Kilmarnock Academy Team Wins ‘Company of the Year’ at Ayrshire’s Young Enterprise Scotland Awards

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    Four enterprising pupils from Kilmarnock Academy are heading to a national business competition after sweeping the board at Young Enterprise Scotland’s Ayrshire Awards. Sixth year students Jordan Muir, Heather Taylor, Robyn McGhee and David Gibson developed and published … Continue reading

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Ayrshire Representation Increases Threefold at National Businesswomen Awards

As Prams with Pizazz is named Ayrshire’s Most Enterprising Business

Businesswomen across Ayrshire are celebrating this week after a record-number of local entrepreneurs were named as finalists in a prestigious national business awards.

Sixteen Ayrshire-based businesswomen will now each go on to compete with their peers from across Scotland in the 2015 Association of Scottish Businesswomen Awards – and with two nominees being named finalists in two categories, Ayrshire’s record-breaking 18 finalist places means that one in three of those making it through to the final stages are from the south-west.

It is also a threefold increase on last year’s then record-breaking 6 finalists placed for Ayrshire businesswomen – a fact no doubt reflective of the growth experienced by the Ayrshire Association of Business Women (AABW) in the past 12 months.

Ayrshire's ASB awards finalists

Liz Cooper, President of AABW, explains: “The Association of Scottish Businesswomen is an umbrella body of which AABW is a part, and every year we encourage and support our members in applying for the National Business Awards. In recent years, AABW members have achieved remarkable success, taking home many titles and punching well above our weight. At the same time our group has significantly grown and evolved, and we are thrilled to see so many Ayrshire businesswomen selected as finalists in these highly prestigious, keenly fought awards.

“To be selected as finalists at a national level is a superb accolade in itself, and on behalf of AABW I congratulate each and every one of them, and wish them all the very best.”

Past winner Fiona McKenzie of Kilmarnock-based Centrestage, also sends her congratulations to the finalists. She said: “It was a privilege and surprise in equal measure to win last year’s Outstanding Contribution Award, and I am so looking forward to hearing of this year’s Ayrshire successes.”

Her sentiments were echoed by Get 2 Grips with Grants’ Louise McCarron, who picked up the 2014 Best Performing Team award for her Largs-based enterprise. She said: “It was the best award because it was for the team, our amazing gang who work so hard and so imaginatively, who care for our clients and each other as much as for themselves. The very best of luck to all of this year’s finalists.”

This year’s Ayrshire finalists range from across North, East and South Ayrshire with manufacturing, retail, tourism, education and hospitality sectors all represented.

Amongst the Ayrshire finalists is Prams with Pizazz, the Ayr-based pram restoration business set up two years ago by former aeronautical engineer Carolyn Frew and her husband Scott. Fast-growing and founded on quality and craftsmanship, Prams with Pizazz is building an international reputation and has featured regularly in the national media, benefitting from the recent upsurge in interest in traditional coach-built prams following the christening of Princess Charlotte. Prams with Pizazz has now been named Ayrshire’s Most Enterprising Business, with AABW’s Liz Cooper presenting Carolyn with her award at an event last month.

Carolyn said: “I am delighted that Prams with Pizazz has been named Ayrshire’s Most Enterprising Business 2015. We’re also thrilled to also be a finalist in the ASB awards in the categories of Most Enterprising Business and Most Innovative Business. Prams with Pizazz is a real labour of love, working to any customer’s budget and now even shipping our prams abroad. The Ayrshire Award and our nominations for the national awards is fantastic recognition for all the incredibly hard work, long hours and dedication we have put into the business.”

The ASB National Business Awards will take place on 18 September at Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel.

To find out more about the Ayrshire Association of Business Women go to Further information on the Association of Scottish Businesswomen and their national awards can be found at

Ayrshire-based finalists in the 2015 ASB National Business Awards are:

Professional of the Year

Linda Hill of LAH Travel (West Kilbride)

Sarah Plant of Sarah’s Creative Occasions (Kirkmichael)


Outstanding Contribution

Linda Hill of LAH Travel (West Kilbride)

Toni Dawson of Sugar and Spice (Largs)


Business/Charity partnership

Sheila McLean of Hansel Village (Symington)

Waiyin Hatton of Ayrshire Sportsability (Ayr)


Team of the Year

The Little Art School (Ayr, Troon, West Kilbride & Newton Mearns)

Business of the Year

Alexa Scott of SEM Events Ltd (Cumnock)

Employee of the year

Joanna Urquhart of William Duncan and Company (Ayr)

Hilary Stewart of Kelburn Country Estate (Largs)

