First Steps Womens Centre Dungannon

First Steps Womens Centre Dungannon

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Phone: 028 87727648

"There is such a lovely feel when you come through the door.  Its so homely and when I am there I don't want to go home!   When I did my first ever course (confidence building) I thought to myself Why have i not been here before? and Why was I holding back?  Everyone is so nice and very friendly. It's so relaxing".

 "I have to say only for first steps I wouldn't be working today, it was yourselves got me up and running again..."

February 2018

Hormone Harmony

  • Very good;
  • Thoroughly enjoyed course. Very well presented – great knowledge! Gained a lot of help/information;
  • Excellent tutor – interesting subject, learnt a lot;
  • I was looking forward to this course although a bit apprehensive. I absolutely love this class and have learnt so much. Mayella is a mind of information;
  • Maybe could have had more material to give as reminders/summaries of each session that I could refer to in the future (I have extremely bad memory – recall);
  • Great tutor, not sure if I would come to another Hormone Harmony;
  • Course tutor excellent, learned a lot of very valuable information for women;
  • Really enjoyed this course, really helped me to appreciate self care and the importance of it; Very enjoyable;
  • Excellent course for women.

Dancing Your Way to Health & Happiness

  • The Course DYWTH&H was very enjoyable.  And now I do all the dancing all the time at home.
  • This was a most enjoyable well presented course which stretched us mentally and physically in a super fun way. Charmaine is the best.
  • This has been the most enjoyable course.  I really enjoyed and would love it to continue in September J.  
  • The tutor was most welcoming and friendly – really enjoyed.
  • Best course ever.  Charmaine is so uplifting and joyful.  Brightens up my Monday mornings.  I feel wonderful leaving her class.
  • Charmaine interacted well with the class and everyone felt welcome. 
  • I would really like this class to continue
  • This was new.  Now ready to embrace another new course but would love the chance to extend this one.
  • Again I could not recommend this course enough.  When I leave here I feel like a new person.  I would say if I could bottle this class and take it away I would have such a good week.
  • I would recommend this course to any women especially people lacking in confidence or who have been through any stress.    You just release all and feel full of energy and confidence.


  • I thoroughly enjoyed this course;
  • The assertiveness course has helped me through a lot of my problems. I have benefited a lot from going to the Women’s Centre;
  • Thank God for this Women’s Centre. It is a real boom in Dungannon, if I did not have it here as I am sure others say too, I would go crazy;
  • Only for the Women’s Centre I would lack confidence and not mix with others. The courses are both great for your everyday life. Learning new things is always a great thing. Without the Women’s Centre we women would have a massive void in our life. That is women from all walks of life.
  • I had fantastic support from my tutor Norah and Amanda;
  • Long live Norah (Tutor) and Amanda (Wellbeing Co-ordinator) two fine ladies;
  • I was encouraged to take part and ask questions when I needed to.
  • I would very much like to continue with this subject as it’s an ongoing process. I’d also like to look at other subjects;
  • I feel assertiveness is something one needs to be reminded of and repetitive input is good;
  • To be as confident as I can be and to be straight up with people and learn how to please yourself;
  • I would like to learn new courses.
  • A lot of people would benefit from this as life at times gets tough and great problem solving ways to deal with situations. Come along to the Women’s Centre, if you lack confidence coming in, you’ll certainly have it going out. A pleasure;
  • I would recommend this course to everyone. As we need to learn how to look after ourselves and how to deal with situations the right way;
  • I would recommend the Women’s Centre to a friend or family member. Gives a lot of confidence and support to women.

Fashion Fabrics

  • Really enjoyed course;
  • Really enjoyed company;
  • I really enjoyed this course and hope to continue this activity and I hope to attend the next course;
  • Very informative course, I looked forward to attending each week.
  • Absolutely loved the course. 
  • Looking forward to the next course.
  • Have loved every second of this class and really hope there is more as I will definitely be going.
  • Loved it; Brilliant course, I feel it helped my confidence and self esteem. I have never made anything before on a sewing machine. I have a sense of accomplishment; I hope to continue with this new skill, as I feel more confident about tackling new projects. I have really enjoyed this course.
  • Love it, Love it, Love it!


September 2017

Self Defence(4 responses)

  • Look forward to more of this if possible.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the Self Defence class. It gives one confidence. Bravo!!!;
  • I would like this course to be longer than six weeks.

Would you recommend this course?

  • I would recommend this course to anyone, man, women or child
  • Definitely

Did you gain any of the following?

Confidence                                 4
Communication Skills                 2
Ability to work with others           3
Social Skills                                 3
Ability to problem solve               2
Other – please state                   Stamina

Managing Stress

  • Course has been very helpful to a few situations I find myself in, great advice given by Nora and participants in class;
  • Yes, course is meeting expectations and requirements;
  • It’s helping me to look at things differently, listen to others;
  • I love it !!!;
  • Nora is amazing, listening to everybody, feedback and giving tips to each individual as needed;
  • The tutor is making us aware of boundaries;
  • Nora is very well organised and makes material easy to understand;
  • Nora is class!!! ;
  • I feel totally comfortable in this class and have brought up quite a few things I needed help with to try and deal with issues;
  • Yes, I feel more positive since I started the course;
  • I could participate more;
  • Yes, I feel I question things if needed and I share experiences;
  • We all talk and listen;
  • Learning to look at ourselves in a different way and learning what we would like to change with confidence;
  • I highly recommend this course;
  • All talk is natural talk that can happen in everybody’s life;
  • I think the course is helping me to understand this more and express myself;
  • Well organised and well presented. A lot of materials covered in a short time
  • I feel confident in the class and not afraid to speak out. A feel good programme
  • Yes each of us are participating in class and Norah knows how to ask questions and gives us ways on how to change our thinking.
  • I found it extremely helpful on how to deal with a lot of aspects in my life. It’s like renovating an old house.
  • Everyone in participating in class getting lots of different opinions and take out of it what suits me.
  • Communication, Friendships, materials to help me mentally improve
  • Great presenter. Material covered is so apt to my circumstances.
  • I found it extremely helpful on how to deal with a lot of aspects in my life. It’s like renovating an old house.

Were all the topics covered so far relevant to your needs?

  • Yes and it helps to be able to discuss things with people who understand;
  • Very much so, was stressing over a few things in my life at the minute and how I need to change in a positive way;
  • I think a lot covered;
  • Very much so;
  • They all apply to me.
  • What are the strengths of this course?
  • Confidence Building!!!
  • They help me to look at things I need to change. How to put these into practice.
  • The strengths of this course are the people and Building Confidence.
  • A lot of things covered, relaxed environment, good tutor, nice group of girls who share their stories.
  • Friendship, confidence.
  • Learning speaking your truth.
  • A great tutor, time to talk to each other with experiences, the companionship of the others.
  • It is enjoyable and engaging.

What are the weaknesses of this course?

  • I don’t think there are any.
  • None found – just classes go so fast.
  • None.
  • Hard to know.
  • The weaknesses of this course are getting myself to keep it up.
  • Silly question – None.

Do you have any suggestions for improvements in either the content or the presentation of the course?

  • None at all – Perfect.
  • None, most enjoyable.
  • No.
  • More time.
  • Take into account that all wisdom is within and so needs nurturing.

Do you have any other comments on the course?

  • The participants were helpful also.
  • Totally enjoyable.
  • Would need to put this into practice, I need to o the course again!
  • I just feel these courses need to be ongoing.
  • Not one, except I made new friends and realise I am not alone in my thinking.
  • The course had made me come out of myself and go out of my comfort zone and not to be afraid of change.
  • Thank you Norah for the teaching and listening to each and every one of us.
  • Have got a lot out of it and heading towards a brand new me.
  • Am thoroughly enjoying the course.

