Author Archive

Mount Charles Play Their Part In Industry-Led Careers Inspiration Events

Posted on: April 11th, 2022 by Stephen Mackie

 

Northern Ireland’s business community is coming together to support the delivery of industry-led careers inspiration events across the province, engaging almost 7,500 Year 9 pupils in June 2022.

4C UR Future LIVE is an innovative and fast-paced event that uses skills games and work-based challenges, designed and delivered in collaboration with local employers, to help young people get an insight into the future world of work.

The initiative, which aims to help every participant make more informed education and career choices, is the brainchild of 4C UR Future’s Founder, Rose Mary Stalker. Following a successful pilot in June 2019, the social enterprise is taking the show on the road this year, delivering an at-scale pilot of one event in every council area in June.

Managing Director of 4C UR Future, Rachel Doherty, acknowledges the support of the local business community in enabling the events to scale:

“Our work would not be possible without the support of our member companies, who recognise the significant opportunities that come from working together collaboratively, and at-scale, to tackle systemic problems; helping our young people discover their own attributes, strengths, and interests, and exploring how these might align with their future opportunities.”

“The careers landscape has become increasingly complex for young people and parents to navigate, with new in-demand skills, new types of jobs, and entirely new sectors emerging, resulting in major bottlenecks in the skills pipeline; inhibiting our local businesses from growing.”

“By working across all of the key employment sectors in Northern Ireland, 4C UR Future leverage and mobilise the skills and industry expertise available on our doorstep.”

The LIVE events are funded and resourced by the Northern Ireland business community and are hosted with support from ten councils. The events are free to schools, including free transport, which is being supported by Translink.

Charlotte Richardson, PR Manager at Translink, said:

“We’re delighted to be able to support this fantastic series of events, which are taking place across Northern Ireland; investing in our young people and building confidence, skills, and knowledge to help them identify the many opportunities and the wide variety of career paths and industries open to them. Access to events like this is vital to the next generation and to the workforce of the future and we’re proud to be a member of 4C UR Future.”

4C UR Future member companies represent all of the key employment sectors in Northern Ireland, with local success story Mount Charles Group, as well as the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS), on board to support the delivery of the events across the province.

Dr Tracey McCabe, Director of Group Human Resources, said:

“Mount Charles is delighted to be part of this initiative. Inspiring young people to help them choose their future career path is empowering for us as a people-focussed organisation, and engaging with Northern Ireland’s future talent early in their life journey can open up so many more opportunities for them.”

Lyndsey Irwin, NICS Head of Communications, Marketing and Outreach – Talent Management Division, added:

“The Civil Service is delighted to support the 4C UR Future initiative and events, which are an innovative, engaging – and most of all – a fun way to empower young people, helping them to recognise and develop their strengths and skills, and showing them how these can be applied in the world of work.”

“Our involvement with 4C UR Future also provides us with an opportunity to showcase the huge range of work undertaken by civil servants, and to open the eyes of young people to the possibility of a career where they can make a real difference to the lives of people here.”

It’s not too late for local businesses to get involved! For more information on 4C UR Future, go to: www.4curfuture.com, or email info@4curfuture.com.

Double win for Mount Charles at the Facilities Management Awards, Ireland

Posted on: April 8th, 2022 by Stephen Mackie

Mount Charles is celebrating winning two awards at the Facilities Management Awards 2022, which took place on Thursday, March 24th, at The Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin.

The Innovation in Technology & Systems Award – End Users and The FM Workspace Transformation Award was awarded to Mount Charles who has over 33 years’ experience in the delivery of vital facilities management services to a diverse range of customers within both the public and private sectors.

The FM Awards programme recognises the excellent work carried out by Ireland’s facility and property management teams and companies and businesses from all over Ireland came together in Dublin, to collaborate and showcase their achievements.

Gavin Annon, Sales and Marketing Director of Mount Charles said: “On behalf of the entire team, I am enormously proud to receive both The FM Workspace Transformation Award – In-house and the Innovation in Technology & Systems Award.

