by Déise Women’s Shed
The Déise Women’s Shed is a community group tackling social isolation in Dungarvan and West Waterford. Led by Mary Kelly and Yvonne Sheehan, their mission is to provide a safe environment for women of all abilities to come together regularly in order to share skills, form friendships, socialise, and engage with community initiatives. This is particularly true for women who have little support, living in isolation, struggling with grief, and are keen to enhance their life-skills.
Since its inception in 2018, the group has been knitting / crocheting ‘Blankets of Hope and Comfort’ for people of all ages facing life-limiting conditions, such as cancer, dementia, and Parkinson’s. These are then delivered to palliative care units at Waterford University Hospital and Dungarvan Community Hospital. Toys, mobile phone bags, and hats are also crafted for children going through chemotherapy, bringing joy and warmth at a time of great confusion around their illness.
We were delighted to award them a Seed Grant to purchase wool and materials. Not only does their project richly benefit the recipients, it benefits members in terms of community engagement and a sense of satisfaction and wellbeing, knowing they are giving back with compassion to their local community.
Moreover, out of 86 groups participating in the 2021 IPB Pride of Place Awards in May 2022, the Déise Women’s Shed came second in the Community Wellbeing Initiative Category of the 2021 National ‘Pride of Place Awards’ for providing a great resource for women in the locality and a sense of belonging to its members.
Over the course of their Seed Grant, they have gained lots of new members resulting in a new energy. They have also re-established crafting / teaching relationships with a local girl’s secondary school and nun’s convent, which had to be suspended during the Covid-19 pandemic. The group intends continuing with this project and hope future blankets can be recycled into a memory cushion for the families of the patients left behind, aiding in the healing process.
In the news: Deise Women’s Shed Seed Project Wins National Award