by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

She founded one of Newry’s leading businesses, creating much-needed employment and leading the way for other female entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland, and now Sheila Chambers has been recognised with an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.   Awarded each year during the month of June as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s official birthday celebrations, the Birthday Honours recognise good works and outstanding contribution by citizens.


 

Sheila is to receive the honour for her contribution to the local economy, her role in generating vital employment, and for being a pioneer as one of Northern Ireland’s most notable female entrepreneurs.

 

Sheila founded Around Noon in 1989 and was recognised for providing much-needed part-time work for mothers seeking employment.  Today she continues with the company as a non-executive board member.

 

Around Noon which is now owned and run by Sheila’s son Gareth Chambers and Chairman Howard Farquhar, is one of Northern Ireland’s major business success stories of recent years. It now employs 330 people, operating sites in Newry and London, and servicing clients across the UK and Ireland.

 

Around Noon CEO Gareth Chambers officially congratulated Sheila Chambers MBE on behalf of the company and recognised her contribution not just to Around Noon but to NI Plc. He added: “We are absolutely delighted as it is such fitting recognition, and everyone at Around Noon is extremely proud.”

 

Around Noon Chairman Howard Farquhar said: “Sheila is a true pioneer and entrepreneur, setting up a business at her kitchen table in 1980s Northern Ireland, which has grown into what Around Noon is today. Sheila led the way for other female entrepreneurs and was a forerunner when it came to innovative working practices like flexible working, homeworking and work life balance for employees. Sheila is totally deserving of the honour and the board and team at Around Noon offer her their wholehearted congratulations and gratitude.”

 

Around Noon is one of the fastest growing companies in the UK and has featured in the Sunday Times Virgin Fasttrack 100 for the past two years.

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