Helena and Jackie Level 5

Congratulations to our Childcare Leader Helena and Assistant Leader Jacqueline on their recent Pearson Edexcel Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Children's Care, Learning and Development (Management).

The girls have made time for their studies while working in our busy Creche throughout the year!

Well done ladies - very well deserved!

East Timor Ladies 

Our ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) students are learning about the different cultures of their fellow class mates.

Today we are learning about East Timor.  Class students Sonia da Costa and Arsenia Guterres are proudly displaying their national costumes.

Looking fabulous ladies!!

Lithuanian culture 

Our ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) students are learning about the different cultures of their fellow class mates.

Today they are learning about Lithuania and Rita Brazeviciene and Sarema Kieziate have kindly dressed up for the day!

Looking fabulous ladies!

Benefit Checker available

FSWC's FREE Benefit Check Service has idenified over £51,000 in additional benefits for men and women in the Mid-Ulster area.

As you can see from the above report, there has been 72 new referrals to our Service for the financial year ending 31st March 2018.  This means that people are still unaware of the benefits they are entitled to.  

Since Universal Credit has been computerised, we have been inundated with calls from people with little or no computer experience.  This has also made it more difficult for our foreign national neighbours making this a necessary and vital service.

If you or someone you know would like to avail of this FREE service, please contact Gillian on (028) 8772 7648.

Please Note:  This Service is only available on Thursdays & Fridays.

Women's Aid  (Mid Ulster Contact No 028 8676 9300)

Practical and emotional support is provided to women and children affected by domestic and sexual violence who choose to remain at home or in a community setting through a floating support service.

Michael & Yvonne with Asda 

Following a donation of £35,000, Asda Cookstown General Store Manager, Peter Beckett, and Asda Cookstown Community Champion, Janice Gibson, were delighted to attend the recent opening of the refurbished First Steps Women’s Centre in Dungannon on behalf of the Asda Foundation.

Aimed at transforming the lives of local women, the First Steps Women’s Centre provides educational and training support, alongside health and well-being services. As a direct result of the donation from Asda, the centre was able to improve the on-site facilities for service users through an extensive refurbishment project, including extending its childcare facilities.


A women’s group in Dungannon has transformed an abandoned mill in the town with the help of National Lottery funding, creating a facility which is set to help improve the lives of women living in the Mid-Ulster area, and those newly arrived to the community.

First Steps Women’s Centre, an organisation which has worked for twenty years with women to help enhance their life prospects, is celebrating the launch of the new facility having received £350,000 in funding from the Big Lottery Funded Space & Place Programme.

Space and Place Visit

It was lovely to welcome the Space and Place people here today.  

After tea and scones and an update from Project Manager Yvonne Corbett they had a wee duke at our on-going renovation work which they are kindly sponsoring.

As you can see they were all well impressed!

Renovations week 5

We had a wee visit to see how the renovations were getting on last Thursday (before we left in the snow!).

Things are progressing nicely and it's amazing how the place has changed already.

Exciting times!

News Release 13 February 2018

Asda Foundation    

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

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

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

Site Meeting 

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

ESOL Hill of the O'Neill visit

The ESOL ladies enjoyed a visit to the Hill of the O'Neill today courtesy of NI Executive funding.

As you can see the ladies enjoyed their history of Dungannon!

Launch of New FSWC Project 

First Steps Women’s Centre (FSWC) recently launched the Women Towards Education & Employment Programme – a three year programme part-funded by Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) and the European Social Fund (ESF).

Over £320,000 Additional Benefit identified for people living in Dungannon and surrounding area in past 48 Months   The Benefit Checker Service has been in operation since September 2012. In less than 3 years this service has helped many people in need. These include pensioners, single parents and families whose parent or parents have suffered a drop in income e.g. through loss of employment.

At present the total additional benefits identified and claimed has surpassed £320,000.. Additional benefits identified include amongst others Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Disability Living Allowance, Family Tax Credit and Attendance Allowance.

Chief Executive Michael McGoldrick stated “This confidential service evolved out of a real need to help women and their families who were struggling to cope with the complexity of the benefits system. We saw how stressed and confused people were, when trying to understand what benefits they were entitled to.

Reach at Vineyard Church, Dungannon

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First Steps Women's Centre                                             OPENING HOURS

  • 21a William Street                                                            Monday       -  9.00am - 4.30pm
    Dungannon                                                                       Tuesday       -  9.00am - 4.30pm
    County Tyrone                                                                  Wednesday  - 9.00am - 5.00pm
    BT70 1DX                                                                            Thursday     - 9.00am - 5.00pm
    N.Ireland                                                                            Friday           - 9.00am - 3.30pm

  • 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 Co-Ordinator

Bernie Mallon            - Recruitment Officer


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. 

Accessiblity and Home Safety Checklist - An interactive baseline list of different home modifications for people with disabilities (courtesy of Rocket Mortgage) Download the PDF to add your own items and check off items as you go.

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

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

Alcohol, Drugs & Gambling - Southern Health & Social Care Trust website information

AnamCara - Supporting Parents after bereavement

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

Capacitar Training - Training in Education for Healing & Transformation

Carers Supporters Support - Health & Social Care Board (HSCB) support, advice and information for Carers living in the Southern Trust Area

Citizen's Advice Bureau - Advice Charity Organisation

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

Clanrye - 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

ETAIS - A step-by-step guide to travellng with a disability

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 - find a business or a Life Coach near you

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

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

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 - Nicorette  - We’re here to help you quit smoking by giving you the information, tools and support you may need.

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

Adapting Your House for a Child with a Disability (USA based)

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

Stairlift Grants

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) - Northern Ireland's leading network for the promotion of women's training and development, through policy, training, networking and education.

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

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’

Successful Benefits Checker claims
Since September 2012 £417,209.01

Revised ESF Logo

 Dept of CommunitiesDept of Communities FR Fundraising Badge LR LOGO T buc Colour Logo

Lottery Funded Mid Ulster Council  Executive office with web address
This Project is part-funded by the European Union and the Department of Employment and Learning