Macra na Feirme Welcomes Big Hello Initiative

Post on: Thu, 07, March 2019

A Macra na Feirme survey of its young farmers last September found that a third believe that rural isolation is the biggest issue facing Ireland’s rural communities followed by depopulation.

Macra na Feirme has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring that €10,000 is to be made available to each of 31 Local Authorities as part of the inaugural ‘Big Hello’ initiative.

The Big Hello is a National Community Weekend and will take place over the May Bank Holiday Weekend (4-6 May). The initiative will support communities to host events in order to strengthen community ties and tackle the problem of social isolation.

Commenting on this announcement Macra na Feirme National President James Healy said, ‘Macra na Feirme has been a trailblazer in the area of building community spirit with our annual Know Your Neighbour events around the country. This announcement of funding from the government is very much welcomed, as it will allow Macra clubs and other community based organizations to access government funding for their Know Your Neighbour events in this national “Big Hello” weekend. As our members know from their years of work within the community a barbeque, coffee morning or picnic can make all the difference to people living in social isolation and I hope the availability of this funding will encourage even more Macra clubs to host their own Know Your Neighbour event this year. Macra na Feirme are delighted that Minister Ring and his officials included Macra na Feirme as part of the national steering group planning for the Big Hello Community Weekend.'

A Macra na Feirme survey of its young farmers last September found that a third believe that rural isolation is the biggest issue facing Ireland’s rural communities followed by depopulation.

Funding for events is available to residents’ committees and community and voluntary groups through their Local Authorities. Further details can be found on www.drcd.gov.ie/bighello, and on The Big Hello! Facebook page.