Julie joins Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) team for UWS

Julie McElroy has been appointed as an intern with Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) at the University of the West of Scotland, (UWS) for the academic session of 2015/2016. Julie will join Angela Castellano in the role, as SIE seeks to expand its services to more students across the university’s campuses.

Julie is currently a final year PhD student based within the School of Computing and Engineering at the University of the West of Scotland, (UWS).  Julie from Glasgow, was born both profoundly deaf and with Cerebral Palsy, which affects the messages sent between the brain and the muscles, which affects her movements and coordination.  Angela is a second year undergraduate  studying  ‘Web and Mobile Development’ in the School of Computing and will be reprising her role having started with SIE in a voluntary Ambassador position last year before becoming an SIE intern in full.

Julie and Angela will begin start their Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) appointment in August 2015 for seven months, later this year and will be stationed across campuses. They will work closely with university staff and students across the University of the West of Scotland and in particular the Enterprise and Innovation Research Centre along with fulfilling responsibilities associated with SIE out-with the University.

The Scottish Institute for Enterprise exists to help Scotland’s Higher Education students to develop an entrepreneurial mind-set and skill-set through encouragement and support structures designed to assist them in launching new for-profit and non-profit ventures. The SIE Intern Programme is one of the key ways this is achieved.

Julie and Angela’s remit with the Scottish Institute of Enterprise (SIE) will be to complement the current activities of the SIE team – working closely to support initiatives which stimulate entrepreneurship within the student population at their institution. The key requirement will be to support SIE activities and initiatives, but also to support locally based projects, for the benefit of the University of the West of Scotland.

The main goal of the SIE Intern is to use peer-to-peer communication to raise awareness of and engagement with entrepreneurship and enterprise through SIE and other programmes, events and services.

Speaking of this appointment, Julie says ‘I am delighted to be joining the Scottish Institute for Enterprise to promote entrepreneurial and innovation for the University of the West of Scotland. I am looking forward to engaging with the students and staff communities at the University to ensure they are aware of resources available to consider entrepreneurship. Working closely with Scottish Institute for Enterprise will ensure we can set-out together, across Higher Education achieving a collective-impact approach through unleashing the entrepreneurial spirits, wealth of knowledge, talent and creativity that will economically benefit our nation in the future.”

Kieran Smyth, Regional Intern Coordinator and Intern Trainer who recruited Julie as an Intern this year says “ It is really great to have Julie on board as part of the SIE team. She has an impressive knowledge of the entrepreneurial landscape and has so much to bring, not just to the role of intern at UWS but to the intern programme as a whole. I am sure that between her and Angela, we are on the verge of an explosion of entrepreneurial activity at UWS.”



Scottish Institute of Enterprise (SIE)

SIE is funded by the Scottish Funding Council and Scottish Enterprise to help students in Scotland develop enterprise skills, discover their entrepreneurial talent and start up their own ventures.

Julie McElroy
More information about Julie McElroy, including a short biography, is available at http://www.juliemcelroy.com/

University of the West of Scotland (UWS)
The University of the West of Scotland is a university operating from four campuses in south-western Scotland, in the towns of Paisley, Hamilton, Dumfries and Ayr. The present institution dates from August 2007, following the merger of the University of Paisley with Bell College, Hamilton.


Julie to complete the Bronze Level of NNAS

Julie McElroy is now back to take on a new personal challenge in the Outdoor circuit to complete her Bronze Level of the National Navigation Award Scheme, (NNAS).

The opportunity for Julie to complete the Bronze Level of the National Navigation Award Scheme, (NNAS) was given to her by Robert Bell. Robert will become Julie’s tutor and assessor of the Bronze Level.

Julie is delighted that Robert will lead her through the Bronze Level of the National Navigation Award Scheme, (NNAS).

