Gildernew highlights success of Anti-Poverty Programme
Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA, praised the work of Glendurragh Childcare Services at a recent event to launch their new rural childcare project.
A new covered outdoor play area has been developed at the centre in Kesh, with support from DARD’s Rural Childcare Programme.
Recognising the achievements of the Centre, the Minister said: "This new all weather play area enhances the quality childcare provision already delivered at Glendurragh. It removes restrictions on outdoor play for children, encouraging them to be more physically active within a safe environment, and helping them to lead a healthy productive and fulfilling life.”
Speaking about DARD’s Anti-Poverty Programme, the Minister went on to say: “During my time as Minister I have secured agreement from the Executive to bring forward a £10million package to tackle poverty and exclusion. The subsequent initiatives that were developed and led by my Department are having a significant impact on our rural communities.
“More than 10,000 people have benefited from a range of projects which include community transport, better access to a range of grants, benefits and services; the installation of heating to address fuel poverty; the rural support helpline; improved access to rural broadband and of course enhanced rural childcare provision.”
In conclusion the Minister said: “I remain committed to addressing poverty and exclusion issues in rural areas and recognise that there is still a lot of work to be done. That is why I have fought hard to secure and retain the existing funding level and, why, given that more and more people are falling into poverty in the current economic climate, I want to enhance our commitment to tackling rural poverty and exclusion by raising expenditure to around £16million during the next Budget period.
“It is key that we build on the success of the current Anti-Poverty Programme and that we continue to look at how Government departments and agencies can work together to help tackle rural poverty and exclusion issues going into the future.”
Neville Armstrong, Chairperson of Glendurragh Childcare Services Ltd said: “We at Glendurragh Childcare Services remain committed to the ethos of quality rural childcare and we know that is an aspiration shared by the Minister and her Department.”