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Latest News - September 2019 - Please come along and give us your vote!

August 2019 - Toy Donation from KidsOut

We were delighted to receive a huge donation of toys from KidsOut children's charity for the children in our service who have experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse. This fantastic range of toys will be a great addition in both our Refuge playroom and in developing the new children's space in our Resource Centre. Thanks to KidsOut for their donation, we really appreciate it and look forward to seeing the happiness and enjoyment these toys will bring.

June 2019 – Recent Donations

Omagh Women’s Aid would like to say a huge thank you to the Beauty Department at South West College, Omagh Library Knit and Natter Group and Cheryl, David and Glenda for their recent fundraising efforts and generous donations. Local support is so important for our organisation to continue supporting the women and children in our community who are experiencing domestic violence. These donations are very much appreciated.


May 2019 - Well done Cheryl, David and Glenda on completing the recent Belfast Marathon!

Massive thanks to Cheryl, David and Glenda for running the recent Belfast Marathon and raising £2521.29 for Omagh Women’s Aid. This fantastic boost will help support women and children experiencing domestic and sexual violence. Local support is so important for our organisation and we really appreciate this acknowledgement.

Once again Thank you Cheryl, David and Glenda and to all those who donated. More photos to follow.



April 2019 - Omagh Women's Aid attend a conference on Coercive Control - Why is the Silence So Loud?

Staff from Omagh Women's Aid attended a conference on Coercive Control on 3rd April in the Lough Erne Resort, organised by Fermanagh Women's Aid, titled "Why is the Silence so Loud?".

It was a thought provoking day and we thoroughly benefitted from the line-up of speakers in attendance. Staff from Fermanagh Women's Aid provided an introduction to coercive control. We heard from Superintendent Clive Beatty from the PSNI, Claire Sugden MLA and Solicitor Conor Heaney who provided an overview of the PSNI's stance on coercive control, legislation developments and coercive control and the judicial system. Michael Lynch from The Men's Action Network discussed coercive control and men and Deidre Mahon, Director of Women's and Children's Services provided an overview of the impact of coercive control on children and young people.

Guest speakers Marylin O'Connor and brothers Luke and Ryan Hart provided personal accounts of growing up and living with coercive control and Mary McCann, Fermanagh Women's Aid CEO read a statement from Mary Coll and Jacqueline Connolly, mother and sister of Clodagh Hawe.

Domestic Violence is about so much more than physical violence. Coercive control is a deliberate and calculated pattern of behaviour and psychological abuse, designed to isolate, manipulate and terrorise. If you have concerns or need support call us at Omagh Women's Aid on 02882241414 or call the 24 hour Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline on 02882245998.

Local lady running Belfast City Marathon for Omagh Women's Aid and Ramona House!

Local lady, Cheryl Briggs has kindly organised to run the Belfast City Marathon on Sunday 5th May 2019. She has chosen Omagh Women's Aid and Ramona House as the recipients of monies raised. We wish her every success; please support her if you can. Link to just giving page below.

Cheryl Briggs running Belfast City Marathon Just Giving Page


Feb 2019 – Information Session with Seskinore and Edenderry Presbyterian Women

Omagh Women’s Aid recently held an information session with Seskinore and Edenderry Presbyterian Women.  We were delighted to speak with over 20 ladies regarding the services that we provide in the local area. We explored types of Domestic Abuse, warning signs of an unhealthy relationship and spoke about barriers to leaving an abusive relationship.  Thanks to the ladies for their interest on the night and their kind donations; which will go directly towards supporting women and children affected by domestic abuse.


Feb 2019 – Omagh Women’s Aid train 18 teachers in Domestic Abuse

Omagh Women’s Aid recently completed a 2 day professional development training course with 18 teachers from schools in the local area.  The training was entitled Effective Communication Skills for Developing Social Guardians to deliver Helping Hands. 

The aims of the programme were firstly, to assist teacher’s to develop preventative and early intervention strategies in relation to children who do not feel safe, specifically children affected by domestic violence. Secondly, to enable teacher’s to deliver the Helping Hands Programme linked to the curriculum. Finally to assist teacher’s to understand the context and impact of domestic violence in the lives of children and their families.

The expenses relating to teachers attending were fully funded by the Department of Education.  Every teacher who attended received a teacher’s manual, pupil’s workbooks and a box of supplies for their pupils including posters, games cards, stickers and certificates for delivery in the classroom.

Women’s Aid has been successfully running the Helping Hands programme in schools across Northern Ireland for over sixteen years.  If you are a principal or teacher and are interested in the programme which is delivered every year, please contact our offices on 028 8224 1414.

Omagh Women’s Aid would like to thank all the teachers who attended. 


Dec 2018 - Thank you to everyone who has made donations and to our volunteers

Omagh Women's Aid would like to thank everyone who has made donations throughout the year and all of the time given up by volunteers to help us deliver our services.  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

If you or anyone you know needs help over the festive period please call the 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline on 0808 802 1414.


Dec 2018 - Thanks to Three Rivers Care Home, Omagh

On behalf of our clients Omagh Women’s Aid would like to thank the staff, residents and families of the Three Rivers Care Home for their kind donation of toys.

It is much appreciated. Wishing you all a Happy peaceful Christmas.


Dec 2018 - Thanks to Nationwide Building Society, Omagh

Omagh Women’s Aid would like to extend a big thank you to the members and staff of Nationwide Building Society, Omagh for their kind donation of toys and toiletries. These items will be greatly appreciated by women and children who are in need.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Nov 2018 - Omagh Women’s Aid visit Loreto Grammar School, Omagh

Lisa Mullin, Young Person’s Worker from Omagh Women’s Aid was delighted to recently speak with Year 13 pupils in Loreto Grammar School, Omagh. Lisa discussed with the pupils various information on Domestic Abuse including what is a healthy relationship, the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship and the local support available. Omagh Women’s Aid would like to thank the school for their warm welcome.


Oct 2018 - Thanks to Omagh High School for including Omagh Women's Aid in their recent Harvest Assembly.

Omagh Women's Aid were delighted to be invited to attend Omagh High School's recent Harvest celebration.  The Board, staff and volunteers would like to thank Omagh High School staff, pupils and their families for their kind food donations.


Sept 2018 - Volunteers wanted!

To download the Expression of Interest form click here

For more details contact Valene at Omagh Women's Aid on 028 8224 1414. Please return the completed form to or


June 2018 - Coffee Morning

The people of Carrickmore turned out in force for a recent coffee morning and book sale organised by the local Mc Mahon family, in memory of their sister Jaqui. Speaking about the event, Jacqui's sister, Bernie Mc Elduff said, "Jacqui died very suddenly in March last year at just 48 years of age. She was a beautiful woman, a loving mother, sister and daughter. We are all still devastated by Jacqui's death and are still struggling with our loss.

My sisters Lorraine, Veronica and I were keen to celebrate Jacqui's life in a positive way with the family and community which she loved. We decided to hold a coffee morning in her memory to honour Jacqui and to raise funds for a local charity which was close to Jacqui's heart - Omagh Women's Aid. We were overwhelmed by the support we received from our wider family circle and Jacqui's friends. The Patrician Hall was full to capacity and we had to set up more tables very quickly at one point to cope with the crowds!"

Receiving the proceeds of the event on behalf of Omagh Women's Aid, team leader Orla Conway said, “We are so grateful to the people of Carrickmore and to the Mc Mahon family for this fantastic fund-raising effort. We rely heavily on donations such as this to bring some joy and comfort to the women and children we support. We knew Jacqui well and are so pleased that this event was organised to commemorate Jacqui and her life."

