Realising that there was a need for a dedicated women’s space in Kerry a group of local women came together and decided to set up a Centre for the women of Kerry. In September 2020 we found a brand new home at Market Place, Maine Street Tralee before finding a more fit for purpose location at Community Development Project (CPD) Building, Rock Business Centre, Upper Rock Street, Tralee in 2022, where our offices, training/meeting room and counselling room is currently located. Our weekly main SHED event takes place at Pipers Band Hall, Matt Talbot Road Tralee every Thursday morning at 10.30a.m. – 1.30p.m.
At present we are run completely by a team of Volunteers supported by a committee of women with diverse experience and skills.
Our team supports women face to face, over the phone or by email. We are also present at SHED events, meeting women, coordinating and facilitating workshops and making sure everyone is enjoying their experience in the SHED.
What We Do
Our work primarily addresses Gender inequality and The Empowerment of Women.
We aim to Empower women through education and peer support, enabling Kerry women to build resilience and effect meaningful positive change in their lives (their families and communities).
We provide information on various rights such as
Employment rights (workplace harassment/bullying/redundancy)
Domestic and Gender Based violence
Our support line can be contacted if you experience,
Physical Abuse / Domestic Violence
Rural isolation is significant in Kerry and was exacerbated by Covid 19. We assist in any way that we can or put you in touch with someone that can help.
We offer a safe space for women experiencing homelessness. We can advocate for you and assist you to secure housing.
We signpost women to supports from specialised agencies in Kerry (Rape Crisis Centre/Women’s Aid/INTREO/Social Welfare)
We raise the voices of marginalised women. We will speak to agencies on your behalf if you wish us to do so.
Through our activities, workshops and events, we encourage networking, peer support and confidentiality within the group.
Counselling (Let’s Get Talking)
We work closely with a not for profit Counselling service. They charge on the basis of ‘no set fee’. (Pay within your means.)
Education For Women
Tackling the digital divide
Motivation, Personal Development
Steps to Success
Writing a Will
Women’s Health and Nutrition
Recovering from Challenging Relationships
Our activities and events in the SHED offer opportunities to network, connect. Make new friends and raise women’s self esteem.
We organise regular walks to connect with nature and gardening projects. We also have a Writer’s group.
SHED events include Art, Digital Photography, Painting, Jewellery Making, Singing, Drumming and Dancing
We held a hugely successful photography competition in 2021
We believe all women can embrace who they are,
can define their future, and can change the world.
Phoenix Women’s Centre & SHED is an organization dedicated to engage, educate and empower women. Through the provision of information, support, counselling and training on issues affecting women, while encouraging respect, diversity and equality.
The needs expressed by women have formed the backdrop to everything we do and are striving to do in the future.
We want to create a centre for the women of Kerry that is responding actively to the evolving needs of women in the community.
We want it to be a place where women feel they are participants and members rather than service users.
To provide the women of Kerry with education and counselling on issues which affect them, including domestic violence, post abortion counselling, women’s health and women’s rights.
To provide women with access to information on cultural, economic, educational, health, legal, and social services.
To coordinate and/or support projects which promote women’s equality.
To create a space for women to meet in a place of their own to network and share information.
We will do all that we can for the women of our community. We will reach out, and keep an open door to all women. No matter the situation, we are committed to guiding and supporting women in a non-judgemental, positive environment.
Freedom is the right to stand strong and hold your head high no matter the past. We are here keeping our promise to women; we are here for you.
Meet The Team
Hi there, my name is Rita O’ Sullivan, I am originally from Wexford, but living in Kerry for over 35 years.
I have a background in Psychiatric Nursing and Counselling, and I am particularly interested in how one manages trauma.
I also am very interested in Womens issues, and I am delighted to have an opportunity to volunteer at the centre. My previous volunteering included volunteering with the KDYS as a mentor for students.
I volunteered on The Equality for women’s measure course as a facilitator and it was this role that gave me a passionate understanding of the specific challenges that women experience.
I believe that the Phoenix Women's Centre is a vital resource for women in North Kerry and beyond and am encouraged daily when I see the difference it can make to women's lives when they perhaps had no where else to turn to.
