Newtownabbey women tile their way to success

Deborah McKibbin, Geraldine Cooper (trainer) and Jordan Campbell.
Deborah McKibbin, Geraldine Cooper (trainer) and Jordan Campbell.

Two Newtownabbey women have worked with WOMEN’STEC to gain qualifications and learn new skills.

Inclusion Works participants Deborah McKibbin and Jordan Campbell recently attended WOMEN’STEC for a skill-based tiling course.

WOMEN’STEC is the largest quality provider of training for women in non-traditional skills in Northern Ireland.

Based in north Belfast, available courses can include furniture making, painting and wallpapering, electronics, horticulture/gardening, herbs and soils, wall and floor tiling, joinery and plumbing.

Speaking about the experience Jordan said: “I’m interested in art, so my Case Officer Maria got me a placement to try something new.

“I really enjoyed going to the tiling course I developed a lot of new skills. It was interesting learning something new each week and getting to tile our own pieces.

“Maria came with me the first few days until I felt comfortable to go on my own. I have the opportunity to develop my skills further now and go to a mosaic course.”

Deborah, supported by Cedar Keyworker Caoimhe McCooey to complete OCN in tiling, added: “I have enjoyed my time at the WOMEN’STEC doing a tiling course. I also hope to do more courses.

“It is a friendly and relaxing environment to learn new skills, as well as my tutor Geraldine I also had my mentor from Cedar, which was brilliant.

“It gave us some time without being in an office for appointments and build a relationship out of the office.

“Having her there boosted my confidence. I would recommend the WOMENS’TEC for all mothers who have a hectic lifestyle and are on extremely tight time restraints to learn a new skill and be more independent, also having the confidence to be able to do jobs around our homes and the sense of pride that comes with that.

“We gained a Level 2 OCN qualification in tiling which is brilliant and can help us towards our future or a change in our chosen careers. Thank you to Cedar Foundation and the WOMEN’STEC for the knowledge I have gained.”