The Donegal Town Women’s Group celebrated three years at the heart of the community with a fun and welcoming party last Friday.
Countless cups of tea have been brewed by DTWG members since 2015, when an inclusive group was formed for the women of Donegal Town and surrounding areas.
The women have met almost every Friday since, sharing a cuppa and a chat in the Family Resource Centre and, more importantly, sharing friendship and support for one another.
The usual Friday morning meet-up was stepped up a notch on October 5th as group members past and present gathered along with community supporters for a big birthday bash.
Guest speakers included Evelyn Mc Glynn (Donegal Mammy), Miffy Hoad (former Social Prescribing Coordinator in Donegal Town), Andrew McNulty (DLDC) and Anne Marie Mahon (Donegal Town Family Resource Centre).
The event was full of moments of celebration and emotion as the committee looked back on their achievements and development.
It was a big occasion because, despite being a very social group, the Donegal Town Women’s Group had never had a birthday party before!
Group founder Maria Murphy said: “I love organising parties, so I thought – let’s get everyone together and celebrate all of us.”
Maria loves to organise many things, as she also moderates the Donegal Town Women’s Group Facebook Page and runs a community Text Alert list.
If there’s an important notice people should be aware of, then Maria is guaranteed to help share the message. There are over 100 people on her text list and over 670 members on the Facebook page.
For those not on social media, Maria’s text list is a valuable source of local information – whether it’s a job vacancy in the town or somebody looking for a place to rent. Maria is nicknamed the Weather Woman during winter due to all her helpful road alerts!
A special presentation was made to Maria last week for all her community service.
The Donegal Town Women’s Group has something for everybody. Women of all ages and backgrounds meet in the Family Resource Centre every week and arrange a wide variety of events each month to suit all tastes. Recent outings included cinema trips, horse riding, kayaking and swimming lessons.
Maria said: “Everybody is different and enjoys different things. So every time we go out to an event or to the theatre we meet different people.”
With the help of Donegal Local Development Company (DLDC) and the Family Resource Centre, the group has been empowered to direct their own activities. Their core value is female friendship.
“If anybody comes in and they are having a bad day, we have people like Gillian who are so positive and will lift your mood.
“Everybody is here to care for each other, support everybody and grow together,” Maria said.
Maria explains how there are no barriers to entry and their current membership is made up of women aged 20 to almost 100!
“Our oldest member is 97. She had us down to her house about two months ago. She baked for us herself and she welcomed every woman into her home. Her daughter is in the group as well and she will be 70 in December,” Maria added.
The group has been going from strength to strength and the easygoing nature of the committee means they are happy to continue to grow naturally in the years to come.
“The women are all happy, we will just keep going. We have the Second Chance Prom in November, we have our Christmas night out to Harvey’s Point in December and we’re going to Daniel O’Donnell’s concert in Derry too,” Maria said.
If you would like to join the group or attend an event, simply visit the Donegal Town Women’s Group on Facebook, or call into the Donegal Town Family Resource Centre at 11am on Fridays – where a hot cuppa and a warm welcome is promised!