Jewellery Making

  • Would like to do the course again, would like it to be longer;
  • Wendy is an excellent tutor, very patient, very friendly and welcoming.
  • Everyone is very supportive and approachable.
  • Loved the course, everyone very friendly;
  • Brilliant course, very informative. I found it easy to fit in, everyone was supportive and welcoming.


March 2017

English Courses (Spaces Available)  by Ciara 

"This English course is very enjoyable and beneficial course for anyone looking to complete or upgrade their Key Stage III or GCSE's.

The course is a 16 week course and is open to anyone wanting or needing that extra bit of tuition. I, myself, attended the course and found it very helpful and beneficial. It has helped me a lot. I now can help my son with his homework a lot more now.

Mr Michael Murphy is the Tutor and he is excellent! He is always there if you need help with anything and he doesn't put pressure on you if you don't understand something. I would highly recommend this course to anyone willing to take part as I, a single mother, have gained exceptional knowledge of English. It is also an opportunity to get out of the house and meet new people.

A very enjoyable experience"

Ciara (Essential Skills, Literacy)

 Wellbeing Course Participant

"Thank you and all the staff at FSWC for the wonderful opportunities you offer women, you are providing an excellent service, long may funding continue for this vital facility in our community".


  • Tutor was great fun to work with.
  • Zumba class was excellent. Zumba teacher very fit and worked well at our slow pace to start.
  • Very Good.
  • Zumba was very good fun and good exercise1
  • It’s been amazing!
  • Staff are lovely, efficient and helpful also good fun!
  • Enjoyed Zumba well.

Dancing your way to Health & Happiness

  • Charmaine was brill, looking forward to further classes. 
  • A fabulous course, we need more of these!
  • Fulfilled every need. Found it all completely enriching and made new friends.
  • Brilliant course, I loved every bit! Charmaine is fantastic, thanks!
  • Unfortunately with my condition I was unable to participate in all classes. Tutor was wonderful, made me feel good about myself even though I couldn’t do much.
  • Everything was great!
  • Such an enjoyable course!
  • Charmaine is a great teacher.
  • Tutor was very encouraging, made everyone feel good.
  • I’d recommend this course to everybody! Definitely!
  • This course was entertaining, yet exercise was done too!
  • I already have recommended it to others!
  • Fun class. Everyone love it. Unfortunately with my bone issues I didn’t get to do too much but thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Managing Stress

  • This course was wonderful.  I enjoyed getting ready for it every Tuesday
  • Excellent course and I’ve learned a lot from it.
  • Norah is a wonderful Tutor. I found the course to be very useful and thought provoking. Thank you very much!
  • This course is fantastic I feel that it is helping me a lot.
  • Great tutor able to communicate well and point us in the right direction.
  • A very worthwhile course and a good starting point towards change
  • I really feel that more women especially in rural areas need to know about this centre, it really is a fantastic centre for women of ALL ages and BACKGROUNDS.
  • This course is very important for people to help them gain confidence and find out things about themselves.


  • It would be nice to have it spread over 10 weeks.
  • Excellent course even for those disabled.
  • All participants should be told to attend class promptly to get value from the tutor, as it is bad manners to be late.
  • I find the Women’s Centre very essential for I have attended several courses and enjoyed each one.
  • Excellent class. Feel much more flexible at 60+!
  • I enjoyed yoga. My first time doing it. I will be keeping it up. Many thanks.
  • Great place to meet other women from all walks of life and enjoy a cuppa.
  • I hope to keep coming to the Centre. It has given me a bit of confidence.
  • Excellent course. Well presented. Feel motivated to learn more.
  • I certainly would recommend the Centre for different courses to other women.


  • The course was first class. Very good tutor. Learn different skills to relax more.
  • This was my first experience of Mindfulness and I really enjoyed it. I would recommend this course for anyone.
  • Really excellent course. Well done!
  • Thank you. Lorraine was wonderful & amazing.
  • Lorraine is a great tutor: Very patient and accepting. I learnt a lot about meditation.
  • An excellent tutor who took the mystery out of mindfulness and made it applicable to everyday life situations.
  • Lorraine gave excellent tips on Mindfulness and Relaxation.
  • I am going to do the course again somewhere else also, as I enjoyed it very much.
  • This course should go out for everyone. A brilliant tutor with great patience.
  • Excellent course. I feel many more people could benefit of this.
  • A fantastic, super course.
  • Yes definitely. I would recommend it for dealing with stress – very beneficial.
  • It is many years since I have attended Dungannon Women’s Centre and it is as excellent a facility as ever. Staff are so efficient and helpful- always.


Mother and daughter, Mary and Julie, decided to take some needed time out and join our Managing Stress course September 2015 with Madeleine McBride. 

Both mum and daughter are carers for another family member and this has meant not only have they not had time in their lives for themselves and much needed self care but they also haven’t been able to spend a lot of mother/daughter time together.  So the class was a perfect opportunity for Mary and Julie to recharge their batteries, learn coping and stress management skills and spend some relaxing time together. 

Over the weeks the ladies absorbed and put into practice what they learned at each session. Chatting to them mid way through the course they said they had already found it life changing and use the practices daily and they are also passing what they know onto their family members creating a positive ripple effect!  

When the course completed Mary said “This course has been a lifeline for me and also my daughter who attends with me.  It has given me lots of different ways to cope when I am stressed.” When asked if she would recommend this course to others Julie replied “BIG TIME.  I brought mum along to the course and am happy at how much it is helping her so I’d shout it from the rooftops first steps women’s centre is the BEST!”  

September 2016

ECDL Essentials

  • This computer course was something I wanted to do for a long time but I've been too nervous and low in confidence. Pleased I've made first move.
  • I was afraid of computers but doing this course has made them less "scarey" - I want to do the next level too.

Next Steps to Computing

"I have started work as a sales assistant....I found the staff (in FSWC) very helpful, with a positive attitude.  They helped me find courses that would help me increase my chances of finding work. The Progression Worker was brilliant in helping me put together a new CV after 12 years and phoned me about job vacancies.  Many Thanks!"

Sew Good Course

  • Learning to thread machines using the over-locker and make useful items.
  • Taking me back to old times using a sewing machine. Seeing the way modern machines are used.
  • Learning techniques then can apply in many situations
  • Well presented and lots of advice and tips
  • Still lots to learn but making good progress
  • High level of energy, very open, I can ask questions and I don’t feel shy here.
  • Very enthusiastic instructor which is infectious!

Assertiveness Course

  • I was the least assertive person, but already I feel different.  I have the words in difficult situations.
  • Excellent and I think it’s an ongoing thing we need to be doing on a regular basis, so looking forward to the next course!!
  • Norah is a brilliant girl.  She is a world of knowledge and everything makes sense.  Also I love how I trust her honesty
  • I didn’t know what to expect but there is so much relevant information & discussion.
  • The strengths are meeting new people. Putting theory into practice. Great tips on how to be assertive in a calm and gentle way.
  • It was exactly what I expected and presented professionally with a little bit of fun thrown in.
  • Excellent teacher – made great friends and I’ve changed in a good way – no longer a doormat – able to be assertive without being too passive – aggressive.
  • I’m enjoying being in a learning environment again and its helping my self esteem and self belief.
  • Everyone enjoying the course.  We can get together and for a little while forget our troubles and pain and have a laugh.
  • When is the next course?

