Lisbellaw Parish Catering were a successful applicant to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural (DAERA) funded Rural Micro Capital Grant Scheme (RMCGS) 2018. The Scheme is funded from DAERA’s Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) Programme, the key aim of which is to assist in tackling poverty and social isolation within rural communities across Northern Ireland.

The Rural Micro Capital Grant Scheme 2018 was delivered across the Fermanagh and Omagh Council area by Omagh Forum for Rural Associations and provided grants of between £200 and £1,500 to rural community-led, voluntary organisations for projects tackling issues of local poverty and/or social isolation.

Lisbellaw Parish Catering group purchased new tables and chairs for use by members of the Parish Centre. The area suffers from rural isolation and the capital funding gave a much needed boost to the resources of the group. Mary T Conway from Omagh Forum stated “There was a lot of interest in the RMCGS 2018 Scheme. Lisbellaw Parish Catering are one of eighty groups across Fermanagh and Omagh Council area to avail of funding to address social isolation and rural poverty in their local area” Mary T continued “The RMCGS, through a relatively small grant, can make a big difference to the level and quality of activities that a group can carry out in their area”.

Gerard Treacy, DAERA’s TRPSI Programme Manager added “The Rural Micro Capital Grant Scheme is an extremely good-fit with our TRPSI programme, the key aim of which is to assist in tackling poverty and social isolation within rural communities across Northern Ireland. The Scheme assists rural community-led, voluntary groups to address local issues regarding access to services, financial poverty and social isolation to improve the lives of rural dwellers and to sustain rural communities. The RMCGS 2018 grant-aided almost 600 projects, benefitting an estimated 45,000 rural dwellers, to implement activities to address a locally identified poverty or social isolation issue.

Harriet Kirkpatrick from Lisbellaw Parish Centre commented, “It’s impossible to put into words what the grant has meant to us, it’s changed the hall into a more welcoming place for all in the community, opening it up to more people, young and old. People have said how warm an atmosphere there is and we have seen an influx of new faces and groups. With the Rural Micro Capital Grant, we have been able to reach people who would never have used our facilities and services before”.
Omagh Forum is delivering the South West Rural Community Development Service across the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area on behalf of DAERA. This provides community development support to rural community and voluntary groups across the District. The Forum can help community / voluntary organizations become sustainable, providing advice on governance, funding opportunities, Charity Commission registration and reporting, training and much more. The Forum also assist communities in engagements with Councils to develop Community Plans and provide support for rural villages in moving towards economic and social sustainability

Mary T concluded “It is anticipated that the scheme will open again for applications in the autumn so we would ask anyone interested to contact us on 028 82 251559, email Omagh Forum will be organizing pre-application information sessions and details of these will be included on our social media: facebook – omaghforumforruralassociations or twitter – ofrarsn; and website We can also add you to our mailing list for regular ebulletins.

Photo: Left to right
Betty McElroy, Harriet Kirkpatrick, Tiernach Mahon (Omagh Forum), Gerard Treacy (DAERA), Rev. Stephanie Woods & Frances Boyd (Lisbellaw Parish Centre)

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