“These awards are a benchmark for excellence and recognise the successful implementation of our Technology Transformation Programme within an astounding 15-month timeframe, less than 50 per cent of the time originally projected.

“The introduction and upgrade of our internal and operational systems has contributed to the success, growth and profitability of the company bringing Mount Charles to the forefront of innovation, revitalising our service offering and enhancing reporting and oversight of our service performance.

“This has allowed us to provide a tailored dashboard for our customers, bespoke to their service, requirements, and the information that they want to see and has facilitated additional contract wins in NI and ROI, all whilst maintaining our family instilled values, core people focus and unique support service dynamics.”

Mount Charles Utilises Robotics With Catering Services

Posted on: January 18th, 2022 by Stephen Mackie

The growth in use of robotics in the recent past has been largely seen in our healthcare and cleaning services, however the technology available with regards to catering services has not sat idle recently.

Smart technology within catering services has previously been seen in the likes of high-tech ovens, dishwashers and other kitchen gadgets. However, Mount Charles will now be taking things further with the implementation of unmanned retail stores in remote catering sites for example. As well as a more sophisticated version of micro-markets including elements of robotic technology. These options will allow clients to provide a catering service in challenging circumstances following the pandemic with new patterns of footfall in the office as a result of trends such as home and hybrid working.

Mount Charles will of course remain a ‘people business’ first and foremost, however the technology will allow the organisation to provide options for all of the marketplace depending on the niche needs of clients on an individual basis. From Mount Charles’s perspective, the technology allows the business to operate a 24/7 facility on what was perhaps an otherwise uneconomic catering site. The demand for our vending services has exploded post pandemic, so it’s fitting to now offer a more sophisticated version of vending in the traditional sense. These new self-serve units provide everything from hot and cold drinks to regenerated meals and snacks depending on what the client and team members on site are interested in.

If you would like to hear more about our range of robotic driven services please contact info@mountcharles.com

Mount Charles Sister Company CRAFT Event Co Announces National Museums Catering Contract

Posted on: December 14th, 2021 by Stephen Mackie

Mount Charles Group’s brand new sister company CRAFT Event Co announces its first major catering contract win with a three-year partnership with National Museums NI.

CRAFT Event Co has vast previous experience in bespoke weddings, tailored events and café solutions. With regards to National Museums, the team will provide the food and beverage offering at The Ulster Museum, Ulster Folk Museum and Ulster Transport Museum.

Included in the remit of the partnership will be Ulster Museum’s Wynn & Pym restaurant, the quaint Ballycultra Tearooms at Ulster Folk Museum and Cultra Manor, the beautiful dedicated hospitality venue. Planning is currently taking place for expansion of the catering offering at The Ulster Transport Museum.

Head of Experience and Enterprise at National Museums NI, Brona Moffett said: “We look forward to working with Craft Event Co to continually enhance our hospitality offering. The creativity and expertise of its team will also allow us to transform weddings and corporate events in our stunning spaces.”

Director of CRAFT Event Co, Jamie Henderson added: “We’re excited to be working to create a unique hospitality offering that will transform the way visitors enjoy food and drink at three of the province’s best-known museums.”

“Food provenance will be at the centre of our service delivery, offering a taste of Northern Ireland to local visitors and also those who come from further afield. We will reflect the uniqueness and warmth of the Northern Irish welcome, ensuring that the food offering is a key part of the overall museum experience.”

“The skillset of our team will transform National Museums NI’s events offering too by introducing a high-quality dining experience that will appeal to weddings and corporate events too. All of us at Craft Event Co. look forward to welcoming people to each of the museums over the coming weeks.”

Gavin Annon, Director of Sales & Marketing, said: “Our sister company Craft Event Co is the perfect fit for National Museums NI. It has built a strong reputation across Northern Ireland thanks to its commitment to customer service and hygiene standards, quality in food and creativity.”

