The NRN has created booklet and a series of videos highlighting the work of LEADER funded projects. LEADER is one of the National Rural Network’s core focus areas and in order to communicate updates, events and the diverse range of project examples, the NRN uses a number of methods. For example, recently the NRN (in collaboration with the Department of Rural and Community Development, a number of Local Actions Groups (LAGs), Implementing Partners and Project Promoters) developed a new LEADER project examples booklet showcasing a number of projects from across the country under the various LEADER sub-themes.

LEADER Programme

One such example is the ‘Purchase of an Exoskeleton Suit’ in Donegal. This project used LEADER funding to purchase an ‘exoskeleton suit’ (featured recently on RTÉ’s The Late Late Show) to help those with mobility issues to rehabilitate and train in their own communities. One service user stated, “The benefits of the suit are endless, physical and psychological, it’s a great feeling to be able to meet people face to face instead of looking up at them from my wheelchair’’.

This is just one of the diverse projects making a huge impact at community level and a longer detailed version of this particular case study and others is available at: www.nationalruralnetwork.ie/leader.

The NRN have also spent several weeks developing a new LEADER video series, which includes eight different projects and allows those involved to show how LEADER funding has impacted their businesses, communities and the local environment. One project example featured is the Ballykilcavan Brewing Company in Laois, which is a Rural Tourism project that used LEADER funding to purchase brewing equipment to develop a range of craft beers on the now diversified farm and help establish a tourism offering. Another example is the Marine Litter project by River Moy Search and Rescue in Mayo. Established as a rescue and recovery service, the service received LEADER funding to help purchase boats and safety equipment to tackle the issue of marine litter on the River Moy and help maintain and protect local wildlife and biodiversity. These are just a snippet of the range of projects that LEADER is supporting across the country.

For more updates on LEADER funding, projects and news, follow the NRN on social mediam, please visit: www.nationalruralnetwork.ie/leader