January 2016

Creative Wellbeing Course

  • I am thoroughly enjoying the course however I think the only thing that would improve the experience would be if more participants had signed up.
  • For me this course makes me relaxed and have fun.
  • Better than I expected

What did you think about the tutors’ organisation and presentation of material?

  • Very Good.
  • Charmaine is excellent and mixes it up each week which is fun.
  • Everyone so kind.
  • Well organised, very friendly and puts you at ease.

 What do you think about the content of the course?

  • Very enjoyable sometimes
  • Excellent!
  • I am thoroughly enjoying this course so far.

What are the strengths of this course?

  • Helps you relax.
  • The fun aspect
  • It is very varied and I am enjoying it.
  • I like all the things we do

What are the weaknesses of this course?

  • Can’t think of any.
  • None
  • None that I can see
  • N/A its all very good

 Do you have any suggestions for improvements in either the content or the presentation of the course?

  •  Perhaps explaining a bit more what we are going to do at the beginning.
  • No
  • More activities is more fun and more relaxing for each other.
  • No it’s great.

 Do you have any other comments on the course?

  • Very enjoyable
  • Charmaine is an excellent tutor who brings lots of positive to the room.
  • For me this course makes me relaxed, like one hour in the gym and the lady she is so kind (tutor). 
  • I hope to do more courses, similar perhaps.
  • More days

Managing Stress (Advanced Class)

Is the course meeting your expectations and requirements?

  • Yes
  • More than I expected
  • Very relaxing
  • Yes and more

What did you think about the tutors’ organisation and presentation of material?

  • No one could do it as well as Madeleine
  • Very organised
  •  All concerned, very, very friendly and approachable
  • Do you feel you are sufficiently active and involved in the course?
  • Don’t know where I would be without it
  • Yes and when I wasn’t physically able to do some moves she showed me how to do them another way without any fuss.
  • Feel confident for 1st time EVER!

What do you think about the content of the course?

  • Great, very (wide ranging), all kinds of ages. Coordinator note:  assuming person thought this question meant the participants on the course and ‘very’ meant wide ranging as per the question
  • Excellent
  • Learning so much and different approaches to calm mindfulness.
  • More than I ever expected

What are the strengths of this course?

  • A better outlook on life
  • Group participation
  • Content and the way it was delivered
  • Relaxing, more energy
  • Building confidence and a completely new way of living
  • Very welcoming and warm

Do you have any other comments on the course?

  • Could not be better. My life has changed so much for the better.
  • Really enjoying this course. Every week we do something different which enables me to use when situation arises.
  • Absolutely brilliant overall
  • Really enjoying the course and using techniques to help deal with stress!
  • Enjoyed the course totally, could do with more similar courses. Tutor delivered it perfectly.

Course Participant September 2015

Nancy joined the Wellbeing for Life and Work course last September 2015 with the aim of learning wellbeing techniques and to learn how to say NO! Each week different emotional and physical wellbeing practices were shared and Nancy started using them in different situations that arose.

Mid way through the course Nancy said. “Before starting the course I was very depressed dealing with health issues and friends expecting too much from me.  I have learnt to word “NO”. I have gained a lot of confidence while attending this course and we are only at half way point.  I look forward to each week and I am able to put into practice and feel less guilty. I feel a completely different person at the minute and some of my friends have noticed and think it is good for me”. 

The weeks progressed and so did Nancy! She was now dancing every week, enjoying a good social life, booked herself in for her first massage, was using breathing techniques to help with pain relief,  was saying NO much more often and had grown in confidence. By the end of the course in December Nancy said she would highly recommend this course to anyone and added “I would like to thank the centre for their very friendly welcome to others and myself.  I can’t wait for the next course!”  Nancy is now enrolled in another class and is enjoying it just as much!

September 2015 Course Evaluation Reports - Participant comments

Life Skills 

Numeracy /Application of Number
“It helps that we have a great teacher
“I feel I’m getting places”
“Everyone is equal. Don't feel stupid asking questions”
“Excellent teacher. Learning lots”
“Enjoying it. Feel empowered
“It helps that Lorraine(Tutor) has great patience”
“It has totally exceeded my expectations because I believed I was totally stupid at maths”
“Lorraine(Tutor) checks our level of understanding at each stage of a learning a new topic and gives extra support practice sheets to help students grasp the concept”
“All the topics covered have been useful not only to refresh my memory but to learn and understand new things”
“Lorraine (Tutor) can place herself at the individual level of each student and adapt the material to suit individual needs
It makes maths easier to understand and get the hang of”

Literacy /Communication Level 1:
“Learning punctuation and spelling. Great teacher makes English fun.”
“Learning my spelling and how to write properly”
“The tutor presents well, gives materials to learn at home
Good at explaining until we understand”
Good motivation ,good pace of work”

ESOL Reading
“Understand grammar and read better.”
“Speak, read and understand English better. “
Really understand how to use verbs, speak better”
“I really want to say thank you very much to my teacher for teaching me how to understand, write sentences and how to speak in English”

ESOL Speaking and Listening: I can now...
“Talk about me, friends, family, my town, times and dates.
“Tell the time in English and spell my name”.
“Answer questions about myself and spell letters of the alphabet.”
“I can now say numbers and talk about my house.”
“Speak about daily life, about what I like to eat and what I don’t like. I know the alphabet. I can make questions and am now able to speak about the past. I can listen for information”.
“Say what I like/ don’t like, ask for information and answer questions.”
“ I understand letters of the alphabet, numbers and prices, dates and times and am able to describe people and places and what things look like.”
“Alphabet, numbers 1-100, times and dates. I can speak about what I do in life and listen for information.”
“I can ask for information about people using past and present tense. I can now answer questions about myself.”
“Talk about myself in the past. Talk about my culture. Listen better for information. “
“Ask and answer questions and speak about the house, shopping, food and drink.”

“The course is helping me identify my skills
“The tutor is great, she presents the course very well and helps you understand what you are doing”
“The tutor is very organised and she never forgets to find out information for us”
“I like the content of the course as its really relevant not just for job searching but for everyday life”

Health Promotion

Managing Stress
"Excellent – gained many new techniques to help in everyday life. Brilliant teacher."
"I have suffered from depression and anxiety throughout my life. This course has been life changing J I feel content, happy, confident.
"This course has been a lifeline for me and also my daughter who attends with me. It has given me lots of different ways to cope when I am stressed."
"Thank you First Steps for accepting me on this programme. A truly wonderful experience. Tutor presented in a very caring and professional manner, made everyone feel so valued. Everyone in first steps made me feel so welcome."
"I feel this was really a worthwhile course which has helped me a great deal."
"Stress Management course has been life changing. Madeleine is truly an amazing person with total belief in her techniques and with 100% commitment given to her teaching techniques and methods."
"Great support. Have learnt a lot and met people in the same position as me."
"Very helpful."
"Yes could participate as much or as little you wanted."
"First steps is an amazing facility. Amanda is so approachable along with everyone else."
"Everyone is so kind."
"Excellent support from both Tutor and other attendees."
"Help with present work. New techniques to end stress and relieve stress."
"I’m looking forward to continuing with Stress management and relaxation."
"Basically to help dealing with depressing, anxiety, OCD and eating disorder."
"Very much it is a course everyone should join."
"Yes think everybody needs a course like this, to improve everyday relationships with others."
"BIG TIME. I brought mum along to the course ad am happy at how much it is helping her so I'd shout it from the rooftops first steps women’s centre is the BEST."
"I have already recommended this course to others. I will miss it until January."
"An excellent course very well delivered. I only wish I had been able to attend a similar course years ago. Very productive and supportive. Should be recommended to GPs. Do they know about it?"

