The Gallaher Trust was established five years ago this month with the aim of enhancing Ballymena, and those who live in the vicinity, through supporting delivery partners whose projects champion job creation, skills development and assistance for disadvantaged adults.
One of the very first delivery partners to come on board with the Trust was Ballymena Business Centre and throughout the last number of years, we have supported local business start-ups that have gone on to create job opportunities and have made a huge impact on the lives of local entrepreneurs.
In this month’s guest blog, Melanie Christie Boyle MBE, Chief Executive of Ballymena Business Centre reflects on what it has been like to work alongside the Trust. Here’s what she had to say:
Tell us a little about Ballymena Business Centre and what it aims to achieve?
We are a Northern Ireland charity, which for over 30 years, has devoted resources to helping local Ballymena people develop the confidence to start a business alongside the skills and knowledge to grow a business.
Ballymena Business Centre was The Gallaher Trust’s first delivery partner; what made you decide to become involved with the Trust?
We share the same values and vision, and both organisations are 100 per cent committed to Ballymena. It’s all about supporting people, helping businesses and regenerating local communities – it was a no brainer to get involved.
What has the Trust’s help enabled you to achieve?
The Gallaher Trust has helped Ballymena Business Centre to support more business start-ups through seed funding, training, seminars, road shows, test trading and more recently, business growth through innovation.
Describe in three words what it was like to work with the Trust?
Responsive – Approachable – Connected.
What’s your favourite memory or highlight with the Trust from the past five years?
The overriding memory that stands out for me are the testimonies given by people who have been supported. Each story is unique, each person is passionate about business, with many facing hardships and challenges along the way but most importantly, each person has really valued the support provided by the Trust.
Is there anything you would like to say about the Trust on its five-year anniversary?
A massive thank you, not just from Ballymena Business Centre, but also from all the Ballymena people who have had the opportunity to be part of your success story!
To find out more about the work of the Trust and its delivery partners, visit: https://thegallahertrust.org/our-work/.