We look forward to developing our relationship with National Museums Northern Ireland and providing an excellent service to all of our customers across the venues. For more information on our catering services or to speak to a team member please get in touch.

Three individuals pictured outside Ulster Museum, one is a chef holding a dish of food

From Left to Right: Brona Moffet (Head of Experience and Enterprise at National Museums NI), Sean McCann (Chef & Director at CRAFT Event Co), Gavin Annon (Director of Sales & Marketing at Mount Charles Group).

Trevor Annon receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Posted on: October 25th, 2021 by Stephen Mackie

The founder and chairman of leading business support solutions company, Mount Charles has been recognised with a lifetime achievement award at the prestigious Belfast Chamber Awards.  The awards seek to reward all areas of business in all sectors, in Belfast and took place on Friday 22nd October 2021, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Shaw’s Bridge.  Trevor was chosen by the judging panel for his celebrated contribution to business life in Northern Ireland.

An EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist in 2017, Trevor has collected numerous awards on behalf of his company and has been the recipient of an Outstanding Contribution award at the 2016 Janus Awards and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, at the Aer Lingus Take Off Foundation Business Awards. Mount Charles Group, Northern Ireland’s largest independent catering and business support services provider, was founded by Trevor in 1988, and has since established itself as the leader in contract and retail catering, cleaning, vending and security services.

Under his guidance Mount Charles currently employs 2,500 team members, services over 400 clients across the UK and Ireland, working with companies such as Down Royal Racecourse, Belfast International Airport, Ulster Rugby, ICC Belfast, RTE, Griffith College, Maynooth University, Ordinance Survey Ireland, Abbey Theatre and Custom House in Dublin.

Citing Trevor’s achievements Simon Hamilton, Chief Executive of Belfast Chamber said: “His story is one, quite simply, of three decades of business success.  “Mount Charles is an innovator developing new products, services and brands that supports some of the biggest and best-known businesses, sporting venues educational facilities and healthcare organisations in Northern Ireland and further afield.”

Mount Charles currently sources approximately 85% of its food from NI suppliers, attributing to a contribution of £50 million per annum to the NI economy. The company has recently announced a new addition to its portfolio of service offerings, Craft Event Co., which will specialise in weddings and corporate functions

Upon receipt of his award, Trevor Annon said: “To be honoured by my hometown Chamber is a wonderful achievement and it reflects the results of 33 years of hard work.  “The Chamber President, Michael Stewart, keeps reminding me of a comment I made whilst addressing 500 local catering students – ‘at age 18 the only thing Trevor wanted to do was to join the police, but he was half an inch short of the then regulation height. So, he became a Caterer by default. Would Mount Charles have been created if he had been half an inch taller?’.”

As well as building his family business, Trevor has also served as Chair of the crime fighting charity Crimestoppers for 12 years, was an independent Board member of the Irish Football Association and until recently was the Chair of the National Football Stadium in Belfast where he spearheaded the development their new world class stadium.

In closing his speech Trevor mentioned a framed gift he had received from his wife on his last birthday. It contained two lines of poetry from their favourite poet, which reflected the journey Trevor and many other entrepreneurs have endured through the pandemic. Quoting Seamus Heaney, he concluded, “If we can winter this one out, we can summer anywhere.”

Trevor Annon wins Lifetime Achievement Award with Belfast Chamber

Trevor Annon wins Lifetime Achievement Award with Belfast Chamber

Mount Charles Team Members Join Flossie & The Beach Cleaners For Eco Day

Posted on: October 12th, 2021 by Stephen Mackie

Mount Charles team members joined Flossie and The Beach Cleaners on Sandymount Strand in South Dublin last week to launch the organisation’s sustainability ambitions for 2021. The session included an eco-friendly workshop providing insight to the group on the impact of human waste and microplastics on the local environment.  The group was made up of key team members involved in our ongoing sustainability campaign including Head of Operations, Stacey McCallister who has been working with our clients to provide sustainable cleaning across Ireland.

