The Rural Social Scheme (RSS) commenced in Co. Wicklow in April 2005. The county has an allocation of 20 places on the scheme (there are 2,600 nationally). The programme is run by the Department of Social Protection which contracts County Wicklow Partnership to deliver the programme locally. The 20 participants in the county currently work with 45 community groups who greatly appreciate the work of the scheme participants. The work mainly entails the maintenance and upkeep of community and sporting facilities, village and countryside enhancement projects, the restoration and ongoing maintenance of cemeteries and support for older people. Participants also work from time to time on trail development projects in cooperation with the CWP Rural Recreation Officer (RRO). The scheme supervisor supports the participants on a day to day basis and the scheme is overseen by a monitoring committee.
The aims of the scheme are:
- To provide income support for farmers and fishermen who are currently in receipt of long term Social Welfare payments.
- To provide certain services of benefit to rural communities.
This Scheme allows those low-income farmers and fishermen who are unable to earn an adequate living from their farm holding/fishing, to earn a supplementary income.
All of County Wicklow Partnership’s places on the scheme are currently full. However, there is a waiting list from which future participants on the scheme will be selected.
For further information please contact: Sheelagh Lennon, RSS Supervisor