Speaking about the work of Omagh Women's Aid, Orla added, "we provide practical and emotional support, including accommodation, to women and children who are experiencing domestic or sexual violence. Last year we provided accommodation to 41 women and 29 children. A further 87 women were supported in their own homes. We are keen to get the message out there that no one should suffer domestic violence in silence and you do not have to leave home to get help. We also provide volunteering opportunities, student placements and training and awareness-raising sessions. Anyone interested in our work can contact us on 8224 1414 and anyone needing help or support can also contact that number or the 24-hour domestic and sexual violence helpline on (freefone) 0808 802 1414.

Photograph: McMahon family presenting cheque to Omagh Women's Aid staff


Mar 2018 - Celebration of new premises at Holmview Terrace

Staff, volunteers, friends and committee members past and present came together to mark International Women's Day and to celebrate Omagh Women's Aid's move to their new premises at Holmview Terrace, Campsie. The new premises have ground floor access, so easier for those with mobility difficulties and mums with buggies! Pop in and say hello!


Jan 2018 - Omagh Women’s Aid Information event in Omagh Hospital & Primary Care Complex

Omagh Women’s Aid recently attended a Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness Session in Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex. Other agencies at the event included the 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline, Nexus, Policing & Community Safety Partnership and Men’s Action Network.

The event was an opportunity to further spread the message of what Omagh Women’s Aid do. Domestic Abuse can be emotional, physical, psychological, financial or sexual. If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic or sexual violence do not hesitate to contact Omagh Women’s Aid. They can provide refuge accommodation, floating support for women who choose to remain at home, children’s services and much more.

If you want to seek help for yourself or anyone you know you can speak confidentially to a support worker on 028 8224 1414 or the 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline on 0808 802 1414.


Nov 2017 - Omagh Women’s Aid Information event with Caledon Women’s Institute

Staff of Omagh Women’s Aid recently addressed Caledon Women’s Institute, giving them some information on the services offered by Women’s Aid, exploring what is domestic abuse, myths around the topic and some warning signs of an abusive relationship.

The evening was enjoyed by all. The group also kindly donated beautifully wrapped Christmas gifts for the women using our services. The event closed with a delicious supper.

Thanks to all of the women who were there on the night, including our very own local woman, Elaine Agnew.


In the picture:
Mrs Teresa O’Brien (President), Mrs Sherry Edwards (Secretary), Valene McCaughey (Omagh Women’s Aid)


October 2017 - Thank you

Omagh Women’s Aid would like to say a big thank you to Drumragh Integrated College, Omagh County Primary School and St Columba’s church who all recently donated food to our service users from Harvest events. These donations are much appreciated and go a long way in helping the women and children in our refuge and those who we support in the community.


Sept 2017 - Everything you wanted to know about the rape clause but were afraid to ask... 

Please take a few minutes to read the article below about the two child tax credit rape clause and then come out and show your solidarity in trying to get this overturned at a rally in Guildhall Square, Derry/Londonderry on 21st September 2017 at 1pm.


July 2017 - Take Part

Women’s Aid across N. Ireland is keen to hear the views of the women, children and young people who use our services.

If you have used one or more of our services, we would be very grateful if you would please complete the questionnaire by clicking on the link below. It is completely anonymous and asks for no personal details. Your opinions will help Women’s Aid shape its services to meet the needs of women and children in the future, so thank you for your help with this.


July 2017 - Donation from the Progressive Building Society Omagh

Omagh Women’s Aid were delighted to be chosen by their local branch of the Progressive Building Society to receive a fantastic £5000 donation.

Handing over the cheque, branch manager Amanda Wilson explained that she and the staff in the branch had heard about the life-saving services run by Omagh Women’s Aid and it struck a chord with her and her staff team. They wanted to make a donation that would make an impact and benefit people in the Omagh area.

Omagh Women’s Aid are, like many other organisations, being hit by cuts to budgets. Last year, Omagh Women’s Aid provided accommodation to 42 women and 29 children. A further 105 women and 58 children were supported in the community. The money from Progressive Building Society will go towards helping these women and children build a better future for themselves, free from violence and fear.

In the picture:

Left to Right - Crystal (student placement) Joanne (Children's worker), Amanda (Progressive Building Society Branch Manager), Orla (Team Leader)


June 2017 - M&S team up with Omagh Women's Aid

Marks and Spencer Omagh are supporting Omagh Women’s Aid as part of their ”Good deeds make great communities”. This week they are giving the living room at our refuge a makeover, turning it into an oasis of calm and tranquillity!

Meanwhile, volunteer Ciara, is rattling her collecting tin in the foyer of the local store.


May 2017 - The Green Party drop into the Resource Centre

Steven Agnew, the leader of the Green Party in NI and Ciaran McClean, Green party representative for West Tyrone called into the Resource Centre to find out more about the issues affecting women and children in the area.

In the picture L to R - Orla Conway, Steven Agnew, Ciaran McClean, Allison Forbes


Cuts to budget as abuse reports rise... get the full story in the Tyrone Herald No 674 Monday 22nd May 2017

View the stories on the Tyrone Herald website here



The Clear Art Project was coordinated with Breige McClean. Breige relayed the following on behalf of the class;

This centre canvas is a mixed media piece completed by women who have used the services of Omagh Women's Aid. The women wished to express their gratitude to Women’s Aid and to show how they have grown stronger and learned more about themselves in the process.  They want this canvas to inspire hope and wellbeing particularly for those new to Women’s Aid.

Collage and mark making on the hands represents the support they received from Women’s Aid Refuge and Community-based support services. Collective multicoloured hands surround the piece symbolising the importance of difference and also of protection for self and family.  The sky blue circle signifies hope and the small circular mirror in the centre is for self-reflection.  Textured circles and triangles circling the small mirror represent the individuality of every woman.

The purple plaited hair is made from wool and was plaited by 3 of the women.  It recalls the traditional craft of spinning wool and weaving, traditionally done by women.



                                                       A FOND FAREWELL TO OUR TREASURED FRIEND DEIRDRE


After several decades of service, it was with great regret that staff, volunteers, committee members said farewell to Deirdre Dunphy as she left Omagh Women’s Aid refuge to enjoy her well-deserved retirement. Family, friends and colleagues from down through the years joined Deirdre at her retirement party. Paying tribute to Deirdre and other founding members, Chairperson Allison Forbes said,

“When Omagh people hear “Women’s Aid” they think “Deirdre Dunphy”, or, sometimes even “that wee Mc Gale girl” and it is true to say that without Deirdre and several other great women, some of whom we have here with us tonight, we would not have Omagh Women’s Aid.

It all started ... – well, I’ll just gloss over and say “several decades ago”... when a group of local women decided “up with this we cannot put” and began to explore what they could do to support local women. Most of these women, Deirdre included, had jobs and young families but nevertheless felt that things had to change. Links were made with the local welfare rights group operating in Omagh at the time and advice and support was offered. Things moved on and eventually a thrift shop was opened at Market Street to provide a source of income for the work of the group and a shop for hard-pressed families.

Links were made with a Women’s Aid group in Belfast and our intrepid ladies decided that they would open a refuge, here in Omagh. These were indeed brave ladies. Attitudes and beliefs in small market towns in North West Ireland have moved on somewhat in the intervening decades, but in the days when Deirdre and her colleagues were undertaking their pioneering work they were frequently criticised and challenged. However, they continued on regardless and the first refuge in Omagh was opened in 1987.

A manager was appointed and our Deirdre became the admin worker. I say, admin worker, but the reality was that this was back in the day before peace and reconciliation money, Big Lottery, Comic Relief, Children in Need or any of the other funders that we are all so familiar with nowadays. Deirdre was an ACE worker, for those of you old enough to remember them! Deirdre did practically everything, from making up the beds, keeping the house clean and welcoming, ordering supplies, fundraising, giving the talks, raising awareness and promoting the cause. Some of you may recall some of the gigs Deirdre organised, including “In Good Company” with Nollaig Casey, Artie Mc Glynn, Ciaran Goss and Tommy Sands, among others.

