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:

Social Farming Capital Grant Scheme 2019

The Social Farming Capital Grant Scheme will support farmers who undertake farming activities and who are currently involved or planning to be involved in the provision of Social Farming services to adapt their facilities and improve accessibility.  Grants of between £500 and £4,999 will be available to those who can demonstrate that their project will contribute to a higher quality on-farm experience for service users.

The Scheme is one element of DAERA’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation Programme (TRPSI). 

Who can apply?

At present, the Scheme is only open to applications from farmers who currently undertake farming activities and who are currently or planning to be involved in Social Farming. 

Applicants must satisfy the following criteria in order to be considered as eligible for assessment:

  1. You have been involved in Social Farming either through delivery after 1 July 2013 or have attended Social Farming-related training after 1 July 2013 or have registered your interest with Rural Support’s Social Farming Support Service before 1 July 2019*¹;
  2. You undertake farming activities
  3. You can complete the project by 31 March 2020 and claim your grant by 31 May 2020.

Applications must be received by DAERA by 4pm on 2 August 2019. 

For more detailed information on the Scheme and an application form, download the documents below:

Rural Micro Capital Grant Scheme 2019

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

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 rural dwellers 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. 

Rural Support 

This registered charity organisation 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 problems, inheritance issues / succession planning, disease outbreak, and the burden imposed by farm paperwork and related matters.  Rural Support also focus on issues such as stress and emotional distress and physical and mental health related matters.   

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

Social Farming Support Service

This support service provided by Rural Support staff operates as a hub for Social Farming which provides disadvantaged groups of people in NI with an opportunity for inclusion, to increase their self-esteem and to improve their health and well-being.  Social Farming is an innovative use of agriculture to promote therapy, rehabilitation, social inclusion, education and social services in rural areas.  It also has wide-ranging and far-reaching benefits that are primarily experienced by the participant and the farmer, but which also positively impacts rural communities. 

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 Programme 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 from 2017 to 2019 will facilitate developments at a further 2 rural venues in 2019/20.

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.

SPRING Social Prescribing

This project enables medical professionals (e.g. GP’s, Community Nurses) to refer their patients, via a local social prescriber, to a range of activities and community services that seek to address people’s needs in a holistic way. Activities include; stress and anxiety reducing programmes; volunteering projects; walking groups; befriending services and a range of other local activities that promotes positive physical and mental health and well-being and tackles social isolation.

Village Catalyst Project

This pilot project is a partnership initiative between Historic Environment Division (HED), the Architectural Heritage Fund, DAERA and local community social enterprise groups. It aims to restore disused historic villages in rural villages, increase opportunities for a range of local social engagement activities by improving access to key services in rural areas through the provision of an enhanced facilities and ultimately act as a catalyst for further regeneration in rural villages. In 19/20, premises in Gracehill, Ballymena, Ederney, Co Fermanagh and Caledon, Co Tyrone will benefit from this partnership project.

Your School, Your Club

This partnership initiative in conjunction with the Department of Education, Education Authority, Department for Communities, local Councils and Sport NI will contribute to addressing the unmet demand for sporting and recreational facilities across Northern Ireland by opening up educational sites for local community usage outside of normal school hours.  The initiative will address an identified need for a facility based on the local area plan/community plan to enhance the existing provision, increase participation in sport and physical activity.

Libraries NI Out of Hours

In partnership with the Department for Communities (DfC) the Libraries ‘Out of Hours Service’ has provided extended access to library facilities in 6 rural areas.  Using a unique identifier PIN code, users can avail of a range of services including access to the public computer network and Wi-Fi, borrow books, access study facilities and, where available, make use of meeting room facilities.  This ‘Out of Hours Service’ is now available in Lisnaskea, Dungiven, Maghera, Whitehead, Saintfield and Irvinestown libraries. 

Prosper Employability Project

The Prosper Project has two strands. Strand 1 provides Mentoring support to 100 young people engaged in the Southern Regional College’s Schools’ Partnership Programme. Strand 2 provides specific vocational training leading to qualifications identified by local employers. Southern Regional College has extensive links with local employers and provides a comprehensive range of supports to SMEs. These relationships were extended to ensure local businesses have access to a well-trained and qualified workforce that provide the opportunity to survive and thrive economically. Training is available across a range of occupational areas e.g. CAT C lorry driving, forklift driving, Emergency First Aid at Work, Customer Services, AI training, HEIGHTs and SIA door security & CCTV training.

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