Waterford SME Chia bia launch new range of ‘Free From’ Clever Chia Cookies

Chia bia, Ireland’s largest supplier of chia seeds, has launched their first range of gluten-free, wheat-free and dairy-free chia biscuits. One of Ireland’s fastest growing food sectors, the market for gluten-free goods in Ireland has grown substantially over the past few years. Figures from the UK suggest there are now over 12 million consumers, representing a growth of 120% in the past five years.*

Chia bia has seen demand for their products double year on year since the foundation of the company in 2009, co-founder of Chia bia Ray Owens explains “Over five percent of Irish children and three percent of Irish adults have food allergies and intolerances. The launch of our new range of clever cookies is a huge stepping stone for Chia bia that will bring ‘Free-From’ natural goodness to a more mainstream consumer audience.”

“Having identified the emerging gaps in this growing market and implemented new product development strategies, our Chia bia cookies will help meet changing consumer demands. This specialised sector is providing us with huge opportunities to develop new export markets and will provide lucrative retail contracts both at home and abroad. Our export markets are ever growing with the UK now accounting for almost half our business and 15 per cent of our sales from the Middle East and Eastern European.”

New research, conducted by Dr. Gideon Paul, a leading UK based cardiologist, found that two dessertspoonful’s of Chia seed contain twice as much Omega-3 as an 80g portion of salmon and that “as a topping on cereal or salad, it could help reduce and maintain cholesterol levels as part of a healthy diet”.

Now employing a team of 14 people from its base in Tramore, Co Waterford, Chia bia source their Chia seeds through Dr. Wayne Coates, the world’s leading Chia expert. Chia bia’s cookies come in four different varieties, Blueberry, Chocolate Chip, Ginger and Lemon.

See www.chiabia.com

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Campus Holidays are re-launched for a second year at University of Limerick

The University of Limerick has announced that it is to continue to offer its new ‘Campus Holidays’ initiative which was launched last year in a move to promote the University student villages as a great option for family holidays during the summer months.

A first for the university in 2013, Campus Holidays proved to be a success prompting a boost to tourism in the region and in particular for Campus Life Services – the subsidiary University company that manages, markets and develops the campus and its facilities for conferences, accommodation and events.

This year, Campus Holidays will be offering spacious apartments in one of UL’s charming residential villages where families and groups can avail of the campus’ many facilities and UL Sports Arena, Ireland’s largest indoor sporting complex, local flora and fauna trails, art collections, on-site restaurants and bars, concerts and events.

Families and groups can come and stay in 2/4/6 bed apartments and enjoy all the campus has to offer, while also taking in some of the many local tourist attractions such as King Johns Castle, Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and the UL activity Centre in Killaloe for the more adventurous visitor.

With Limerick City awash with arts and culture as it celebrates its status as Irish City of Culture this year, there will be no shortage of cultural events to attend throughout the summer months, while UL Sports Arena will take care of the sporting needs of all the family.

Linda Stevens, Director of Campus Life Services says, “I am very much looking forward to the second season of Campus Holidays, which was very successful last year and offered great opportunities for families and groups to spend time on a University campus. Staying on campus offers visitors the opportunity to experience all the on-campus amenities on offer and also provides a central base for those who want to travel further afield across the city and county and experience in full, all that Limerick has to offer – particularly in this special year where Limerick holds the status of City of Culture.

“We have developed a dedicated accommodation package for the national and international leisure market. Campus Holidays allows the University to showcase its excellent amenities to a new audience while allowing the creation of new revenue streams for the university.”

With UL hosting several prestigious events this year including the Special Olympics and the 10th anniversary year of the Drama League of Ireland, ‘Campus Holidays’ adds an innovative new accommodation offer to the city.

See www.campusholidays.ie or Tel: 061 234 178

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When summer sun equals night-time fun for little ones – it’s time to call on Gro!

Long summer nights are very welcome for most of the population – except for those with small children. Bright nights can quickly turn into late nights for little ones who can’t sleep, and early mornings when children are woken by glorious morning sunshine.  When this happens, mums and dads turn to Gro.

Gro offers two very effective methods of encouraging children to stay in bed when they should be asleep – the Gro Anywhere Blackout Blind is a must-have for home and abroad during the summer months. When flimsy holiday-home curtains don’t cut it for kids, the versatility of this product allows you to easily and conveniently darken any room in a matter of minutes. It fits any window up to size 135cm x 200cm.

