Initiatives to Tackle Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI)

Initiatives to Tackle Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI)

The Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) Programme 2011/12 - 2014/15 was designated as one of DAERA’s four PfG targets.  TRPSI - A New Framework has been in place since March 2016 and a £4.0m+ budget (resource and capital) has been in place on an annual basis to continue to deliver on the strategic direction set out in the TRPSI Framework.

The initiatives earmarked for funding through the 18/19 TRPSI Programme include:

Rural Micro Capital Grant Scheme 2018

This Scheme is funded under the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation Programme.

Micro Capital grants of between £200 and £1,500 are available to rural community-led, voluntary organisations for projects tackling issues of local poverty and / or social isolation. 

The total project cost must not exceed £3,000. Projects must clearly address an issue of rural poverty and / or social isolation and applicants must provide a minimum of 15% match funding.

The scheme is being delivered by the Rural Support Networks on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs. Application forms, guidance notes and further advice and information is available from the Rural Support Network in your council area, details below.

Assisted Rural Travel Scheme (ARTS)

Delivered in conjunction with Department for Infrastructure (DfI), allows rural dwellers with a valid SmartPass to access concessionary travel on Rural Community Transport Partnership vehicles in all areas of Northern Ireland.

Contact your local Rural Community Transport Partnership for more details: Rural Community Transport Partnerships contact details

Farm Families Health Checks Programme

In conjunction with the Public Health Agency (PHA), is delivered on the ground by qualified nurses associated with the Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT). The programme provides a holistic screening service, including health screening, advice and signposting services, for 2,500 rural dwellers per annum at farmer’s marts and community venues.

For further information contact 028 2563 5573.

Community Development

DAERA supports community development with a focus on tackling rural poverty and social 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 (Rural Community Networks) who provide a local community development support and advice service across all of rural Northern Ireland. 

An example of a funding programme is Rural Micro Capital Grants Scheme 2018 (RMCGS 2018) which is managed by DAERA and delivered in house with assistance from the six Rural Support Networks. The Scheme provides rural community and voluntary organisations with a small grant (£200 - £1,500) to address identified rural poverty or social isolation issues. 

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 facilitates 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 support farmers who wish to consider Social Farming as a viable business opportunity.     

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

Step Up to Sustainable Employment (SUSE+)

Aims to promote employment in the Council areas of Fermanagh and Omagh and Mid-Ulster by engaging with unemployed, economically inactive and socio-economically deprived individuals. South West College deliver the SUSE+ initiative.

Regional Infrastructure Support Programme (RISP)

This Programme is administered by DfC and supported by DAERA and is in place to ensure that, at a regional level, the Voluntary and Community Sector has access to the important support it needs in order to function effectively and efficiently.

The Rural Community Network (RCN) and Northern Ireland Regional Women’s Network (NIRWN) receive funding for providing the rural element of RISP. 

Rural Community Recreational Facilities Scheme

Sport NI Everybody Active 20:20 Outdoor Spaces involves joint collaboration between DAERA, DfC, Sport NI and PHA to invest in sporting and recreational facilities in rural areas – namely multi use community trails. This pilot scheme, which successfully completed 4 projects in 2017/18, is being extended in 2018/19 to facilitate developments at a further 5 rural venues.

Forest Service Trails Programme

Several project proposals are being considered which will contribute to the health and well-being of the residents of the surrounding areas to the Forests by developing safe, way marked, off-road cycling/walking trails within the Forests that will accommodate a wide range of users.

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