Personal Development
"An excellent course and well worth attending. It does need to be topped up and reinforced on a regular basis so can’t wait for the next course".
"It’s very inspiring in the fact it causes you to think about actions to take to make life better for self which then means to others".
"Norah (Tutor) is great she always has all the handouts of us and if anyone has missed a date she has their paperwork ready for them".
"Amazing lady!! Who delivers an amazing course".
"This course has covered a lot to give confidence and self esteem back to people".
"The resources given are excellent , the resources are great information and discussions are excellent".
"Encourages individuals to care for “the self”. Gives individuals food for thought".
"It’s great for making you feel better in yourself by helping you to learn how to build self esteem".
"The strengths of this course are having people thinking of our moods and life purpose".
"I found this course covered everything I need. It was presented really well and the content was good".
"I find the course very uplifting and it has given people confidence in themselves to make them feel valued".
"Can’t wait to the next stage of personal development!".

Managing Stress
“I am really enjoying this course and look forward to it every week”
“I never imagined the course would be so good”
“Wish this had been available to me years ago”
“Beyond my expectations”
"Delighted to be the given the opportunity to gain techniques for managing and coping with daily life, anxiety and stress".
“Everyone in First Steps are amazing down to earth and Madeleine McBride...well unreal how she presents herself and inspires”
“Information and presentation set out in a very understandable way”
“Could not be better – excellent”
“First class; well prepared, noticeable, easily understood information”
“For first time I feel comfortable to talk and feel I am really being listened to”
“So much subjects and areas of wellbeing I never knew existed”
“Wide spread knowledge of various stress management techniques given”.
“Having suffered from depression / eating disorder now for years the new techniques have been a blessing in helping me cope.”
“As I suffer from stress and anxiety all techniques very helpful”
“Informative leaflets and handout, easily explained with practical diagrams”
“Hard to put into words, cosy comfortable, inspiring, friendly, life changing”
“For me it was the first time I have been to this course. I have just changed my thinking on life”
“Excellent choice for anyone, changes your life, your wellbeing, learning how to cope with stress”

 IT (Information Technology)

First Steps to Computing
“Yes it is very interesting and enjoyable doing something new each week”
“Tutor very easy to get on with and very good at explaining everything. Very helpful”
“Getting more confident”
“Content very good, loving the course”
“The course has been brilliant for me as now I am not afraid to switch on my computer at home”
“I have learned a lot”
“Interesting and informative”
“Excellent course, very enjoyable”

Testimonials from the First Steps to Living well Project Jan 2015
Funded by PHA /CLEAR project

Living Life to the Full Courses
" Every week was different and we were encouraged to say how we felt and how we could “help” ourselves".
" Just everything. I didn’t want it to end. I am so much more confident in myself and feel I could go on now to look for a job. Just brilliant!, should be taught at school".
" I couldn’t wait until the next session".
" The booklets – we were able to read them again later, and the 1–1 with the tutor".
" The course was fantastic. It gave me more confidence in everything I now do. I’ve now more self-worth and also the course was fun. Andrea was amazing!"
" The tutor was very supportive, helpful and encouraging throughout. I also learned a bit about myself and skills to cope|".
" I loved everything about this course and look forward to the next course very, very much!"
" The tutor, the course, the venue, the staff and the other students all made my experience wonderful".
" It helped me cope with problems in my life".
" I enjoyed the positivity".
" The relaxed atmosphere and how it was delivered. The positivity and encouragement given".
" It helped me identify problem areas".
" The people are very nice and polite. They give opportunities for everyone to join in".
" Excellent tutor(s) – made me think more about how to cope when faced with difficulties".
" All good and relevant, but not for everyone".
" Helps you to learn how to cope more positively and assertively with the dramas of life and helps you to deal with negative thoughts and emotions and cope better".

Wellbeing Techniques Courses
• Helpful hints, information and exercising.
• Practicing the techniques rather than just being told about them.
• Relaxation tips and meeting people.
• I liked the relaxation and the positive way the tutor came across at all times.
• It has been giving me more confidence and I learned to be kind to myself.
• I learned new techniques to help myself.
• I liked everything about it and left the class feeling good.
• This course was invaluable for helping me relax. I learnt techniques I have never known and have got so much help and support from this course which will help me for the rest of my life to manage my anxiety.
• The tutor was really lovely. Very calming and helped the group to learn and practice the techniques to relax.
• Relaxation, time out for self care and meeting friends.
• We were encouraged to support each other and also to practice encouraging our own development. Very supportive.

IT Courses

Next Steps To Computing
"Very patient and explaining all bit by bit."
"Our tutor is very helpful and very patient and will go over and over until it clicks with you."
"Jenny is lovely & girls are very friendly. I always feel accepted here."
"Learning new things – exciting."
"The course is very good. Excellent in the way information is put over."
"Time = gaining knowledge. Enough knowledge gained on day to practice (if one did) during the week."
"Feeling included and accepted."
"Helping me learn more about computers."
"Help all the ones that can’t use a PC in every way and gives us confidence."
"Thanks Jenny and all at Women’s Centre for giving a great opportunity."
"I’m very happy with the course."

Sage Accounts 2
"I envisage myself using my skills in future employment and feel this course prepares me well."
"Tutor is highly organised and presents materials in a clear and informative manner which is easily followed."
"Tutor keeps us involved in all aspects of the course."
"Very well structured."
"Practical content which should be easily applied in future employment."
"Booklets were excellent."
"The course is an excellent qualification to have on your CV in case a job comes up in the future."
"Practical instruction in the use of Sage software and delivered in such a way as to be confidently applied."
"The course is brilliant – content, presentation, support materials are excellent. Looking forward to Level 3."  


"Clear information on each topic."
"Good info booklets."
"The tutor is always perfectly prepared for the lesson and the presentation of material is excellent."
"Good range of topics."
"Practice papers readily available on each topic."
"Gives you general knowledge of using computers – in all aspects."
"Very enjoyable and makes you more confident."
"Good in-depth content. Learning a lot."
"Can complete modules missed at another arranged time. Good handouts. Practice papers before test. "
"The general impression is great."

ECDL Advanced
"It met all my expectations."
"Tutor’s material is excellent."
"Very organised."
"Covers all aspects."
"Very useful in work with presenting."
"Yes, I am learning how to use Microsoft Powerpoint. I am learning new things/skills."
"Lets you know the advanced procedures you can cover on a computer."
"Friendly group. On at good time of day. Friendly tutor. Good course."
"A variety of ways to present any presentation."
"Very in depth."
"Detail/content of course."
"Good course to have."
"Love it."
"It covers all you need to know for the ECDL Advanced Powerpoint."

"Booklet very helpful."
"Manual easy to follow and understand."
"Often bit mind-boggling – tend to get there in the end."
"Everything is covered."
"Teacher easy to communicate with."
"Advanced knowledge in Sage Payroll."
"Great course to further my employment."

Text Processing
"I am given Text Production papers to practice on. The tutor answers any questions I have. She also marks my papers for me."
"The tutor will mark my work and me out papers."
"Tutor gives extra hours when she feels class needs them. Tutor goes the extra mile giving up free time to ensure we get as much help as possible."
"There are only women on the course. We are given several weeks practice on our papers before our exams."


