Donegal's first Women’s Shed

Everyone welcome to Women's Shed for inspirational fun

Donegal Women's Shed-ers

Donegal's first Women's Shed

Now in its third week, the first Women’s Shed in Inishowen has opened its doors in Buncrana, brainchild of the vivacious Patricia Doherty (Tinney).

Speaking to Donegal Live as the Shed-ers gathered yesterday morning, Patricia said even before she had heard of Women’s Sheds, she thought, “If there are Men’s Sheds, we can have Women’s Sheds too!”

Patricia added: “Then I started to research the idea because I was retired and I thought, ‘This is great.’ It’s great for me because out the back here, where the Shed is, used to be the old Buncrana Main Street and I thought a Women’s Shed there would be fabulous. 

“It could give a whole new opening to people that are at home, doing nothing. It could give them an interest if there was anything they wanted to do. I personally love conversational Irish and I couldn’t get it anywhere and it would be brilliant if we could do that as part of the Women’s Shed.

“I’m delighted people joined the Women’s Shed. We are open to new members, which might require extra days as our numbers are limited due to space. Also, we don’t want a vast multitude of disarranged ideas. We want everyone to get their say and have their day of chairing and bringing what they have to offer to others.

“At the minute Buncrana Women’s Shed offers organic herb growing, gardening – some are fabulous gardeners. We have a lovely woman, Mary Mullan who is brilliant at all of those things. We also have a great artist called Maura McLaughlin and we have women who are brilliant at style and fashion and women that are brilliant at makeup,” said Patricia.

Donegal Women's Shed-ers

Patricia said there was no shortage of “brilliant” motivational speakers within Buncrana’s Women’s Shed.

She added: “I love that side of things. I am good at that part of it. I have the knowledge and the experience to help others with the power of being you and the power of your own voice and public speaking and the drama. So, if shed-ers want that, I can offer it. We also enjoy a wee cup of tea together.

“We generally open with 15 minutes of chair exercise. We also do crochet for those that have the patience for it and knitting too, so the women can do that incidentally and listen. 

“There are no hard and fast rules. I don’t believe that you come out in the morning to be told, ‘Don’t or do.’ We are all too long in the tooth to be told anything. 

“I want everybody to have the freedom of whatever they want to do. We are open to all age groups. We have a core membership of about 25 divided between the two days, Mondays and Tuesdays. It is a great opening and I can see great potential in it,” said Patricia.

Buncrana Women’s Shed operates from 11.00am to 12.30pm, although Patricia said the group might “linger” till 1.30pm.

She said: “If there is more demand, we will go on to Wednesday. I could do every day up until Friday. Anyone who is interested can me on: 0876482182 or drop into the shed on Monday or Tuesday morning. I am there from 10.45am doing enrolment. 

“We have younger members as well. The younger members are brilliant, and they are inspiring. They have different projects on family albums. She has an App and she is on Facebook. She is very IT literate, very clever and she is inspirational for all of us. There is also a reflexologist in our group.

“We also write inspirational quotations. We have a tree for all occasions: sadness, happiness, Valentine’s Hallowe’en, Christmas and autumn. We have a brown label tree this week. We put up inspirational and motivational quotes for the day. I love that myself. We don’t need an motivational book or app because life has taught us all. It doesn’t matter what age we are, we have something to say.

“Buncrana Women’s Shed is an eclectic mix of people and they are fantastic. I love it,” smiled an enthusiastic Patricia.

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