Julie says “It is crucial that you find someone who understand your needs. Given that I am profoundly deaf, Robert will be doing a dual roles for me. It is important that the one-to-one programme is delivered for me as there is so much to take on in the outdoor and it is vital that the information is disseminated correctly to me in this pursuit if I am to tackle more outdoor ventures in the future. When I first met Robert at the Scotland’s Duke of Edinburgh Award’s engagement earlier this year, Robert developed a good communication strategy with me so it clicked from there”.

Robert lives in Edinburgh having previously served fifteen years in the Army (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders).  Since leaving, Robert has gone onto crave various careers and one them in the outdoor pursuits and is qualified in many areas of the outdoor with young people at the forefront of his fulfilment.

He is a qualified National Navigation Awards Scheme (NNAS) course provider and assessor. Also a qualified Summer Mountain Leader registered with Mountain Training Association and accredited Duke of Edinburgh Expedition Assessor up to Gold level.  He is also an adult instructor with the Army Cadet Force (ACF).

Robert first became involved in the National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS) from his father who was a course provider at the time.

NNAS (National Navigation Award Scheme) registered providers offer training in skill development, and assessment to participants.  The scheme is not in itself a leadership qualification. It concerns personal performance and is non-competitive.  The various levels of the scheme lets everyone experience and demonstrate technical competence in navigation. Normally participants begin with the Bronze award and progress through the Silver and Gold awards, with a period of further experience and consolidation between.

Julie and Robert met at the Scotland’s Duke of Edinburgh Award’s Expedfest weekend earlier this year where Julie was there as an invited guest, in the role as a DofE ambassador (Scotland). The weekend was specifically held for Duke of Edinburgh Award’s leaders and assessors.

It was only recently that Robert and Julie met up to share Duke of Edinburgh Award’s experiences and Robert offered Julie the chance to complete the Bronze Level of the National Navigation Awards Scheme (NNAS).

Speaking of the opportunity to work with Julie, Robert says “Julie has a deep desire to try new challenges as and when they arise.  She pushes herself to achieve these challenges and in doing so, inspires others.  She has shown me that she has the determination to succeed and wishes to learn a new skill”.

Robert went to say “Julie is an amazing woman.  Over many years, Julie has put all her energy into completing new outdoor challenges and arena sports. From climbing Ben Nevis, to walking in the Andes.  Julie is and inspiration to all, not just within the disabled community but within the able bodied community too”.

Julie’s undertaking of the Bronze Level of the National Navigation Award Scheme, (NNAS) will be exceptional because of her personal circumstances and the adversity Julie has pushed in the outdoor pursuits in previous years.

Julie from Glasgow, was born both profoundly deaf and with Cerebral Palsy, which affects the messages sent between the brain and the muscles, which affects her movements and coordination.

Julie says “It a different challenge altogether as I have always wanted to do another award. Recently, I looked at outdoor qualifications but the prospect of doing some of these qualifications was challenging given changes in the complexity of my walking was hard to come by. When Robert suggested the possibility of doing the Bronze Level of the National Navigation Award Scheme, (NNAS), I realised it could be about to open new direction for me and it fantastic to have Robert help me unleash it”.

Robert too is looking forward to the journey ahead as he says “Everyday Julie faces some challenge in one way or the other that is a fact of life for her. The National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS) will be no different. However, I believe that she has the confidence, manner, attitude, diligence and enthusiasm to succeed”.



  1. More information about Julie McElroy, including a short biography, is available at http://www.juliemcelroy.com/
  2. Robert Bell – More information about Robert’s Outdoor remits
  3. NNAS
    National Navigation Award Scheme– learn navigation skills and gain confidence to get out and enjoy the countryside.
  4. Duke of Edinburgh Award
    The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (commonly abbreviated DofE), is an award given for completing a programme of activities that can be undertaken by anyone aged 14 to 24. DofE programmes take between 1 year and 4 years to complete, depending upon the route taken. All programmes must be completed by the participant’s 25th birthday. Around 275,000 participants are taking part in their DofE programme at any time in the United Kingdom.