Rural Kent Leads in Europe

Action with Communities in Rural Kent officially launched its five EU-financed trans-national co-operation projects October. The projects, which all build upon work undertaken locally by the RCC in recent years, exist to inform either future policy-setting or service delivery. Local community groups and social enterprises share in the benefits that these new projects bring.

From 17th – 22nd October the staff and Trustees of Rural Kent warmly welcomed delegates from across Europe who will work closely on common interests over the next 1-2 years. A representative from The European Commission, DG Employment & Social Affairs joined the partners for part of the week.

Groups from three regions of France, Belgium, Spain, two areas of Sweden, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Romania join Rural Kent to create these new projects, the funding for which comes through programmes such as Lifelong Learning, Grundtvig and Leonardo but Rural Kent has been fortunate in also attracting some major funding direct from Brussels for a flagship project that works to raise the profile of the not for profit sector as a career choice for young people.

This “Progress” project, called Greener Futures for Young People, has partners from Nykvarn in Sweden, Agen in S.W. France and Murcia in southern Spain. Wednesday 19th October saw the Launch of the project, held at Singleton Environmental Centre, where the event was opened by Richard King, Vice Chair of Kent County Council. Richard King is also Vice Chair of Action with Communities in Rural Kent.

Together the partnership explores new ways of sharing expertise, transferring good practice, devising new ways of supporting local groups and champions the use of social entrepreneurship as a community development tool.

Rural Kent’s transnational partnership projects also include:

  • Sustainable European Communities - Community-led / Neighbourhood Planning: transferring elements of Rural Kent’s successful community engagement model to a rural development agency in southern Sweden and a collection of isolated communities in central Romania as well as an urban-based partner in Flanders.
  • Into Active Europe - Older-persons healthcare in rural areas: working with agencies in France, Slovakia and Spain to identify and exchange good practice that helps improve the quality of life for older people and those with disabilities.
  • Seniors into Europe: Senior volunteering: a three-week exchange between older volunteers in Romania and Rural Kent, working on innovative community projects.
  • Academy of Social Entrepreneurs – ACE – Working closely with Kent & Medway Social Enterprise Network, creating a new EU Certificate in Community Enterprise to support emerging social enterprises. There will be modules delivered in Kent, France, Czech Republic and Sweden.

These projects draw in significant funding to help support the local work that Rural Kent does across Kent and anyone interested in knowing more, or even wanting to volunteer to take part in some of the activities, should fill in the form in “Contact us”.

 

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