Margarette Bryan of Begg and Company (Ayr)

Hilary Kerr of Simpinns (Irvine)

Most enterprising business

Carolyn Frew of Prams with Pizazz (Ayr)


Most innovative start up

Carolyn Frew of Prams with Pizazz (Ayr)

Young Business of the year

Jenny Goudie of Cardhu (Troon)

Lorraine McRobert and Tracy Dunlop of Bairnz Boutique (Kilmarnock and Dundonald)

Jennifer Hope of The Wee House Company (Knockroon, Cumnock)

Young Businesswoman of the year

Amy O Farrell of Amys O Florals (Newmilns)

Kara Nisbet of Articulate Language Camps (Stewarton)


Issued by Create Communications on behalf of the Ayrshire Association of Business Women. For further information please contact Carol MacInnes at Create Communications on telephone 01563 595001 or 07739 774091.

Date: 4 August 2015

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SCO v GER showdown in Cumnock – with the Provost officiating!

Scotland are set to take on Germany in an epic showdown in Cumnock this month, with the Provost of East Ayrshire officiating!

The heavyweight battle is all set for Cumnock’s 10th anniversary Highland Games, with a team of athletes from Germany travelling to the Ayrshire town to take on some of Scotland’s biggest and strongest athletes in a caber-tossing, hammer-throwing showdown at Broomfield Park on Sunday 23rd August.

As well as competing individually for the coveted title of Games Champion 2015, national pride will be at stake with the Scots teaming up to take on the Germans in a special celebration marking the 10th anniversary of Cumnock Highland Games.

Long-time Cumnock Highland Games favourites Jason Young and Neil Elliot will be joined in the Scotland team by Scott Clark, Daniel Carlin and Laura Gillespie. The German team will also include familiar faces with Hans Dieter Dorrow, Daniel Dorrow and Christian Roggisch, who have all competed at Cumnock Highland Games in the past, competing alongside Andy Duechle and Sylvana Bomholt.

All of the classic Highland Heavy events will be included in the competition, including Hammer Throw, Throwing the Weight for Height, Throwing the Weight for Distance and, of course, Tossing the Caber. Plus, the internationals will be ‘Putting the Cumnock Stane’ with spectators also invited to try their hand at this unique Cumnock test.

Organisers of Cumnock Highland Games have also announced that this year’s Chieftain will be Provost of East Ayrshire, Jim Todd. Cllr Todd will follow a long line of eminent Games Chieftains in leading the Parade from the Square, conducting the official Claymore opening ceremony and then overseeing the Games.

Jim McMillan, Secretary of Cumnock Highland Games, said: “Cumnock Highland Games is a celebration of all things Scottish, and so we are thrilled that for 10th anniversary games, the Highland Heavies will be competing not only individually, but also for their countries. Many of the athletes have been great supporters of Cumnock Highland Games for many years, and this is a great way for us to celebrate our anniversary with a bit of fun and, no doubt, a fair dash of good-humoured international rivalry.

“We are also very pleased to have Jim Todd, Provost of East Ayrshire as our Chieftain for 2015. Unlike other more traditional games, we appoint a new Chieftain every year inviting individuals who have made a significant contribution to our community and area. Cumnock’s past Chieftains have ranged from elected officials to local business people, community leaders and community volunteers. Jim is a great advocate for East Ayrshire and we’re very proud to have him on board for our 10th anniversary games.”

Provost Todd said: “As a passionate Scot and lover of traditional music and sports I’m delighted to be invited as Chieftan this year. In East Ayrshire we love to welcome international visitors and it’s great to see such an enthusiastic German team coming over to take us on and experience all that a Highland Games has to offer. We hope they’ll very much enjoy their stay and we’re very happy to see such exciting competition.”

Cumnock Highland Games takes place on Sunday 23rd August at Broomfield, Cumnock. The event will also feature Pipe Bands, Highland Dancing, family fun fair, stalls and live music from Clann an Drumma and The Poachers.

Entry is £5 per person. Further details can be found on the event’s facebook page or on twitter @cumnockhighland

Date: 10 August 2015
Issued by Create Communications LLP on behalf of Cumnock Highland Games. For further information, images, photo-opportunity details and press passes please contact Carol MacInnes at Create Communications on:
Mob: 07739 774091 Office: 01563 595001
jason and caber

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Pipe Bands & Tribal Celts to Join Local Musicians at Cumnock 10th Highland Games

Cumnock’s 10th annual Highland Games is set to be a tuneful affair with Scottish music of a variety of traditions included in next month’s family event.

