Free scheme helps women to sparkle

Janine Kavanagh

Published 02/08/2014 | 00:00

Frank O'Brien, Louth Leader Partnership, Belinda McGurk, Maryann McGlynn, CEO Louth Leader Partnership and David Graham, International Fund for Ireland.

Local residents and community representatives gathered recently to acknowledge the great work done this year by the Sparkle Project. The project, run by Louth Leader Partnership, saw women from Cox's Demesne and Muirhevnamor develop new creative and personal skills through a free 12-week course to help them with personal development.

During the 12 weeks, the women took part in a number of free sessions which included photography, IT training, communications skills, dressmaking and sewing. There was also a cross-border workshop held in conjunction with The Vine Centre in Belfast to explore the common issues facing the women from above and below the Border.

Project funding comes from the International Fund for Ireland's Peace Impact Programme which aims to build sustainable peace and prosperity in areas suffering from high levels of economic and social deprivation.

Under this programme, the International Fund for Ireland is providing €163,330 to Louth Leader Partnership to support a range of four projects that will work to promote economic prosperity and build greater cohesion within the local communities. These projects include the Family Development Programme, Women and Violence Support Plan, Integrates Pre-School/Primary School Support Programme and the Strengthening Families Programme.

Speaking at the ceremony, IFI board member David Graham said that the IFI was very proud of the work the project was doing: 'We believe this project will have a lasting impact by promoting social stability and prosperity by empowering participants with the skills needed to contribute towards building a better future for their communities.

Louth Leader Partnership CEO Mary Ann McGlynn was also happy with the project's results which she said had 'exceeded their expectations'. The Partnership hopes to continue their work with the participants with the Local and Community Development Programme.

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