‘Showcasing Social Enterprise in Schools’

Artemis and its partners had an exceptional day at the Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings at Stormont. The event was sponsored by Sammy Wilson and Simon Hamilton MLA, spoke at the event representing the Department of Finance and Personnel.

The event was held on Tuesday 27th November 2012, 12-2:00pm. Just over 100 people attended the event with 50 guests who included senior politicians, policy makers, third sector leaders and business opinion formers.

Objectives: The objectives of the day were:-

  1. To celebrate Artemis’s 200,000th community user.
  2. To recognise and express our gratitude for the support of Artemis’ partners.
  3. To promote the concept of better use of Northern Ireland’s public facilities and to explore creative new ways to use them for community benefit.

Key message: Artemis has proven that it’s unique social enterprise model works, in pressurised settings, to maximise the use of the school estate through sports, arts and learning activities. This model can be deepened and expanded and can be applied and adapted to a range of other public buildings and facilities

Event content: The event didn’t follow the usual pattern of long and boring speeches, rather it was a dynamic interactive tour going around five stations. These were led by the Artemis Trustees showing videos, PowerPoint’s and Prezi’s in order to tell the Artemis story. This was followed by participants meeting and greeting some of the key community partners that use the school facilities to make a difference.

Station 1: Lisa McIvenna and Gillian McClay described the origins of Artemis, its set up and its vision.

Station 2:- Caroline Bloomfield defined the 5 schools and their unique selling points, which community groups are involved and described the nature and mission of the social enterprise. Rodney O’Neill and Dorothy Robinson from Belfast Model Flying Club described their experience and the positive impact that their experience with Artemis has had on the survival and development of their group.

Station 3: Maggie Andrews and Peter Shaw outlined the social impact of Artemis and its partners and the difference they are making in the communities they are based in. They looked at the numbers and the quality of what is being achieved and the difference Artemis and its partners is making.

For a summary of the social impact on pdf, click HERE to download.

Station 4: Mick Fealty and Jackie Redpath led a brainstorming session, exploring how we could  take the Artemis concept and mission further. The Artemis social enterprise model is not just for Belfast schools - it can be applied to other public facilities. Some key ideas explored included all schools across the country, (especially new builds), leisure centres, Libraries, the 1 in 4 empty shops in town centres and empty church buildings.

Station 5: provided the opportunity to speak with a range of the important partners who support and empower Artemis - Amey, BELB, Full Service Extended Schools, the Principals of the five schools and a range of the community groups who use the facilities for community benefit.

Speakers: At 12:30pm, Bill Osborne, the Chair of Artemis welcomed everyone and with style and poetry, outlined the Artemis mission. He explained how it represented a model of good practice that is scalable, reproducible and transferrable with thought, imagination and strategic planning.

He then introduced Simon Hamilton MLA, who showcased Artemis as an excellent model of good practice around government procurement, great use of resources, joined-up thinking and operating between the public, private and third sector and of making a genuine difference to the communities Artemis are based in.

The speeches finished with Simon Hamilton presenting an award to the Knights Wheelchair Basketball Club as the 200,000th user of the Artemis facilities.


Event Successes in Brief

  • VIP Guests: Danny Kennedy MLA and Minister for Regional Development and Gavin Boyd Chief Executive of Belfast Education and Library Board attended.
  • PR Activity: Cool FM interviewed Peter Dornan, Artemis Social Enterprise Manager and the 200,000th community user – Knights Wheelchair Basketball Club. Localised press releases were sent to the main newspaper titles in Northern Ireland as well as local papers
  • Social Media: Content around the event uploaded to Artemis’ Facebook and Twitter pages
  • Giveaways: the Artemis brochure, a summary of the social impact and an Artemis branded pen.
  • Profiling: The profile of Artemis was raised amongst 50 influential figures, including senior politicians, policy makers, third sector leaders and business opinion formers
  • Politicians Support: Artemis has raised awareness and garnered support from some of our key politicians in Northern Ireland.
  • Benefits for community:

o   All of our key partners were able to raise awareness, advertise their activities and encourage support for their activities.

o   Pauline Quirke (performing arts academy and one of Artemis’ community partners) secured sponsorship for a campaign from an MLA

o   North Belfast Harriers (athletics club and one of Artemis’ community partners) were made aware of a grant they can apply for from an MLA


Sinn Féin Junior Minister Jennifer McCann has praised Artemis and its partners in ensuring community access to facilities. She said:-

“I was surprised to find such a range of projects that offer community involvement today in an exhibition by Artemis and its partners in the Long Gallery in Stormont. There was everything from fencing clubs, model aircraft, football and hockey clubs and Sports NI amongst others who in conjunction with Artemis provide communities with past times and education. We often hear about the lack of facilities in every area yet if we are to examine what is in place and not being maximised to its full potential we may be pleasantly surprised. Artemis works with their partners to utilise facilities such as schools for community use outside of school hours. The aim of the project is to improve health, encourage cultural life, create employment through education, break down religious barriers and foster social inclusion. Every community has a school yet many close after the children leave for the day and lie empty yet they could provide a facility for many a community or sporting group to develop community participation. I would commend Artemis for this important work and encourage community groups to work with them to develop the use of facilities that may already be in your community.”