Big business for Thornhill

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A Derry grammar school has picked up the top award at the Young Enterprise trade fair held on Friday at Foyleside Shopping Centre.

Thornhill College who sold out of their innovative product ‘Hang Up’ scooped the best overall company award, the social media award and best salesperson award.

Pupils from Strabane Academy with their company Enviroglass.

Pupils from Strabane Academy with their company Enviroglass.

The Derry girls even revealed a hotel chain and airport had registered an interest in bulk buying ‘Hang Up.’

Managing directors of the Thornhill company ‘Phonebox’ Mairead Dobbins and Ciara Donnelly explained that their plan now is to build up the company to make more products to help protect phones and make them safe.

“Hang up is a fun product that you can actually hang up,” said Mairead. “It’s above the ground so if there’s any spillages your phone won’t get damaged. It’s technically perfect and innovative.”

Ciara revealed that they sold out of the hang up on Friday and have had several expressions of interests from companies.

Pupils from Cathedral Youth Club with West Bank Enterprises.

Pupils from Cathedral Youth Club with West Bank Enterprises.

Jessica French from Lisneal College who ran the company Keepsakes said their company has been delighted with the response to the products.

Derry’s Cathedral Youth Club’s company West Bank Enterprises who picked up the Quickstart award were also delighted with the demand for their calendars featuring various areas of the Fountain Estate. The group were also selling other products including eco friendly candles depicting the Peace Bridge and other scenes around the city, and wine glasses decorated with poppies.

Visiting school Omagh CBS won the award for Best Visiting Company and Best Social Enterprise for their company Kidzkit.

Patrick McChrystal from Omagh said: “KIdzkit is a healthy lifestyle kit to encourage healthy lifestyles in children. Childhood obesity is so prominent that the issue needs to be tackled head on.

“The product is aimed at primary school children because kids are always using their ipads and phones,” he said.

Pupils from Strabane Academy were at the fair with their company Enviroglass which included products made from old jam jars and wine bottles that have been recycled into centre pieces for tables.

The winners on the day were: Best Overall Company – PhoneBox from Thornhill College, Runner Up in Best Company – Petite Creations from Limavady Grammar School, Best TEAM – Fairy Creative from The Playtrail, TEAM Runner Up – Buttons & Bows from Knockavoe School and Resource Centre, Best Quickstart – West Bank Enterprises from Cathedral Youth Group, Best Start Up – Appmosphere from North West Regional College, Best Visiting Company – KidzKit from CBS Omagh, Best Social Enterprise – KidzKit from CBS Omagh, Best Product – Enlighten Hope from St Patrick’s College Dungannon, Best Marketing - Enlighten Hope from St Patrick’s College Dungannon, Social Media Award - PhoneBox from Thornhill College, Mystery Shopper Award - Petite Creations from Limavady Grammar School

Highest Sales - Fairy Creative from The Playtrail and Best Sales Person – Member of PhoneBox from Thornhill College.