The North Leitrim Women’s Centre is a community development project funded under the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs since 2001. The centre was opened by President Mary McAleese in November 2004 and delivers a range of supports, services, courses and activities for women in the Manorhamilton and surrounding North Leitrim areas.
The centre has it’s own computer suite/training room and a variety of computer training courses to all levels are available. This training room is also available for use as a community facility. Many local groups and organisations also use the centre for meetings as it is positioned centrally in North Leitrim. Access to broadband is available and the training room is available during the day for women to use to brush up on their computer skills, do up their C.V. or use the Internet.
The women’s centre tries to respond to the needs of women in the local area and is constantly consulting with women in order to ensure that all of the activities delivered are women centred and family friendly. Supports are put in place, when funding is available, to assist women to take part and to become more involved in what is going on in their own local communities and to have their say.
In 2008, all of this hard work was recognised when the centre was awarded one of eleven national AONTAS STAR (Showcasing Teamwork, Awarding Recognition) Awards in appreciation of the centres provision of training and education to adult women learners over the years.
The NLWC’s Well Woman Health Clinic runs on a bi-monthly basis, with all appointments being fully booked, sometimes before going to press! This reflects the continued need and success of having this service for women in the North Leitrim area.
In 2007, the centre began it’s dedicated work on the issue of violence against women – a working sub group was set up, representing members of the community, other community groups, an Garda and DVAS (Domestic Violence Advocacy Service). This group works on raising awareness of the issue within the community. The work culminates with a dedicated event during the 16 Days of Action Opposing Violence against Women and in 2009 the group created an online publication “You don’t have to be hit to Hurt” written by those affected personally by domestic violence.
Other events the centre held throughout the past year included a vast series of IT based computer training, Jobs Club, Women’s Day at the Organic Centre, Yoga, Art & Coffee Mornings, Political Leadership for women, Conflict Management & Reconciliation and Personal Development training. We have a dedicated Women into Work project and a dedicated Positive Relations project.
Our Key Areas of Work
The NLWC’s key areas of work are: programmes of education (both formal and informal), our Well Woman Health Clinic, our Violence against Women Working Sub Group, the drop-in centre, external strategic networking and influencing policy and internal organisation development.
Our Strategic Aims
- To provide formal and informal education within the NLWC and on an outreach and cross-border basis
- To provide a holistic approach to women’s health and well-being
- To effectively manage the project and its workload
- To raise the capacity of the project to participate strategically in networking opportunities in order to promote change and influence policy