Project aims to tackle poverty in north Armagh

A NEW project, aimed at tackling social exclusion and poverty in rural areas, is to be rolled out in north Armagh.

The plan is to visit 500 homes in the Aghagallon, Derrytrasna, Magheralin, The Birches, Donacloney and Bleary areas over the next 12 months.

The MARA project is a joint PHA and DARD initiative which aims to tackle social exclusion and poverty in rural areas.

The project has already been rolled out in south Armagh and south Down by the South Down Family Health Initiative.

SDLP Cllr Declan McAlinden (pictured) said local representatives had been contacted so the project could be rolled out in the Southern Lough Neagh area.

“They aim to help those most in need,” said Mr McAlinden.

“This is an opportunity for everyone to help individuals in their own communities and is a project that is making very real differences to peoples lives,” he said.

“When the pilot scheme was run in South Down (2011) there was over £118,000 of reclaimed benefits and considering only visited 336 homes were visited, it is clear that many people are still unaware of what they are entitled to.

“There have been around 200 visits in the past few months and the outcomes from these visits are proving very positive, with householders gaining increased benefits, home insulation, access to community transport, visits from home safety teams to name just a few, said the SDLP councillor.

For more information contact Allison Slater, information and development officer South Down Family Health Initiative 4 Great George’s Street, Warrenpoint, Newry, BT34 3NF telephone 0284 1774 248