South Armagh Rural Women’s Network (SARWN)

Incorporated in 1999, SARWN emerged from Women on Rural Development.  The organisation was established to articulate the voice of rural women and to provide local training opportunities. SARWN offers social support to the community including a befriending scheme and walking group as well as personal development training and health and wellbeing workshops. SARWN has a membership of over 100 women from rural South Armagh. The majority of women are aged 60 years and older with almost 20% of the members being carers. All have suffered as a result of the conflict.

Mentor: Bolster Community

As a mentee with the Elevate Community Mentoring & Grants Programme, SARWN engaged with women aged 60 plus who were not online. The team posted out information about self-care sessions as well as self-care packs which included journals. The women spoke with each other in small groups on the telephone every few days.




The group mentoring by Bolster was incredibly informative and useful and gave SARWN the opportunity to hear what other groups were doing. If lockdown not been in place, it would have been an opportunity to visit the other groups and learn from their experiences.  The individual mentoring was also a positive experience and the group felt it was reassuring to know that they could contact Jacinta and her team at any time.

As a result of the Elevate project, the women have stronger social support, improved mental and emotional wellbeing, and are more likely to be open about their mental health. This group of women were not able to get online and would have been at risk of being very socially isolated during the pandemic without the regular contact in the group.