A walk of the beach followed the workshop, with team removing any visible plastics and waste materials. The session will be one of many activities involved in the ongoing company-wide sustainability initiative for 2021 as part of Mount Charles’s commitment to being an environmentally aware facilities management provider.

More information on our cleaning services can be found here.

 

Mount Charles team members stand in a line on Sandymount Beach in Dublin with material bags of litter in front of the group

Mount Charles Team Members Finish Session With Flossie & The Beach Cleaners at Sandymount Strand, Dublin.

It’s BBQ Season At Mount Charles

Posted on: June 24th, 2021 by Stephen Mackie
Last week the Mount Charles Catering team in Dublin hosted two BBQ’s in partnership with our clients LauraLynn Children’s Hospice and Glanbia Cheese EU. These BBQ events were to reward client’s team members for their hard work and efforts during the pandemic. Both days were a massive success with excellent food from our catering team and lots of laughter all round. We look forward to continuing this trend with more clients in both NI and ROI throughout the rest of summer.
A big well done from Senior Management to all involved, see footage from: LauraLynn & Glanbia Cheese EU
Laura Lynn Staff Team Members Pose For Group Photo In Colourful Garden
Team Members From LauraLynn Children’s Hospice Dublin
Glanbia Cheese EU team members eating BBQ items
Team Members From Glanbia Cheese EU

Pride With #TeamMC

Posted on: June 21st, 2021 by Stephen Mackie

Behind every good business thriving with equality is a family full of people who are all unique. Our greatest success is our family culture, our family is about daring to be different. When our family unite, we build a culture and business that has Great People, Great Service, Great Future.

bright colourful collection of hand prints to emphasise diversity at Mount Charles

At Team MC, we have a family who are not all the same. We are proud to be different, we are proud to be unique, those are some of our greatest strengths. At Mount Charles we tell our team to bring their whole self to work. We encourage diversity, we encourage our team to dare, to be different, as this is what makes Team MC creative and bold. One team, one family, one masterpiece that creates a different magic.

Summer BBQ For The Glanbia Cheese EU Team

Posted on: June 21st, 2021 by Stephen Mackie
We were delighted to assist our client Glanbia Cheese with a Summer BBQ at their Portlaoise site last week. The aim of the event was to reward all of the Glanbia team members for their hard work and efforts recently with a DJ, ice cream truck and branded balloon arches to mark the occasion. The event was a massive success with smiles all round after what has been a very challenging time for everybody throughout the pandemic.
Our Ireland catering team look forward to continuing to work alongside Glanbia Senior Management to maximise on-site engagement and interest at our in-house restaurant.
See footage of our summer BBQ at Glanbia Portlaoise here 
Glanbia Cheese EU team members eating BBQ items

Glanbia Team Members Enjoying The Summer BBQ

#Team MC’s Nutrition Awareness Month

Posted on: June 4th, 2021 by Stephen Mackie

As part of #TeamMC‘s internal Nutrition Awareness Month we have provided team members with a series of delicious healthy recipes utilising the skills of our chef’s from across the catering estate. This week’s recipe is from Mount Charles Chef, Ri Elers in RTE Dublin who has put together a step by step guide for the perfect summer pan roasted fillet of hake.

Pan Roasted Fillet of Hake
Cumin, Carrot and Rosemary Puree
Balsamic Beetroot, Baby Potatoes and Baby Gem Salad
Rustic Roasted Root Vegetables

You should be aware that the recipe includes fish, milk and sulphites. Please check all ingredients specific to any special dietary needs or allergens.

What you will need:

2 x Hake Fillets.
1x Sprig of Rosemary, Teaspoon Cumin.
Baby Potatoes, Raw Beetroot, Balsamic Vinegar, Baby Gem Lettuce, Honey
3x Carrots.
3x Parsnip.
1x Sweet Potatoes.
1x Red Onion.
Dried mixed herbs.
Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil, 10g Butter, fresh herbs for garnish (optional)
A good non Stick Pan, A frying pan, Roasting tray, Pre-heated oven at 175 degrees.

