WOMEN'STEC eZine July 2016

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We have exciting news - we're relocating! 
Our office move will be taking place over the Summer. We'll be keeping you informed by email, website and social media. To keep up-to-date with the latest news, please feel free to 'like' us on FaceBook and/or 'follow' us on Twitter! 
Please bear with us - our phones & email may be down temporarily during July.
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Upcoming Courses



Our new timetable for courses starting in September will be coming out soon! We offer a range of accredited courses in Plumbing, Joinery/ Wood Work, Horticulture / Gardening, Tiling, Painting & Decorating and Mosaics.  We also provide accredited courses in Computer Skills, Money Management, and First Aid / Saving Your Baby's Life. 


Our courses are FREE for women who are unemployed or working less than 16 hours per week. Childcare can be provided. To register your interest in a course, contact Amanda on 028 9074 9810 or email

Picture Perfect Mosaic

WOMEN'STEC, along with Clanmil Housing Group, launched a community mosaics piece depicting Caffrey Hill development on the Glen Road.  The stunning artwork will go on permanent display in the community centre, and was carefully crafted by  WOMEN'STEC students Roisin, Elishia, Betty and Geraldine along with WOMEN'STEC tutor Geraldine Cooper.  Participants worked tirelessly each week while completing their accredited course and creating their mosaic masterpiece using their newly acquired tiling and grouting skills. Congratulations on your great work!

Sampling Courses for New Students

Wondering what joinery or tiling might be like?  During the year we run a range of sampling courses for new students (those who have never done a course with us) to come along to 'try it out' before committing to a longer course. Sampling courses include Gardening, Mosaics, Joinery, DIY and other topics. Courses are FREE for women who are unemployed or working less than 16 hours per week. To register your  interest, contact Amanda at or ring 028 9074 9810.

Speaking Up for Women

Lynn Carvill, WOMEN'STEC CEO, represented the NI Women's Budget Group at the pan-island gender budgeting conference in Glasgow, speaking about the cuts in welfare and services, and how this affects women in Northern Ireland.
The conference, organised by Women in the Scottish Economy (WiSE), brought together representatives from gender budget groups, academics and government officials from the UK and Republic of Ireland to share experiences of progressing gender budgeting.  Following the event, Lynn commented, "It was inspiring to hear of the experiences from other regions and the Republic of Ireland and an honour to share our experience from Northern Ireland. What struck me particularly was the Scottish work on the current Programme for Government, which will guarantee 30 hours of free childcare for every child in the new mandate. Think of the huge impact that would have in Northern Ireland!"


Lyric Study Visit
WOMEN'STEC joinery students attended a study visit to the Lyric Theatre hosted by our partner organisation Gilbert-Ash Ltd. During the tour students heard from Gilbert-Ash Technical Director, Finbarr McMeel, on how the building was developed from its early design stage to its impressive, award-winning finish. The use of Iroko timber, a very durable and attractive wood, has been used throughout the building and involved approximately 80 joiners / master craftspeople. WOMEN'STEC would like to thank Maria and Finbarr from Gilbert-Ash for organising this fantastic visit in such an idyllic and inspiring setting.
Bringing Communities Together

WOMEN'STEC, working in partnership with Clanmil Housing Group, has undertaken a range of summer gardening projects and horticultural activities over the year, including planting up tubs and baskets, and developing community gardens. This is a great way to bring people together and the activities have encouraged residents to get to know each other as well as take pride in the area. WOMEN'STEC would like to thank Clanmil staff  for their hard work and dedication to engaging with local residents.

Partnership Success

WOMEN'STEC CEO, Lynn Carvill, gave an inspiring talk at Clanmil Housing Group's Annual General Meeting about the impact of the Supporting People -  Empowering Communities (SPEC) project and the successful year of working in partnership with Clanmil. This has included a range of 'tea and drills' sampling sessions including joinery, mosaics, horticulture and the development of community gardens. Participants have progressed to accredited courses in Painting & Decorating and Mosaics. This has been a fantastic partnership and has had a very positive impact on people's lives. We look forward to continuing this work with Clanmil over the coming year.
Business Ideas Workshop

WOMEN'STEC held a Business Ideas Workshop in May in association with Work West Enterprise Agency, funded by Belfast City Council. Participants learned skills for developing new and innovative business ideas, and worked in groups to discuss and develop ideas together. Students now have the opportunity to progress to further training and mentoring support focusing on self employment.

