WATCH Southside Womens Shed Limerick provides a safe space for women of all ages to support each other
Southside Womens Shed Limerick – Richard Lynch, I Love Limerick (centre row) and Leona O’Callaghan, The Haven Hub (front row second from right) and founder Carol Kanty (front row centre) pictured at the official launch of the group. Picture: Krzysztof Luszczki/ilovelimerick
Southside Womens Shed Limerick offers a safe space where women of all ages can meet, learn new skills and enjoy various activities
A new organisation, Southside Women’s Shed Limerick has been set up on the Southside of the city to provide a safe space where women of all ages can meet, learn new skills and enjoy various activities.
The idea took root when community activist Karol Canty, a full time student studying youth and community realised there was no women’s shed for women on the Southside of the city for all age groups and with no membership fee so decided to set one up.
Karol said, “Southside Womens Shed Limerick aims to empower, support and encourage women. Women need to support each other, push each other and be there for each other as we are the backbone of the community. We need to encourage each other to speak and not be silent anymore. Through our voices we can support each other’s mental health, in an informal and safe setting. We are a supportive shoulder and someone to lean on. Life is very hard and we all have our stories and battles but your experiences may help someone else.”
She approached Jimmy Prior, the community coordinator for Southill Family Resource Centre for support, insurance, funding and a venue. Together with the help of Jane Alymer, a family support worker at Southill FRC, Karol was able to help make her dream a reality.
Karol added, “We want to provide a place where women can meet and help each other with a focus on mental health. The Men’s Shed originally focused on men who were retired, in a bid to combat rural and social isolation but Southside Women’s Shed aims to regroup like-minded women of any age, so they can have a place to talk and contribute, as well as share practical skills and knowledge. We will meet every Wednesday, rotating weekly between mornings from 9.30am and 11.30am, and evenings from 6pm to 8pm so women of all ages can avail of it.”
Jane Alymer said, “We are looking for local support and hope that the people of Limerick will help, and support us. You don’t have to be from the Southside of the city to become part of the group and our first meeting was attended by women from all over the city. We will be offering classes and workshops covering a wide variety of interests such as DIY classes, well-being, mental health classes, art and crafts and skill sharing. We will also organise day trips and have been designated an allotment which we will be developing with the ladies.”
The Southside Womens Shed Limerick was officially launched by Richard Lynch of I Love Limerick and Leona O’Callaghan, founder of mental health organisation The Haven Hub who at the launch both spoke about their own journey with mental health.
Karol added, “ We are so proud of what we have achieved in such a short time as a community and we are so excited with what the future holds and all are welcome to join. There are support systems around the city and I want women to know they are available and accessible. We will show you how to use and access them and that’s what this group is all about. You are not alone.”
For more information about the Southside Women’s Shed, contact Carol Kanty at [email protected]
Pictures: Kris Luszczki/ilovelimerick