How to be inspirational – Fantastic Four ‘Choose Now’ initiative

How to be inspirational – Fantastic Four ‘Choose Now’ initiative
Abbie Parkinson - one of The Boost Society's inspirational people

As part of its Choose Now campaign, soft drinks company, Boost Drinks carried out a province-wide search to find inspiring individuals who would become its Boost Society and shine a light on the Choose Now ethos of living life to the full.

Choose Now initiative

The Choose Now initiative is aimed at motivating and encouraging people to make every day count, live life to its full potential and fulfil their dreams, explained Lucy Manby, Brand Manager, Boost Drinks: “Following a social media search looking for members of the Boost Society, it’s fair to say that we have been blown away by the response!

The search unearthed eight amazing people who have become familiar faces on Boost Drinks social media channels as well as at numerous Boost events. A ‘fantastic four’ members of our Society have given an even deeper dive into their lives and how they carry the Choose Now attitude through life.  They are entrepreneur, Joshua O’Hagan (28) from Belfast, mum of six, Edel McFlynn from County Derry~Londonderry, NHS worker, Jordan Patterson (24) from Ballynahinch and model, Abbie Parkinson (24) from Kesh in County Fermanagh.

“The stories that our final 8 men and women shared with us outlined how they juggle their multiple passions, jobs, education and homelife to inspire others to live their lives to the full.  They’re all from different places, have different backgrounds and ages but they have one thing in common, they’re living their lives to the full.  Boost Drinks is very proud to be working with these talented, committed and passionate people”, commented Lucy.


Edel McFlynn (40), from Co Derry~Londonderry, has an Instagram page called Mumlifewith6, is a beautician and is training to become a nurse at Ulster University – Magee Campus.  Just one of those things would be enough to keep most of us busy but she’s also a mum to six children, a wife to joiner husband, Shane, and they have a Golden Retriever called Lucky.

Full and active life

Edel said: “Life is pretty full on at our house. Getting six kids washed, fed and dressed every morning teaches you the importance of a routine.  When I saw that Boost were looking for people with passions and a side hustle, I just knew I had to get involved.  Marrying my two passions, photography and family, allowed me to share some snaps and people really responded to their honesty.  Today I’ve got a really engaged community online and being part of the Boost Society allows me to share my life experiences with my followers to inspire them and show that you can pursue your passions despite what life throws at you.”

Fellow Boost Society member, Joshua O’Hagan, 28, recently opened Intent gym, in Ballyhackamore, to help people get fitter and improve their mental health.

Go for it

His story today is a far cry from his teenage years, growing up in a working-class area of Belfast, he explained: “At the age of sixteen, I was 16 stone, I was failing my exams, and I faced regular bullying.  In fact, I deleted all the photos of myself as a teenager, as I couldn’t bear to look at them.  I regret doing that now as I’d like to compare that person to the man I have become, we’re two very different people.  By being part of the Boost Society I hope to inspire people to Choose Now and not settle out of fear or thinking ‘what if’– just go for it.”

Abbie Parkinson, 24, from Kesh in County Fermanagh, created the upbeat food blog, Hungry Hot Mess, which has over 21,000 followers on Tiktok. She’s a trained actress and was a Miss Northern Ireland 2021 finalist.

Abbie said: “Being part of the Boost Society has given me a platform to talk about healthy eating and let men and women know that it is possible to win at life whilst juggling lots of different things.  I have even started my own Podcast, ‘Sugar, Spice and All Things Nice’, which is a safe space for people to be honest about life’s many trials and triumphs.”

County Down woman, Jordan Patterson, 24, works full-time as an Environmental Officer for the Belfast Trust.  She’s also juggling a masters, volunteering, and training to be a PT, and that’s not all.

In true Choose Now style, Jordan also loves surfing.

The Boost Society

“I was introduced to surfing when I lived in Australia”, said Jordan.  “I instantly fell in love with it and when I returned to Northern Ireland, I realised that Portrush was an excellent place to ride some waves – it’s now my favourite place in the country to surf.  In fact, I love it so much, that I volunteer for the Wave Project in Portrush during the summer which uses surfing to help young people improve their emotional and physical wellbeing”, said Jordan.

Lucy Manby, Brand Manager, Boost Drinks, said: “The Boost Society are making the most out of every situation in life and truly embracing the Choose Now ethos.  They’ve got side hustles they are passionate about and are pushing themselves to succeed at whatever it is they love doing.  Their determination and spirit just shines through and that’s what Choose Now is all about”

Boost Drinks was established in 2001, launching in Northern Ireland in 2003 and now owns the province’s top selling soft drink within the local independent convenience channel*.  Boost is available in various pack formats across seven core Energy flavours, Sport and Iced Coffee.


*Source is IRI NI Convenience unit sales 52we to 13th June 2021