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Busy group creates a community for women in Omagh


Amber Burt, Anne McFarland and Christine Gilloway, working at a patchwork quilt as part of their activites at the Gallows Hill woman’s group.

‘EVERYONE has a gift to share and we can all learn from each other’.

This is the motto of the beloved Gallows Hill Women’s Group which is celebrating its sixth anniversary this Spring.

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The social group, which meets at Gallows Hill Community House fortnightly, is for women over 18 who live across the Omagh district.

During each gathering, the local ladies take part in fun, creative activities to help them learn and nurture new skills – and enjoy a good natter while they’re at it!

Speaking after International Women’s Day (which took place worldwide yesterday), founding member, Amber Burt, says that the group gives “women of all backgrounds the opportunity to come together.”

“For many years, it was my only social activity locally and, by going to the groups, I met many other women who were the same,” she explained. “That’s why the Gallows Hill Women’s Group is important. It gives us ladies a comfortable place to talk, laugh, learn and share our experiences and skills with each other.

“We provide a space for women to just be ourselves.”

Activities

Activities the ladies have taken part in over the years include the traditional practices of dress-making, flower arranging, jewellery-making, upcycling and learning Spanish.

“The group has given me the opportunity to try my hand at crafts I would never have attempted otherwise,” Amber explained.

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“It is also a joy to watch the sheer delight on someone’s face when they realise they have created something beautiful.”

Additionally, in previous gatherings the women have also enjoyed cooking and baking, while sharing tips on how to grow their own vegetables.

“In recent times, the emphasis on our group’s activities has been led more and more by the current financial situation in the North,” Amber added.

“We are increasingly returning to more traditional methods, such as patchwork and dress-making, as well as growing our own food, and cooking meals from scratch rather than buying prepackaged foods.

“But some nights we have no activity planned at all,” the Gallows Hill woman continued. “Instead we just talk, share stories and eat, drink tea or coffee and be sociable.

“In the near future we hope to have beginners embroidery classes and complete a lap quilt which we may donate to charity.”

Other suggestions on the agenda for the Gallows Hill Women’s Group are jam-making and creative writing.

“However there is no pressure on any woman to join in with any particular activity,” Amber added. “If someone just wants to talk, then the group is there for that too.

“Sometimes we just need time to ourselves – to relax, to listen, and to chat. Other times learning a new craft or skill is just what we need.”

The group is open to women from right across the Omagh area, and new members are always welcome.

Enriched

“My life has been enriched beyond measure by meeting so many wonderful people at the group,” the 44-year-old concluded. “We usually meet for two hours but nights have been known to run longer!

“I have made friends that I may never have otherwise met, and each one is a unique and strong person. I hope that other members have found it equally of value to them.”

The group meet fortnightly in Gallows Hill Community House, located at 1 Fairmount Terrace at 7.30pm.

Their next night to meet will be March 21. There is no charge to attend.

For more information, visit their Facebook page ‘Gallows Hill Women’s Group’. Alternatively contact Ambre on 07872649235.

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