First Steps Womens Centre Dungannon

First Steps Womens Centre Dungannon

Wellbeing Programmes

HolisticsThe overall aim of our Wellbeing work is to improve the physical and mental health of women and provide opportunities which will enable them to achieve their full potential.

First Steps Women's Centre (FSWC) has a holistic approach to women’s education and personal development. We strive to anticipate the barriers women may face when they return to education and help them overcome these, for example, providing Childcare and Transport.

The role of the Wellbeing Co-ordinator was created as there was recognition within FSWC that women needed support and education in relation to their health and wellbeing.

Women can face many changes and demands on their health throughout the course of their lives, such as motherhood, menopause, bereavement, divorce, changes in financial circumstances, caring for a family member etc. A number of women who attended our courses were living with long term medical conditions  or mental ill health (some just newly diagnosed). The relaxed comfortable and supportive environment here enables women to confide in Staff about issues which have impacted on their lives. This can include the loss of confidence and self esteem. There were also a number of women who visited FSWC who didn’t feel quite ready to undertake a qualification but wanted to enroll in a short course. Many of these women now start with a Health Promotion course to build up their confidence and then progress on to an accredited course.

It is important to note that many women undertake these courses for enjoyment and the opportunity to get out and meet other women and socialise.

FSWC new Wellbeing Co-ordinator Amanda Boyd has held this post since August 2015. Amanda is qualified in Reiki / Seichim, The Art of Feminine Presence courses / workshops, Coaching and Yoga / Relaxation.

Amanda says "For my personal interest and so I can bring the very best to our participants, I continue to be a student of leadership and personal and spiritual growth learning the most up to date techniques, strategies and systems that simply work. As I apply these strategies and tools , I am passionate about sharing them with others so they too can overcome the same challenges and fears I have experienced and help make a bigger impact in their lives"

Amanda's work is funded through ESF/DFE and The Arts Council.

Organ Donation – Having Information To Make Decisions

There are currently around 657,000 people from Northern Ireland on the NHS Organ Donation Register, that’s around 36% of the total population.

5th September 2016, sees the start of Organ Donation Week, a time when the organ donation and transplant community raise awareness of organ donation.

There are many cultural and religious reasons why people would choose to donate their organs or not. It is and should remain a decision based on individual values and beliefs.

While it’s a personal choice, and regardless of the outcome of the decision, its important family and friends are aware of a person’s wishes. We know there is a willingness to discuss dying and related issues, because people openly share their views and experiences with us when we meet them in community halls, shopping centres, cafes and other places across Northern Ireland.

People have told us that information on practical issues such as writing a will, making funeral arrangements, advice on insurance,

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What’s The Real Cost Of Unused Medicines?

There is no doubt that with an ageing population, the pressures on healthcare services will continue to grow, so more effective and efficient ways of using resources and delivering services in the future need to be adopted.

The Health and Social Care Board launched a campaign called Wipe out waste. Keep your eyes peeled for it throughout September! They say £18 million is wasted in Northern Ireland every year from medications not being used or thrown away. They’re encouraging people to help reduce waste, by checking their stock before re-ordering and letting their doctor or pharmacist know if they think they are getting too much.

It’s interesting to know the cost of medicine waste and what it could be spent on, if saved. For example, the Health and Social Care Board say that £18 million is the equivalent to 19,000 cataract operations; 700 community nurses; or 1200 treatments for breast cancer. Do you think having information like this can make a difference to people’s actions in Northern Ireland?

To view or add a comment, click here

Courtesy of Patient & Client Council

Raising Awareness Of Sarcoma

Sarcomas are rare cancers that develop in the supporting or connective tissues of the body such as muscle, bone, nerves, cartilage, blood vessels and fat. Paul’s Campaign started in 2011, after a young man called Paul from Derry, passed away, following a battle with Sarcoma. Lisa-Marie Holden, from Paul’s Campaign explains more.

Pauls’ Campaign was created to bring about greater awareness of Sarcoma.  Our aim from the very beginning is to educate health professionals in this field of cancer, and to highlight the signs and symptoms of Sarcoma among members of the public.

