Support for Communities:
- Rural Social Scheme (RSS)
- Tús – Community Work Placement Initiative
- North Mayo Community Employment (CE) Scheme
- Mayo Jobs Initiative
The Rural Social Scheme was initiated in 2003 by the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government. The aims of the RSS are to provide income support for farmers and fishermen in receipt of long-term social welfare payments and to provide services of benefit to rural communities. Responsibility for the operation of the RSS currently lies with the Department of Social Protection and the implementation is managed locally by Mayo North East LEADER Partnership with the RSS participants being employees of the company.
Currently, 220 individuals participate in the Rural Social Scheme in Mayo North East; supported by 2 RSS Co-ordinators and 11 Supervisors and their services are provided to over 200 community and voluntary groups across the Mayo North East area.
The services provided range from the following:
- Maintaining and enhancing various walking routes (i.e. way marked ways, agreed walks) and bog roads.
- Energy conservation work for older people and those at risk of poverty. Provision of the Warmer Homes Scheme – please refer specifically to the information on the Warmer Homes Scheme below.
- Village and countryside enhancement projects eg Tidy Towns.
- Social care and care of older people, community care for both pre-school and after-school groups, home visitations services and meals on wheels
- Environmental maintenance work - maintenance and care-taking of community and sporting facilities.
- Community facilities countywide are supported such as projects relating to not-for-profit cultural and heritage centres.
- Clerical Duties and administration for the community and
- Any other appropriate community project identified during the course of the Scheme.
Click on above image to access photos of Rural Social Scheme work in the community
Given the level of demand from community groups for the RSS Services, the Board of Mayo North East has set priorities, as it wishes to be as fair and equitable in its support for groups across the North and East Mayo area. The priorities set are services for older people, provision of the Warmer Homes scheme, community childcare and social care (including meals on wheels), support to community groups involved in providing general services in their local areas and we work alongside other voluntary and statutory organisations in providing backup support.
There is a waiting list of individuals who qualify to be on the RSS scheme (see contact us for contact details).
The Tús initiative was initiated in 2011 and is a community work placement scheme providing short-term working opportunities for unemployed people while at the same time carrying out a broad range of services of benefit to the community and in a variety of community settings. Currently, 60 individuals participate in the TúsScheme in Mayo North East; supported by 3 Supervisors
To be eligible to participate in the Tús Scheme Applicants must be:
- Continuously unemployed for at least 12 months and “signing” on a full-time basis, and
- In receipt of a Jobseekers Payment from the Department of Social Protection for at least 12 months (including Jobseekers Benefit), and
- In receipt of Jobseekers Allowance at time of application.
The types of project eligible for the scheme may include:
- Energy conservation work in homes and community buildings
- Social care of all age groups and people with disabilities
- Caretaking, securing, supervising of community buildings and spaces
- Renovation of community and sporting facilities, including the regeneration and enhancement of community, recreation and sporting spaces
- Work in support of cultural and heritage activities
- Community administration and community event management
- Coaching for sporting activities
- Repair of equipment for the Third World – for example, farm tools, bicycles, computers, sewing machines, health equipment.
The North Mayo Community Employment (CE) Scheme addresses the needs of a wide range of communities in various ways, including:
- Social care for the elderly and disadvantaged through the provision of meals on wheels.
- Recreational facilities and caretaker services in the Community Centres.
- Back to education and further education opportunities for local participants.
- The introduction of visual arts to the wider community through a community run art studio.
- Resource work and administration back up to community groups.
- After school care for primary school children in community childcare facilities.
- Care for pre-school children in community childcare facilities.
The Job Initiative Programme was established in August 2000 to encourage employment of individuals returning to the workforce. The aim of the programme was to place workers in employment situations whereby after 3 years they would be offered employment on a fulltime basis. In Co. Mayo, most sponsors were in the community and voluntary sector so fulltime employment was not possible.
The Mayo Job Initiative is managed by Mayo North East on contract from FAS.
The JI Programme offers training as well as work experience. Originally, forty fulltime workers joined the Programme; at present there are twenty workers and a moratorium has been placed on recruitment for the past number of years.
Through the Job Initiative, Mayo North East supports seventeen groups through the provision of a worker.
The programme is a countywide programme and operates throughout Co. Mayo. One full-time Co-ordinator Pat Nealon is based in the Mayo North East office in Foxford with payroll, audit and administration functions also carried out by Mayo North East.
The Job Initiative Programme differs from Community Employment in that it is a fulltime programme.