for Omagh library are active local bloggers that specialise in health and wellbeing as their core subject.

Speaker Deborah King began her blogging journey after attending a Get Blogging course by Libraries NI in 2018 and has since spoken at a Get Blogging for Wellness showcase.

“I am thrilled to have been asked to speak again at yet another great #GetBloggingNI session,” she said. “I have just moved to the Tyrone area in the last year and I’m delighted that the Blogging Inspiration Sessions are happening in Omagh.”

After attending her first #GetBloggingNI event Deborah wanted to start her blog right away.

“The start of the library course by Training Matchmaker coincided with me attending a speaking and writing conference in Orlando, Florida. I figured I would talk about my adventures in Orlando but I got writers block and I realised that I had to tell my story and talk about how I got to where I am first.”

She was soon on her way to blogging, publishing her first blog on November 27th, 2018.

“The words that flowed out of my mind, through my pen and onto the page turned out to be a list of things I remember doing which showed the journey I had taken from being someone with depression to now being someone who felt empowered and in control of their life.

“If  one of my blogs helps even one person in any way than that is what I call a successful blog.

“For anyone who is even remotely considering blogging, especially in relation to Health and Wellbeing, I would urge them to do so.” 

Julie Reid, Libraries NI Service Development Manager, added: “Libraries NI is all about promoting an inclusive society, introducing people to new experiences, ideas and reliable information. Libraries give people the opportunity to access a range of free services, health resources and events which can help improve a person’s health and wellbeing.

“The shift to online services, in particular, has changed the way in which we live, work and socialise. It is hoped attendees will come away from the workshop equipped with the knowledge and confidence to engage with the 5 steps to Wellbeing in their daily lives both online and offline.”

The host for the event is Tina Calder, of Content Club and Excalibur Press.

The 90-minute free event runs from 6pm and can be booked through Eventbrite at