First Steps Womens Centre Dungannon

First Steps Womens Centre Dungannon


New Council CEO Visit

Mr Anthony Tohill, CEO of the new Mid Ulster Council dropped into First Steps Women’s Centre (FSWC) 19th June 2014.  Mr Tohill met the staff and heard about the excellent work that the Centre does from the Centre’s 3 Co-ordinators, namely IT (Yvonne Corbett), Life Skills (Joan McCool) and Health Promotion (Clare Henry). He also visited the Childcare Centre.

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Visitors from Europe

Heather McLaughlin (Europe) and Deiter Schulze (Institute for International Education and Labour Market Projects) escorted a group of 28 women under the umbrella of ENWRA (European Network for Women from Rural Area's) visited our Centre on Thursday 5th June 2014. There were women from Hungary, Poland, Germany, Spain, Turkey and Cyprus.The Mayor - Sean McGuigan was also present and welcomed the Visitors to Dungannon.  

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Contact Us & Location

First Steps Women's Centre

  • 21a William Street
    County Tyrone
    BT70 1DX

  • Course Enquiry Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Other Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Telephone: 028 8772 7648

Michael McGoldrick - Chief Executive Officer

Yvonne Corbett      - Project Manager

Carmel Creaney     - Training & Education Co-Ordinator

Amanda Boyd        - Training & Education Co-Ordinator

Gillian Steenson     - Life Skills Advisor

Bernie Mallon         -  Recruitment Officer

Find First Steps Womens Centre, Dungannon on Google Maps

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FREE Benefit Check Service now available here

FSWC is offering a FREE Benefit Check Service

Do you know what Benefits you may be  entitied to?  We are now offering a Benefit Check service at the Centre.  We have successfully claimed over £270,000.00 since September 2012!

We can

  • Help complete benefits forms
  • Signpost for specialist advice
  • Provide training on how to manage your money

This service is run in association with Mid Ulster Council, Halifax, PC Hickinbotham, Enkalon Foundation, 29th May 1961 & Garfield Weston. 

Contact Gillian on (028) 8772 7648 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Pensioners in Northern Ireland could potentially be missing out on nearly £200 million of unclaimed benefits, a Stormont committee has warned.  unclaimed

With an estimated 55,000 older people in the region classified as living in poverty, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has called for action to improve uptake.  

A PAC probe found that benefit paying agencies have no accurate sense of the level of payments left unclaimed by pensioners. It could range wildly, from £31 million to £197 million, said the PAC report. 

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Vacancies at FSWC


Classes Collage

Voluntary Directors Required!

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

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

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

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

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


Progression Officer

For Futher information and application packs please contact us:

Tel: (028) 8772 7648  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Closing date for applications - Thursday 24th May 2018 at 12 noon


Full job description can be found here


Useful Links

Addiction Resource - raising awareness of the consequences of addiction and helping communities become drug-free

AnamCara - Supporting Parents after bereavement

Age UK - For later life - Age Concern & Help the Aged are now one

Aontas and Learner Networks - The National Adult Learning Organisation

Benefits & Grants Available for Older People - for the retired who are wondering what government help you’re eligible to

Cancer Caring Coping - Help for Carers who are looking after people with cancer

Carers Matter - Carers Matter is a local charity which provides support, advice and information for Carers living in the Southern Trust Area

Capacitar Training - Training in Education for Healing & Transformation

Citizen's Advice Bureau - Advice Charity Organisation

Citizen's Advice Magazine - Read or download various documents published by CAB

ClanryeIT - Training provision for people with physical disabilities and health conditions

Counselling Directory - connecting as many people as possible to much-needed mental health support. - Drug danger awareness Community Outreach Team

Drugwatch - Drugs and Medical Devices that may endanger females

EGSA (Educational Guidance Service for Adults)

English & Maths in Education and beyond - Complete guide to understand the importance of English & Maths

English & Maths for Adults -  BBC Skillswise

Gateway Service (Armagh & Dungannon) - provide an initial assessment of need for children and families and signpost to further statutory involvement at Child Protection, Looked After Children or Family Support; and/or voluntary and community resources

Greater Good in Action - A Mentally Healthy Site that collects the best research-based methods for a happier, more meaningful life—and puts them at your fingertips in a format that's easy to navigate and digest

Health - better health through education and awareness

Inishowen Development Partnership - Working to achieve positive change in the lives of people and groups in Innishowen

International Women's Day - a date in March every year

Kindness Blog - "Kindness Blog shares media featuring kindness in all its varied forms." I love reading the stories from contributors about people who help one another, listen to one another and tell stories about peace, happiness, understanding and love". It's all about uplifting one another on this site

Lifecoach Directory

Mental Health Services - access to information about Mental Health Services in NI -   for anyone battling cancer, or looking to find more information.  Read personal stories based on real life struggles and survivourship and support groups with an actual community that people can relate to and find relief in - is largely associated with continued exposure to asbestos, most often in the workplace. Men and women who worked around asbestos for decades are at risk of developing this deadly type of cancer

