Roscommon LEADER Partnership:

    Rural Social Scheme

    The Rural Social Scheme (RSS) allows low-income farmers, who are unable to earn an adequate living from their farm holding, to earn a supplementary income through employment provided by local community development projects. The responsibility for the operation of the RSS rests with the Department of Social Protection. It is managed in Roscommon on the Department’s behalf by Roscommon LEADER Partnership.

    For Participants

    The Rural Social Scheme (RSS) seeks to provide income support for farm households that are currently in receipt of long term payments from the Department of Social Protection.   In order to be eligible to participate on the Rural Social Scheme (RSS) applicants must be a member of an active farm household and be in receipt of a qualifying payment. Participants will work 19.5 hours per week, however the scheme is administered in a farmer -friendly manner. In this respect, effort is made to enable participants to work their hours in a flexible way, e.g. week/on week off, but this flexibility will at all times be subject to the requirements of the project they are working on and to agreement being reached by the RSS supervisor, the participant and the sponsor group. Participation on the RSS is not intended to be on a permanent basis. The operation of the RSS is reviewed annually on the 1st of April.

    For Communities

    The Rural Social Scheme (RSS) aims  is to provide rural communities with services that will enhance the social, physical, natural and cultural resources of their locality. Projects that are included under the scheme must be community-based and not-for-profit. The work to be undertaken by participants on the scheme will fall into the following broad categories:

    • Projects relating to maintenance and enhancement of waymarked ways, agreed walks, bog roads etc.;
    • Energy conservation work for elderly and less well off;
    • Village and countryside enhancement projects;
    • Social care and care of the elderly, community after-school support groups and community pre-schooling support groups;
    • Environmental maintenance work – maintenance and caretaking of community and sporting facilities;
    • Projects relating to not for profit cultural and heritage centres;
    • Community Administration/Clerical duties;
    • Any other appropriate community-based projects that may be identified during the course of the scheme.

    Community Groups (RSS Sponsor Groups) must reapply to have their project re-selected on an annual basis. If a group has a project approved for works to be completed under the RSS, a one-year contract will be issued outlining the terms and conditions of the scheme. 

    For further information, please contact

    Roscommon LEADER on 090 6630252