First Steps Womens Centre Dungannon

First Steps Womens Centre Dungannon


Asda Foundation helps First Steps Women’s Centre ‘rebuild’ lives

News Release 13 February 2018

Asda Foundation    

Photo Captions:

Image 1 – L-R: Asda Cookstown Community Champion, Janice Gibson, Carla Dias (First Steps Women’s Centre), Asda Cookstown General Store Manager, Peter Beckett, Joanne Orr (First Steps Women’s Centre), Amanda Boyd (First Steps Women’s Centre) and Yvonne Corbett Project Manager from First Steps Women’s Centre.

Image 2 – L-R: Amanda Boyd (First Steps Women’s Centre), Asda Cookstown General Store Manager, Peter Beckett, Joanne Orr (First Steps Women’s Centre), Carla Dias (First Steps Women’s Centre) and Yvonne Corbett Project Manager from First Steps Women’s Centre with Asda Cookstown Community Champion, Janice Gibson, and her Asda Cookstown colleagues.

First Steps Women’s Centre in Dungannon is the latest local group to benefit from Asda Foundation support following a donation of £35k.

Aimed at transforming the lives of local women, the First Steps Women’s Centre provides educational and training support, alongside health and well-being services.

As a direct result of the donation, the centre is able to progress with a building refurbishment project, which will allow it to extend its childcare facilities for service users.

 Michael McGoldrick, Chief Executive of First Steps Women’s Centre, said:

“We were encouraged by Asda Cookstown Community Champion, Janice, to apply for the significant amount of £35k from the Asda Foundation. After visiting the centre and witnessing first-hand the life-changing – and life-saving work – which the team carries out on a daily basis, she was confident we could secure the funds needed for our building work.

“From a training course to a safe space to meet for a coffee, the centre is a hub for women to develop the skills and support networks they need to transform their lives. By extending the building to provide free childcare, First Steps Women’s Centre will be able to continue to help hundreds of women grow and develop each year, whilst caring for their families.”

Asda Cookstown Community Champion, Janice Gibson, added:

“As the 20th anniversary of the centre opening approaches, it seems a fitting tribute to the hard work and dedication of the staff and service users to extend the building. The additional space for childcare facilities will not only allow women using First Steps to concentrate on their studies and classes – it will also mean the centre does not have to pay to hire additional space for its activities.

“With the building work set to commence over the next couple of months, I am already looking forward to visiting the centre in the near future for the big reveal of its new space!”

 Any woman interested in an IT, Health & Wellbeing or Life Skills course, please contact the centre on 028 87727648, on Facebook, or via the website

For more information, please contact Robyn McMurray at Morrow Communications on (t) 028 90 39 38 37 or (e) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Renovations Begin!

Site Meeting 

Exciting times!!  Work has finally begun on our renovation thanks to Spaces & Places!  We will keep you posted with updated photos.

Read more ...

Voluntary Directors Required!

Classes Collage

As a registered charity, First Steps Women's Centre (FSWC) is managed by a Board of Voluntary Directors drawn from all sections of the community.

Always eager to develop and grow, FSWC is keen to recruit new directors who are passionate about helping women to develop and fulfil their unrealised potential.

Please contact FSWC if you feel you can contribute by becoming a director and contribute to the Community in a proactive and positive way.

The tenure of Directors is three years and this role is not remunerated.

For more information contact Michael McGoldrick at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Yvonne Corbett, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by telephone on (028) 87727648

International Women's Day - Thursday 8th March 2018! #PressforProgress

International Women's Day 2018

As we have no venue this year due to our Space & Place renovations, NIRWN have kindly agreed to let us help co-celebrate "100 years - Women and the vote" in Corrick House on the above date.

We will be organising a bus so If you would like to come along and celebrate with us please contact Bernie on (028) 8772 7648 asap.

The bus will be leaving at 9.30am and returning no later than 2.30pm.  Please share with your friends!

Leisure Centre & Council Offices Visit

Dungannon Council Offices and Leisure Centre Visit

Participants from First Steps Women’s Centre’s programme “Living In Mid-Ulster” paid a visit to Dungannon Leisure Centre and Mid Ulster Council Offices on Thursday 30th November 2017.

This project is funded by the Council’s Good Relations Programme.

The ladies had a great time meeting Councillor Kim Aston, Council Staff and finding out all about what  services the Council provides.

Pre Esol Visit to Ranfurly House & The Hill of O'Neill

The Pre-Esol ladies enjoyed a trip to Ranfurly House Arts & Visitors Centre and The Hill of O'Neill on Thursday 26th October 2017.

The ladies enjoyed their tea, coffee and scones in La Scala Cafe before Rita kindly provided a very informative tour of the Ranfurly House Arts & Visitors Centre before progressing on to the Hill of O'Neill.  Although there was some fog and mist around, the views from the hill were amazing.

The ladies thoroughly enjoyed their trip and took many photographs of their historic surroundings.

We would like to thank the Mid Ulster Council Good Relations Grant for funding this trip.

Local Co-op Community Fund Update

Our local Co-op's (based in Moy) Local Community Fund  is now closed.

The total funds raised by Co-op members is a staggering £1663.80 - Wow - Thank you!!

We hope you can join us in our local Moy Co-op store on Saturday 25 November for a celebration day where we can say thank you to all the members and customers who've raised this money for our organisation.

We are extremely grateful!

