Lisnaskea Women’s Group first started in 1995 and since formation has been a “lifeline” for older women of the local community.

“We are a group of older women, 55 plus, and we have about 50 members and we are all about working towards improving the quality of life of older people of Lisnaskea and the surrounding areas. We participate in a wide variety of activities, usually at the request of our members,” said Valerie Brown, secretary of Lisnaskea Women’s Group.

Valerie noted that the group fundraises to offer activities and services for its members.

“We run healthy living programmes which include yoga, we have art and craft classes running at the minute, we have painting classes. We have guest speakers to talk on subjects requested by our members and others come to advise us on matters such as hearing aids, first aid and home safety,” shared Valerie, adding that the group recently had a lady lead a talk on mindfulness.

“Everyone thought that was very beneficial. It helped them to learn how to relax,” she said.

The group meet three Wednesday nights a month in Drumhaw Fold in Lisnaskea.

“That is to enable the female members and some of the male members who are residents to come along and join in our group,” explained Valerie. The group doesn’t meet on the second Wednesday of the month as many of its members also attend the Versus Arthritis group which meet on that night.

Almost 25 years on the go, Lisnaskea Women’s Group was formed to bring women together from both sides of the community. “It was going to be a safe place for people to meet and come together for the purpose of building fellowship as well as exploring common interests and needs spanning health, welfare, education, culture and recreation,” said Valerie.

The group also hosts social events with other local groups and clubs, offering members the opportunity to meet new people and extend friendships.

“We network with other groups that work with and on behalf of older people and we maintain close community links across all divides,” added Valerie.

Former chairwoman Gertie Fee is a longstanding member of Lisnaskea Women’s Group. Commenting on what being a part of the group means to her, she said: “Well it has been my lifeline for over 20 years.”

She continued: “I’ve made loads of friends, it’s just helped me in so many different ways. I was chairwoman for a few years and that helped my confidence quite a lot and I was able to speak with lots of important people that I never thought I would be able to. It’s been a wonderful experience.”

Noting how she appreciates the caring nature of the group members, Gertie shared: “At the present time I’m not at the best of form, I was in hospital and they were all very concerned that I wasn’t there the other night. It’s nice that people care. They are just a very caring group.”

With a 16 member strong committee of volunteers, led by chairwoman Lena Benson, Lisnaskea Women’s Group is continuing to provide a social outlet for its members.

“Our main aim is to prevent isolation and loneliness because it is a big thing in the area.

“Many of our women are widows, some have disabilities, some are on low income, some are professionals so we all mix in together and we help each other,” concluded Valerie.