2014 - Course Evaluation Reports

Information Technology

First Steps to Computing (Beginners IT)
"Jenny (Tutor)has a lovely way with her. She has time for everyone and gives great help and support to everyone".
"Very good and clear".
"Jenny is an excellent tutor, made it very simple to understand, very patient and very relaxed".
"We all learn together, lovely atmosphere".
"One feels free to ask questions and repeat instructions".
"I think it is grand to help everyone learn together and gain confidence in our new found skills".
"As a beginner everything was clear and helpful".
"You can ask at any time for help".
"You can proceed at your own pace".
"Helps to dispel the fears of using a computer and increased my confidence".

Next Steps to Computing (CLAiT)
"Teaching all areas of computer work".
"Approachable tutor".
"Working in a friendly helpful environment".
"Adapting to individual needs of attendees".
"Plenty to be learned – if you can take it in!"
"Small no of participants and efficient/active tutor who continually helps/assists".

"I found the course very enjoyable, both the content and meeting people; and use of content".
"Enjoyed the course. Has helped me with my work. Enjoyed the class. Tutor always approachable."
"Good surroundings. Nice building".
"I really enjoyed this course – the tutor was excellent and the course was a great confidence boost. I learned a lot. Thank you".
"What first appeared to be a difficult course, soon proved to be manageable and enjoyable thanks to a very talented lecturer. It has encouraged me not to be as hesitant whenever it comes to IT"

Sage Level 1
"The course is what I expected and it is truly interesting and useful".
"Every aspect is well covered".
"Workbooks great help".
"Get as much help when needed or when asked".

Sage Level 2
"Doing one course and it’s straight to the point. Also, it’s only two hours long. Any longer and I wouldn’t concentrate".
"Good information given".
"V. organised"
"V. helpful"

Sage Payroll Level 1
"Really organised and very well presented".
"Excellent – Patricia, great knowledge, excellent teaching skills, always willing to help".
"Covers all aspects of Payroll.I feel all topics have been covered and are relevant to the course".
"For me is good for job, for learn more English".
"Easy to understand and follow".
"Nice explanation of course".
"Work at own pace – easier to identify any mistakes and learn from them. Good use of different exam papers".

Essential Skills - Literacy (English)
"I have found the course very interesting and have certainly gained new skills"
"I found the tutor to be very good at explaining things I didn't understand. I really hope you offer GCSE in the future"
"I have really enjoyed my time on this course and my tutor has been very helpful and encouraging"
"I found this course very helpful because the tutor that taught us was very helpful. He explained everything to us and I thank him very much
I really was very blessed by this course. I enjoyed the class and thought our teacher was very good. Overall I feel encouraged to continue with further educational courses at this Centre. Very blessed by having childcare facilities on-site. Gold Star"
"I would recommend to a friend. The tutor was excellent to work with and they (Staff) are excellent to help you".

Essential Skills - Numeracy (Maths)
"This will help me with my kids to do their maths homework"
"Excellent Tutor"
"The centre is extremely helpful. The tutor is extremely brilliant and very easy to work with"
"I am very pleased that I passed my exam, with the great help of my good teacher Lorraine. Thank you".
"Great course"
"Fantastic Course. Great tutor"
"Teacher was excellent"
"Excellent course. Excellent tutor"

Money Management
"This was a beneficial course with good discussion, ideas on managing finances and good tips for saving money"
"Enjoyed the course. Has helped me sort bills out and learnt about the interest on credit cards and how to save a bit of money"
""Would like to continue the next part of the course"
"Excellent course. Valuable lessons learned"
"I enjoyed this course, the company of other adults, the ways we learned how to save our money and the crack was also very good"
"On attending this money management course, I really enjoyed it and now I would be careful with my money"
"Made feel very at ease and welcome. Very informative"
"Very practical advice. Giving confidence to deal/sort out the best deal for me"
"Absolutely brilliant. I would love to take this subject further"

Tutor Testimonial - Money Management

In my classes,and when in a 1-1 situation,  I tell my students to watch the pennies.  For example, by knowing how to shop and how to pay their bills, they will be amazed just how easy it is to save. 

One student comes to mind who from the first class really got on board and began to make changes.  In the first class we discussed buying own brand food.  I had a taste test set up with branded and own brand biscuits.  This student happened to have a very sweet tooth and was shocked to say that she couldn’t tell the difference.  The following week she proudly told me that her grocery bill was £15 less, as she had bought only own brand biscuits.  I told her that if she were to start saving that money each week she would have accumulated £780 by the end of the year.  I met her a year later and she very happily told me that by doing what she learnt in class she had saved up enough money to go on a holiday for the first time in many years!

I discussed how beneficial it can be to pay bills by direct debit and have paperless billing.  I also talked about paying for unnecessary extras.  One student told me that straight after class she went home and phoned BT.  By changing payment method and getting rid of extras such as 1471 and 1571 she could save £17 each month, again my advice was to save the money. She is putting it towards her rainy day money, so the next time she needs cash for an emergency she will have it.

The classes give the students a venue where they can ask all the questions they have about finance and not feel that they are “stupid” or wasting anybody’s time.  When they got the answers to all their questions they then had the confidence to ask for what they want and get it.   Many of my students had a confused knowledge of all the bank accounts, types of credit cards available and ways to save before starting the classes.  They were hesitant to ask for advice in case they appeared “stupid”.  The lessons helped them clarify all these details and decide what suited them best.  Many were confident enough to open new accounts and even use an ISA to save their new found savings.

Many of my students live on benefits or pensions, these limited amounts are as you can imagine difficult to live on.  The students on first coming to the classes were of the opinion that they would never be able to get ahead money wise.  They believed they would always remain in the same situation of never having enough or worrying about the next bill and how to pay it.  The Money management classes and the 1-1 sessions showed them a way out.  They showed them how to budget and save and for some this was the first time they had surplus money to spend in a very long time.  This feeling of being in control of their money and not being controlled by it empowered the students, giving them confidence and in some cases actually change their lives. 

The classes have given the students hope for the future, they now have the tools to make changes and they can now see a way out, and the know that they are not alone in their situation that help is available.

Health Promotion

Down Memory Lane

Wellbeing Techniques
“This course is a lifesaver and a helpful antidote to help alleviate stress and balance mind, body and spirit.”
“learning different remedies for health, minor ailments and the positive feeling we leave with. I think I came a long way”
“I have loved this course and I feel like a complete new woman with tools to deal with everyday issues.”
“The content of the course was useful and practical. The level of support we received was exceptional.”
“The tutor was brilliant.”

Dressing on a Budget
“I learned a lot about colour/body shape /healthy lifestyle and how this can be achieved on a budget.”
“One great fun feature was when we brought in our fashion mistakes and swapped them between the group. A real eye opener to see my mistakes look so well on others and the added bonus of gaining new fashions.”
“Fiona an excellent tutor, enjoyed every moment of the course. Picked up loads of tips, loads of fun with other girls, would love a follow up course.”
“Already planning to customise a few outfits that were destined for the charity shop.”
“Learned lots of little tricks and cheaper alternatives” 
“The tutor was excellent, I picked up lots of useful tips. The social aspect – a nice friendly group.”


What is the part (if any) of First Steps Childcare that you like best?
"I Like Everything"
"I like everything and a big thank you to the crèche staff for a good job"
"Communication with children’s. the staff always nice and friendly"
"I like everything and my child is happy"
"I like the happy staff they are a friendly and the activities with the children"
"I like the care my child receives from the staff and how they work and communicate with children"
"When I pick up my child and I see him playing well and smiling"
"I like all the part as my child the crèche and the environment is reasonable for them to play"

2013 - January - June - Interim Course Summary Report

“Getting lots of support and information.”
“Tutor is the best.  Explains everything I need.”
“Course contents are very interesting".
“Very good explanations and examples given.”
“Easy to follow instructions.”
“Everyone gets involved.”
“Great tutor and friendly helpful atmosphere.”
"This is a fantastic course very helpful for everyday computer work.”

