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MARA project to host information coffee morning

June 15, 2015

An information coffee morning for householders wishing to avail of the Maximising Access to Services Grants and Benefits in Rural Areas (MARA) project, run by Newry based charity, SPACE, is set to take place in Crossmaglen Community Centre next month.
The MARA project aims to connect people living in rural areas with benefit entitlements, grants and services that they may not be aware of.  The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and the Public Health Agency (PHA) have contracted local community groups to help identify households who would benefit from the scheme.
SPACE, Supporting People and Communities Everyday, have been delivering the project in South Down, South Armagh and Craigavon since September 2012 and the project will end in early 2016. The areas covered by the project in South Armagh are:  Crossmaglen, Silverbridge, Creggan, Forkhill, Newtownhamilton, Fathom, and Camlough.
Their team of home visitors (enablers) have visited almost 1500 homes throughout the region since the project began.  The fully trained and vetted enablers visit people in their own home and carry out a detailed assessment and the information gathered is then used to make referrals for support – referrals are only made at the householders request. A second visit is carried out 6-8 weeks later to check that all referrals have been followed up and to assist the householder with any queries they may have.
Benefits of over £1m have been issued to householders throughout Northern Ireland thanks to the new initiative.
MARA also helps people get access to a wide range of other services including, Rural Community Transport, Translink Smart Passes, Home Safety Inspection, Occupational Therapy, Social Services and Benefit Entitlement Checks.
With the scheme due to end in April of 2016, SPACE hope to reach as many people as possible about the MARA project and are holding the information coffee morning in Crossmaglen Community Centre on Friday 3rd July to advise people in the rural areas of South Armagh about the benefits, grants and services that they may be eligible for.
Allison Slater, Project Manager revealed that since home visits began in September 2012, over 1500 households have been referred into the Warm Home Scheme and large numbers of homes in to the Boiler Replacement Scheme.
“Hundreds of people, in our area, have had their benefit entitlement checked as a result of MARA.  Whilst not everyone will get a benefit increase, we have seen some individuals get as much as £210.00 per week extra as a result of a MARA visit,” added Alison.
MARA is scheduled to run until April 2016 but it is suggested that anyone interested contact Anouska as soon as possible to book a visit.  For more information or to book a visit ring Anouska on 028 30 835 764

An information coffee morning for householders wishing to avail of the Maximising Access to Services Grants and Benefits in Rural Areas (MARA) project, run by Newry based charity, SPACE, is set to take place in Crossmaglen Community Centre next month.The MARA project aims to connect people living in rural areas with benefit entitlements, grants and services that they may not be aware of.  The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and the Public Health Agency (PHA) have contracted local community groups to help identify households who would benefit from the scheme. SPACE, Supporting People and Communities Everyday, have been delivering the project in South Down, South Armagh and Craigavon since September 2012 and the project will end in early 2016. The areas covered by the project in South Armagh are:  Crossmaglen, Silverbridge, Creggan, Forkhill, Newtownhamilton, Fathom, and Camlough.  Their team of home visitors (enablers) have visited almost 1500 homes throughout the region since the project began.  The fully trained and vetted enablers visit people in their own home and carry out a detailed assessment and the information gathered is then used to make referrals for support – referrals are only made at the householders request. A second visit is carried out 6-8 weeks later to check that all referrals have been followed up and to assist the householder with any queries they may have.Benefits of over £1m have been issued to householders throughout Northern Ireland thanks to the new initiative.MARA also helps people get access to a wide range of other services including, Rural Community Transport, Translink Smart Passes, Home Safety Inspection, Occupational Therapy, Social Services and Benefit Entitlement Checks.With the scheme due to end in April of 2016, SPACE hope to reach as many people as possible about the MARA project and are holding the information coffee morning in Crossmaglen Community Centre on Friday 3rd July to advise people in the rural areas of South Armagh about the benefits, grants and services that they may be eligible for.  Allison Slater, Project Manager revealed that since home visits began in September 2012, over 1500 households have been referred into the Warm Home Scheme and large numbers of homes in to the Boiler Replacement Scheme. “Hundreds of people, in our area, have had their benefit entitlement checked as a result of MARA.  Whilst not everyone will get a benefit increase, we have seen some individuals get as much as £210.00 per week extra as a result of a MARA visit,” added Alison. MARA is scheduled to run until April 2016 but it is suggested that anyone interested contact Anouska as soon as possible to book a visit.  For more information or to book a visit ring Anouska on 028 30 835 764

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