Initiatives to tackle rural poverty and isolation

The Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation framework aims to help the most vulnerable rural dwellers facing poverty and isolation.

Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) Programme

The Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation Framework supports a package of measures to support vulnerable people in rural communities and target the root causes of social isolation. 
The following initiatives are supported through the TRPSI Programme;   

ARTS - Assisted Rural Travel Scheme

The Assisted Rural Travel Scheme (ARTS) was developed in conjunction with the Department for Regional Development.

The ARTS Scheme allows Smart Pass holders (in particular the elderly and disabled) access to concessionary travel on Rural Community Transport Partnership vehicles.

Contact your local Rural Community Transport Partnership for membership.

Contact details for Rural Community Transport Partnerships
Partnership Contact telephone number
Office 9, Innovation  House, Down Business Centre
46 Belfast Road

028 4461 6323

Armagh Rural Transport
Office Suite 1, Armagh Business Centre
2 Loughgall Road

028 3751 8151

Down and Armagh Rural Transport Partnership Ltd
10 Charlestown Avenue
Carn Industrial Estate 

028 3831 7810

Newry & Mourne Community Transport
Unit 14,
Southern ITEC Business Park
52 Armagh Road

028 30835657

Cookstown Dungannon Magherafelt
Unit 4, Derryloran Business Centre,
Cookstown Office,
Sandholes Road

028 8676 7766

Dungannon Office
Dungannon Enterprise Centre, Unit 47,
2 Coalisland Road

028 87729714

Out and About Community Transport,
Unit 15,
Station Road Industrial Estate,


Unit 12, Strabane Enterprise Agency
Orchard Road Industrial Estate
Orchard Road

(Strabane Office)

028 7188 3282

29B Gortrush Industrial Estate
Great Northern Road

 (Omagh Office)

028 8224 8140

Lagan Valley Rural Transport
Units 1-6 PRM Complex
Rathdown Road
Lissure Industrial Estate
Moira Road

028 9262 2030


South Antrim Community Transport
Unit 30,
Dennison Industrial Estate
Mill Road

028 9334 2455

North Coast Community Transport
277 Dunhill Road

028 7032 1234

Fermanagh Community Transport
42 Enniskillen Business Centre
Lackaghaboy Industrial Estate
Tempo Road

028 6632 4260

Rural Support

Rural Support operates a helpline which provides a listening ear and signposting service for farmers and rural dwellers.

Rural Support deals with a wide range of issues - from financial and legal matters, inheritance concerns and worries about stress and mental health. 

Rural Support also facilitate a Social Farming Support Service which will establish Social Farming as a beneficial day opportunity for individuals within the health and social care system who are living with a learning disability or mental health issue.

It will also assist farmers who wish to consider Social Farming as a viable business opportunity.

Telephone: 028 8676 0040,
Helpline number: 0800 138 1678

Community development

DAERA supports community development with a focus on tackling rural poverty and isolation through improving the economic capability of rural areas by increasing access to various funding programmes, promoting the social economy, and building capacity.

This support is provided by six lead service providers who provide a local community development support and advice service throughout all of rural Northern Ireland.

For further information contact DAERA on 028 3025 3281.

Farm Families Health Checks Programme

A Farm Families Health Checks Programme is being delivered regionally across all rural livestock markets and associated community based facilities.

The Programme provides health screening, advice and signposting services for around 2,500 farmers, their families and rural dwellers annually.

For further information contact 028 2563 5573.

Everybody Active (EBA) 20:20 Outdoor Spaces Programme

This initiative involves joint collaboration between the Department for Communities (DfC), Sport Northern Ireland (Sport NI) and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) to invest in recreational facilities in rural areas. 

This collaborative approach to delivering rural recreational facilities involved funding four pilot projects in 17/18. These projects were eligible for funding after being considered through the Sport NI Everybody Active 20:20 Outdoor Spaces application process. Five further projects will be jointly funded and delivered in 18/19.

The commitment to work in partnership with Sport NI & DfC adds to the positive contribution DAERA is making to address poverty and social isolation issues in rural areas.

The EBA 20:20 Outdoor Spaces Programme is now closed for applications

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