"The material given is of good use as you can work on it at your own speed and ask questions as you go along".
"Materials and resources".
"This course covers everything I need to do in my workplace.  It is made easy to follow by our excellent tutor".
"How well it is delivered".
"Introduces me to Sage".

Text Processing
“I felt nervous at the beginning as I hadn’t done any courses for a while.  I enjoyed it once I got started and with help and guidance have become more confident.”
“Delivered well and was enjoyable.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed this course and my tutor was excellent!”
“Good course overall, excellent tutor.”

 Essential Skills - Numeracy (Maths Higher Level)
"This will help me with my kids to do their maths homework"  
"The centre is extremely helpful. The tutor is extremely brilliant and very easy to work with"             
"I am very pleased that I passed my exam, with the great help of my good teacher Lorraine. Thank you".                   
"Fantastic Course. Great tutor"             
"Teacher was excellent"            
"Excellent course. Excellent tutor"

Essential Skills - Literacy (English)
"I have really enjoyed my time on this course and my tutor has been very helpful and encouraging"                    
"I found this course very helpful because the tutor that taught us was very helpful. He explained everything to us and I thank him very much"                    
"I really was very blessed by this course. I enjoyed the class and thought out teacher was very good. Overall I feel encouraged to continue with further"                    
educational courses at this centre. Very blessed by having childcare facilities on-site. Gold Star"                     
"I would recommend to a friend. The tutor was excellent to work with and they are excellent to help you".

9th September - 14th  October 2013 - Interim Course Summary Report

Text Processing
“I just wish more people would come and do the course as it is relevant to jobs out there today.”
“As I am a long time out of the workforce this is a wonderful learning experience.”
“I am enjoying my learning experience again after a number of years break.”
“The tutor has been incredible in her passion and skill, very appreciated.”
Everything is organised very well.  No complaints.”
“Excellent course books.”

“Very well organised and a great tutor.  Explains everything really well.”
“I am amazed that there is so much to learn.”
“Very enjoyable, content good.  Tutor very helpful, being able to use computers very helpful.”
“The content of the course so far has been excellent and very in-depth.”
“It is very relevant.”
“Time suits me.  Relevant to my part-time work.”
“I am enjoying every minute of this course.” 


Beginners IT
"Excellent teacher – presents and teaches clearly and patiently."
"Helps me to search internet."
"Getting to know computers."
"It gives you the confidence to use a computer without fear."
"The tutor and other participants." 
"The helpfulness when needed."
"I find this an excellent centre and tutor is very patient."
"I have learned a lot about using a computer." 
"I feel confident."

CLAiT Certificate
"Very informative, friendly, organised, steady pace."
"Hearing new things about the computer and what it does."
"Individual attention by tutor."
"The individual interest shown by the tutor – working at the students pace/ability."
"Very useful for my work – Microsoft Word and presentation of documents."
"Tutor is approachable."
"CLAiT I find is not too hard to learn but there is always little things that I learn."

Health Promotion Courses

Introduction to Holistic Therapies
 “I’ve had a bad time in my life and I am so thankful that i signed up when I did.  It has helped me through a lot.”
“I feel the course has been great for helping with my stress levels and building my confidence to get out to meet and mix with others.”
“I would definitely recommend the course to others.  Have really enjoyed the content and meeting new people.”
‘The people and tutors were great, I’ve learned a lot. Thank you’‘I enjoyed meeting new people and learning new skills and techniques which I feel have been invaluable in terms of helping my stress and benefits to my health’

Minding Me
“The way everybody could participate and the information given which you could apply to everyday life.”
“I liked meeting old and new friends, good atmosphere".  
"Course could have been longer, it was so enjoyable.”

Personal Development
‘It gave me a lot of confidence’
‘I will be doing everything in my power to do my best in all ticked above’ (Ticked will use in further learning, job seeking and within the family)
’Want a new life, to succeed.’ 
‘I feel there are other people open to learning new things and looking at life differently so I feel more supported and less alone.’  
“Good tips on how to help your confidence and open your mind to try something different.”
“Being among other people at the group and hearing what other people say and to hear opinions and ideas and get support.”
“Info on how to go forward, where to start on new journey or make future plans.”

Yoga and Relaxation
"The course improved my confidence and…has taught me invaluable relaxation techniques."
"It was so relaxing and Madeleine was so flexible in that she was able to suggest different postures for individuals with different needs & abilities".
"It was an excellent course."
"The course was very enjoyable, course tutor was fantastic – our group was very friendly. I felt very relaxed within the group and would recommend this course to anyone".

"Covering a wide range of topics."
"The tutor is easy to talk to and very helpful. "        
"The fact that we have a good teacher. "        
"It is helping me understand a lot more with my writing etc."         
"Getting everything explained properly."
"Getting time to do your work."
"Taking part in different discussions."        
"Having a small class makes it easier to learn and therefore you can get help when needed."

"Most definitely the tutors teaching methods."         
"The tutors ability to teach us all and explain in simple terms."         
"The class is small, so each person can easily get any help needed."         
"Tutors delivery of teaching. Covers a wide range of topics."         
"The tutor takes time to go over everything with each person individually to ensure they understand the topic."

ESOL - English for Speakers of Other Languages
"All material is good."    
"We all talk a lot and learn new stuff."  
"She is very good and patient."       
"The tutor asks questions from everybody."

"Very attentive staff."                   
"My son is upset at leaving me, but then has a great time."
"Very happy."
"My child is very happy."
"Always, even though there are always tears each member of staff welcomes him and spends time with him."
"Lots of activities."
"The new facility is excellent."
"All of the staff are very good at communicating."

Inductions 2011

“Friendly, funny, welcoming.”Esol Tea break“Informative and helped put me at ease.”
“Plenty of information.”
“V. Informative.”
“Excellent intro.  Made us feel very welcome.”

ESOL 2011
We get talking a lot in pairs and individually".
"Every lessons we were very active. Worked in pairs"

Essential Skills  - Entry Level Maths 2011
Excellent course.  If we had any question it was explained".

Essential Skills- Higher English 2011
Excellent course.  It helps people to get better grades and a better chance of finding work".

Comments from women who have completed Health Promotion Courses.

Introduction to Holistic Therapies 2011
“Coming here to the programmes that Claire has organized has given me a reason to get up and put on my lipstick. It gives me back some confidence in myself that I haven’t completely disappeared.”

“It has been so good to be able to come here and be with other women in the group where we can all share our problems and not feel so isolated or alone or different from everyone else.”

“I always find I sleep better after I have been here. It’s peace of mind at the end of the day.”

"My health and wellbeing and knowing how to deal with stress – these are all improved.”

“I learned something beneficial every week. I use methods on myself and family members to de-stress. This has been an excellent course and I have learned a lot”

“The information given has helped me enormously in my day to day life.” 

Cook It
Liked most -”meeting new people, learning new recipes, tasting different foods.”    

Personal Development               
“I have enjoyed this course because it has helped me to come out more and I have built my confidence more. It has helped me move forward with my photography and to help others.“                                         

“Tremendous help for my wellbeing, help with sleep and anxiety”

First Steps to Wellbeing
“I just liked everything about it! It was a most enjoyable stimulating and worthwhile course. “
Stress Management and Relaxation
“I felt this course gave me a great insight into how I could make my body relax. The exercises were very calming to both mind and body.”

