Athenry Traveller Women receive certification in dressmaking

By Rebecca GTM

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On February the 13th, 12 Traveller women from Athenry received certificates for the completion of a 10 week dressmaking course. The awards event was a great way to celebrate the hard work and dedication which participants had put into the 1o week course and offered them an opportunity to showcase their work. In addition to the Traveller women who completed the course the awards event was also attended by course organisers: Kathleen Ward and Maedhbh Moroney from Galway Traveller Movement, Donna Gleeson from Galway Rural Development, Carmel Kilcoyne GRETB and tutor Margareta Fahy. The course was completed from September to December 2014. The participants have completed 1-2 sewing projects during the course and learned practical sewing skills: following sewing patterns, setting out sewing patterns, cutting patterns and sewing machine operation. Many participants had little or no experience with using a sewing machine before the course and are now competently able to use the machines. Participants have also had health inputs on cancer screening, healthy heart and positive emotional well-being. Following great participation throughout the course, funding has been securing to organise a follow on course which will see the women progress their skills further.

Following an initial 6 week taster course in 2013 in a smaller venue Galway Traveller Movement identified high levels of interest within the Traveller community in Athenry for this course. This programme was organised as part of an interagency initiative by the Galway Traveller Movement, Galway Rural Development and the Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board.

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