The Games traditional Pipe Band Parade will once again march through the town, with Isle of Cumbrae and Troon Blackrock Pipe Bands amongst those set to return to Cumnock on Sunday 23rd August.

Also back by popular demand are Clann An Drumma, who wowed the Cumnock crowds last year and in 2011 with their distinctive blend of drum and pipe based tribal, Celtic tunes. Plus, local band – The Poachers – will also be playing, contributing to the soundtrack of what is set to be a fun-filled afternoon.

Pipe Bands will march from Cumnock's historic Square to open the Highland Games on Sunday 23rd August

Pipe Bands will march from Cumnock’s historic Square to open the Highland Games on Sunday 23rd August

Spectators can also look forward to ‘Highland Heavies’ athletes competing to be crowned Cumnock’s 10th Highland Games Champion through a series of events testing both strength and skill. There will also be incredible skills on display at the Highland Dance stage where youngsters from across the country will gather to compete throughout the afternoon.

Jim McMillan, Secretary of Cumnock Highland Games, said: “We are thrilled to have such a rich and diverse line-up for our 10th annual Highland Games. The Pipe Bands are always a great favourite, and a real spectacle as they march through the town centre to the Games Field. Clann An Drumma put on a fantastic show for us last year, so we’re delighted they are returning for our 2015 Games, and it’ll be great to have some local Cumnock talent, in the shape of the Poachers, playing too.”

Cumnock Highland Games takes place on Sunday 23rd August at Broomfield, Cumnock. Entry is £5 per person. Further details can be found on the event’s facebook page or on twitter @cumnockhighland

Date: 31 July 2015
Issued by Create Communications LLP on behalf of Cumnock Highland Games. For further information, images, photo-opportunity details and press passes please contact Carol MacInnes at Create Communications on:
Mob: 07739 774091 Office: 01563 595001

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Racing Ahead: Ayrshire’s Leading Business Women’s Group Takes the Biscuit

Hot on the heels of the STUC conference, Ayr Racecourse played host to Ayrshire’s leading business women’s group last week. Members and guests of the Ayrshire Association of Business Women enjoyed a behind the scenes look at the racecourse, including a tour of the weighing room, parade ring, owners bar and new permanent marquee, followed by a networking lunch at the Western House Hotel. Lucy Bradshaw Barr of TLC Consultancy also gave a brief talk on the impact of Google’s recent changes to its rankings of websites which are not mobile friendly.

AABW members enjoyed a tour of Ayr Racecourse

AABW members enjoyed a tour of Ayr Racecourse

Liz Cooper, President of AABW, said: “This was a highly informative event, and a fantastic opportunity to learn more about one of Ayrshire’s greatest assets. Once again, it was great to see AABW’s ethos of supporting businesses and working collaboration in full force. If you are a woman in business in Ayrshire, the support, knowledge and networking at AABW is second to none.”
AABW’s next event is set to take the biscuit, as the group head to Lanarkshire for a behind the scenes tour at large-scale manufacturers Tunnocks. The event takes place on Tues 19th May and includes coach travel and a networking buffet. Spaces are limited, with further details at
Issued by Create Communications on behalf of AABW. For further information please contact Carol MacInnes at Create Communications on telephone 01563 595001 or 07739 774091. Date: 30 April 2015

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Pupils Bag Win at Young Enterprise Finals

Stewarton team take top honours, with prizes also for Doon, Belmont and James Hamilton Academies

Brian Totty of Adelie (l) and Provost Jim Todd congratulate Stewarton Academy's The Go Co

Brian Totty of Adelie (l) and Provost Jim Todd congratulate Stewarton Academy’s The Go Co

A business selling cotton shopping bags for life has been named 2015’s Ayrshire Company of the Year by Young Enterprise Scotland.

The Go Co, which was established and operated by a team of senior pupils at Stewarton Academy, was named overall winner at Young Enterprise Scotland’s Ayrshire finals last week at Troon’s Marine Hotel, with their bag business also receiving recognition for Best Marketing, Best Report and Best Presentation.

A hat trick of awards also went to Doon Academy’s Flawless, whose educational flashcard business was recognised for Best Product/Service, Best Teamwork and Best Innovation. Two further trophies went to Kilmarnock’s James Hamilton Academy, with their bespoke decorations company, Aspire, taking the Best Interview category whilst the school’s Lorraine Egerton was named Best Link Teacher. Belmont Academy’s Boost Enterprises, which has developed posters promoting basic numeracy skills, were also winners, taking back to Ayr the Best Trade Stand award.

