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Reuse Centre on a drive to empower local women through 'She Shed'

13 May 2021

Young local women are being encouraged to sign up to construction courses in an innovative female empowerment programme being run by New2You, Pennyburn, in partnership with the Housing Executive.

The 'She Shed' at New2You will provide women living in social housing with the opportunity to avail of six-week courses in areas including: basic joinery, basic mechanics, upcycling, and painting and decorating.  This new initiative will also link with local schools, giving young females an insight into the construction sector for future employment opportunities. It will also link with some of the local construction and IT firms locally to give the participants information on careers in these sectors in which females are traditionally under-represented.

The programme is funded under The Housing Executive's Social Enterprise Strategy, which focuses on growing economic activity in local communities and creates opportunities for tenants and residents of Housing Executive and social housing to build skills and grow their own potential.

Welcoming the project, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Brian Tierney, said: "This is a fantastic initiative which will undoubtedly build confidence and skills amongst local women for them to apply in everyday life or as a stepping stone to a future career in a construction trade.  I'd like to commend all those involved in setting up this She Shed project and would encourage any local women with an interest to sign up."

The Housing Executive Area Manager Eddie Doherty, said: "I am delighted with the range of opportunities this funding will make available to Housing Executive tenants.  The She shed presents an introduction to a variety of activities which could lead to employment and, at a later stage, the programme will engage with local schools with a view to ensuring that girls are introduced to non- traditional career opportunities.  Collaborative initiatives such as this help us work towards one of our key objectives of fostering vibrant, stable and sustainable communities."

New General Manager of New2You, Nuala Griffiths, has a background in the construction sector and is a passionate advocate of the green economy and supporting women into education, training, and employment, especially those women marginalised, in areas of high unemployment and areas lacking in training and education opportunities.

She said: "The She Shed will enable women living in Housing Executive and social housing to engage with other like-minded females, gain confidence and skills to realise their full potential and look forward to further training and employment opportunities. It will also work with schools located in or near Housing Executive communities to facilitate female engagement and insight into the potential of a career in the construction sector.

"It's really important that we address the gender imbalance within these sectors by supporting and empowering women to break down the barriers into non-traditional employment.  This training programme will be a safe and welcoming environment which will equip women to explore new opportunities and learn new skills."​
This programme seeks to be as inclusive as possible and while it is focused on the 16-24 age group or females who are unemployed or who live in Housing Executive communities, please feel free to contact staff if you are interested in obtaining a place but do not meet this criteria.

To sign up email [email protected]  or telephone 02871360453.