Along with colleagues from Women’s Aid across N. Ireland, the police were challenged on their attitudes and responses to domestic violence and our Deirdre and her colleagues came up with a training programme drawn from the voices and experiences of the women and children they worked with and went into the fortresses that were our police HQ’s at that time. They trained the RUC on domestic violence and how it was not “just a domestic” and how it was their job to keep women and children safe.

As things got more fancy and we got NVQ’s and quality assessment frameworks, evidence requirements and portfolios and more staff, Deirdre became refuge manager and a source of guidance and support for volunteers, new students and staff members. “Just ask Deirdre” was a common instruction given to newcomers!

Primarily though, Deirdre supported the women. She gave choices and hopes to well over 1,000 women and over 1,400 children in the years since the refuge opened in 1987.

She has seen it all. She has come out on Christmas Day to deliver a dinner from her own house to a woman newly arrived in refuge; she has nursed new-born babies in the refuge. She has mothered young girls, teaching them to budget, cook and make safer choices.

She has seen women fall into ill health, depression, addictions and despair. She has attended the funerals of women dead before their time.

She has also seen, and indeed been instrumental in, other women rebuilding their lives, growing in confidence, taking back control.

Many women down through those years owe their sanity, if not their lives to Deirdre.

Deirdre is synonymous with Omagh Women’s Aid. It will be a different place without her, but we have to let her go and we know that she is entering a new and exciting chapter in her life.

On behalf of my fellow committee members, and all the staff, volunteers and supporters of OWA, we thank you most sincerely Deirdre for your many, many years of loyal dedication. 

Orla Conway

Team Leader


July 2016 - Summer Programme 2016

Calling all teenagers aged 11-14... Looking for something fun to do over the summer holidays?  Would you like to:

- Be able to discuss issues that affect young people in a safe & supported environment

- Build up your confidence & self-esteem

- Make new friends and take part in fun activities (pizza, games, art projects and trip)

We are holding a FREE Summer Programme at our Resource Centre in Market Street, Omagh.  Starts Tuesday 19th July from 2-4pm.  Contact Claire by calling 028 8224 1414, text 07912178828 or email


July 2016 - Cheque presentation following Deirdre Dunphy's retirement Celebration

Having recently retired after over 30 years at Omagh Women’s Aid, local woman, Deirdre Dunphy had requested those who wished to mark her retirement do so by way of a donation to The Huntington's Disease Association NI (HDANI), and a cheque for £500 was presented by Deirdre to Dolores McBride, HDANI Support Worker for the Southern and Western Trust Areas. Speaking at the presentation, Dolores, remarked,

'We are grateful to Deirdre for using the occasion of her retirement to remember those affected by Huntington's. Huntington's Disease is a genetic neuro-degenerative disease. Symptoms usually start to appear during mid adulthood and progress over 5 - 20 years. Juvenile Huntington's Disease is much rarer and develops before the age of 20. If your parent has Huntington's you have a 50% risk of inheritance.

As there is currently no cure, HDANI are striving to support families affected by Huntington's and to raise awareness. We have 4 Support Groups in N Ireland including one in Omagh which is held in The Wave Centre on the 2nd Monday of each month.

Deirdre became involved in supporting and volunteering with HDANI a number of years ago. We thank her for her generosity in time and spirit and now also in the form of her retirement gift, and we wish her health and happiness to enjoy this new chapter in her life.'

Deirdre would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their generous donations to HDANI and also for all the other gifts, flowers, cards and well wishes.


June 2016

Staff from Women’s Aid together with personnel from Dept of Justice, PSNI and Probation met with Professor Evan Stark recently to discuss with him how best to introduce legislation about coercive control in N.Ireland. Prof Stark has worked with the English and Scottish governments to introduce similar legislation in their jurisdictions.


June 2016

Omagh pupils raise £6,000 for vital causes

Pupils from two Omagh schools have raised £6,000 for charities of their choice in a project run by the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative, NI.

The group from Omagh Christian Brothers Grammar School won a competition to donate £3,000 to helping SLATE, a sheltered housing project for young people run by Shelter NI.

And the group from Omagh High School won £3,000 to support Omagh Women’s Aid, which supports and provides accommodation to women and children affected by domestic violence. Abigail Watson from Omagh High was awarded Individual Student of the Year for her bravery and tenacity in furthering the work of Women’s Aid.

They were among hundreds of schoolchildren across Northern Ireland, who have taken part in a project to win a total of £45,000 for the charities of their choice.

Around 1600 children from 15 schools took part in the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative NI, which encourages young people to engage with worthwhile causes in their own communities.

Throughout the year groups of children from Year 9 or 10 within each of the schools have competed to win £3,000 for their chosen charities and the final results were revealed today at a special celebration event in the Whitla Hall at Queen’s University, Belfast.

Lauren Lamberton YPI NI programme manager said: “YPI is all about challenging the young people to look at ways of improving the lives of people around them. Those who take part have developed vital skills in researching their charities talking to representatives of organisations and working on presentations.”

She said that YPI NI was hoping to increase the number of participating schools but this would involve getting more corporate sponsors to support the programme.

“There are a lot of schools who have expressed an interest in taking part. There is no doubt that if we are able to raise extra funds we would be able to expand this programme to the benefit of other schoolchildren.”

Lauren revealed that Youth and Philanthropy Initiative NI had come to the end of its funding last year but was saved when the fathers of a girl from one of the schools came to the rescue.

Businessman Neil McKibbin saw the positive effect that working on a social needs project had on his own daughter and offered to give 50% of the costs to run the project for a further three years.

He is now chair of the four man board and is committed to the work continuing to grow in Northern Ireland.

Neil’s daughter Kathryn had worked on a project with her school Bloomfield Collegiate, and although her group did not win the £3,000 first prize for their chosen charity, he saw the value of young people being engaged in such a rewarding exercise.

Lauren said the celebration was not all about the winners: “All of the pupils of the schools have gained a lot of confidence and social awareness out of working with charities. Lasting relationships have developed and these young people have developed an interest in working for the good of their communities.”

Next year they are hoping with extra funding to roll the project out to 20 to 25 schools.

The celebration event began with a number of the school giving a presentation of their work. The keynote speaker was Anita Dennison, a first year student from Queen’s University who began a successful campaign to stop bullying in schools.

Anita from the village of Bessbrook, was named the Diana Anti Bullying Champion in the annual Roll of Honour in 2015.

The 19-year-old, who runs her own anti-bullying website and Twitter campaign which not only helps other victims of bullying but inspires and advises parents and adults, was the only young person from Northern Ireland to win an accolade.

The celebration event is an opportunity for each school to showcase their work.

Three awards were given out at the celebration

1. For the school most passionate about YPI, won by St Louise’s Comprehensive College.

2. Individual student of the year, won by Abigail Watson from Omagh High School.

3. Individual charity of the year, won by Brave Hearts NI.

Lauren added: “The programme doesn’t just benefit the charities that receive £3,000 but we have got groups of interested engaged young people working hard to help local charities. Many go on to continue to raise money for their own charities.

“We have had schools who haven’t won but have gone out and raised their own money. For example a Spina Bifida charity which spoke out at a final event last year said it was important not just to be winners but to get the opportunity to get the message out to the young people.”

For more information about Youth and Philanthropy Initiative NI contact Programme Manager, Lauren Lamberton on or tel: 07725 588255.


June 2016

Omagh Women's Aid attend Omagh Volunteer Centre's Volunteer Week Celebrations (1 - 12 June)

We would like to take the opportunity to say a big thank you to all volunteers for the work they do for Omagh Women’s Aid. Their contribution is valuable and appreciated. Thank you for all your hard work and support. (Allison Forbes - Chairperson)


May 2016

Omagh Women's Aid hold art course for service users


Above - some of the great work completed by the women who participated in the 4 week Art Course in the Resource Centre.


