MAINTAINING business connections in the time of Covid-19 has presented a challenge for Causeway: Ireland Scotland Business Exchange, but it is a challenge they have risen to with events such as their Young Professionals Career Development sessions.
The free online sessions aim to ‘develop the skills of graduates, young professionals and entrepreneurs and provide a platform to widen their professional networks across Ireland and Scotland,’ and is open not only to those in the workplace but also to those in their final years of study.
The events are supported by high-profile members of the business community, such as Brigid Whoriskey, Causeway Director and Executive Coach with Envision, Nicholas McVeigh-Crabbe, Founder and Director of Star Recruitment and Causeway Young Professional Member Ailis Watt, as well as Irish Consul General to Scotland Jane McCulloch (above), with the first—which took place this month—being hosted by Causeway Young Professional Members Megan Harkins, Head of Research and Development at mental health start-up Ok Positive and Finn O’Neill, a Trainee Solicitor at international law firm CMS.
“This Causeway event will offer an insight into networking, and career development from professionals at a range of stages and across various sectors,” Mr O’Neill said. “This event brings together experience from across Ireland and Scotland, and will emphasise the importance of developing a professional network in order to build successful business relationships.
“Causeway prides itself at being a friendly and approachable organisation and all are welcome to attend this free, online session to find out more about the network and the support it can offer. Like all good Causeway events, although virtual, we are planning to end this session with a drink and chat to allow more informal networking in a virtual space. All are welcome to attend.”
With more such events planned Causeway is hoping to continue these efforts at connecting the business community in Scotland and Ireland, but with their high profile annual awards being unable to take place due to the present restrictions they have had to bring the same solution to their showpiece events—and are ready to host their yearly celebration online.
The 2020 Causeway Awards will now take place as Virtual Awards and a Network Celebration, allowing the thriving business links across the Irish Sea to be celebrated as part of a ‘unique opportunity to showcase professional success stories.’
“We understand 2020 has been a challenging year for many professionals and organisations, but we believe at times of downturn and doubt, we need more than ever to showcase positive stories of triumph and celebrate the connections that we share in our network,” Causeway explained. “We want our Virtual Awards to be an enjoyable evening of celebration and laughter, and we therefore plan to provide networking opportunities through the use of breakout rooms, to allow professionals the opportunity to chat, connect and collaborate.”
In addition to sharing the good news stories from within the business community and highlighting the individuals who have excelled in their areas, the awards ceremony this year will also aid the work of the Samaritans, who have been named as the Causeway Awards 2020 chosen charity.
“This year our Causeway Awards chosen charity is Samaritans,” Causeway said. “Samaritans provides emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide, throughout Ireland and the UK. The Covid-19 crisis has made a profound impact on individual’s mental health and wellbeing, and this year the charity has been in demand more than ever. With operations across Ireland and Scotland, it is our intention to split the funds raised from our Awards to Samaritans Ireland and Samaritans Scotland.”
Speaking of the need for support for the charity, Mary Nee Deputy Director of the Galway branch of the Samaritans reflected on the pressures on the charity at this time combined with the fundraising deficit they will face—making the support of Causeway all the more crucial.
“It is particularly helpful to be nominated as this year’s chosen charity for the Causeway Awards, as like many charities this year, our scheduled awareness and fundraising events and activities for the year had to be been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said. “In our branch of Galway Samaritans for example, we are all volunteers with no paid employee, so we rely on our fundraising activities each year to cover our bills. In our local Galway branch, we usually have two key annual fundraising events every year, however both have unfortunately been cancelled for 2020.”
Attendance at the event, which will take place on October 1, is free but with spaces limited participants are encouraged to register to take part in advance by visiting the Causeway website: https://www.causewayexchange.net