What are rural officers?
Rural officers tackle social exclusion through hands on development work with local groups/organisations and voice within partnership forums and meetings.
Social exclusion refers to the situation by which an individual or group find themselves marginalised from jobs, income, decision making and social/neighbourhood and community networks. This can result in an inadequate quality of life. In a rural context this could be attributed to isolation and lack of transport links, prejudice within a community, lack of resources and service provision to meet their needs.
How can rural officers help our community?
The team of rural officers work closely with communities, community groups, parish councils and with officers at District and Borough Councils to identify local needs and find local solutions to these needs, in conjunction with the local community strategy. They provide information and advice to groups on setting up committees, writing constitutions, accessing funding and project development and management.
Projects have been developed which work with excluded groups such as young people, the Gypsy and Traveller communities, ethnic minority groups and the elderly. This includes an after school activity club for Gypsy and Traveller children to make education enjoyable and fun, youth consultation techniques for community-led planning so their opinions are taken into consideration, disabled access funding support, debt provision training for workers in rural areas and promotion of the RCAN's Wheels to Work scheme. They all have a remit to assist communities in developing community-led plans.
To view further information about community-led plans please click here.
To view ACRE's community-led planning site please click here.
Meet the Team
Jenny Kirkwood, Team Leader.
Identifying and co-ordinating the delivery of sustainable events, raising awareness of rural social exclusion issues and working with local communities in Ashfield, Broxtowe, Gedling, and Mansfield to help stimulate community action to tackle local needs.
Karen Tarburton, Deputy Team Leader.
Works in Bassetlaw and is based with the economic development team at Bassetlaw District Council. She has a special remit to lead on social exclusion issues for RCAN.