Garden Show Study Visit

WOMEN'STEC students attended the Allianz Garden Show Ireland event at Antrim Castle Gardens as part of their course learning experience. The event provided a great way for students to see horticulture and joinery skills put into practice and used in the development of landscape gardens. This inspirational event helps showcase how the learning from courses can be put into practice. Thanks to Horticulture tutor, Jacky, and Joinery tutor, Louise, for helping to organise the visit.

First Aid Course 
First aid training continues to be a popular course with WOMEN'STEC students. This practical short course covers basic first aid & helps equip participants with the confidence to deal with a range of emergency situations. This is a great course that includes practical information that could save a life including a baby's life. If you'd like to register your interest for the next course, please contact Amanda at or ring 028 9074 9810.

STEPS to Excellence Course

Congratulations to participants who completed the Steps To Excellence (STEPS) course developed by the Pacific Institute. This is a fantastic personal development course that helps participants identify personal goals and develop confidence. This popular course is part of the WOMEN'STEC Capacity Building Programme, supported by Belfast City Council.

Woodworking with Clanmil

WOMEN'STEC invited staff from Clanmil Housing Group to come along to a workshop to learn joinery skills form tutor, Louise Anson.  This provided a great opportunity to undertake some practical workshop activities and be able to better explain to Clanmil residents what WOMEN'STEC can offer. Well done to Clanmil who did a great job turning raw wood into lovely chopping boards!

Would you like to tutor for WOMEN'STEC?
Do you have a level 3 qualification (or above) in a gender non-traditional specialist subject such as electrics, plumbing, painting & decorating, joinery, IT, horticulture, electrics, floor & wall tiling, brick laying, or other non-traditional skill area?

If so, WOMEN'STEC would like to hear from you!  We're expanding and want to ensure we have a register of tutors from across Northern Ireland to meet demand.  Tutors should be available to deliver training for 2 hours a week, over a ten week period. Work release applicants are welcome. 

Find out more by clicking here.

Women in Construction Network
WOMEN'STEC attended the Women in Construction Network NI event organised by CITB and hosted by Farrans Construction. The meeting involved a presentation about the £32m East Belfast  project  with a site tour of the new Connswater Community Greenway. The informative tour focused on phase 2 of the project which involves the building of flood walls and the 16km foot and  cycle greenway. Thanks to Karen at CITB(NI) for organising this networking event. 

What Next?  for Students

WOMEN'STEC continues to provide support and information to our students on a range of options once they have completed a course with us. These progression options may include moving on  to another course, progressing to further education, starting a business, or applying for part-time / full-time employment. Students can avail of support and guidance on 'what next' by contacting Kelli at WOMEN'STEC to chat through options by tel: 028 9074 9810 or email:
WOMEN'STEC recently launched its Annual Report for 2015-2016. The report highlights our key achievements over the past year including the successful 1st year of our SPEC programme. This included:
145 participants taking part in SPEC

78 OCN qualifications were gained (72 in non-traditional skills)

37 qualifications in First Aid were awarded.

View the full report by clicking here.
What Our Students say...

Visit the WOMEN'STEC FaceBook page to view videos of students and hear about their experience at WOMEN'STEC. View by clicking here.
WOMEN'STEC is one of the seven partners in the Women’s Regional Consortium, which acts as the established link between government, statutory agencies and women in disadvantaged and rural areas. Read more by clicking here
This project is part funded by the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020
and the Department for the Economy.
Feel free to share our eZine! 
If you have any comments or suggestions, please contact Kelli at WOMEN'STEC by emailing
Copyright © 2016 WOMEN'STEC, All rights reserved.

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WOMEN'STEC · 161-163 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast, United Kingdom · Belfast, BT15 2GE · United Kingdom

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