We held our first awareness walk in August 2011.  It started off at Sainsbury’s, along the Quay, over the Craigavon Bridge, over the Foyle bridge and down to DaVinci’s, where Paul had worked as a chef.  Since starting this walk, it has grown every year.  After the first year, we decided to hold the walk in July, as that’s Sarcoma Awareness Month and walk along the Derry walls in the heart of the City.

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Patients' Views On Diabetes

With more than 86,000 people in Northern Ireland living with Diabetes, we’ve been gathering patients’ views on the condition and their hopes for services in the future. Deepak Samson explains more.


‘Setting the record straight’ is the theme for Diabetes Awareness Week and that’s exactly what we’ve been helping people to do.

Over the past few months we’ve been talking to diabetic patients to understand what’s working well for them and how they feel services could be improved.

Patients really value the care they receive from staff, and acknowledge the pressure they are often under.

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What's It Really Like For People Living With Dementia And Their Families?

We’re living longer, which is something to celebrate, however, living longer, can bring more health complications.

This week is Dementia Awareness Week, and a lot has been happening to raise awareness of this condition.

Dementia mostly affects people over the age of 70 and is uncommon in people under the age of 60 but it can appear, though rarely, in people in their 40s or younger.  At the Balmoral Show last week, we heard from many hundreds of people who highlighted ‘care of the elderly’ as something they’d like our decision makers to focus on.

We all know someone who has dementia: a neighbour, a friend, a colleague, a family member.  A report from the Department of Health states that around23,000 people in Northern Ireland will be living with dementia, by 2017.

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The Challenges Of Living With Coeliac Disease.

Coeliac disease is a complete intolerance to anything made from wheat, barley and rye. Tina, who has coeliac disease, shares her experience of being in hospital and coping with the limited food available.

“If you have a life-threatening allergy or severe intolerance then it is not a matter of pot luck when it comes to hospital food.

I was recently hospitalised following a gall bladder attack. After pain relief, a change to another hospital and the subsiding of symptoms, I realised I was hungry.

Derek and Tina Thompson

Nursing staff were very helpful in trying to accommodate me, and after much checking, in the end, given the options available, I was offered yoghurt and jelly. 

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Living with Parkinsons

Affecting around 3,600 people in Northern Ireland, Parkinson's is a degenerative neurological condition, for which there currently is no cure. The main symptoms of the condition are tremor, slowness of movement and rigidity. Caroline McEvoy from Parkinson’s UK tells us more.

‘Our mission is to find a cure and improve life for everyone affected by Parkinson's through research, information, support and campaigning.

During Parkinson’s Awareness Week (18-24 April), we will be raising awareness of Parkinson’s and the services the charity provides to anyone who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

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Nutrition at home

How Was Your Meal?
Hot, and sometimes frozen, meals can be delivered to people’s homes, as part of their domiciliary care package, also known as 'meals on wheels'.

Nutrition is a crucial part of ensuring good health, and helping people return to good health, after illness. Its reassuring to know that standards already exist in Northern Ireland called Promoting Good Nutrition.

When it comes to food, I think we can all agree, things like quality, taste and temperature are important parts of enjoying a meal. Help to cook the food and perhaps, assistance to eat it may also be factors in enjoying a meal.

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"Understanding The Person, Not The Medication"

We spend a lot time designing the bridge, but not enough time thinking about the people who are crossing it.” – Dr. Prabhjot Singh

(Pictured are: Christo, Vickie, Rebecca and Christopher)

We, at the Innovation Lab (Department of Finance and Personnel), focus on understanding the views of the public in relation to services.  We want to put the people at the heart of how public services are delivered and believe that systems and services work better when we take account of the opinions of the people who use them.  

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Volunteering in Health Care Settings

Since retiring from nursing, Clare Greenfield has been volunteering for panels and local voluntary organisations. As this week’s guest blogger, Clare gives her take on the value of volunteering in care settings.

‘It is well recognised that there are increasing numbers of volunteers involved in health care settings with significant benefits to both the volunteer and those who receive help. There are a range of opportunities for volunteers to become part of health and social care provision.  

Volunteers provide unpaid support for the benefit of others. They come from a wide range of backgrounds, with diverse skills and a willingness to become involved and committed.

Older and retired people, students and school-agers make up the inter-generational aspect of volunteering. Volunteering together helps create opportunities to make friends and learn from each other.

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