The awards were the culmination of months of hard work by each of the teams with each creating, financing, launching and operating their own business, supported by Link Teachers and by volunteer business advisors from the local community.

Overall Ayrshire winners, Stewarton’s The Go Co, will now go on to represent Ayrshire at Young Enterprise Scotland’s national finals in Glasgow. Sixth year pupil and Managing Director, Jonathan Seaman (17) from Dunlop, said: “All of the hard work which has gone into the The Go Co has been so worthwhile. I’ve loved every stress-filled minute of this fantastic experience and learned so much, gaining experience in dealing with business owners and the public as well as our own team. We are absolutely thrilled to win these awards tonight and look forward to representing Ayrshire at the Scottish finals.”

Seventeen year old Elleis Peters from Patna is a partner in Doon Academy’s triple award winning Flawless and a fifth year pupil at the Dalmellington school. She commented: “Being part of Young Enterprise has been a really exciting experience, giving us all a great opportunity to widen our skills. We’ve learned so much, especially the importance of keeping control of your time management, and we now hope to take our product to the Sir Tom Hunter competition.”

Brian Hill of YES Ayrshire presents Best Product award to Doon Academy's Flawless

Brian Hill of YES Ayrshire presents Best Product award to Doon Academy’s Flawless

Ayr’s Belmont Academy were represented by Boost Enterprises. It’s Managing Director, seventeen year old Lauren Campbell from Ayr, said: “This project has been stressful but unbelievably rewarding. We have achieved more than we ever thought possible, and are very proud of the business. Tonight’s competition is great, but what’s most important is getting to this stage. All of the teams here can be very proud of what they have achieved.”

Belmont Academy's award winning trade stand

Belmont Academy’s award winning trade stand

Seventeen year old Callum McQuade, Managing Director of James Hamilton Academy’s Aspire, added: “This has been a brilliant experience and I’d recommend taking part in Young Enterprise to anyone. Friendship, life experience, dealing with money, building a business – we’ve all got so much from being part of this. As well as our great team, I would also like to give a huge thank you to our business adviser Mr Brian Hill and to our teacher Mrs Egerton for their support and guidance.”

Drew Macklin of The Klin Group presents Best Interview Award to James Hamilton Academy

Drew Macklin of The Klin Group presents Best Interview Award to James Hamilton Academy

The teams competing in the Ayrshire finals were:
• Educational posters producer Boost Enterprises from Ayr’s Belmont Academy (established and operated by pupils Callum Brunton, Lauren Campbell, Christian Coulling, Olliver Dare, Steven Edgar, Ryan Fraser, Ross Hay, Taylor Hollywood, Paul Jamieson, Maria Javid, Cameron McCririe, Adam Stanley and Sarah Wilson with the support of teacher Susan Glass and Business Adviser Stephen McNab);
• Educational flash cards company Flawless of Dalmellington’s Doon Academy (established and operated by pupils Shania Brown, Colin McDonald, Elleis Peters and Carla Strachan with support from teacher Tracy Allen and Business Adviser Darrin McDowall);
• Bespoke wooden decorations business Aspire of Kilmarnock’s James Hamilton Academy (established and operated by pupils Sophie Carbry, Andrew Docherty, Carley Hall, Robbie Howard, Cameron Hume, Cameron Lamberth, Ross Lobban, Jamie Macdonald, Callum McQuade, Connor Miller, Kimberley Neill, Emily Purdie, Scott Sutton and Matthew Young, with support from teacher Lorraine Egerton and Business Adviser Brian Hill), and
• Cotton shopping bags company The Go Co of Stewarton Academy (established and operated by Jonathan Seaman, Arran Moffat, Darren Barr, David MacFarlane, Fiona Rice, Josh Williamson, Niall MacQuarrie and Stephen Pioli with support from teacher Andy McLean and Business Adviser Maggie Ramage).

Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) is a not-for-profit organisation and aims to provide the best business experience to students, giving them the opportunity to develop their full potential, raise their confidence and self-esteem, and test out their business skills. Described as ‘the ultimate business experience for S5 and S6 pupils’, YES’s Company Programme adds value to young people’s senior school experience with opportunities to develop skills in communications, problem solving, presentation skills, leadership skills, decision making, creative thinking and resilience.

Young Enterprise Scotland’s Ayrshire programme is also supported by numerous local businesses and organisations including Adelie, IDS & Co, GE Aviation Services – Caledonian, Cann Print, Hillhouse Quarry Group, the Federation of Small Businesses, Ayrshire College, QTS, Green Deal Ayrshire Ltd, DMC Events, The Klin Group, Two Fat Ladies at The Marine, East Ayrshire Council, North Ayrshire Council, South Ayrshire Council, Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce, Bank of Scotland, Create Communications LLP, LGPR, Ayrshire Community Media and West FM.


