Fairhill Shopping Centre gives pupils a glimpse into retail sector

A Specsavers employee is pictured modelling some sunglasses alongside pupils from Ballykeel Primary School.

FAIRHILL Shopping Centre in Ballymena was a hive of activity when it opened its doors to 36 local primary school pupils to educate them on the merits of choosing a career in the retail sector.

Pupils from St. Colmcille’s Primary School, Ballymena.


The initiative entitled Stepping Stones, gave the primary seven pupils from nine different schools, an insight into life at Fairhill Shopping Centre across a variety of sectors including centre management, security, operations and marketing.

A group of pupils from Carniny Primary School, Ballymena, learning about careers in the retail sector during Fairhill Shopping Centre’s Stepping Stones event.


They were also given the chance to experience the world of optometry with Specsavers, to learn about retail and recycling with Marks and Spencer and to learn all about geography and the origins of coffee with Starbucks.

Fairhill Shopping Centre Manager, Natalie Jackson (third from left) presenting Broughshane Primary School with £100 in vouchers as a prize for winning the Stepping Stones’ scavenger hunt


Fairhill Shopping Centre Manager, Natalie Jackson, said: “We were delighted to welcome 36 local school pupils to Fairhill Shopping Centre to help educate them about the world of work and in particular, to give them an insight into the potential careers available to them in the retail sector.

Natalie Jackson, Centre Manager at Fairhill Shopping Centre and Megan Reid, Marketing and Operations Assistant, pictured with groups of local primary school pupils who took part in the Centre’s Stepping Stones event.


“As a Centre that houses some of the most successful retail businesses, we’re always keen to encourage ambitious individuals to join the sector.

Broughshane Primary School pupils learning about a career in retail at Fairhill Shopping Centre’s Stepping Stones event.


“Not only that, but there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes in terms of ensuring that those businesses are successful like management, marketing and security, which are all essential job roles.

A pupil of Fourtowns Primary School, Ahoghill, sampling some of the perfume at the Perfume Shop during Fairhill Shopping Centre’s Stepping Stones event.


“In a sector that can at times struggle, we want to show the next generation that working in retail is a very viable and rewarding career option that has a wealth of opportunities available within it.

Pupils from Camphill Primary School in Ballymena, pictured with Sandra Williams, Starbucks Store Manager and Chair of Fairhill Traders Association during Fairhill Shopping Centre’s Stepping Stones event.


“We hope that all the children who attended enjoyed their experience with us and we hope that by taking part in the initiative, more and more of our young people will be encouraged to join the retail sector in years to come.”

Mr Richard Topping, Principal at Broughshane Primary School, added: “We’re pleased to have been one of nine primary schools invited to take part in the Stepping Stones event by Fairhill Shopping Centre.

Primary School children from local primary schools were invited to Fairhill Shopping Centre, Ballymena to learn about careers in retail, centre management, operations and marketing. Pictured with Centre Manager, Natalie Jackson are, (back row) Louie Venner, St James’ Primary School, Ellie Forsthye, Broughshane Primary School, Rares Timuc, Ballymena Primary School, Ryan Graham, Camphill Primary School, Phoebe Tully, St. Colmcille’s Primary School, (front row) Bethany Herbinson, Ballykeel Primary School and Matthew Purkess, Fourtowns Primary School.


“Initiatives like this are so important to help educate and inform our young people on the options that are available to them. Stepping Stones gave our pupils a great taste of various different aspects of the retail sector, many of which can be overlooked occasionally, like for instance, security and marketing.

A pupil of Ballymena Primary School learning all about coffee at Starbucks during Fairhill Shopping Centre’s Stepping Stones event.


“Our pupils thoroughly enjoyed their time at Fairhill Shopping Centre and I’d like to extend my thanks to them for hosting such an informative and enjoyable event.”

Primary schools in attendance:

Ballykeel Primary School
Broughshane Primary School
Camphill Primary School
Carniny Primary School
Fourtowns Primary School
St. Colmcille’s Primary School
St. James’ Primary School
St. Patrick’s and St. Joseph’s Primary School
Ballymena Primary School


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