April 2016

Monica McWilliams visits Omagh Women's Aid Refuge

Following on from her ground-breaking research into domestic violence in N. Ireland in 1993 – Bringing It Out in the Open, former MLA and Chief Human Rights Commissioner, Professor Monica Mc Williams visited Omagh refuge recently to meet staff and interview women who have experienced domestic violence as part of her current research into attitudes and responses to domestic violence quarter of a century later.

In the picture - Tracey, Monica, Deirdre, Ailish


March 2016

Omagh Women's Aid - All set for Mother's Day 2016


February 2016

Omagh Team Leader, Orla Conway, (2nd from left , back row) joined colleagues from other agencies and Justice Minister, David Forde to speak at a recent conference in Derry to raise awareness on services available locally for victims of sexual abuse.


November 2015

Staff complete training to offer an effective response to individuals affected by domestic and/or sexual violence

Staff at Omagh Women’s Aid who recently completed a nationally accredited training programme aimed at enabling practitioners to offer an effective response to individuals affected by domestic and/or sexual violence, were presented with their certificates by Ms Deirdre Mahon, Assistant Director WHSCT and Chairperson of Western Domestic Violence Partnership.

 Speaking at the presentation, Ms Mahon congratulated the participants on their success and commended them for the many classroom hours and the further hours of private study which went into gaining their qualification. She also commended Women’s Aid Federation NI for their professionalism and vision in developing the programme.

 “I understand that this programme was developed in response to the merging of the Government Domestic and Sexual Violence Strategies, and the launch of the 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline, to ensure best practice for all staff.

 The Western Trust work closely with Women’s Aid to support individual families affected by domestic violence and I am delighted to see the knowledge, skills and expertise of Women’s Aid in this field acknowledged by this formal qualification. I also chair the Western Domestic Violence Partnership, which comprises a range of voluntary and statutory agencies working together to generate positive action to eliminate domestic violence from our communities. The understanding and competence in this work which Women’s Aid brings to the Western Domestic Violence Partnership is invaluable.”

Omagh Women’s Aid Team Leader, Orla Conway commented; “I am delighted that Deirdre has taken time out of her busy schedule to be here today to acknowledge the achievements of our staff. This qualification was introduced in November 2014 and is accredited by the National Open College Network at level III. Staff can build on their previous qualifications and this one to work towards a diploma. As an organisation, Women’s Aid is committed to staff and volunteer training and development to ensure that the women and children we support obtain the best possible service.”

L-R Deirdre Dunphy, Senior Domestic Violence Support Worker, Tracey Maguire, Services Manager, Deirdre Mahon, Assistant Director Western Health and Social Care Trust and Chairperson Western Domestic Violence Partnership, Elaine Agnew, Senior Domestic Violence Support Worker and Meabh Donnelly, Domestic Violence Support Worker.


September 2015

European Conference

Staff attended the European Conference on Domestic Violence at Queens University, Belfast. Key note speakers, presenters and delegates came from the

Scandinavian countries, Northern and Southern Europe, the UK, Republic of Ireland and as far afield as USA and Canada. It was a great opportunity to

hear the latest research findings on domestic violence, interventions, best practice and so on. There were also opportunities for networking and sharing

of experiences and ideas.


August 2015

Annual Summer Day Trip

Not to be deterred by the absence of sunny weather this summer, women and children from the refuge swapped their annual day trip

to the seaside for a day shopping and exploring in Derry – former UK City of Culture! A great day out was had by all.


July 2015

Prince's Trust Students Volunteer at Refuge

Young people from Prince’s Trust hard at work refurbishing the playground at Omagh Women’s Aid.


June 2015

Omagh Women's Aid Volunteer Celebration Event

We recently took the opportunity to say  a formal thank you to our dedicated volunteers. We enjoyed an evening of chat and refreshments and all volunteers received a certificate to cknowledge their contribution and a goodie bag. 

Our volunteers serve on our Management Committee, in our refuge and in our court support projects. 

The statement ‘Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart’ is so true of our volunteers. We could not provide the service that we do to women and children affected by domestic violence without the support of these hard-working and generous women. 

Sincere thanks to everyone  

All at Omagh Women’s Aid


June 2015

Western Domestic Violence Partnership Planning Day - 5th June 2015

Recently staff from Omagh Women’s Aid joined with colleagues from PSNI, WHSCT, NSPCC, Fermanagh Women’s Aid, Public Health Agency, Action for Children, Nexus, Barnardos and Probation Board NI as part of a planning day to set priorities for the Western Domestic Violence Partnership for the coming months. A very busy day indeed!

Grateful thanks go to Strabane Enterprise Hub for the use of their fantastic premises and all their help with the running of the day.


June 2015

Congratulations to Omagh Ethnic Communities Support Group

Omagh Ethnic Communities Support Group were recently awarded the Queen's Award for voluntary service to the community. This is an outstanding acknowledgment of excellent work carried out by their volunteers.  Omagh Women's Aid would like to take this opportunity to send best wishes and congratulations to all at OECSG on their award.


May 2015

Sacred Heart College, Omagh raise funds

Final year students at Sacred Heart College, Omagh decided to donate the results of their recent fund-raising efforts to Omagh Women’s Aid. Speaking about the pupils efforts, Mrs Jo-Ann O’Neill, Head of Post 16 said, ” The  year 14 pupils attended a play “The Voice Within” performed by drama company, Spanner in the Works. The play explored the theme of the impact of abusive relationships on mental health. Omagh Women’s Aid were on hand at the venue with their display stands and staff spoke to our students about their work in this area. The theme of the play and the work carried out by Omagh Women’s Aid with young people struck a chord with the pupils.”

Ms Claire Murphy, Young Person’s Worker with Omagh Women’s Aid commented, “We work with a young people from Omagh town and the surrounding rural areas who are concerned about controlling and coercive behaviour in their teen dating relationships, which can sometimes spill over into actual violence. Emotional and psychological abuse has a detrimental effect on one’s mental health and well-being. We were delighted to support this initiative by Omagh Policing and Community Safety Partnership to bring this important message to young people through the medium of drama. It can have a much greater impact, sometimes than merely being told about or reading about an issue. I am delighted that the play made such an impression on these students and got its message across so well.”

Team Leader at Omagh Women’s Aid, Ms Orla Conway, said, “We are delighted with this generous donation from Sacred Heart pupils. The money will go towards our ongoing fundraising efforts to refurbish our children’s play area at the refuge.  At Omagh Women’s Aid we support women, children and young people who are experiencing abuse within the home or within their intimate relationships.  I would urge anyone who is concerned about a friend, family member or themselves to get in touch. We offer a range of support services in Omagh or people can call our 24 hour Domestic and Sexual Violence Helpline, free of charge on 0808 802 1414.”


May 2015

McClintock Primary School raise money towards outdoor play facilities at Omagh Women’s Aid Refuge

McClintock Primary School recently held a non uniform and naughty lunch day to raise money for Omagh Women’s Aid. Women’s Aid previously delivered the Helping Hands Programme within the school and following this staff at the school attended Social Guardian training delivered by Omagh Women’s Aid. This training equips teachers to help children recognise and deal with emotional or other difficulties. Following the training, the school decided it was fitting to make them their chosen charity for money raised.

The money raised will go towards ongoing fundraising to refurbish the outdoor play facilities at the refuge based in Omagh. The refuge provides emergency accommodation for up to 6 families at any given time who are experiencing domestic or sexual violence.

