Our History

Derry Well Women was established in 1988 by a group of friends who wanted to open a health centre, which was focussed on meeting women’s health needs in the broadest sense: physical, mental and emotional.  The centre has been in Derry for times of change and has led change, with innovative programmes for e.g. cancer, counselling, menopause, mental health and LGBT women.

Foundation of the centre

The centre was established to:

  • provide a comprehensive and accessible service for women, run by women, which encompasses a whole range of women’s health issues
  • reach women, who for whatever reason, normally stay away from doctors
  • provide health care in a relaxed and non-clinical atmosphere
  • increase understanding about women’s health care provision
  • recognise and welcome the development of complementary therapies
  • actively encourage the formation of self-help and support groups both therapeutic and educational in nature
  • provide health promotion for women
  • seek more effective ways of preventing and meeting women’s health problems


Over the decades since we were founded, we have developed a number of projects addressing physical, emotional and social health issues for women. The programmes include:

  • Four counselling services: Generic; Listening Ear; Cancer; Miscarriage;
  • Menopause clinic;
  • Six support groups;
  • Courses and classes on complementary approaches to healing;
  • Mental health and well-being programmes.

We train community counsellors through our Certificate in Community Counselling, Advanced Solution Focused Brief Therapy Course, Effective Listening skills and our Harmony Project – funded by the Victims Survivor Service.


We have successfully campaigned for change in respect of a number of health issues e.g. cancer, P.N.D., menopause. We are centrally involved in a number of partnerships including The Western Locality Cancer Steering Group, Emotional Health and Suicide Prevention Strategic Implementation Group, CAWT, Social Inclusion Project Board, The WHSCT Patient Client Experience Group, The Foyle Form on Domestic Violence and Derry Healthy Cities.

Cross Border Social Inclusion Project

The Social Inclusion Project aims to increase health status and reduce health inequalities among targeted groups living with exclusion along the border region of Ireland.

There are three strands to the Project:

  • Vulnerable Women;
  • Travellers;
  • Access

Vulnerable Women

Derry Well Women is leading on this strand of the Project. The Project will deliver a range of health improvement and training programmes aimed at tackling health inequalities across the border region to 6 ‘hard to reach’ & ‘most vulnerable’ groups of women. These groups are: Women living with a cancer diagnosis, Women living with mental ill-health, Women living with domestic violence, Women living with a disabled child, Older women and Women and children.

It is hoped that 1,000 vulnerable women will become actively involved and participate in specially tailored programmes.


In 2000 & 2009 Derry Well Women won the prestigious Smithkline Beecham Community Health Impact Award, as judged by the King’s Fund.In 1997 Derry Well Women won the HSS Executive Citizens’ Charter Award for the Development of a Cancer Charter.

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