Building bridges through women’s programme

Mary Hogg.
Mary Hogg.

WOMEN in Cookstown who want to develop their understanding of cultural issues relating to Northern Ireland are invited to take part in an exciting ten week programme.

Cookstown and District Women’s Groups will be running the Rural Women’s Programme from September to November for 10 weeks, one evening per week from 7pm to 9pm.

Funded by Cookstown District Council through the EU’s Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (PEACE III) which is managed by the Special EU Programmes Body, the programme will bring together women from across the district to participate in shared interest elements.

They are guaranteed to have fun, build friendships and develop their knowledge and understanding of each other in venues that are welcoming to everyone.

There will be a nine week workshop, three excursions and a conference to address the issues associated with the legacy of the Northern Ireland conflict.

The three elements are: Getting Creative, Understanding Me and Understanding You and this will include a cultural excursion.

The Get Creative element will allow participants to take part in three arts and crafts workshops (one per week) which will include activities such as crafts, flower arranging and jewellery making. The ‘Understanding Me’ element will comprise of three health and wellbeing workshops which will look at issues such as healthy eating, stress management and heart health, as well as introducing the women to the benefits of reflexology and relaxation techniques etc.

The ‘Understanding You’ element will consist of three peace workshops which will look at issues of perceptions, prejudices, racism and sectarianism.

All women who participate in the workshops will have the opportunity to avail of the cultural excursion.

The success of the programme will be celebrated at the end of November with a conference where guest speakers will be invited to share their views on issues that affect the women of the Cookstown district.

The Rural Women’s Programme is free of charge and there will be a childcare and travel allowance to allow women to participate on any of the workshops.

If you are interested in receiving more information on the programme or want to attend, contact Mary or Bernie on 028 8676 1020 or email

When the programme commences it will be held in various venues across the Cookstown District Council area, and organisers would be delighted to hear from any group or organisation interested in hosting any of the workshops - the costs of the heating and lighting of the venue will be covered.