Irish Local Development Network

Promoting and supporting the work of Local Development Companies in Ireland

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Rural Social Scheme (RSS)

The Rural Social Scheme is managed by 35 rural Local Development Companies on behalf of the Department of Social Protection.

The scheme aims to provide income support to farmers and fisherpersons who are currently in receipt of social welfare payments. It enables low-income farmers who participate in the scheme to earn a supplementary income by working 19.5 hours per week to provide services that benefit rural communities.

The type of work carried out by RSS participants includes:

  • Maintaining and enhancing various walking routes 
  • Energy conservation work for older people and those at risk of poverty 
  • Village and countryside enhancement projects 
  • Social care and care of older people
  • Community care for pre-school and after-school groups
  • Environmental maintenance work - maintenance and care-taking of community and sporting facilities 
  • Projects relating to not-for-profit cultural and heritage centres 
  • Community administration or clerical work 
  • Any other appropriate community based project identified during the course of the scheme

There are currently 2,600 participants on the Rural Social Scheme in (November 2012).

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