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Home-Use Water Boiler set to Launch in East Africa

UPDATE: The Jompy Launch Conference: Uganda scheduled for 10am on Tuesday 14 April is now fully booked. To ensure all interested parties have an opportunity to learn about this inventive, life-saving device, a second Launch Conference will now take place at 2.30pm on the same day.

Life-saving device is ready to roll-out across Uganda and Kenya with distributors and partners invited to learn more
Nairobi 2013 Informal networking dinner
An innovative device which will enable families to decontaminate drinking water as they cook is being launched in Uganda and Kenya this month.
Following the success of numerous test projects in locations throughout Africa, India and Oceania, the multi-award winning Jompy Water Boiler is set to roll-out across East Africa, with the device’s inventor travelling to Kampala and Nairobi to establish distribution channels across the territory.
David Osborne, the Scottish plumbing engineer behind the Jompy, will be hosting a launch conference in Uganda offering local businesses, distributers, wholesalers, retailers, aid agencies, NGOs and government bodies the opportunity to learn more about this device and it’s potential. David will then travel on to Nairobi for a series of meetings with interested parties in Kenya,
Now Technical Director of the Jompy’s development company Celsius Global Solutions, David invented the Jompy water boiler after spending much of his childhood in Africa where he saw first-hand the challenges of providing clean, safe water supplies. His invention has won numerous honours including the prestigious Siemens Stifling Empowering People Award and the prototype will soon be displayed in the National Museum of Scotland. The device meets 5 of the 8 Millenium Development goals set by the United Nations, and the team are members of the European Environment Foundation.
Lightweight, flexible and inexpensive, the Jompy is a fire top device which sits between cooking pots and an open flame. As households cook a meal, sitting the cooking pot on top of the Jompy, gravity pushes water passes through the device’s coiled metal tubing, heating it enough to kill 98% of waterborne bacteria, thereby making it safe to drink or for cooking or bathing. Near boiling water is produced within seconds, and as it works equally efficiently on stoves or simple three stone fires, the Jompy is suitable for both rural and urban dwellings.
A study undertaken by the University of Glasgow monitored the Jompy’s use in one Ugandan community. As well as proving the Jompy’s claims of eradicating E. coli (identified by the World Health Organisation as a primary indicator of pathogens), this test also demonstrated further practical benefits including the significant reduction of household fuel costs, time spent cooking and gathering firewood, and harmful smoke and carbon dioxide emissions in the home.
However, for the man behind the innovative device, these highly practical attractions of the Jompy are in insignificant compared with its ability to combat the spread of killer waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera and typhoid:
“The Jompy empowers local people to combat waterborne diseases in a simple, convenient manner which complements rather than complicates existing daily routines,” explains David Osborne, Technical Director of the Celsius Global Solutions, the company he established in 2010 to develop the Jompy across the world.
“This easy to use device takes the cultural norm of heating water for cooking, cleaning, washing and drinking in a pan over a heat source, and turns this into a life-saver with the added bonuses of freeing up time, lowering household fuel costs and reducing smoky emissions.
“Red Cross, Oxfam, Tearfund and similar organisations do amazing work and provide good systems. However, I don’t believe any have adequately addressed in-home water treatment at local, cultural level. For example, buckets and chlorine tablets are not the answer, especially for people with HIV or low immune systems. Jompy is different because it fits with the reality of everyday life and empowers local people to take control of providing clean water for themselves and their children. Plus, it creates provides opportunities for local entrepreneurs to distribute the product via our social enterprise rental model, whilst simultaneously raising funds for fund local education provision.
“The Jompy brings both immediate and long term impact, and I am thrilled to now be launching the Jompy in East Africa and look forward to meeting with distributors, wholesalers and aid agencies over the coming days to establish distribution channels throughout Uganda and Kenya.”
Interested parties are invited to attend the Jompy Launch Conferences at Kampala’s Speke Hotel on April Tuesday April 14th (2.30pm). As well as demonstrations of the product, the event will include opportunities for 1-to-1 meetings with the inventor himself, business pitches and the chance to explore the Jompy’s diverse aid, social and retail applications.
To find out more and/or register interest please contact tel: 00441292 31814.
For video footage of the Jompy in action, go to

Jompy Launch Uganda: Invitation

Jompy Launch Uganda: Invitation

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