This versatile blind fits directly to the glass in minutes using suction cups ensuring a close fit and instantly creating a darkened environment. Once no longer needed the Gro Anywhere blackout blind folds neatly away in its handy travel bag.

The second solution for toddlers and older children is the Gro Clock, which operates on a stars at night, sun by day method, giving small children an easily understandable visual method of telling the time.  The clock face remains blue and the stars go out one by one throughout the night and when morning comes (at an appropriate time set by parents!) – the sun comes up on a yellow clock face indicating to kids that it’s ok to get up! There is a digital display as children get older and want to learn to read the time themselves offering independence to children as they grow up.

This clock is a must for children who don’t understand that 5am is not a good time to rise and for parents who also benefit from a full night’s sleep. The Gro Clock comes with a beautifully illustrated story-book also encouraging children to ‘read’ in bed until it’s time to get up.

Everyone welcomes the summer months, particularly when there are effective tools to deal with the challenges that summer brings at sleeping time. Don’t be caught out this summer. Get your Gro solutions today and feel the benefits from June to September.

Gro products are available at Butterslip, Rose Inn Street, Kilkenny including the very popular range of sleeping-bags and Gro toys and along with a further selection of great brands for babies and toddlers. See www.butterslip.com.

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Belle Femme summer bras are floral and fabulous!

Over 80% of women are wearing the wrong-sized bra – Bridget Kearney, lingerie fitting expert

Belle Femme Lingerie Boutique on Kilkenny’s fashionable Kieran Street has summer sun packaged perfectly in a cool collection of fabulously, floral bras and briefs

With labels such as Fauve, Panache, Charnos, Huit and Lepel there is something beautiful for every shape and size at Belle Femme Lingerie.

Bridget Kearney, Proprietor of Belle Femme, offers women an expert and unique fitting service without the use of a tape measure, which makes Belle Femme Lingerie unique.

“I was trained in the UK by one of a handful of people worldwide to have a Masters Research degree in bra design and manufacture. The reason why we fit without the tape measure is that the body is elastic, but a tape measure is static.  A tape measure cannot measure volume, so it is essential that anyone advising women on wearing a bra should know how to assess and fit without a tape measure,” she says.

Bridget is passionate about finding the perfectly-fitting bra for every woman’s individual shape. She goes to great lengths to find the right bra for each of her customers who travel far and wide to experience her expertise and her stunning lingerie collections.

“Unfortunately more than 80% of women are wearing the wrong-sized bra,” she says. “Every woman is a 36C in their own eyes but of course this is not the case in reality. We are all very different shapes and sizes and therefore there is not a ‘one size fits all’ rule that works. Every brand is a different shape and fabric and there are also variations in size and therefore you may not be the same size in every brand. Women need to be fitted for every bra that they purchase in order to know they are wearing the correct size,” she says.

With a fabulous new range of summer lingerie in stock for the season ahead, Bridget is excited about the colour, styles and fabrics of what is hot this season.

“Florals are big at present and colour is always popular. Some women find it hard to get gorgeous lingerie in their size but at Belle Femme we stock all sizes and if it’s not in stock we can certainly order it for customers.”

Belle Femme is the go-to lingerie boutique in the south east and is located on Kilkenny’s trendiest pedestrianised shopping thoroughfare – Kieran Street. Stocking an array of new collections both in-store and online – pop in or log on to find your perfect bra, nightwear or swimwear for what we can only hope will be the long hot summer ahead.

Belle Femme also specialises in maternity and bridal wear with a large selection of backless and strapless options which are offered in ivory, white and nude colours.

See www.bellefemmelingerie.ie or call 056 7756836.

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Jerpoint Glass celebrates one year online and an increase in retail sales

Jerpoint Glass Studio in County Kilkenny has recorded a significant boost in sales from overseas customers since the establishment of the online business www.jerpointglass.com.

Jerpoint Glass has proven itself as one of Ireland’s top heritage craft companies with strong local and national connections, however in recent years, the proprietors, the Leadbetters could see that the family-run business was becoming a victim of the downturn and that it would be necessary to target a new audience.

With the help of a grant from Kilkenny County Enterprise Board, the website was born. The establishment of the website and online store along with an integrated digital presence incorporating social media was the obvious solution and has since opened up the company to new audiences from as far away as Hong Kong, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada.

With year one just behind them, the Leadbetters have already recorded some 18,500 visitors to the site adding an additional 50% increase in sales online year on year and with a 10% increase in overall retail sales.

