Sunday, January 11, 2015

North West Simon Community Women's Christmas

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Today, my Mum and I spent a beautiful afternoon at the Kilronan Castle attending the North West Simon Community - "Women's Christmas Luncheon".
It was an honour to have been asked by Michelle Coyle and Mary McKeon to be a guest speaker on the day and to judge the best dressed lady award. The dress code was based on the Simon Community logo which is "black with a splash of yellow" so this gave plenty of opportunity for the ladies in attendance to have fun with their outfits and get all dressed up for the occasion. I, myself, chose to go all out with a pair of yellow and black polka dot tights and an "LBD" from All Saints. I wanted to have fun with my outfit and the tights were the perfect way to do so.
The Simon Community are an incredible charity who work hard to help homeless people get off the streets and get into work! They also do a lot of preventative work with people who may not be homeless yet but are struggling in some way or another. To me, this was such a worthy cause and I was delighted to be a part of a day like today.
The event started with a drinks reception in the "Dungeon Bar" where everyone was greeted with a glass of mulled wine and had the chance to mingle with each other. I made the most of this time, looking at all of the stunning outfits and getting the chance to talk to the ladies about the idea's behind their looks.
We then made our way into the ballroom, which was beautifully decorated, to have our three course lunch of vegetable soup, roast beef and apple crumble - amazing!
The theme of the afternoon was "Inspirational Women" and during the meal we were treated to some talks by a few ladies who have been inspiring, both in life and in business.
Joanne Sweeney-Burke (who appeared in the Apprentice in 2011 and is a successful entrepreneur) was the MC for the evening and told us her encouraging story of getting through diversity in her life and coming out of it stronger and full of ambition. 
We then heard from Fiona Egan, the Chairperson of the North West Simon Community who told us all about the charity and the incredible work that they do to help people in the North West.
We also heard from Rena Gallagher, a very brave lady who had experienced homelessness herself and through the help of the Simon Community, was now back on her feet and volunteering to help others that are going through rough times. This lady was an absolute inspiration!
Then it was my turn... I was humbled to be included on the list of inspirational women and given the chance to share my story with the audience.The reaction I received was amazing and I was glad that my words resonated with a few ladies in the audience. At the end of my speech, it was time to present the award for best dressed lady! I gave a few special mentions to some ladies who had put particular effort into make their outfits unique and quirky, for example, one lady had made her own "bumble bee" hat and matching lego jewellery and another took the "splash" of yellow request quite literally by wearing a little yellow duck handbag! There were so many beautiful outfits... some elegant, some subtle and some super creative but for me the stand alone winner was Shiela Gilroy-Collins. Shiela is an artist and decorated her little black dress with lots of pictures that represented homelessness. She wanted her outfit to raise awareness of the reality of what happens when people are living on the streets. Her splash of yellow was in some of the pictures where she included the Simon Community logo and some other yellow details. A deserving winner for sure!
The final speakers of the evening were Ann Gannon, a nutritional therapist and Eithna O'Sullivan owner of an award winning seafood restaurant. They gave us tips on healthy eating and boosting our immune systems. Extremely educational and interesting.
I would like to say a huge congratulations and thank you to Michelle and Mary for running an amazing event and for asking me to be a part of this very special day. It was my pleasure to be included and to get the chance to meet many inspirational and stylish ladies. My Mum and I had a wonderful afternoon.
I hope you all had a fantastic day and for anyone reading this, do not forget to donate to your own local homelessness charity if you can. Its such a worthy cause!
Nicola x 
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Found myself a throne :) 
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Myself with Shiela Gilroy Collins
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The stunning Ballroom ready for lunch
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Myself with Joanne Sweeney-Burke
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Myself and Michelle Coyle
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My new Buddy x
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Mary McKeon and Myself
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"SOME OF THE FABULOUS WOMEN IN THEIR LBD WITH A SPLASH OF YELLOW"

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I WAS WEARING:

★ ALL SAINTS DRESS 
★ TIGHTS FROM CLAIRES ACCESSORIES 
★ PRIMARK ANKLE BOOTS 
★ GUESS WATCH 
★ MOSCHINO BRACELET 
★ CROSS EARRINGS FROM TOPSHOP 
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