Big thank you from

Inspirational story marks launch of graduate scheme

Environmental Services Director Colin McClintock of Lisburn City Council, Mark Pollock, Councillor Jenny Palmer Lisburn City Council and Aisling Owens Lisburn Enterprise Organisation.A LISBURN man has come home to tell a networking event how he overcame the devastating overnight loss of his sight. to become a top adventure athlete.

Mark Pollock was speaking at an 'Ambition, Attitude and Altitude' seminar in the Island Civic Centre held to mark the launch of the Graduate Into Business Programme.

Sixty business people heard Mark's inspirational story.

Having achieved academic success with his degree qualification in Trinity College Dublin, he secured a job as an investment banker in London. However life had unexpectedly changed for him as he awoke in a hospital bed in April 1998 to the news that the Good Friday Agreement had been signed and that he had lost his sight in both eyes.

The road to recovery and adjustment was a long one, but as Mark recounted, three important steps led him to the successful business man and adventure athlete he is today, as he described the harrowing conditions of trekking to the South Pole in temperatures of -50C.

Number One: "deal in facts" - Mark learned that he would not recover his sight so it was important to accept this and get on with his life.

Number two: "make it happen" - it's easy to make excuses for not doing something, but your life will not change without 'making it happen.

Number three: "getting help" - whether it's asking or accepting, his achievements were aided by the help and assistance of others.

Listening to Mark overcome all adversity in his life and describing it in such a humble way, the attendees at the event couldn't help but feel motivated and encouraged from his words of experience.

The evening concluded with networking for local business entrepreneurs and an opportunity to register for the Graduate Into Business Programme.

Mark had praise for the programme, highlighting the important help and assistance available for local entrepreneurs in his home town of Lisburn.

Support is available to both individuals wanting to start up and existing business owners.

This innovative programme is funded by Lisburn City Council and the EU Sustainable Competitiveness Programme NI 2007-2013 and seeks to address entrepreneurial rates within the Council area.

Research indicates that individuals who participate in formal entrepreneurship training programmes are three times more likely to start up their own business. The programme is delivered by Lisburn Enterprise Organisation who are encouraging local graduates to take part. Further details can be obtained by calling Seonaid on 92 661160.

Ulster Star