The average spend online was €116.00 and Director of Marketing, Sally Leadbetter says that some of this increase in sales can be attributed to the ability to highlight particular products at specific times of the year and to their exclusive online special offers.

“Our website has become a platform for what we can offer on a seasonal basis along with what we have on offer all year round. For example on Valentine’s Day we can showcase a particular product that would make an appropriate Valentine’s gift such as a pair of wineglasses in red or pink colours. This spring we launched our new Forest shade which is all about greens, turquoises and yellows. Throughout the summer months we will feature special offers on popular wedding gifts, now all of these can be showcased to the world, without anyone having to travel to our studio in County Kilkenny or seek out a retail outlet that offers Jerpoint Glass. The website has become the perfect virtual shop-window for our business,” she says.

Jerpointglass.com has also led to an increase in enquiries about corporate gifts, personalised gifts and logo placement on a piece of Jerpoint Glass, including the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Small Firms Association and Coillte.

“Companies that have executives travelling overseas, want to offer an Irish gift to their host and Jerpoint Glass has proven very popular in this realm and it can all be done via our website and packaged and posted to its destination without any hassle. This is proving a popular option for corporate customers and invaluable to our new business offering,” says Sally.

“Overall, the addition of the online store has been hugely beneficial to Jerpoint Glass, not only in the capacity of increased sales and lead generation but also it has encouraged us to take a more holistic approach to the business, incorporating social media, blogging and other digital channels as we strive to keep our offering fresh online and in store,” concluded Sally.

 

 

 

 

Launch of the 2014 Carer of the Year Awards highlights rise in numbers of OAP carers

39.5% increase in carers aged over 75 and 33.6% increase in carers aged between 60 and 74

The Carers Association launched its 2014 Carer of the Year Award and Young Carer of the Year award at a special event at the Westin Hotel in Dublin city centre today with long-time patrons RTÉ broadcasters Mary Kennedy and Marty Whelan.

‘Time’ is the theme of this year’s event and The Carers Association points out that there has been a significant increase in the number of older carers recorded by the Central Statistics Office in recent years who have given decades of their time to caring for loved ones.

Over 30,000 carers are now aged over 60 while a further 8,676 are aged over 75 years of age – leaving any thoughts of retirement as a distant memory for most.

With 187,000 family carers dedicating their lives to looking after dependent loved ones every day, The Carers Association annually recognises their work with these two very special awards. The Young Carer of the Year Award represents some 6,500 young carers who are looking after family members who are sick or unable to look after themselves.

Last year’s winners were also in attendance; Ann Curtin (70) from Limerick – the recipient of the 2013 Carer of the Year Award cares for her husband Michael who suffered a stroke and her son Andrew who is a wheelchair user. The Young Carer of the Year, Niamh Duffy (13) from Cork, helps to care for her younger brother Finn, who has Autism.

This year the awards are focussing on ‘Time’ and how much time out of their own lives that carers spend looking after others – often to the detriment of their own health and well-being. The statistics clearly point to the fact that many carers are still care-giving well into retirement age and beyond, illustrating that many carers have spent the majority of their lives in a caring role. The Carers Association offers respite to carers so that they can enjoy some time to themselves with the knowledge that their loved ones are being well taken care of by trained professionals.

In another reference to time, this year for the first time, The Carers Association is presenting a very special award to the two dedicated patrons of The Carers Association; Mary Kennedy and Marty Whelan who have each given 10 years of support to the Carers Association with their patronage. The award is being presented by Young Carer of the Year 2012 Sam Norris who today was also honoured with the ‘Young Carers Ambassador Award’, which acknowledges the work that Sam has carried out on behalf of young carers in Ireland in his young life to date.

Catherine Cox, Head of Communications at The Carers Association says, “today is a very special day for The Carers Association. We are extremely happy to present these very special awards to our patrons and also to Sam who does a wonderful job at representing young carers every day. We could not have got so far without their support and we are thrilled that they are here today to accept the awards on our behalf. So many people put their time and energy into caring for their loved ones for very lengthy periods and every year we honour them and once again we are calling on the public to nominate these dedicated carers for these awards, which will be presented in November. There are so many worthy recipients but they cannot be considered unless they are nominated so I urge people to get a nomination form and nominate today.”

Application forms are available from The Carers Association Resource Centres nationwide or call the Freephone Careline on 1800 24 07 24. Nominations can also be made online at www.carersireland.com. Closing date for nominations is Friday 19th September 2014.

