MICHELLE O’Neill has outlined how rural development funding is making a difference to the welfare of people living in rural areas.
The Rural Development Minister was speaking as she visited Cookstown cancer charity, Charis Care Centre. Formed in 2008, Charis’s services are specifically tailored to work alongside clinical treatments for cancer. With the help of £51,075 funding from the Rural Development Programme (RDP), administered through Local Action Group SWARD, the charity has purchased a range of equipment to provide a holistic service to people living with cancer in the Mid-Ulster area.
The Minister said: “One of the key aims of the Rural Development Progamme is to improve the living conditions and welfare of those living in rural areas through the provision of more and better services. Charis is an excellent example of this in action, with recent funding enabling the charity to provide Integrated Cancer Care for the needs of people diagnosed with cancer, their family and supporters, not just in the Mid-Ulster area, but further afield.
“The staff that I met at Charis are inspirational. They provide excellent support to individuals on their cancer journey. I would encourage everyone who is need of support to contact them and enquire as to what is on offer.”
Minister O’Neill explained that the Executive has also made improving living conditions for those in rural areas a key priority in the Programme for Government. She explained: “I recently launched the £16million ‘Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation’ framework which DARD will lead on and is designed through various interventions to tackle rural poverty and isolation and improve the quality of life for those living in rural areas.
Some of these interventions will complement the good work that charities such as Charis are providing to people in rural areas.”
Imelda McGucken Centre director said: “Charis is extremely grateful to SWARD for their financial support over the last two years. This has enabled the charity to purchase vital equipment and make improvements, both inside and outside the building, for the ongoing delivery of complementary therapies to cancer clients in Northern Ireland.”