Andrea is a student of the Bissett School of Business at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada. Andrea is specializing in management and is particularly interested in social innovation and non-profit studies.


As an emerging social entrepreneur with a passion for community engagement, Andrea wants to use art as a means to connect, educate and build capacity in our communities. Artful Me is a social venture Andrea is developing that will put this idea into action.

Andrea is excited to begin her placement with the NOW Group in Belfast, Ireland. The Now Group is a social enterprise that supports adults on the autistic spectrum. Andrea will be promoting community engagement and facilitating programs that give clients an opportunity to learn and express themselves creatively.

Andrea’s social venture idea: Artful Me

ARTful Me is a social venture to connect, educate and build capacity in our communities. As someone living with a disability I have found creative activities allow me to communicate aspects of my experiences I may otherwise not be able to express. I think other people would like to share their stories and educate people on their disabilities in meaningful ways.

I want to connect with non-profits that represent people with disabilities and facilitate art programs that allow clients to express those disabilities. The clients can choose the mediums they prefer from options including photography, literature, painting, and music. Once the art has been created we can use it to engage and educate our communities.

Andrea’s host organisation:

NOW Group

NOW Group is a Northern Ireland-wide social enterprise providing training, employment and support services to people of all learning abilities. NOW aims to change the lives of people of all learning abilities for the better and make a positive impact. NOW visualises a society where people of all learning abilities live, work and socialise as valued citizens. NOW has developed a successful service delivery model utilising social enterprise, social innovation and social networks to ensure clients receive the most innovative and engaging service. Key to our success is collaborative working with leading stakeholders, champions and partner organisations, along with measuring the value and impact of our work.

Meet Andrea’s mentor:

Jayne was appointed to NOW Group – the 2014 Northern Ireland Social Enterprise of the Year that supports people with barriers to employment and learning in to the workforce - in April 2010 as Volunteer Manager. In this role, she was responsible for developing and managing the organisation’s then brand new Volunteer Service and the establishment of the ground-breaking ‘Kidnap Wednesday’ group, a social forum for adults with learning disabilities that also promotes advocacy and access rights. 

Recently, Jayne has moved into the role of Community Development Manager within NOW Group where she will oversee and develop the community engagement activities of the organisation and foster new connections and partnership working within the wider community.

Jayne previously worked for Ballynafeigh Community Development Association as a Community Development Officer and has 10 years experience of working in this field. Previous to this role, she worked as a Network Operation Controller for the telecoms company Nevada and as a trainee potter with Ballydugan Pottery. 

Jayne recently completed the Involving People, ILM level 5 Award, which is funded by the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB). 

Jayne’s qualifications include Effective Volunteer Management ( QUB) and a Certificate Community Development (UU).