Other services provided by Omagh Women’s Aid include floating support for women who choose to remain at home, children’s services, preventative work in schools and training and personal development programmes. Additionally external training, court support to clients and volunteering opportunities are available.

Research shows that approximately 1 in 4 women have, or currently experience domestic violence and domestic violence accounts for approximately one-fifth of all recorded violent crime in Northern Ireland.

If you want to seek help for yourself or anyone you know speak confidentially to a support worker on 028 8224 1414 or the 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline on 0808 802 1414.


May 2015 

Omagh Lions Club raise money towards outdoor play facilities at Omagh Women’s Aid Refuge

Omagh Women’s Aid were delighted to have been selected by Omagh Lions Club as a recipient of their recent fundraising efforts.  Omagh Lions Club held a raffle at their annual ‘Showstoppers’ Concert in the Strule Arts Centre.  The evening of wonderful song and music was well supported by the local community and enjoyed by everyone in attendance. 

Geraldine O’Reilly, chairperson of Omagh Lions Club said” We are delighted to be supporting Omagh Women’s Aid in their work. Omagh Lions Club have been organising the Showstoppers event for a number of years now as a fundraiser for local charities. Our dear friend and member Roy Wilkinson was instrumental in coordinating the project over the years. Following Roy’s sad passing, Omagh Lions Club were keen to support a charity close to the hearts of the Wilkinson family. Roy’s wife, Margaret, who has long been a friend to disadvantaged children in our community suggested Omagh Women’s Aid as the recipient of the funds raised from this Showstoppers event. It is so appropriate that this money will go towards the refurbishment of the play area at Omagh Women’s Aid refuge.

Team Leader at Omagh Women’s Aid, Orla Conway, said that she was delighted with the generous donation and expressed gratitude to the Omagh Lions Club and to the Wilkinson family. She said, “the funds raised will be put towards refurbishing the outdoor play area at Omagh Women’s Aid Refuge, including new safety flooring and smartening up the play equipment. Last year the refuge provided safe accommodation and support to 31 women and 17 children with length of stays ranging from 1 night to the full year.  Shockingly, 29 women and 25 children were unable to be accommodated in the Omagh refuge as it was full.  Staff worked hard to ensure that all of these families were supported to access other refuges and services.” 

Orla added, “Omagh Women’s Aid provides a range of confidential services for women and children experiencing or at risk of domestic and/ or sexual violence.  Services include refuge accommodation, floating support for women who choose to remain at home, children’s services and preventative work in schools, training and personal development programmes. Additionally, we offer external training, court support to clients and volunteering opportunities.

“Working with children and young people is a fundamental part of what we do.  Services in this area include one-to-one support, group work sessions, preventative education work, delivered in the home or in schools, healthy relationships education for young people, play therapy for younger children in the refuge, together with recreational and educational activities for children and young people in the refuge and in the community.”

Speaking on the money raised Omagh Women’s Aid Chairperson, Allison Forbes, commented “Moving into emergency accommodation in the midst of a domestic abuse situation can be traumatic.  Omagh Women’s Aid attempt to make the situation as positive as it can be for both women and children.  Having a safe outdoor environment for children to play in will be invaluable.  We cannot thank everyone enough for helping us with this project.”  

If you want to seek help for yourself or anyone you know speak confidentially to a support worker on 028 8224 1414 or the 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline on 0808 802 1414.


April 2015

Some Pictures from our display at the Cycle Against Suicide Event in Omagh College - Well done to all those involved.

For further information on the Cycle Against Suicide bike ride please visit


April 2015

Omagh Women's Aid to attend Cycle Against Suicide Event in Omagh College on Wednesday 29th April 2015

Irish charity, Cycle Against Suicide has announced that its all-Ireland Cycle Against Suicide bike ride will visit Omagh on Wednesday 29th April and the charity has chosen South West College (SWC) as an anchor college to co-host an amazing mental health event during the lunch-time stop.

The two-week long Cycle Against Suicide bike ride, which kicks off in Belfast on Monday 27th April, will take in stops in Coleraine, Derry (via Malin Head) and Enniskillen, before heading to the southern tip of Ireland and finishing in Dublin on Sunday 10th May.

As an anchor college, SWC will provide refreshments and facilities to the cyclists for the lunch-time stop on Wednesday April 29th. The college will also co-host an informative and action-packed mental health event comprising of presentations, videos, entertainment, celebrity speakers and an exhibition of local mental health services, before the cyclists depart for Enniskillen where locals will host the cyclists for an overnight stay.

Leanne Patton, Health and Wellbeing Officer, SWC said:

“South West College is delighted to partner with Cycle Against Suicide for this great event and we look forward to welcoming the cyclists to Omagh.

“The impact of this cycle is powerful and far-reaching, not just in our schools and colleges but also in the community at large. It gets the conversation around mental health going in the community and more importantly it highlights the support services available to those that need them.

“Promoting positive mental health is important to South West College and by joining forces with Cycle Against Suicide we can continue to raise awareness of the issues around mental health and suicide.”

Established by Irish Entrepreneur Jim Breen, Cycle Against Suicide is a charity which seeks to break the stigma associated with the open discussion of mental health, through the promotion of its message that ‘it’s ok not to feel ok; and it’s absolutely ok to ask for help.’
Mr Breen added:

“We have brought the Cycle to the North before and we’ve had tremendous support and a very warm welcome, so we thought it fitting to start the event here this year.

“Schools and colleges are critical to helping us spread the message that it’s ok not to feel ok; and it’s absolutely ok to ask for help. Each year over the two weeks of our annual Cycle around Ireland, we deliver presentations in schools, colleges and universities and we witness how hugely responsive students are to that message - we also see the value students place on their mental wellbeing and that of their friends and families.”

If you would like to volunteer with South West College when the Cycle Against Suicide bike ride comes to town – whether its road marshals or just supporters at the roadside to cheer on the cyclists, please email

For further information on the Cycle Against Suicide bike ride or to register for some or all of the legs of the 14 day cycle, please visit
Together, shoulder to shoulder we can break the cycle of suicide on the island of Ireland.


March 2015

Omagh Women’s Aid mark International Women’s Day with Coffee Morning

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2015, Omagh Women’s Aid hosted a Coffee Morning recently.  The event also launched their Children’s and Young Person’s Projects which are part funded by Children in Need. 

Attendees, including local councillors, volunteers, staff from other agencies and women interested in the work of Women’s Aid, enjoyed an informal morning of refreshments, information from staff and a free raffle.  Local poet and long standing friend of Omagh Women’s Aid, Pheme Glass, read some of her poetry, to the delight of all present.  Additionally, free mini health checks and life style advice and information, kindly provided by Bradley’s Pharmacy, were also on offer

Domestic Abuse can be emotional, physical, psychological, financial or sexual.  Physical injuries such as bruising can be one sign, but if you are concerned about someone, you should also be aware of other indicators such as controlling behaviour, when a partner won’t let you leave the house or spend time with friends and family, or a partner who is obsessively jealous or accuses you of being unfaithful. Women who experience abuse often describe being fearful that they will do or say something “wrong” and that they are constantly walking on egg shells.  If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic or sexual violence do not hesitate to contact Omagh Women’s Aid.  They can provide refuge accommodation, floating support for women who choose to remain at home, children’s services and much more.  

If you want to seek help for yourself or anyone you know you can speak confidentially to a support worker on 028 8224 1414 or the 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline on 0808 802 1414.


February 2015

Omagh Women's Aid Resource Centre are hosting a Coffee Morning on Friday 6th March 2015

To celebrate International Women's Day 2015 and launch our Children's and Young Person's Projects Omagh Women's Aid are hosting a Coffee Morning on Friday 6th March 2015 at the Resource Centre (located up the stairs beside Specsavers on Market Street, Omagh).