Yoga and Relaxation
“The material covered is very practical. It is useful for everyday life. Can be used at home for self and family. I feel I am benefitting a lot from it”.

Countdown to you - Happiness Programme
“Relaxed, fun, but give me a lot of confidence”

Walking and Healthy Choices
“Course was very enjoyable without information overload. I will try to use the information I have learned about reading food labels to be more aware of what I am buying while shopping”

Understanding Your Eating
“The course caused me to stop and think. It gives me a support network and reasons why I do what I do. I will use my new knowledge to understand my eating and get it under control.”

e-Publication 2010
“This was a great course and I plan to make good use of my knowledge!"

"A thoroughly enjoyable well-delivered course!  The humour and banter added very much to the enjoyment!  Great Tutor!"
"Tutor was exceptional - making sure that all students understood what they were doing!"

Essential Skills (Literacy)
"My grammar and spelling are improving"
"I feel the Centre and the tutor have been able to approach people on an excellant level and feel that the course helps in areas of my life that are now making me feel more confident"
"The tutor attends to everyones needs specific to their requirements"

Essential Skills (Numeracy)
"The tutor is excellant!"
"Being taught in a warm envirnoment by an excellant tutor who makes you feel at ease!"
"I think this course is invaluable to parents like me"

Personal Development
"The course is very helpful and fun"
"Builds confidence, motivation and self-worth"
"Helps you look at yourself and how you cope and not to put yourself down"

All students felt that their courses gave them Confidence, impoved their communication skills and increased their ability to work with others.

CCEA Assessment - Literacy Entry Level 3 October 2010

"Samples provided from your Centre demonstrate that they have been assessed and marked correctly.  Futhermore, there is clear evidence of internal moderation taking place which has created an opportunity for constructive feedback to both the tutors and learners.  Equally, taped evidence has been provided for the speaking & listening element, which together with the internal moderation documentation demonstrates good practice.

Overall, standards have been clearly met and your Centre is to be commended."



“Progress was very much at my level & speed.  Clear step by step instruction.”

“I enjoyed this course and learnt a lot.”


“Fantastic venue, Fantastic tutor!”

“Most enjoyable”


“Excellent notes given by tutor in early learning stages were invaluable and gave me the confidence to practise at home.”

“”I found our tutor very helpful and understanding of my slow progress.”

“Really enjoyed my time at the Women’s Centre.”

“Contrary to expectations – I thoroughly enjoyed the course as I am not very IT orientated.”

“I enjoyed doing this computer course.  I would like to do the follow up course in September.”

“A very good course.”

“Great tutor very pleasant and helpful.”

“Very pleasant and helpful tutor.”


“Developing knowledge of Microsoft and very applicable to ‘real world’.”

“It is very well laid out for all needs & requirements for people of all ages.”

“Sorts the men from the boys!”

“Everything is taught step-by-step and content is useful.”

“Covers a wide variety of areas.”

“Covers a wide range on a certain topic.”


“This course was a lot more detailed and deeper than I expected, it was excellent.”

“Really good and plenty of information. Interesting and enjoyable.”

“I enjoyed this course very much and it will benefit me in my work and home.”

“This course was very informative and enjoyable. Tutor was very interesting.”

“I really enjoyed the course. A very worthwhile course.”

“The course was presented in a very friendly, factual way which made learning easy & fun.”

“Jackie is an excellent teacher. Very keen and willing to answer all questions and queries.”

Essential Skills, Beginners IT, Sage and ECDLSAGE 2

“Overall I found the course enjoyable and challenging @ times but with the help of the tutor was able to get through it.”

“Really enjoyed the course.”


What are the strengths of this course?

“The patience of Wendy & acceptance, the atmosphere, the booklets.”

“Set in informal surroundings making it an enjoyable learning experience.”

“Organisation & presentation of course by tutors.”

“Very well explained.”

“The course is very varied and covers a lot of aspects.”
“Covers a wide variety of topics.”

“That everything is explained very well.”


In 2009 my daughter enrolled in Essential Skills Literature at the First Steps Women's Centre in Dungannon.  At this stage in her life she had very little confidence and low self esteem.  Whilst she was learning her daughter attended the creche provided by the Centre.  The well trained staff at the creche provided the support needed for her daughter's first steps into education and the opportunity to interact with all the children from different cultures.

Almost 2 years later, not only has my daughter gained the essential skills to further her career, but has become a more confident adult.  All this would not have been possible without the help and support of the staff at First Steps Women Centre in Dungannon.

An extemely grateful and proud parent & grandparent.

25th November 2009

To Staff at Dungannon's Women Centre,

I would like to pass on my gratitude for what Dungannon's Women Centre has done for me, since I've been off sick since Feb '09.

I heard about your centre from a friend who sang your praises and told me of how much she had learned since she first attended and of how much she enjoys her ongoing attendance.

I have almost completed my Beginners IT course and have thoroughly enjoyed it and am so looking forward to my next course.

It is a fantastic centre, with staff second to none and the friendliness is nothing short of unbelievable.

I have met so many lovely people and look forward to my attendance every week.

Thank you so much.



Moy Road

21 November 2009

To Whom It May Concern:

As a new user of the First Steps Women’s Centre in William Street, Dungannon, I am very unhappy by the concerns that abound about funding gaps for this and other centres in the future.

I do appreciate that present financial constraints will place pressure on all funders and the value if each project will be strictly evaluated, but I would also find any hint of non-continuance or any restriction on the variety of courses being available is at the least concerning, and at worst frightening, when one considers the long term value to the community of the work being done.

I was aware of the Centre before I availed of its services but it is only now when I have availed of the opportunities being offered that I have any realistic appreciation of the work, the value-added to peoples’ lives.

When in the Centre one is privy to conversations and discussions of the different course participants and the value they place on the courses they have undertaken and how this has effected all aspects of their lives, completion of courses have opened doors that they would never have considered knocking on never mind being able to walk through.  Women have been empowered to reach for their dreams and it must be appreciated the knock-on effect on families, friends and the communities.

When young mothers, who for whatever reason did not achieve their potential through the normal school life, see an opportunity to fulfil this potential when they are now bringing up a family, with the security of having their child/children looked after while they study, it is surely a very sound basis for families to succeed and their example of lifelong learning can only be a tremendous example for their own friends and family but prove an inspiration to their own children.

Not every person succeeds in a formal setting and it is inspirational to observe the dedication of Michael and his staff who achieve aims and objectives in such a friendly and caring manner, yet their success is evident by results achieved.  One need only recall the recent ‘Graduation’ day when such pride was evident from the candidates, staff and tutors alike – where else could these dreams have been fulfilled and just as importantly how else could this river of talent been tapped and flow out to the greater good of the community.Happy ESOL students

Yours sincerely,

A new and impressed Centre user

First Steps Women’s Centre has helped me in many ways.  In fact it has given me a life line, because before I started attending the Women’s Centre my social life was little or none.  I was lacking in confidence & had a low self esteem, but now I have much more confidence & feel much better about myself.  I have attended the following courses: Women on the web, Photography, Drama, Web Design, Moving On, Colour Me Beautiful & Women Progressing.  I thoroughly enjoyed each & every course that I attended.  I also made friends at the Women’s Centre as both the staff & the students are very friendly.  I hope the Women’s Centre will be able to carry on helping women like myself.

