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Gortin Women's Shed & Corry's Chemist

Building confidence, creating positive change

Owenkillew Community Development Association provides services and activities for the benefit of the community in Gortin village and surrounding areas which have a high level of rural isolation. The group covers areas such as personal development, wellbeing, healthy eating, dance, music and art.

One of the Associaton's projects is Gortin Women’s Shed. Below, the group tells us about their BCPP experience.

"We are so excited to be part of the BCPP project delivered alongside Pharmacist Aisling Mann from Corry’s Chemist. We have been enjoying every minute so far and have so much more to come. The project is running throughout the year and will focus on promoting health and wellbeing, increasing awareness and improving knowledge about what services are out there and how to avail of these services.

The group had many varied health issues and lacked confidence overall so decided to apply for some funding to help us build confidence and enable us to make more informed decisions for ourselves, family, friends and community. The sharing of experiences, knowledge and ideas made the group bond even further.

We have learned about what the local pharmacy can do for us and the multitude of quality services on offer. We have been focusing on mental health, managing medications, complimentary therapies and stress. We have also been running some great sewing workshops alongside these classes, putting some of our stress relieving tactics into practice. Expressing creativity is an excellent way to help your mental wellbeing and we definitely forgot our worries when enthralled in what we were making.

Later in the project, we will be welcoming Drink Wise Age Well to discuss alcohol awareness and Ulster Bank to talk about the different services that can be offered since the closure of the bank in Gortin. We have planned a nutrition workshop, one element focusing on how to reduce caffeine intake, so we will be testing alternative teas and learning of their benefits, yum yum! This project has been such a great benefit to our group already. By the end of the project, participants will have a tool kit to help them address issues and achieve positive change. Our women are getting so much from it, they are building connections and are already feeling more confident to make informed decisions around wellbeing.’

The women made me feel so welcome just as though I was a member of their group and the discussions have been open and honest from the start. It was a great opportunity to expand my knowledge through engaging with community/ voluntary organisations and I will now be able to share this learning with others when they visit the pharmacy.

Aisling Mann, Pharmacist

I’ve lately been feeling under pressure from work and family commitments, so much that it is overwhelming and I just can’t function. BCPP Wednesday at the Women’s Shed is my day to focus on something else. We have been learning about so many different things and it has opened my eyes about what I can do at my local pharmacy therefore saving my GP’s time. We have been looking at mental health awareness and practising different techniques to relieve stress which has been really helpful. Being introduced to sewing as something I can do when I am feeling overwhelmed has been really positive for me.