Their project aims to renovate and expand their current premises.
First Steps Women’s Centre (FSWC) in Dungannon was first started in 1998 and is a charity and a Company Limited by Guarantee. It is a member of the Northern Ireland Regional Women’s Centre Network. The day to day management of the centre is tasked to the staff team with 18 Staff and a number of volunteers who assist them. Three of the current board of directors are from ethnic minority backgrounds – evidence of the reach of the centre into migrant communities within the Dungannon area, and three members progressed to the board having first come into contact with the group as service users. .
Their mission statement is: "To improve the quality of life for women through education and personal development, supporting women to make choices for the future", and their objectives include relief of unemployment, advancement of education and provision of recreational facilities for women. They also offer services around community development and capacity building, confidential counselling as well as benefit advice and money management.
Their project aims to renovate and expand their current premises. The work will seek to bring derelict space within the centre into productive use for the delivery of services to the community and will allow them to provide the following elements: a permanent crèche facility, computer suites, counselling room, multi-purpose training Rooms, enlarged kitchen, as well as therapy rooms and better office and toilet provision.
This redevelopment will allow FSWC to enhance and increase the services they offer the local community – both indigenous and from the large ethnic minority community they serve in the Dungannon area. The new facilities will allow increased uptake of courses, provide a permanent childcare element within the centre for those taking part in programmes, and also offer space and programmes that can help to target some of the health issues identified through the group’s consultation process. The increased space would also allow FSWC to address the waiting list they have for courses and training.