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Major changes to the Rural Social Scheme announced by KELT

KELT Leader+The Rural Social Scheme (RSS), initiated by Minister O’Cuiv, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, was launched in May of last year. This scheme is available in County Kildare and aims to provide income support for farmers who are currently in receipt of long term social welfare payments, and to provide a subsequent benefit to community groups in the county.

As part of the changes, the categories of people eligible to participate in the Scheme have been extended, and now include:

  • Children/ Siblings of qualifying herd owners;
  • Recipients of One Parent and Widow(ers) payments with a herd number
  • And adult dependents of non-contributory old age pensioners, who themselves are under 66, and have a herd number.

In addition to this, participants on the scheme are no longer prohibited from undertaking any other form of paid work.

If you are farming and are in receipt of certain social welfare payments you could be eligible to participate on this scheme. Many farmers who are on the scheme at present find that not only is ‘the extra income a major help, but also that the scheme is operated in a flexible manner that incorporates into the demands of farming life’.

To date KELT has thirteen participants on the scheme and this figure is set to increase with the introduction of the new eligibility criteria. The type of projects carried out under the RSS include

  • Maintaining and enhancing waymarked ways, agreed walks and bog roads
  • Energy conservation for the elderly and less well off
  • Village and countryside enhancement projects
  • Social care and care of the elderly, community care for both pre-school and after school groups
  • Environmental maintenance work- maintenance and caretaking of community and sporting facilities
  • Projects relating to not for profit cultural and heritage centres

Participants will have the opportunity to improve existing, and develop new skills such as Health and Safety Training, First Aid Training and also to participate in any courses being offered by the Community groups.

If you think you might be eligible for the Scheme, or that you may qualify for Farm Assist, then please contact Suzanne at:

KELT, The Woods House, Clane, Co. Kildare at 045-861973.

Remember places are limited so hurry!!