Building resilience key in boosting mental health says wellness event organiser

Annette Kelly who is behind this month's wellness summit Wellness from Within

POSITIVE thoughts have been the driving force behind Annette Kelly's Little Penny Thoughts online wellness brand and now the Co Tyrone teacher is moving up a gear with the launch of Northern Ireland's first wellness summit.

Annette has teamed up with fellow Tyrone health and fitness advocate, GAA player Richard Donnelly, to create Wellness From Within 2020, which takes place on Sunday, March 29 in the Crowne Plaza, Belfast.

"Through my work online with Little Penny Thoughts, I realised there was a real thirst for people wanting to boost their wellbeing and develop confidence and coping skills for today's fast-paced world," she says. "Wellness from Within was a concept I developed over two years ago and as a personal development coach I have delivered a series of wellbeing workshops throughout Northern Ireland.

"The vision behind the summit in Belfast is a deep desire to connect and join forces with other professionals within the health and wellbeing industry, to create a bigger impact and share knowledge in the hope to help people on their path. We are having a real-life-stories segment on the day that features courageous people who have been through difficult challenges and have faced adversity in their life.

"Sometimes, life can be very overwhelming and my mission is that Wellness From Within will create a day with a difference that will help, support and inspire others."

Annette is well qualified to speak on the topic from a personal perspective: she started up her Little Penny Thoughts Facebook page in 2015 as a "positivity page" with daily quotes and uplifting words to help others after she suffered from high levels of anxiety herself.

Now, with Northern Ireland's mental health crisis deepening, she says it is more important than ever to let people know there are ways to build resilience.

"Mindset, fitness and nutrition play a major role in boosting wellbeing and overall health which is why we have created this unique event and we hope people will leave feeling empowered, educated and inspired," she says. "It is my wish that those in attendance will gain strength and real hope from other people's stories."

Key speakers include performance nutritionist and author, Daniel Davey; personal trainer and cystic fibrosis hero, Ben Mudge; and Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and mental health activist, Caroline McMenamin.

:: Tickets are priced at £60 and include lunch and a wellness pack to take home. Booking and information at

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