Swann welcomes victory for special needs

North Antrim MLA Robin Swann has “warmly welcomed that a key recommendation to improve conditions for adults with special educational needs has been included in the new £100,000 Social Farming Capital Grant Scheme”.

Mr Swann said he was “exceptionally pleased the Committee campaign had paid off as the Social Farming Capital Grant Scheme was one of the recommendations that was made in the Employment and Learning Committee Inquiry which I Chaired, and which looked to the support and provision of services to adults with special educational needs once they were over 19-years-old.

“I have visited some fantastic examples including one outside Armoy. This grant scheme will greatly improve the chances of adults with special educational needs being able to pursue a rewarding career in farming,” said Assemblyman Swann.

Agriculture Minister Michelle McIlveen announced the opening of a Social Farming Capital Grant Scheme, with £100,000 available for farmers who wish to improve their farms to facilitate social farming participants.

Announcing the opening of the new Scheme, DAERA Minister Michelle McIlveen said: “Social Farming and the involvement in day-to-day agricultural activities is well known for improving the wellbeing of those living with learning disabilities and mental health challenges. It has also been shown to benefit the farmers and farm families hosting the participants.”

The Scheme is now open for applications and will close at noon on Monday 31 October 2016. Capital grants of between £500 and £4,999 are available to ‘Active Farmers’ already involved in the provision of Social Farming.