Waterside Women’s Centre

Waterside Women’s Centre provides a welcoming space for women to learn. It is the only Women’s Centre in the Waterside area of Derry/Londonderry. The Centre has a long history of delivering quality services for women and children and providing free quality childcare ensuring that women can access education/training and support.

Mentor: ARC Healthy Living Centre

Waterside Women’s Centre was funded by Elevate for an exciting project ‘Connected Together’. The aim of the project was to enhance mental health and general wellbeing, reduce isolation and increase community engagement for mums and their families. The organisation delivered two five-week programmes offering expert advice and opportunities for mums, developing the women’s skills and enabling them to live a fuller life as a family and to enjoy better health and wellbeing.

The project tackled health inequalities in their area by using a coaching approach to increase knowledge and empower the women giving them tools and techniques to use at home with their families. These tools included positive parenting techniques, relaxation methods and mindfulness which would help the mums to become more compassionate, building resilience for children in times of stress.


As part of the Elevate Community Mentoring & Grants programme, Michelle and Donna from the Women’s Centre really enjoyed making the connection with CDHN and the Elevate team. They took part in valuable training, received free membership and regular updates and information on relevant training and events.

The mentoring aspect of the programme made a significant difference for the Women’s Centre. Immensely helpful conversations took place with Aidan from ARC, the mentoring organisation, sharing best practice, ideas and lived experiences. The mentoring gave the group opportunities for networking and building connections – with plans to collaborate further in the future.

The group felt Mentor Aidan was a major source of support and a valuable link in the sector and found hearing of fellow mentees’ programmes and projects and sharing experiences beneficial. It was also great to hear of all the excellent work going on in communities. The Women’s Centre learnt about the Rethink resilience programme as part of the mentoring element of the programme and has since organised to host this in the Centre.

The group also met The Churches Trust who are based on the same street and although they were aware of the group, they had never met! Michelle is now in contact with The Churches Trust and they are looking at how they can share ideas and work more closely together. She also spoke with Melanie at Cornabracken Afterschool’s CIC - another Elevate funded group - to explore their service and talk about their projects. She commented: “These are three important connections I have made simply through engaging with the Elevate Mentoring and Grants programme”.

‘We are really grateful to have been selected to be a part of the Elevate Programme - this experience has been so positive and beneficial. The Women’s Centre has grown in confidence during the programme and understands the importance of using a community development approach in addressing health inequalities - by using this lens, we hope we can grow stronger and work with the community to continue to address issues with women and their families living in the Waterside Derry.’

Michelle Nash, Centre Co-ordinator

'This Elevate project was about reducing isolation and it certainly did that for me. I am recently bereaved, meeting other women and mums has been great and really helped me heal.’

Project Participant