First Steps Womens Centre Dungannon

First Steps Womens Centre Dungannon


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!

Introduction to Computers

Well done to the ladies on achieving their Certificates today!

A special congratulations to Liz who, at 89 years young, proves that you are never too old to learn!!


Introduction to Computers

Raise FREE funds for us every time you shop online!

We all LOVE TO SHOP!  Now you can now shop & raise free donations for First Steps Women's Centre (Northern Ireland)

Supporters of First Steps Women's Centre (Northern Ireland) can raise free donations simply by shopping online using Give as you Live.

Shop at over 4,000 leading online stores including Amazon, eBay, Tesco, John Lewis, Sainsbury's, Just Eat and, to name but a few!

Give as you live


New September 2017 Leaflet

We will have delivery of our new 2017/18 leaflets from 1st June 2018!

We have some FABULOUS new courses available as well as the old favourites.

Please see below and download an Application form as soon as possible to avoid disappointment!

New September 2017 Leaflet

Erasmas+ Visitors


Erasmas+ visitors with Mayor Trevor Wilson 

The Women Return to Work project is funded for two years through Erasmus+ with partners from Sweden, Poland and Turkey.

The main goal of the project is to prepare women of all ages (local, migrant, refugee and disabled) to return to employment or entrepreneurship after a period of economic inactivity by developing their key skills and competencies.

They had a very successful visit to First Steps Women's Centre with the Mayor Trevor Wilson.

Local Giving Appeal - Save Our Services!

Local Giving

Just a wee update Ladies! Our donation total has reached £1015 plus £143.75 Gift Aid which gives us a grand total of £1158.75!!

THANK YOU! If we reach £5,000 we will be able to provide a year's Counselling so PLEASE, PLEASE keep liking, keep sharing and most importantly keep GIVING £2, £5, £10 - whatever you can afford and don't forget to tick the Gift Aid box.

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
― Winston S. Churchill

Save Our Services.


International Women's Day 2017

International Women's Day 1

First Steps Women's Centre (FSWC) celebrated International Women's Day with a SingTonicity session.  Siobhan and Anne had already delivered their singing workshop here back in 2015.

The morning began with an inspirational speech from our Project Manager Yvonne Corbett. Yvonne gave a brief history of International Women's Day (IWD) and how it began way back in 1909 to celebrate Women's role in society. IWD has officially been celebrated since 1975 but it has only been in the last few years that local organisations have really began celebrating women and how important their role is especially in family life.  

Read more ...

First Steps Quiz

Quiz in Dungannon Rugby Club 2017

Our annual Quiz took place in Dungannon Rugby Club on Thursday 9th February 2017.

A great night was had by all and we made just under £600!

Many thanks to all those who attended!!

Looking forward to next year's already.


Successful Job Fair!

Job Fair

Our first ever Job Fair which was held on Thursday 26th January 2017 was a fantastic success!!

Thanks to all Employers and Support Organisations who attended.  We had some fabulous positive feedback-

Amy from The McAvoy Group said "This was a very well run event and very beneficial to the local community.  We would love to get involved again!"  

Alison from Newell Stores said "We are very happy to take part in a local Job Fair.  Our team is our biggest asset and we are always looking to employ enthusiastic and flexible individuals.  We had an excellent response from the Job Fair".

The Job Fair commenced at 11.00am and by 11.30am the place was buzzing with enthusiastic men and women looking career opportunities!

£343,730 Space & Place award for First Steps Women’s Centre


Space & Place Funding

First Steps Women's Centre in Dungannon is celebrating a funding windfall following a grant of £343,730 from the Big Lottery funded Space & Place programme. The group is one of thirteen organisations across Northern Ireland receiving a share from a funding pot of £4.3 million, the largest amount awarded to date by Space & Place in any round.

First Steps Women's Centre plans to use the funding to renovate and expand its current premises. The work will also see the transformation of an abandoned mill located underneath the centre which will add to the available space. When complete, the project will provide a new permanent crèche facility, computer suites, a counselling room, multi-purpose training rooms, enterprise and therapy rooms as well as a larger kitchen and conference room.

Read more ...





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