Mandy & Anne Marie
Mandy: My name is Mandy Landers I have volunteered in the Phoenix Womens Centre for the last year. My background has given me a great deal of experience of working with people. I have volunteered in a couple of local organisations over the years which has helped me in my role as a volunteer in the Phoenix Womens Centre.
The team of ladies that work at the centre as volunteers have brought all their skills to the centre. We have had the opportunity to support Women and welcome them to a place where they can gain experience both in education and help with any issues that may arise in their lives. The centre also has workshops, fun activities i.e., walking and writings groups which have had a very positive response from all who participated.
The centre has an open door for all Women to grow within themselves and we have gone from strength to strength. Our spirits have been lifted with the positive response we have had from the Women who have contacted the Phoenix Women’s Centre within the past year. We will continue to have an open door for chats, a cuppa and a friendly smile and where all Women are treated with respect and confidentiality.
Anne Marie: My name is Anne Marie Sugrue and I’m a new volunteer with the Phoenix Women’s Centre.
My friend Mandy who is a founder member of the centre and whom I met through volunteering in another organisation very kindly asked if I would be interested in becoming a volunteer in the Centre.
On joining the centre, I was made to feel very welcome by all the women involved in running the centre along with all the members I have met so far. I am happy to say that my experience has been very positive and enjoyable to date and I am delighted that I got involved..
The Centre, in my opinion, is a very safe, welcoming, and inclusive place for women, there is always a friendly face and a helping hand available.
Hi there, my name is Bec Fahy, I am a community development worker and human rights activist from South Wales, who moved to Kerry 21 years ago, with my Derry born husband and two children.
I have a background in mental health and youth and community work and hold a Masters in Social Policy from UCC.
I have been a lifelong campaigner on equality and social justice issues, including women’s rights and am a member of the Board of Management of the Phoenix Women’s Centre as I am committed to ensuring that all women should be able to have access to a safe space, in which to meet up, learn new skills, identify the issues that are important to them and be a part of developing their own solutions and advocating for the changes they need to see, to ensure that real equality for women becomes a reality.
My name is Lesley Collins and I very much enjoy been a volunteer at the Phoenix Centre.
My main roles are attending the office to take phone calls and welcome women who drop in with problems of all kinds, or just for a coffee and a chat.
I also facilitate a walking group every Wednesday, a writing group on Wednesday afternoons and an online writing group on Thursdays. I also do other online groups from time to time.
My background is in psychiatric nursing. I also worked for ten years as an outreach worker for a refuge in Wales. I was on a committee in the lord chancellor’s department in London, which was making guidelines for child contact in domestic abuse situations. I had many other jobs mainly supporting people, including working in the old Tralee Women’s resource Centre.
Sheila Martin's professional background includes experience as a Lecturer and Section Head in Education (in the UK), Training and Development Specialist (Pharmaceutical sector), Trade Union Official (Dublin), Human Resources Consultant, Management Development and Mediator (Ireland), Lecturer in Human Resources Management, Employment Law, Industrial Relations and Mediation at the National College of Ireland, Dublin.
Sheila holds a Bachelor’s degree from Bath University, U.K., a Master of Science degree from the London School of Economics and a Diploma in Employment Law from UCD. She is a Fellow of the CIPD and is a Certified Member of the MII.
She is a co author of ‘A Handbook of Dealing with Workplace Bullying’, edited by Anne-Marie Quigg, Gower Press (2015).
Sheila has contributed extensively to women’s community groups and women in business groups. She has delivered workshops and training under the Equality for Women Measure on behalf of South Kerry Development Partnership to women’s groups throughout South Kerry. She is a founder member and first chairperson of the Killarney Women’s Organisation for Training and Empowerment (KWOTE) and former President of the Kerry branch of ‘Network – Women in Business, the Professions and the Arts’.
Sheila has carried out research into the needs of women to inform a Statement of Need for a Women’s Resource Centre in South Kerry. She coordinated, as part of the Equality for Women Measure, research to inform the National Development Plan for Women.
More recently she has worked on a programme for Women Returners focusing on supports and training to enable women to return to work.
