Libraries NI will hit the road this month with a series of five inspirational events aimed to help people use blogging to improve their lives.
The Get Blogging For Wellness Roadshow will take place in Bangor Carnegie, Derry Central, Antrim, Coleraine and Banbridge libraries.
The events will help attendees explore how they can improve their lives through blogging and hear success stories shared from a variety of other bloggers.
Delivered by TrainingMatchmaker.com the events will have bloggers, vloggers and podcasters reveal their motivations behind blogging, why they started and share top tips on what has helped them become successful.
At each one bloggers will outline some of the rewards they have enjoyed from sharing their thoughts online which has helped them connect with others, learn something new, be more aware of their surroundings, be more active and give more back to their community.
Chartered Marketer Christine Watson 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 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 others on an ongoing basis, and be inspired by real life stories and examples.”
Amongst those presenting the events include local trainers and bloggers that advocate positive mental, physical and emotional health such as Wellness Consultant NI – Vivian McKinnon, Darren Diven of NI Explorer, Photographer Debbie Deboo and Michelle Connolly from Learning Mole as well as Chartered Marketer Christine Watson of Watson & Co. Chartered Marketing and Training Matchmaker.
Each event will be hosted by TrainingMatchmaker trainer Tina Calder from Excalibur Press and The Content Club.
Julie Reid of Libraries NI 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 workshops equipped with the knowledge and confidence to engage with the 5 steps to Wellbeing in their daily lives both on and offline.”
In March the roadshow will be taking place at Bangor Carnegie Library (March 14, 6.30-8.30pm), Derry Central Library (March 16, 11am-1pm), Antrim Library (Tuesday March 19, 6-8pm), Coleraine Library (March 20, 6-8pm) and Banbridge Library (March 23, 11am-1pm).
Admission is free and the tickets can be booked at blog-for-wellness.eventbrite.
EndsPicture Captions: Get Blogging For Wellness 1: Pictured from left is Michelle Connolly (Learning Mole), Vivian McKinnon (Wellness Consultant), Darren Diven (NI Explorer), Julie Reid (Libraries NI), Christine Watson (Training Matchmaker) and Tina Calder (Excalibur Press). Get Blogging For Wellness 6: Pictured from left is Tina Calder (Excalibur Press), Julie Reid (Libraries NI), Michelle Connolly (Learning Mole), Christine Watson (Training Matchmaker), Vivian McKinnon (Wellness Consultant)
Notes for Editors:
Further information about the speakers and host
Vivian McKinnon – a qualified Mental Health First Aider, Vivian is a health and wellbeing podcaster and blogger who uses her experience and expertise to help people learn quick and easy ways to improve and maintain their physical, mental and emotional health. Through her workshops and sessions Vivian encourages people to connect with like-minded people for support (she has created a health entrepreneurs networking forum – a peer to peer learning circle) as well as create meaningful relationships with those who they can learn from and support themselves. Vivian’s expertise as a Mental First Aid Trainer and in other areas gives her an authoritative ‘blogging’ voice in and around resilience, post traumatic growth and health and wellbeing time-out “take notice” solutions such as grounding and floating.
Debbie Deboo – is a former teacher and currently an award winning photographer. Debbie was medically retired from teaching around 15 years ago when she became ill with M.E. a debilitating chronic illness. Debbie started photography as a way of keeping her body and mind active whilst learning a new skill. She now teaches others whilst inspiring them with her visual photography blog on social media.
Christine Watson – an avid learner, Chartered Marketer Christine uses her business blog at TrainingMatchmaker.com to not only teach and inspire learners but to connect learners with trainers and trainers with learners. Christine regularly blogs personally on social media and can often be found sharing experiences from walking on the beach and seeing the sights to relaxing in the library or attending workshops and training sessions.
Darren Diven – a marketer who created travel brand NI Explorer whilst working full time in advertising agencies. He is now ‘going for it’ as a young self employed entrepreneur and has undertaken projects such as Instagram Takeovers for organisations like Tourism Northern Ireland / Discover Northern Ireland. Darren’s blog encourages people to be active by getting out and about around the country, to learn as they discover the world around them and to connect with others as they embark on their journeys as well as online. His concept encourages citizens to take notice of their experiences/adventures and surroundings across Northern Ireland and to be active in “giving” by sharing their own experiences using the hashtag: #NIExplorer in order to inspire others and to generate civic pride. Darren is often accompanied with his dog and this also supports health and wellbeing research in the areas of “be active”, “connect” and “give”.
Michelle Connolly – is a teacher who took her love of learning and teaching and created the online YouTube channel and blog LearningMole. Through her channels Michelle aims to show parents how they can be more active in their children’s education. Her online tutorial videos have impacted in excess of 1 million people globally. Through blogging and vlogging Michelle and her family have connected with other families who are keen to learn and explore and have used their experiences to give others a new perspective on everything from homework and school curriculum to what to do and where to go across Northern Ireland.
Tina Calder – is a writer who loves to write. Despite having a 20 year career in journalism, Tina is an advocate of creative writing both personally and professionally as a way to regulate, stimulate and improve mental and emotional health. Over the years Tina has been very open about her chronic health conditions and uses blogging through social media to communicate this to her audience. Tina also blogs at The Content Club teaching people copywriting, content and blogging skills whilst striving to learn and keep her own up to date.