Visit from Michelle Gildernew MP and Colm Gildernew MLA

Michelle & Colm Gildernew

Michael McGoldrick, CEO First Steps Women's Centre, met with MP Michelle Gildernew and MLA Colm Gildernew.

The discussion focused on a number of important issues for FSWC including capital funding from Neighbourhood Renewal (through Dept for Communities). Michael explained that since he last met Colm there had been very positive movement from the Department regarding the release of Capital Funding. Michael thanked Colm for his invaluable input.

Michelle lent her support to the refurbishment project and requested that FSWC keep her up to date on its progress. Michelle said, "it is very important to get this project over the line so that services can be maintained".

Michelle also heard about the new European Social Fund programme which will be open in the autumn.

Visual Arts Project Wall hanging

Visual Arts Project Wall hanging

Our lovely ladies attended the unveiling of a masterpiece of all their hard artistic work!

Carole Kane, Landmarks Co-ordinator at Community Arts Projects (CAP) spoke of how exciting it was to be able to participate in the unveiling of such a personal and individual piece of art.  Carole Said "It is wonderful to see that you don't have to go to the likes of the Lyric Theatre to witness art, you ladies have produced your own individual and personal artwork together, which is something that you all should be very proud of"

Also in attendance was Artist and class Tutor Rosemarie McGrath and our Training & Education Co-ordinator Amanda Boyd.

Well done ladies! It is a truly wonderful piece of art which adds to our cosy tea break area.

Carla Lockhart DUP MLA Visit

Carla Lockharte DUP MLA

Carla Lockhart, DUP MLA for Upper Bann called into First Steps Women's Centre this morning. Carla met our dedicated staff including Project Manager Yvonne Corbett and CEO Michael McGoldrick.

Carla heard how FSWC started and how it has grown since 1998. Carla was amazed at the space within the Centre and the wide range of courses and services offered - over 40 training and education courses each year.

Promoting our courses and services

We have been out and about last week promoting our Open Days and our fabulous courses and services in the local supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsburys, Newell Stores and Springisland!

We will also be out this week in the same stores so call in for a chat, a leaflet, a timetable and/or an application form!

DUP Leader Visit

Image may contain: 5 people, people smiling, people standing

Arlene Foster, Leader of DUP called in at First Steps Women's Centre to give her support to the Centre. Arlene met with volunteers Shirley Allen, Patricia Davies and Ingrid Bell. She listened to their stories and heard how FSWC had made a big difference in their lives. 

Arlene also heard from Gillian Steenson, (Benefit Checker at FSWC) and how through her work she has helped local women and families identify an additional £100,000 in the last 12 months in Benefits. These include Family and Working Tax Credit as well as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit. 

Michael McGoldrick, CEO of First Steps Women's Centre highlighted FSWC's plans for a major refurbishment funded through the Big Lottery's Space & Place programme. Michael had informed Arlene that there was a shortfall in funding and that FSWC was hopeful of drawing down the extra funding needed from the Neighbourhood Renewal Capital programme. Arlene was fully supportive of the work of First Steps and also all the other Women Centres that operate across Northern Ireland.
Arlene acknowledged the valuable role FSWC plays within the local communities.

Meeting with Rosemary Barton UUP MLA

Rosemary Barton DUP MLA

Michael McGoldrick, CEO of First Steps Women's Centre (FSWC) met with Rosemary Barton, MLA to discuss First Steps Women's Centre. The Centre highlighted their concern to Rosemary that capital funding under Neighbourhood Renewal was at a standstill because of the impasse within Stormont.

Michael went on to state that the lack of funding was hampering progress on a capital refurbishment and extension of the Centre.  FSWC had been successful in a capital application through Space & Place (Big Lottery) for £350k. However it still requires approximately £100k. Michael explained that Mid Ulster Neighbourhood Renewal has designated the Centre as the number one priority for any capital award made within Mid Ulster.
Having listened to the plight of FSWC,  Rosemary agreed to write in earnest to the Permanent Secretary for Department for Communities to put forward our case.

Enrol now for September Courses!

We have received our fabulous new leaflets and application forms for our exciting new courses commencing in September 2017!

Why not call in and fill in an application form to avoid the last minute rush?  We have some fabulous new Wellbeing Programmes  available including:

Laughter Yoga, Tai Chi, Zumba, Harmone Harmony, Drumming and Aromatheraphy to name a few!

If you have a computer/laptop/tablet and you're still not confident on how to use it, never fear, we have an IT course suitable for you.

Getting the most from your smartphone, Getting the most from the Internet, Getting the most from your Ipad/Tablet courses are available as well as the popular Computerised Accounts and Computerised Payroll Courses.

If you are in "holiday mode" at the minute never worry, we will be having two weeks of "Open Days" in August beginning on Tuesday the 1st and finishing on Wednesday 9th August from 10am - 4.00pm.

Call in for a cup of tea and a chat!




Esol Farewell

It is hard to believe that our third term is coming to an end - time is surely flying!

Here are our Esol Entry Level 1, 2 and 3 Ladies on their final day with their Tutors Louise Campbell (Level 1) and Una Quinn (Levels 2 & 3)


Esol Entry 1 Ladies

ESOL Entry 2 Ladies

ESOL Entry 3 Ladies

Some of the ladies will be returning next year to progress to the next level.  To those who are moving on, good luck in your further education and/or employment!

It's going to be very quiet around here!





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