Una McVeigh

Quotes and Testimonials from women

First Steps Women's Centre prides itself in providing a professional service to all and for all women who attend the centre. As our mission statement suggests:

"To improve the quality of life for women through Education and Personal Development, supporting women to make choices for the future"

NVQ 2 Childcare, Learning and Development, Testimonial

Dear Janice,

I first heard of First Steps Women’s Centre from my sister who rang me and asked if I would be interested in the course Children’s Care, Learning and Development, NVQ Level 2 which you were running in Fivemiletown.

So far I have enjoyed the course. I have made many friends and it has been an opportunity to spend time with my sister as we sometimes go over the course work after class. The funding for travelling has been very much appreciated and the support from staff has been excellent. I look forward to returning now next month and if successful look forward to new part-time career as a class room assistant.

Thank-you for all your help and I wish you every success in your studies.

Yours faithfully,

Muriel Stewart

More Positive Feedback and Evaluations from Students 2008 -2009

"The course tutor and Coordinator are both excellent at their job.  I have got a 12 hour classroom assistant job out of doing this course so it has really given me a great advantage and job aspect."

"I have enjoyed the course, have made new friends and it has been a great opportunity to spend time with my sister,  as we sometimes go over the course work together after class...... the funding for traveling has been very much appreciated and the support from staff has been excellent.  Thank you for all your help..."

"I heard of this course in our local paper (Impartial Reporter).  I have always wanted to do a child care course and this was a great opportunity to do it.  The venue was most suitable in Fivemiletown, quite close to where I live.  I can take my own car and my children are grown up so I found it all unbelievable that I could have free time to do the course.  We received great support from the First Steps staff, any problems and they are more than willing to help us out."

"Having this qualification is an achievement for me, it has been a long time from my school days so it was all a new experience, maybe if the chance arises I will seek part-time employment.  I enjoyed meeting the tutor, all the girls on the course and we are like friends now.  This course has helped my confidence, socializing and maybe new opportunities."

"I have really enjoyed this course, meeting others.  The experience in the school with the children was all new to me and very enjoyable.  I do hope we will have more courses like this and they will be available to us so close to home."      Woman from Fivemiletown.

Woman with Rheumatoid Arthritus

I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis and had to give up work. I was home on my own most days and I became depressed and lost my confidence. Five years later I had a knee replacement. Having gained a bit more mobility I decided I needed to get out of the house and do something with my life.

I had seen the Women’s Centre advertised in the paper so I decided to give them a ring. It’s the best thing I ever did. Since that phone call I have done an IT course (ECDL), Digital Photography, Colour Awareness, Holistic Therapy and have just completed Web Design level 2. Hopefully there will be funding for level 3 next year (Sept 2009). I also hope to do Advanced ECDL.

I have regained my confidence since starting at the centre and would like to use the skills I have gained doing voluntary work.

I have made a lot of friends from the different courses I’ve done. The tutors are excellent and the staff are friendly and helpful (having had an accident in my car one morning the Centre provided me with transport to and from the centre until I got another car).

Thank you for the opportunity.


Essential Skills Students

My motivation for taking up this course “Moving On” was firstly for health reasons. I had become withdrawn and depressed lost my get up and go and my confidence.
Secondly it enabled me to identify my strengths, skills and achievements  and to look at what work would needed to be done to improve my employability, and of course gain a recognised qualification. Thirdly, I would be meeting other like minded individuals who also felt anxious, frustrated etc about what the future might hold for them.

The course was delivered by a very competent young lady in an informal setting at Blessingbourne Estate. It was a superb location. Edel (Course Tutor) guided us through the sessions with relative ease covering Communication, Assertiveness, Letter Writing, Realising Our True Worth. The interview, Job Search, and Job Applications, Curriculum Vitae’s etc – Each one held great value to me. I continue to attain the skill of thinking and maintaining a higher-self, through completing this course. All aims and objectives were met and I am more aware that I am dependent to a great extent on my own ability to stay positive. – I will continue to learn, look at new insights, ideas and revelations.

Have a beautiful mind and be happy.


One woman's comments on Maths Course

27th April 2009

I am delighted that I joined First Steps Women’s Centre as I have managed to get a maths qualification at last. I began by taking level 1 numeracy last year and continued into level 2 at the start of this year. I recently passed my exam and intend to take a course in teaching special needs as soon as possible. I couldn’t apply until I had a formal qualification in maths.

The fact that I was able to study during the day really helped as I am a parent and finding childcare at night can be a problem. Also, having two classes a week helped me to remember the information I learned.
The tutors and staff are friendly and helpful and do as much as they can to help the class along.

I would recommend the Women’s Centre to anyone who feels intimidated or nervous about tackling maths or any subject. I have gained a lot of confidence since starting the course and have enjoyed meeting new friends. Thank you all very much.


IT Courses and General Testimonial

Dear Yvonne,

This is a letter of appreciation and thanks to you and your colleagues at First Steps Dungannon where I spent a wonderful time learning new skills and qualifications. I first heard about First Steps from a friend who had previously enrolled in several of your classes and had nothing but praise for the quality and standard of your work. As a result of her encouragement I too have been fortunate to study in this wonderful friendly and open environment. I went on to receive a diploma in Interior Design.
This experience has encouraged me to enrol in more courses at the First Steps Women’s Centre and I am currently looking for employment to suit my new skills and new found confidence.
This confidence is a result of the skills I received through the classes I attended, the people I met and the friends I have made during my time there.

Yours sincerely,


Testimonials from Clait/Beginners IT/ Web Design/ECDL

"The Centre has offered a wonderful opportunity to further my knowledge of computers.  I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending First Steps Women's Centre and our Tutor to anyone." ECDL

"This is a valuable course for everyone. It helps everyone develop within themselves and at their own ability."  Clait Diploma

I really enjoyed this course.  I am more confident now working on a computer, as before I was not sure how to send e-mails or didn't know anything about the internet."  Beginners IT

"Very enjoyable course.  Has greatly helped my personnal development and confidence in using a computer."  Clait Certificate

"I thought this course would be very demanding.  But the pace and the flexilility of the Tutor have ensured that it is very enjoyable and not at all stressful."  Web Design

One Woman from Clogher

First Steps Women’s Centre

A few words about the Women’s Centre, I would describe it as a home from home, it is well kept, clean and a pleasure to work in. A place to meet new friends. One is greeted with a cup of tea or coffee on arrival, when the mornings were cold, the tea was appreciated.
The staff are friendly courteous and helpful to all the students, and the atmosphere is very good.
It was strange how I got to know about  the Women’s Centre, I was  at a Carer’s meeting in Clogher July 2006, when a brochure was handed around I jotted down the telephone number. Two days later I got in touch with the centre and spoke to Joan about doing a course. I was determined to try out a course so I signed up and never turned back.
Travelling from Clogher to Dungannon by bus worked fine, and the station is only a short distance away from the First Steps Women’s centre. The bus service from Enniskillen to Dungannon is great.
The mornings were going to be early but I was willing to give it a go. In fact the early morning didn’t bother me too much for this was the opportunity I could not miss out on!
The women’s centre has created many opportunities that inspired not only me but all the people who use it
A big thank you to Michael, Joan, and Yvonne for arranging the different courses. They are excellent!

Donation to Coffee Morning

Dear Yvonne
        I am sorry that I was unable to be at the coffee morning as we’ve been in London for a few days.
Please add the enclosed £10 to the proceeds of the morning
I enjoyed the classes taken by Jennifer, Patricia and Wendy, as well as the companionship of the other “pupils”. I’m glad to say that I now feel a little more confident now with computers and hopefully more skilful.

With best wishes to you and your colleagues at the Women’s Centre  

Yours sincerely    D. C.





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