Dee Keogh is a skilled storyteller and social advocate who strives to empower people authentically in their everyday lives. She is a motivational speaker and creative writer drawing upon her Dublin roots and worldwide ancient wisdoms.
Her TED X talk “Wisdom in the Cul De Sac” is now the theme of her first memoir which she just completed. She also wrote and performed a one-woman play called “Why I haven’t met Oprah yet” and is working on her second Show “Beneath the waves”, which will be performed this summer 2022.
She works passionately for women’s issues all over Ireland and is a champion for social justice. She is working with a group of Independent parents to share their stories, have their voices aired, to lobby for real change in the lives of women.
My name is Marion Fitzgerald, and I am on the other end of the phone to help in any way I can with the Phoenix Women's Centre, Tralee. I am originally from Kerry but I lived in Dublin for twenty years while rearing my five children.
I completed Community Development, Personal Development
and Basic Counselling Skills courses in Maynooth College. I was also involved with Lucan Daytime Classes which is also a centre for Women. I did a lot of fundraising with the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.
When I moved to Kerry, I did a lot of courses with SHEP (The Social and Health Education Program). I did a course on Addiction, and I am doing on going work on myself. I worked as a PA for the CEO of a Civil Engineering Company for 25 years. I Volunteer with Citizens Information Tralee. My passion is to work in the Community and especially with Women.
Hello there, my name is Annette O’Sullivan. I am originally from Listowel but have spent the last 20 years in Dublin, where I worked as a trainer in the Pharmaceutical Industry. I have a Social Science Degree from UCC and as a result, always had a keen interest in women’s rights. I recently started working as a volunteer in The Phoenix Women’s Centre, where my goal is to highlight the vulnerabilities being experienced by gay and lesbian women in the community, especially in the area of domestic violence.
The centre is now collaborating with LINC which is a huge advocate for Gay and Lesbian women’s rights in the Kerry and Cork region. My hope is that this partnership will lead to the recognition of the Phoenix Women’s Centre being seen as a safe and open space, to which vulnerable gay women can approach for assistance.
My other volunteer experience includes caring for sick children in the orphanages in Romania and now also working as an LGBT mentor in a pilot project being run by the Listowel Family Resource Centre.
I feel privileged and honoured to be working with such a committed group of women, who give tirelessly of their time and efforts, whose collective goal is to enhance the lives of all women in the community. Since we established the Phoenix Women’s Shed the demand for our services has grown. We have up to 60 women who attend on a Thursday morning for a couple of hours, as one lady said….”I live for this, it has made such a huge difference to my life”.
Women need a place to come, to meet with each other, share ideas over a cuppa and have some fun. It is a safe place, and to be part of the first women’s shed in Tralee, is a huge honour. I hope that by contributing my time and efforts, we will be setting examples for other women who will come together to meet a need and provide similar in their community.
How's it goin? I am Caroline Killeen. I was born in Finglas, Dublin. I have two adult daughters one of whom was born in Galway and the other here in Kerry. I moved to Kerry from Galway in 1992 after my first child was born.
I am presently working in Tralee as a Family Support worker, two days per week. I also coordinate the After School Program based in a Direct Provision Centre in Cork three days a week. My background is in Youth and Community Development and Family support. I have a Bachelors degree in Social Care from MTU.
I have been volunteering since I was a teenager; my most recent engagement as a volunteer was being elected as treasurer for the Phoenix Women's Centre in Tralee.
I am passionate about supporting all women in our Community. I look forward to meeting many new women through the Phoenix Women’s Centre events throughout the year.
Interested In Joining Us?
The Phoenix Women's Centre & SHED is a non profit organisation and as such receives no core funding. We rely heavily on our membership base to cover the running costs of the centre.
Membership for both the Centre & SHED is currently:
€15 for 6 months or €25 for yearly membership
Further info on membership can be found here. If you just want to jump ahead and become a member for a maximum of only €25 a year you can go ahead and click below to submit your membership directly.
If you do not wish to become a member of the Centre & SHED but would still like to help via a one off or regular donation you can give directly via the button below. We thank you for your interest in supporting and empowering our women, your donation will be of immense support to us.