Drop in anytime from 10.30am to 1pm for a cuppa and chat about what we offer women, children and young people at risk or experiencing domestic and / or sexual violence.  Breadley's Pharmacy will also be present and providing mini health checks. 

Confidential services provided by Omagh Women's Aid include refuge, floating support, children's services, training and personal development programme, external training, court support and we also have volunteering opportunities.

If you want to talk to someone call our centre on 028 8224 1414 or the 24 hour domestic and sexual violence helpline on 0808 802 1414.

To download and print off a poster for the event to give to a friend or colleague or display in your place of work click here.


Thank You to all who donated at Christmas

On behalf of the women and children we support, Omagh Women's Aid thank all the individuals, businesses and agencies who donated over the Christmas period.  Your thoughtfulness and generosity is much appreciated.


December 2014  

Omagh Women’s Aid Christmas Party 2014 

We recently held a party for women and children who used our services in 2014.  All the children were asked to help Santa decorate his tree and the result was brilliant.  We had angels, fairies, robins, snowmen and event a tractor or two!!

The event was enjoyed by both the little children and the big ones!



December 2014

Supporting People Saves Lives

On a single day in November, Women’s Aid provided emergency accommodation and support to 1,881 women and 2,063 children suffering domestic violence in Northern Ireland. This was only possible thanks to the Supporting People fund, which covers much of the cost of our life-saving services.

That’s why Women’s Aid is backing calls to strengthen funding to the Supporting People programme, to ensure that we can continue to protect victims of domestic abuse.

Every year, thousands of women and children turn to Women’s Aid services throughout Northern Ireland – they are among the 26,000 vulnerable people supported annually by Supporting People.

Sharon Burnett, Senior Manager of Causeway Women’s Aid, has urged government to preserve and strengthen this vital funding for Northern Ireland’s most at risk.

“Women’s Aid emergency accommodation and specialist floating support services save lives. Women and children at high risk of death and injury need immediate support, protection and safety. Supporting People funding enables the women and children we work with to rebuild their lives, regain their independence and live safely in the community. It gives victims of domestic violence the chance to live their life free from abuse.”

She continued: “We’re already in the difficult position of having to turn some women away from refuges and place women on waiting lists for our outreach programmes, due to the extremely high demand for our services. Any cuts to the Supporting People programme would be devastating and would put the lives of these women and children at risk.”

Women’s Aid has joined the growing coalition of voluntary groups and charities calling on the Northern Ireland Executive to strengthen the Supporting People programme.

Funding has been frozen for seven years, which represents a cut of 20% in real terms, and the Supporting People programme is now subject to a government review.

Women’s Aid is also calling on members of the public to get involved in the Let’s Keep on Supporting People campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and by getting in touch with their local MLAs and Councillors to urge them to strengthen the funding of Supporting People and protect Northern Ireland’s most vulnerable people.

For further information, contact Sharon Burnett on 07773 366480 or on (028) 7035 6573.


16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence Campaign 25th November - 10th December 2014

25th November marks the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women. It is also the start of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence Campaign. The campaign ends on 10th December 2014, Human Rights Day.

This year’s theme is “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s challenge militarism and end violence against women”.

Watch out on our Facebook page for our “fact of the day”.

To raise awareness and spread the message of violence against women ,Omagh Women’s Aid are running a ‘Like, Share and answer the question’ competition which starts today and finishes on Human Rights Day (10th December 2014). To win this gorgeous hamper simply like and share this comment with the answer to question:

What is the theme of this years 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence Campaign?

If you would like to learn more visit below:

16 Days Campaign: 
16 Days Listserv: 
Online Campaign Calendar: 
Twitter: @16DaysCampaign; @CWGL_Rutgers  


November 2014

Omagh Women's Aid to display at the Homelessness Awareness Coffee Morning

As part of Homelessness Awareness Week 2014, Southwest Homeless Service Providers Forum are holding a coffee morning on Friday 28th November from 10am - 12noon at the Campsie Hub, 67D Market Street, Omagh.

Take part in an interactive morning of information and networking. Meet the local members of the SW Homelessness Service Providers Forum and learn about local services. Contact:


November 2014

Showstoppers at the Strule Arts Centre Omagh

Omagh Lions Club presents Showstoppers at the Strule Arts Centre on Wednesday 12 November @ 8.00pm. Tickets: £12.00. Contact the Box Office 028 8224 7831. Proceeds of Raffle to Omagh Women's Aid. Come along for a a good evening's entertainment.


In the picture: Geraldine O'Reilly of Omagh Lions Club and Tracey Maguire of Omagh Women's Aid


October 2014

Omagh Women’s Aid display at Omagh Forum AGM

Omagh Womens Aid recently attended Omagh Forum’s Annual General Meeting held at Eskra Community Centre.  Staff and volunteers were on hand to give more information on the work that we do in the local area. One of our volunteers, Ashley McElroy received a Community Award at the event to celebrate her volunteering with Omagh Women’s Aid.  We would like to thank Ashley and all of our volunteers for the brilliant work they do all year round. 



August 2014

Omagh Women’s Aid hold Children’s Summer Group

We were delighted to bring together local children in our Resource Centre for a 6 week programme over the summer months. The children completed a range of enjoyable activities including arts, crafts and games. The programme aimed to increase the children’s confidence and allow them to socialise with others who have had similar life experiences. Children living in a household where domestic violence is happening are affected by the violence and, as a result, can need support services.

Omagh Women’s Aid provides a range of support to children including preventative education, group work and one-to-one support. If you would like more information on how Omagh Women’s Aid can work with children and young people please contact us on 028 8224 1414 or call the 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline on 0808 802 1414.

August 2014

Summer Trip to Bundoran Enjoyed by All

Omagh Women’s Aid recently organised a day trip to Bundoran for women and children who have used their services over the past year. The trip provided a chance for all to enjoy the highlights of the seaside town including the beach, amusements and many eateries. It was an opportunity for the women and children to bond and enjoy one another’s company.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff and volunteers who went on the trip, the very kind bus driver and the staff at the Holyrood Hotel. Thanks too, to all who support our local fundraising throughout the year, to make such trips and outings possible.

Image -


May 2014

Michelle Owens gig for Omagh Women’s Aid held at Next Door @ Bogan’s

Local musical artist Michelle hosted a gig in aid of Omagh Women’s Aid last Friday.  The event met its target of raising awareness of the charity which delivers support to women and children in the Omagh area.  Michelle performed a number of tracks from her current album ‘It’s Only Me’, which went down a storm with the crowd. 

Omagh Women’s Aid would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who assisted with the gig including Michelle, Bogan’s Bar personnel, those who donated raffle prizes and of course those who came to the event. The raffle prizes were sponsored by The Sandwich Company, Hi-Teck Hair Salon, Sloughan Glen Springs Massage and Spa Centre, Michelle Butler Ceramics, Lila Butler, Bradleys Pharmacy, Eco Hire and Omagh Women’s Aid staff and volunteers.

All proceeds raised on the night will be spent directly on refurbishing and improving the facilities locally for women and children who have to leave their homes due to domestic violence. Omagh Women’s Aid can accommodate up to six families at a time in their –purpose-built refuge. They provide support to dozens more families in the community, via their floating support project.

Domestic violence accounts for approximately one-fifth of all recorded violent crime in Northern Ireland.   On average, there are five people killed each year as a result of domestic violence in Northern Ireland. The police attend an average of 60 domestic-related incidents per day, but recognise that there is still a large amount of under-reporting of this type of crime.

Domestic Violence is a daily experience for hundreds of women and children in Northern Ireland.  The following extract is from a story written by Niamh, aged 16 in April 2010 – A courageous and wonderful young girl who has survived domestic violence in NI. The full story can be accessed at

“Trying to draw out the time I have before I go home, standing at the top of the road, chatting about all the daily gossip with a close friend. Standing for an hour, enjoying the time I have left in the ‘normal’ world. Walking down the road, have a sick feeling what lays in for me later this evening. Slowly walking around the corner, no car. The real smile that appeared on my face, but then thinking he is at the pub.”