A Note From Ri

With temperatures starting to climb, so is the need for lighter, healthier, yet nutritious and fulfilling food. As with everything in life, cooking should be an enjoyable experience . With a little enthusiasm and  patience, this will make for a memorable late evening meal and a great talking point at the table.

Rustic Roast Vegetables
Wash and scrub the vegetables in running water (no need to peel away the nutritional value), ¼ the vegetables lengthwise, combine in a bowl add a little olive oil, salt, pepper, dried mixed herbs and toss to coat the vegetables evenly. Lie out on a roasting tray and put in the oven for 30-35 minutes. After approximately 15 minutes shake the tray and return to the oven.

Balsamic Beetroot, Baby Potato and Gem Salad
Carefully dice the potatoes and the beetroot in to roughly 1 inch cubes.
Peel off the outer leaves from the Gem, discard and ¼ the remaining hearts of the lettuce. Set aside for later. Heat the frying pan and add a little olive oil, the potatoes and the diced beetroot, add a sprig of rosemary, season with salt and pepper and put in to the oven for 30 minutes. After approximately 10 minutes, toss the pan and return to the oven.

Cumin, Carrot and Rosemary Puree
Peel and chop the carrots, place in a pot with cold water, the teaspoon of cumin and a sprig of rosemary. Bring to the boil and simmer until the carrots are tender. Strain the carrots keeping the liquid to thin out the puree. Blend the carrots into a smooth paste adding the reserved cooking liquid as necessary. Season to taste, set aside and keep warm.

Pan Roasted Fillet of Hake
Heat the non stick pan adding a little olive oil and the 10g of butter. Season the fish, and when the butter starts to foam up, add the fish and leave it to sear and seal. After 3 minutes, carefully turn the Hake over, baste with the pan juices and put in the oven for 8 minutes. By now everything should be nearly ready to plate and serve.

To Serve
Place the roasted vegetables on a plate and cover with foil. Return to beetroot pan to the hob, add the Gem, some Balsamic vinegar and a little honey, toss and place in a salad bowl, and cover with foil. Warm up the puree, and place a dollop on to each plate, smear this across the plate and place the Hake on top of this. Garnish with the fresh herbs and take the plates to the table. Place the warm salad and vegetables on the table and enjoy.

For more information on all of our catering services click here

New Appointments & Team Members For 2021

Posted on: May 25th, 2021 by Stephen Mackie

Image showing Mount Charles employee Edna Armstrong smiling

(Pictured: Edna Armstrong, Senior Bid Manager.)

What’s your name and role & when did you start at Mount Charles?

Edna Armstrong, Senior Bid Manager. I started in Mount Charles in January 2021, starting a new job remotely during lockdown was strange to say the least but the support I got from Gavin was incredible.

What was your first ever job & what did it entail?

My first ever job was working with my Dad on his milk round when people wanted fresh milk on their doorsteps in the morning. It meant getting up at 4am every morning and made me appreciate how magical early mornings are before the world woke up. Another upside was I finished work at lunchtime so had every afternoon free. It also meant early nights – a habit I still maintain to this day!

What’s a work related accomplishment you’re proud of?

Working in Bid Production means every bid won is a huge accomplishment in a highly competitive environment. Two recent stand outs for me have to be MC winning Tesco and Radius. It was great to be part of that team.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Family is very precious to me so spending time with my husband and two children is my priority. We all love the outdoors so walking features heavily in our leisure activities. We are also very lucky to have a holiday home in Fermanagh where we have a boat so we spend a lot of weekends on the waters of Lough Erne. I also love to cook so evenings and weekends are normally about good food and long walks.  In normal times I also love to travel and my husband and I normally would have two or three city breaks a year. Something I have missed in the last year or so but we will make up for it in 2022.

What are you looking forward to accomplishing in Mount Charles?

