Thursday, 29 October 2015

Village SOS - Are you missing out on valuable support?

Village SOS is an exciting new opportunity for rural based organisations to get practical support to develop a new project or add value to an existing project.  It is about rural communities being enterprising in their approach to developing a solution to a local issue.  The project may have a particular social economy focus but it simply can be about trying to develop a more sustainable service to meet local need.

Whilst the resources are relatively small this is a fantastic opportunity to at least bring a project from an idea to a plan.  It can provide flexible support to help organisations be ‘investment ready’ so that they may be in a stronger position to apply to upcoming funding opportunities. 

Rural Community Network (RCN) will coordinate all Village SOS activity in Northern Ireland and welcomes the opportunity to support your organisation in some way through this campaign. 

It does not involve an application process as such, rather a simple conversation to assess eligibility.  

Examples of projects supported
This programme is very flexible and will be tailored appropriately to the needs of each community.  However it is useful to share some of the experiences to date so we have summarised some of the support provided to date:

  • Bann Valley Community Group has been supported with costs towards the development of a video consultation with key stakeholders about a new proposed indoor sports complex and towards support for external consultancy for community consultation exercise
  • Dromboughil Community Association develop crafts and sell in stores and at craft fairs.  They were given practical financial assistance in developing a new ecommerce website for selling their products online
  • An Carn Ltd has been supported to develop a new bespoke range of Irish Pottery for sale in their craft shop and online
  • Maghera Cross Community Link has been supported to pilot a summer scheme which was to ascertain demand in the area for a new after schools club which is being considered
  • TIDAL (Toome) has been supported in bringing in some expert support to undertake a community consultation exercise and develop a new capital funding application.


To find out any further information about Village SOS please contact Fergal O’Donnell on 028 8676 6670, 07725 030295 or email fergal@ruralcommunitynetwork.org.

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