If you want to seek help for yourself or anyone you know speak confidentially to a support worker on 028 8224 1414 or the 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline on 0808 802 1414. 

Images supplied by Bogan's Bar, Omagh.


May 2014

Michelle Owens and Next Door @ Bogan’s hosts gig for Omagh Women’s Aid

Join Michelle Owens for a gig in Next Door @ Bogan’s Bar on Friday 23rd May 2014 in support of Omagh Women’s Aid. The event has been arranged by Michelle to raise awareness of the local charity which delivers support to women and children in the Omagh area.

Michelle, a local Omagh woman who is enjoying growing success in the music world, will be performing tracks from her album ‘It’s Only Me’. Doors Open at 9.30pm and tickets (£5) are available from Omagh Women’s Aid Office (located beside Specsavers), at Bogan’s or at the door.

Omagh Women’s Aid provides a range of confidential services for women and children experiencing or at risk of domestic violence. Services includes refuge accommodation, floating support for women who choose to remain at home, children’s services and preventative work in schools, training and personal development programmes.

With domestic violence affecting 1 in 4 women at some point in their lives, Omagh Women’s Aid are ready to listen, help and support.

PSNI statistics 2012 – 2013 show that the PSNI responded to a domestic incident every 19 minutes of every day of the year in Northern Ireland. The 24 Hour Domestic Violence Helpline answered 44,664 calls from April 2012 – March 2013. In the same period 880 women and 546 children stayed in refuges in Northern Ireland. Furthermore 3,659 women accessed our floating support service, where we can visit a woman in her own home, in a local café or in our offices.*

Speaking on the forthcoming event, Chairperson Allison Forbes commented, “This event has been organised to help fulfil one of our core aims - to raise the profile of domestic violence and the work that we do. We are delighted that Michelle is able to perform for us and we are grateful for the ongoing support from all at Next Door @ Bogan’s. We invite everyone to come along to what will be an enjoyable, relaxed evening.”

Book your ticket now on 028 8224 1414 to avoid disappointment. ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ Omagh Women’s Aid on Facebook before Friday 16th May for a chance to win free tickets to the event!

Notes to the Editor:
For more details contact Valene on 028 8224 1414
*Source: Women’s Aid Federation NI Annual Report 2012 – 2013


In the picture: Omagh Women's Aid Committee Members, singer Michelle Owens and Andy Bogan and son from Bogan's Bar, Omagh

May 2014

Omagh Women's Aid attend Volunteer Recruitment event in Omagh Library

Omagh Women's Aid relies on the goodwill of dedicated individuals to continue its work to support women and children affected by domestic violence. For that reason we were delighted to be asked to attend a volunteer Recruitment event on 8th May in Omagh Library. The event was organised by Omagh Volunteer Centre and was aimed at giving prospective volunteers a chance to learn more about the volunteering opportunities in the area.

The work of a volunteer is varied and interesting. Volunteers with Omagh Women's Aid are offered full training. On completion of this, there are opportunities to:
a) Be involved with the governance of the organisation
b) Work with women, children and young people
c) Support and facilitate activities in the Refuge and Resource Centre
d) Take part in fundraising activities
e) Help with administrative work

A current Omagh Women's Aid Volunteer had this to say on her experience of volunteering; "The 'feel good' factor comes from knowing you have in someway helped to support someone in need. As a volunteer your gift of time is a vital link in the chain of support for everyone."

To find out more on volunteering with Omagh Women's Aid ring our Resource Centre on 028 8224 1414 to request an expression of interest form.


April 2014

Omagh Women’s Aid hosted UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women.

We were delighted to facilitate a visit by Professor Rashida Manjoo (South Africa) who was appointed Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its causes and consequences in June 2009 by the UN Human Rights Council. The meeting took place on 8th April at our sister organisation’s refuge in Cookstown and was part of Professor Manjoo’s 16 day mission to the United Kingdom. She also visited London, Leicester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Cookstown, Cardiff and Bristol.

Download a press release regarding her visit here. Her findings will be discussed in a comprehensive way in the report she will present to the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2015.”


March 2014

New Women's Aid Federation Helpline Leaflets – Now Online!

Following the launch of the 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline, WAFNI are pleased to share their new Helpline leaflets. Click the links below to download:

General Helpline information

Help for Women

Help for LGBT people

Help for Black & Minority Ethnic people

Help for People with Disabilities

Help for Older People

Help for Pregnant Women

If you would like to receive hard copies of the Helpline leaflets for yourself or your organisation, please contact or call (028) 9024 9041.

WAFNI are also translating the information into a number of different languages and these should be available shortly. Please contact or call (028) 9024 9041 for more information.


March 2014

Thought-provoking poem read at International Women's Day Event

Local poet and author Pheme Glass gave a reading at the recent International Women's Day event in Omagh Library. The poem was entitled 'Tradition' and addressed Female Genital Mutilation.

We feel the poem brings to life the cruelty of the practice, which happens to between 100 and 140 million girls and women worldwide.


What can we do to stop
young girls being cut
In the name of tradition?

Their vaginas mutilated
Expunged like apple blossoms
From a healthy tree,
The screams of the child
Are loud and unheard
As her mother, aunt or granny
Hold her down on the alter of shame,
Unable to move just scream
And scream and scream again.

It’s just a bad dream the Mother
The aunt, the granny whispers, just
A bad dream it will go away
But you must not say, its
A secret for you to hide for
The rest of your life,
To make you a good wife
To please your man to be
A dutiful woman,
To bear beautiful children

Then it begins again to a new
Generation of little girls,
Sliced clean and purged
With soothing words from
Mothers, aunts and grannies
As they hold them down and
They scream and scream
And scream again
Hush, hush my child it
Will pass it will pass
You will be a good wife
And a mother yourself
This will pass this is our way.

Can we begin to hope that
Strong mothers, aunts and grannies
Will say
No more pain we won’t
Do it again. We want our
Perfect children to grow
Into life with equal joy
As it is for a boy
To never again inflict this pain
Never again hear our children
Scream and scream and scream again

Say No

Never again,
Never again,
Never again

Pheme Glass
March 2014 (c)


What is Female genital mutilation?

Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It has no health benefits and harms girls and women in many ways.

It involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue, and hence interferes with the natural function of girls' and women's bodies. The practice causes severe pain and has several immediate and long-term health consequences, including difficulties in childbirth also causing dangers to the child.

Prevalence of FGM

WHO estimates that between 100 and 140 million girls and women worldwide have been subjected to one of the first three types of female genital mutilation. Estimates based on the most recent prevalence data indicate that 91,5 million girls and women above 9 years old in Africa are currently living with the consequences of female genital mutilation. There are an estimated 3 million girls in Africa at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation every year

(Source: World Health Organization website 12.03.14)

March 2014

Omagh Women's Aid attend Crime Prevention Awareness Event

Omagh Women's Aid attended an event organised by Omagh PCSP in partnership with the South West Age Partnership. The event focused on Crime Prevention Awareness and was held in Strathroy Community Centre on Wednesday 19 March 2014. The event was targeted at Senior Citizens of the 5 Omagh Neighbourhood Renewal Areas of Omagh; Mullaghmore, Strathroy, Campsie, O’Kane Park, and Gallows Hill/Johnston Park.

Women's Aid provides a range of services to women of all ages including refuge and a floating support or outreach service, where we can visit women in their own homes. Elder abuse is a major concern and a focus of Women's Aid. A report released by the Department of Health and Comic Relief estimates that 227,000 older people were neglected or abused in their own homes in the past year – and domestic violence was clearly a significant part of this. (Source: - 18.03.14).