Newly Disabled Guide - 15 things every newly disabled person should know

NICEM - Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities

NIRWN - Northern Ireland Rural Women's Network

N I Women Into Business - the largest and fastest growing business network for female entrepreneurs and business leaders in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Rural Women's Network (NIRWN)

Numeracy Resources - Free Functional Skills and Skills for Life resources

Nutritionist Resource - Quality information and advice from professionals regarding diet and health issues

Quit Smoking Community - Volunteers who are passionate about ending smoking around the world

Recall Report - vital information on drugs and products i.e. dangers, alerts,side affects, etc to keep your family safe

Rural Community Network (RCN) - Supporting rural communities

Shankill Women's Centre - "Providing an accessible resource and development support for women in Greater Shankill and beyond"

Special Needs

Caring for our kids - a group of parents who have created useful resources to help other parents struggling with their special needs child/ren

Cerebral Palsy - very useful information on the disorder, including treatment options and how to help manage your child’s disorder so that they can still live a productive life.

Cerebral Palsy Symptoms - Learn all about Cerebral Palsy and other common birth injuries

Cerebral Palsy Special Education Guidelines - special education options for children with special needs

Cerebral Palsy - The CP Lawyer - For the legal representation you need and your child deserves

Creating a home where your child can thrive with a disability 

Financial planning for Special Needs

Guide to Home Loans for people with disabilities

Special Needs Teacher Resources

Tips for disabled persons to declutter and organise your home

South West College (Dungannon, Omagh, Cookstown & Enniskillen)

Southern Heath & Social Care Trust Facilities

The Open University - You can study for certificates and diplomas of higher education, foundation and honours degrees or postgraduate qualifications. There are around 150 to choose from, you can even tailor a qualification to suit your needs

The Recovery Village - Our advanced approach to treatment empowers individuals on the path to recovery

Therapy Directory - find a therapist near you

Tiny Buddha -  Tiny Buddha "is about reflecting on simple wisdom and learning new ways to apply it to our complex lives—complete with responsibilities, struggles, dreams, and relationships"

Tobacco-Free Life - Information and tips on how to get started, make a plan and stay tobacco free

Tr@inIT - providing professional ICT training courses for individuals, Businesses and Community Groups

Training For Women Network (TWN)

U3A - Learning is for Life, Life is for Learning

Volunteer Now - is the lead organisation which works to promote, develop and support volunteering across Northern Ireland

Women's Resource Centre - WRC is the leading national umbrella organisation for the women’s sector, working towards linking all aspects of the women’s movement. We support our members to be more effective and sustainable through training, and we lobby the government on their behalf on a range of women’s issues

Women's Aid Cookstown - Mid Ulster Women's Aid provides a range of confidential services and encourages women to find practical solutions to their own domestic abuse problems

Women's Centre, Derry/L'derry -  A welcoming space which inspires women to think and make choices in an accessible environment that enables transformation and change in ourselves, in our community and beyond

Women's Resource and Development Agency (WRDA) - supports women's groups and organisations across NI  

Women Peacemakers Programme - The Women Peacemakers Program’s vision is of a world where women and men work together through gender-sensitive active nonviolence, to build communities where people co-exist peacefully

Women's Support Network (WSN) - Our mission is ‘to support the development of women’s organisations, enable collective action and positively impact on policy and decision-making processes’

Quotes & Testimonials - Scroll Down To Read All Of Them

"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."


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First Steps Women’s Centre recognised as an Investors In People organisation

First Steps Women’s Centre
has recently been recognised as an Investors In People organisation (IiP)

Investors in People (IiP) are a flexible and easy to use set of standards which help organisations transform their business performance. Organisations apply to be assessed against ten key best practice indicators which form part of the Investors in People standard. If the external assessors can find sufficient evidence of policy and practices in line with each indicator, the organisation is awarded 'recognition' of its Investors in People status.

For First Steps Women’s Centre Investors In People is testament to the valuable work and high levels of professionalism and customer commitment that are key to every aspect of its business. Funded by DEL and DSD First Steps Women’s Centre has had an extremely successful year providing training for over 250 women. A review of all IT and ancillary courses at First Steps Women's Centre, Dungannon and Fivemiletown has brought about a 100% IT Pass Rate. Average attendance is 83.4%. This is a fantastic achievement and FSWC is eager to move forward to September to start more programmes and courses.

Mr. Michael McGoldrick, Centre Manager, said “Anyone can have a ‘blue skies’ vision but we needed the framework to get us there. Investors In People has given us the tools to improve our services and we are now able to provide a much larger number of courses in September.”

Sir Reg Empey, MLA will be formally presenting the Centre with the Investors In People plague and certificate at a prestigious ceremony at Hillsborough Castle in the Autumn.

First Steps Women's Centre also provides a whole series of courses designed to improve a woman's confidence and self belief. One course The Moving On - Employment Skills Training Autumn 2009 is one such course. First Steps has also recently launched their course timetable commencing in September 2009.. Any woman interested in any courses in Dungannon, Ballygawley or Fivemiletown can contact the First Steps Women’s centre at 21a William Street, Dungannon, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tel 02887727648 or visit the Website www.firststepswomenscentre.





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