The Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has announced that an 18 extra Rural Social Scheme places have been allocated to Roscommon LEADER Partnership.
The announcement will bring the total number of places on Rural Social Scheme administered by Roscommon LEADER Partnership to 167. The Rural Social Scheme provides a supplementary income for low-income farmers and fishermen/women who are unable to earn an adequate living. People participating in the Rural Social Scheme provide services that benefit rural communities such as caring of older people, clerical work, maintenance and care taking of community and sporting facilities etc.
To participate in the scheme the applicant must be in receipt of Farm Assist or be actively farming and in receipt of a Department of Social Protection payment.
The news has been widely welcomed by local politicians.
Senator Frank Feighan said “During his visit to Roscommon last week to see at first hand some of the great work being carried out by RSS schemes, Minister Varadkar did inform us that there would be an 500 extra places allocated nationally. It is very encouraging to note that this is the first increase in places since 2006 in a scheme which supports many local communities.
“RSS schemes are firmly embedded in the social fabric of Rural Ireland, providing vital support to community groups, clubs and associations. The aim of these schemes are to provide income supplement in return for part-time work in the community. While taking part in this scheme, participants experience new opportunities to use and develop their skills while being involved in valuable community work.”
Senator Maura Hopkins said that it is extremely positive that an additional 18 Rural Social Scheme places will be made available to County Roscommon.
Senator Hopkins stated that “the Rural Social Scheme is so important right across County Roscommon as participants work on a wide range of projects such as village and countryside enhancement projects; caretaking at community and sporting facilities; social care and care of the elderly such as meals on wheels; community care for pre-school and after-school groups.”
Senator Hopkins stated that “Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar was keen to meet with members from the Rural Social Scheme during his visit to the constituency last week in to view some of the projects taking place under his Department. I was delighted that Minister Varadkar took time to visit Kilbride and meet with members from the Rural Social Scheme, staff from Roscommon LEADER Partnership and community members. It was excellent that he was able to see the hard work taking place.” Officially unveiling a wall recently built to enhance safety for pedestrians accessing Kilbride GAA pitch; Minister Varadkar strongly complimented the Rural Social Scheme workers. He described the project as “very worthwhile as it was identified by the community as a necessary safety measure.”
Minister Varadkar complimented the community of Kilbride on having the vision and determination to set up a shop in Kilbride Community Centre. The shop set by the community and fitted out by Rural Social Scheme Workers provides for the sale of groceries, papers and other essentials. The shop has proven to be a huge success because it is strongly supported by the community which will also undoubtedly secure its long term sustainable future.
How to apply
Anyone interested in applying for the Rural Social Scheme should contact Roscommon Integrated Development Company / Roscommon LEADER Partnership on 090 6630252.