 

FootGolf officially opens at Deer Park, Howth Castle

One of Ireland’s first internationally recognised FootGolf courses is opening today in Dublin with three generations of the Gaisford-St Lawrence family of Howth Castle who will take the first official kick on the dedicated Foot Golf course.

Christopher(83), Julian(56) and Tomas(19) Gaisford-St Lawrence whose family has resided at Howth Castle for generations, will be on the greens this afternoon at 12 midday to cut the ribbon on the newest sporting facility at Deer Park Golf Course which boosts stunning views over North County Dublin.

FootGolf is fast becoming an internationally renowned sport and Ireland is taking the lead following the development of this specially designed FootGolf course situated adjacent to the Deer Park golf course already on site. FootGolf is a sport that blends two of the world’s most popular sports – football and golf. The rules are similar to golf – each hole carries a par and the aim is to kick a football into the ‘larger’ holes in as few shots as possible.

Julian St Lawrence says, “We were determined to create a course that enhances Deer Park’s reputation as a high quality facility offering a first class experience at affordable prices. We still have 27 full holes of golf as well as a short course and pitch and putt to choose from. This has allowed us to locate FootGolf holes in the centre of properly prepared golf greens. As we wanted to offer an 18-hole facility, we needed to build more greens. Work on these commenced in the late summer last year. These greens and the additional landscaping work necessary to make the course more interesting and challenging are now fully knitted-in and ready for a busy summer,” he said.

Deer Park FootGolf Course is affiliated with the Federation for International FootGolf which was set up to promote the sport worldwide and sets the rules of the sport. Through them it is expected that Deer Park FootGolf Course will attract players from overseas and countries where the sport is further developed. The Federation has assisted with the course design and layout and the St Lawrences’ are encouraged by their view that what they have built is up there with the very best in the world. There are also plans in the pipeline to host an International Competition on behalf of the Federation for International FootGolf later in the year.

Julian adds, “We are thrilled to finally be opening our FootGolf course today as it has been some time in the making. With the economic downturn, we have seen a drop in the number of people playing golf but FootGolf is a very inclusive sport that can be played by men and women of all ages and we think that this will entice more people to play. Of course we still have our very popular Deer Park Golf Course and it is open for business but now there is an alternative to golf for those who are interested in trying something new.”

The St Lawrence family has lived at Howth Castle since 1177 and the three generations are delighted to be offering FootGolf to the sporting public some 834 years after their arrival to the estate.

FootGolf will be available to the public from today May 20th at Deer Park, Howth Castle, seven-days a week between 8am 8pm. A round of FootGolf takes approximately one and a half to two hours and it costs just €10.00 weekdays and €13.00 at weekend with special group rates and family rates also available.

For further information please log on to deerparkfootgolf.ie 

Waterford SME Chia bia launch new range of ‘Free From’ Clever Chia Cookies

Chia bia, Ireland’s largest supplier of chia seeds, has launched their first range of gluten-free, wheat-free and dairy-free chia biscuits. One of Ireland’s fastest growing food sectors, the market for gluten-free goods in Ireland has grown substantially over the past few years. Figures from the UK suggest there are now over 12 million consumers, representing a growth of 120% in the past five years.*

Chia bia has seen demand for their products double year on year since the foundation of the company in 2009, co-founder of Chia bia Ray Owens explains “Over five percent of Irish children and three percent of Irish adults have food allergies and intolerances. The launch of our new range of clever cookies is a huge stepping stone for Chia bia that will bring ‘Free-From’ natural goodness to a more mainstream consumer audience.”

“Having identified the emerging gaps in this growing market and implemented new product development strategies, our Chia bia cookies will help meet changing consumer demands. This specialised sector is providing us with huge opportunities to develop new export markets and will provide lucrative retail contracts both at home and abroad. Our export markets are ever growing with the UK now accounting for almost half our business and 15 per cent of our sales from the Middle East and Eastern European.”

New research, conducted by Dr. Gideon Paul, a leading UK based cardiologist, found that two dessertspoonful’s of Chia seed contain twice as much Omega-3 as an 80g portion of salmon and that “as a topping on cereal or salad, it could help reduce and maintain cholesterol levels as part of a healthy diet”.