Being an integral part of #TeamMC and positively contributing to company growth and sustainability.

Dog or Cat person?

Definitely a crazy cat woman – I currently have 2 cats who I adore and spoil rotten.

What’s been your biggest influence to date in your career?

Has to be my parents. They had an incredible work ethic which they instilled in all their children. They also taught me to always do right by others and simply treat others as I would like to be treated. They achieved a lot in their own careers so were great role models for pure honest hard work and were evidence that with the right attitude and effort we can achieve great things without compromising on integrity and core values.

Where’s your favourite place and why?

Fermanagh where I grew up – It is the most beautiful, relaxing place even when it rains! I believe Lough Erne has magical calming powers!

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Stay true to yourself and do the right thing! Also don’t sweat the small stuff…

Image showing Mount Charles employee Stacey McAlister smiling

(Pictured: Stacey McAlister, Head of Operations)

What’s your name and role & when did you start at Mount Charles?

Stacey McAlister – Head of Operations, 3rd May. (The Newbie)

What was your first ever job & what did it entail?

I brushed up the floors in a hairdressers on a Saturday when I was 11 for 50p an hour. Definitely illegal! Then moved to working in a gift shop from I was 12 for £1 an hour for 2 hours after school and a Saturday. I worked 40 hours per week during the summer for £1 and hour. I left her when I was 16 and still was only getting £1 an hour (not that I am bitter about it).

What’s a work related accomplishment your very proud of?

In a previous role the company was mainly considered to be a cleaning company and within 6 years I was able to help the growth of the catering business to become a recognised brand within Northern Ireland. Something that I am looking to emulate at Mount Charles.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love to walk and cook. I need to walk after all of the food! I am currently walking as much as possible as I am doing the mighty hikes marathon for MacMillan Cancer on 24th June. I am doing this with my mum and we currently have £900 raised, if anyone would like to donate.

What are you looking forward to accomplishing in Mount Charles?

The sky is the limit! I want to grow the cleaning business within Northern Ireland and Ireland. Mount Charles is known for being a world class catering provider with a really strong catering brand and I want this to be the same for the cleaning sector of the business with strong people and strong client relationships.

Dog or Cat person?

Definitely a dog! He’s the child of the house. Photo attached just to see how cute he is.

What’s been your biggest influence to date in your career?

What or Who? Probably returning to Northern Ireland in 2011 where I got involved in Facilities Management and the cleaning industry. I realised I loved the operational side of the business and wanted to try and give the best possible customer service to clients as well as the employees on the ground getting the equipment and recognition they needed and deserved. Jonathan Mallon has also been a huge influence as I found that he was the first manager I had who give the autonomy to managers that was needed to achieve the best possible results

Where’s your favourite place and why?

Cuba. I just love the vibrancy of Havana and how laid back the whole country is. The beaches are unbelievable and the water so warm and crystal clear.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Try to relax and not worry about the small stuff and things you can’t control. Everything works out the way it’s supposed to.

 

Jonathan Mallon an employee of Mount Charles Group smiling

What’s your name and role & when did you start at Mount Charles?

Jonathan Mallon, Chief Operating Officer, I started in March 21.

What was your first ever job & what did it entail?

My first job was delivering Fizzy lemonade for the Maine Lemonade Company.

What’s a work related accomplishment your very proud of?

I am very proud of achieving global success in sales and improving business operations and working opportunities for all staff.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I play golf badly and enjoy the garden.

What are you looking forward to accomplishing in Mount Charles?

To deliver a great service to our clients, have a good team working for Mount Charles and growing the business.

Dog or Cat person?

I have 2 Cats and 2 Dogs and a Love Bird.

What’s been your biggest influence to date in your career?

I completed a 1 year in house course Facilitating Futures working with 11 others from all over the world and learnt so much about developing and motivating teams.

Where’s your favourite place and why?

I lived in the Isle of Man for a few years and found it a very relaxing and beautiful island.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Slow down and let others take responsibility for their own areas.