independent

Friday 20 October 2017

Tomhaggard Women's Shed celebrates first Christmas

By amy lewis

Angela Byrne, Breda Hayes, Marie Dillon, Carmel Sanchez, Mary Quinn, Stella Cullen and Theresa Burke enjoying the Christmas party in The Old School House, Tomhaggard.
Angela Byrne, Breda Hayes, Marie Dillon, Carmel Sanchez, Mary Quinn, Stella Cullen and Theresa Burke enjoying the Christmas party in The Old School House, Tomhaggard.

It may be only a few months since the Tomhaggard Women's Shed was established but the initiative is already making a big impact in the community.

Members of the group recently joined together for their inaugural Christmas party which its founders hope to be the first of many. Almost all of the 25 members turned up for the festive feast, with each one bringing a home-cooked dish to share around.

'Rather than go out, we decided to have lunch in the centre,' said Breda Hayes, PRO of the Tomhaggard Women's Shed. 'It was a lovely afternoon and a nice social occasion.'

The Tomhaggard Women's Shed was established in June of this year and has seen a great response since the first meeting. The brainchild of Angela Byrne, Kathleen Tierney, Mary Boggan, Carol Grey and Fidelis Power, it is one of the first independent women's sheds in the country. Having already attended a craft group in south Wexford, the five ladies decided to set up something similar in their own area. However, according to Breda, the resulting group is about more than just crafts.

'We wanted it to be about everything,' explained Breda. 'It is very much about women. The ethos of the group is to come along and learn new skills or if you have a skill yourself, to come along and teach.'

To date, the group have participated in a wide array of activities including patchwork, crochet, drama and a nature walk with Jim Hurley. A monthly creative writing group has also been formed, while a book swap scheme is going strong. Several of the members will soon be taking part in a computer course in the Wexford Local Development Offices which will help them to improve on their computer skills.

With 2016 fast approaching, the group have plenty more in the pipeline. In an effort to get the word out, several of the members recently held a stand at the Wexford Enterprise Town Expo.

The new community group has been a welcome addition to many people in the local area and has even attracted members from as far as Barntown. The group of members is made up of women of all ages, including the retired, stay-home mothers and widows.

'Everyone is treated the same here,' said Breda. 'People really look forward to it, especially those who have lost their husbands. It gets them out of the house.'

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