From launching in 100 health stores in February 2010, Chia bia now supplies to over 2,000 outlets across the UK and Ireland. In 2013, the company signed a new distribution deal which sees its range of products listed in Tesco’s 142 stores across Ireland. In the UK, Chia bia is available from Selfridges, Holland & Barrett and is listed with all major health distributors and an increasing number of independent health food stores. Chia bia supplies directly to customers in the Middle East and also to Sobeys – a major distributor throughout Canada.

Now employing a team of 14 people from its base in Tramore, Co Waterford, Chia bia source their Chia seeds through Dr. Wayne Coates, the world’s leading Chia expert. Chia bia’s cookies come in four different varieties, Blueberry, Chocolate Chip, Ginger and Lemon.
See www.chiabia.com

Rural Social Schemes in Carlow strive to promote positive mental health – Carlow County Development Partnership

Carlow County Development Partnership has urged community groups in Carlow to take advantage of the Rural Social Schemes in their communities in a bid to promote positive mental health.

It has been documented that aesthetically beautiful environments can contribute to positive mental health and CCDP are urging communities to take advantage of the grants available in their areas to make their towns and villages more aesthetically pleasing through the use of flowers, plants and landscaping in the public areas.

CEO of CCDP Mary Walsh says, “The Rural Social Schemes (RSS) are in operation in all counties in Ireland and therefore community leaders should use these schemes to make their communities more attractive for those that live there and also for those who come to visit – particularly during the summer months. Research has clearly illustrated that people with mental health issues such as depression benefit from being in a pleasant environment and although this is certainly not going to solve all of their problems, it is a small step towards helping people feel more positive,” she pointed out.

The benefits of the RSS for the communities are enormous as the scheme helps improve local amenities and facilities in rural areas, while also employing local people who would otherwise be unemployed, but through these schemes are genuinely contributing positively to their communities.

Irene Ryan chairperson of Carlow Mental Health Association says that the power of a colourful and pleasing environment cannot be underestimated.

“With one in four people suffering from a mental health problem, we have a responsibility to do what we can in our own communities to ensure a positive living environment. With depression predicted to be the leading chronic illness by 2030 we cannot afford to be negligent with our mental health. The Rural Social Scheme is also beneficial to those who are employed in it, as they are engaged in physical exercise, which is of great benefit to the mind and body. Creating recreational spaces that are pleasant to be in and promote engagement with other people, helps prevent rural isolation – a huge contributor to depression.”

Mary Walsh calls on all communities to observe their locality – particularly at this time of year – and seek out areas that could be improved or developed into a more pleasant space for locals and visitors alike.

“Carlow County Development Partnership is here to help any community group that is interested in creating a more beautiful environment for residents and it is in everyone’s best interests to have colourful, people-friendly spaces which encourage positive interaction and engagement with others in our towns and villages,” she says.

Charming vintage headpieces for your big day at Butterslip

Butterslip, Kilkenny’s leading destination, bridal accessory store, is getting ready for the summer wedding season with a gorgeous collection of sparkling hair combs and flowering headpieces.

The girls at Butterslip have been accessorising brides with bejewelled headpieces, birdcage veils and sparkly combs embedded with Swarovski crystals and pearls, for over six years now and add to the collection each season with the latest bridal looks.

Owner Anne Barber says, “Many contemporary brides are choosing to swop the traditional veil for a pretty, vintage headpiece complete with organza flowers or pretty Swarovski crystals for that extra sparkle – even for the evening part of their wedding celebration. Butterslip offers a large selection from which to choose along with advice and assistance in how to wear and place each piece.”

Butterslip offers a stunning selection of combs, pins, headpieces and hairbands, including classic and vintage styles and all at affordable prices.

Anne believes, “A well-chosen hair accessory is a great way to enhance your bridal look and create some extra drama and sparkle!  From pearly pins to organza flowers, vintage lace and sparkling deco designs the choice can be overwhelming, but expert help and an emphasis on personalised service should make the process of choosing your wedding jewellery a fun and exciting experience! We have great fun with brides and bridesmaids and really try to take the stress out of shopping and make it part of the wedding fun instead!” says Anne.

Anne’s top tips when shopping for a bridal headpiece include:

Bring a hair clamp and some pins, to tie up the hair while trying on pieces

  • Bring a camera/phone which is invaluable to take pics of the back of the head!
  • Bring your veil/earrings if teaming with a veil or other accessories
  • Bring a swatch of material from your dress if matching up colours

Butterslip also has a gorgeous selection of earrings, bracelets and neckpieces for brides and bridesmaids and will work to coordinate your overall look to perfection.