For more information or to speak CONFIDENTIALLY to an advisor call our resource centre on 028 8224 1414 or the 24 Hour Domestic and Sexual Violence Helpline on 0808 802 1414.



March 2014

Omagh Women's Aid attend International Women's Day Event in Omagh Library

To celebrate International Women's Day on Saturday 8th March, Omagh Women's Area Network organised a successful event in Omagh Library on Friday 7th March.  The event was entitled 'Celebrating Women Inspiring Change' and it featured key inspirational speakers. 

The speakers included Kathleen Adams, the High Sheriff of Tyrone who gave a interesting run down on Inspirational Women through the ages. Pheme Glass, Poet and author gave a reading from her new book 'Seeds of Memory', which was both humorous and thought provoking.  Mary McSorley of the Equality Commission provided key information on the ongoing work of the Commission with relation to Women's Issues.  Our very own Orla Conway, Team Leader provided some insight into the fact that Domestic Abuse related crime statistics far outnumber some other serious crimes and gave a brief run down on the work we do.  Finally local woman Angela Reid a current contestant on RTE’S Glor Tire Programme sang to the audience, including a song which highlighted a major inspirational women in many of our lives - our mums.

The event was finished off with refreshments, raffle, opportunity to browse our display and the artwork from local women's groups.

For the Full International Women's Day 2014 Programme Click here

In the Picture: Tracey and Deirdre from Omagh Women's Aid, Pheme Glass poet and author of Seeds of Memories and Kathleen O'Donnell.


February 2014

Omagh Women's Aid attend St Mary's Centre 12th Annual Conference 2014

Omagh Women's Aid staff were happy to be given the opportunity to attend the Annual St Mary's Centre Conference which this year was entitled 'Rape under the microscope - Responding to the acute needs of rape victims'.  It was held on the 27th and 28th of February in Manchester.  The 2 members of staff that attended found the conference to be enlightening and extremely beneficial to our area of work.   


January 2014

Christmas Coat Appeal

Omagh Women's Aid would like to thank Clara Lyttle and all those people who donated coats in her Christmas Coat Appeal. Clara writes a column for the Tyrone Herald - entitled 'Little by Lyttle'. In the column she thanks her work colleagues in Sliderobes Belfast, the public, the Tyrone Herald, local pubs and dry cleaners for all their donations. She gathered over 150 coats and was overwhelmed by the support.

For more information contact our offices on 028 8224 1414.

Above Tracey from Omagh Women's Aid receives coats from Clara from Sliderobes Belfast. Picture courtesy of Ulster Herald.

January 2014

Thank You to The Poet's Pub, Fintona

Omagh Women’s Aid would like to sincerely thank Meabh Donnelly and The Poet’s Pub of Fintona for their kind donation of £135. The money will go towards helping women and children affected by Domestic Violence.


January 2014

Omagh Women's Aid are awarded in the Asda Charity Chosen by You Token Drive 

Asda Omagh kindly donated £50 to Omagh Women's Aid as a result of their recent Charity Chosen by You Token Drive.  St Vincent de Paul were also awarded in the scheme. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Asda Omagh staff for their help and kind donation.  We would also like to thank all those shoppers who put tokens into our box in store.  The money will go towards helping women and children affected by domestic violence in the Omagh area.   

For more details please contact our Resource Centre on 028 8224 1414. 


December 2013

Women's Aid say farewell to placement students

A big thank you to our recent student placements - Tracey McCrea and Michaela McClean.  The girls slotted into Women's Aid perfectly and were a major help over the past months.  We wish them well in their future studies and eventual employment and hope to see them again in the future.  


December 2013

Omagh Women's Aid staff and committee members enjoy Christmas festivities


Press Release

December 2013

Santa comes to Omagh Women’s Aid

Omagh Women’s Aid recently held a Christmas Party for women and children who have used their services in the last year. The successful event featured festive food and music, writing and posting a letter to Santa, making decorations, colouring in and decorating gingerbread men.

The training room in the Centre was transformed into a Christmas Wonderland and best of all Santa and his chief helper, Snowflake, made an appearance to all the children with each child getting their very own book and gift.

Omagh Women’s Aid Chairperson commented “We wanted to take the opportunity to mark the festive season with our women and children. We would like to thank Santa for taking time out of his busy schedule to come and visit our Centre and wish him a safe journey this Christmas Eve.”


In the Picture:

- Santa Claus

- Snowflake (Omagh Women's Aid Volunteer)


Press Release 

November 2013

Omagh Women's Aid present at an Alcohol Awareness Event for Women

As part of Alcohol Awareness week which took place from 18th - 22nd November 2013, a number of Omagh Drug and Alcohol Forum members held a successful Alcohol Awareness Event for women on Tuesday 19th November 2013. The Guest speaker was Michael Hand, Senior Social Worker in Addiction. Tracey Donaghy from Omagh Women's Aid and Lorraine Giles from Breakthru also presented details of the services available to women in the area. Other agencies were in attendance including The Beacon Centre and Ramona House

For more information please contact our offices on 028 8224 1414.


11 November 2013  

Omagh Women’s Aid Open Day

Omagh Women’s Aid are holding an Open Day on Friday 15th November from 10am – 1pm in the Resource Centre on Market Street. All local women are invited to come along and see what support Women’s Aid and other community and voluntary groups can offer. Information on local training and education opportunities will also be available.

There will be displays from ParentingNI, Glen Caring, Breakthru Drug and Alcohol Awareness, Workers Educational Association, South West College, Gingerbread, Surestart, Subway and Victim Support NI. Attendees can also take part in the free raffle, enjoy refreshments and have a free mini healthcheck from Bradley’s Pharmacy.   

With research showing that approximately one on four women have experienced or currently experience domestic violence, this event is organised to raise awareness and to showcase what support is available from the community sector in the Omagh area. 

Omagh Women’s Aid provides a range of confidential services for women and children experiencing domestic violence; including refuge accommodation, floating support, children’s services, training and personal development programmes. More information on these services will be provided at the event.

For more information on the Open Day or to speak to a support worker CONFIDENTIALLY call 028 8224 1414.


Press Release

October 2013

Omagh Credit Union host Coffee Morning Fundraiser for Omagh Women’s Aid!

Omagh Credit Union held a Coffee Morning last Thursday in aid of Omagh Women’s Aid. The event included performances from Holy Family Primary and Gibson School Choirs and a raffle.

Omagh Women’s Aid Chairperson Allison Forbes commented ‘The event was really well supported and Women’s Aid would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff of Omagh Credit Union for organising the event, the schools for taking part and those members of the public who attended and gave so generously.”

Information on upcoming training events for local women was available at the Coffee morning. Such as the ‘Paediatric First Aid’ training which is currently accepting expressions of interest. This training will be held over 2 consecutive Tuesday nights on 5th and 12th November. It is hoped that when the training is complete ‘First Aid in the Workplace’ training will be offered depending on levels of interest.

Omagh Women’s Aid are also offering local women Volunteer Training in the topic of ‘Court Support’. This would appeal to those with an interest in the protection and justice system or those who would like to be involved in a support role. The training will be delivered on a Monday over 6 consecutive weeks beginning Monday 4th November. It will be held in the Resource Centre on Market Street from 9.30am – 4pm.

Omagh Women’s Aid are holding an Open Day at their Centre on Friday 15th November from 9am – 2pm, where more details on current and future courses will be available. Everyone is welcome to come along.

In the picture:

- Tracey Donaghy, Service Manager Omagh Women’s Aid
- Mrs Catherine Loughrey Manager Omagh Credit Union
- Miss Tracey Mc Caskie Teller Omagh Credit Union