The SoFarm project

Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry visited RAPID Ltd in Claudy to attend the first presentation of Lantra Awards qualifications to graduating participants on the SoFarm project (Thursday, 24 March 2016)

The SoFarm project is one of 67 projects in Northern Ireland that was successful in its application for funding under the first Call of the NI European Social Fund (ESF) Programme 2014-20. SoFarm is an innovative project designed with a focus on using social farming to improve the skills and employability of people with disabilities.

Speaking at the event, Minister Farry said: "My Department remains committed to assist people overcome their personal barriers to social inclusion. It is therefore encouraging to see how projects such as SoFarm are helping to address inequalities and provide meaningful opportunities to individuals.

"SoFarm project has adopted an innovative approach to programme delivery through its flexibility for participants, and by engaging with individuals with an interest in farming and outdoor activities.

"Today’s event is a testimony to the excellent work of the Rural Area Partnership in Derry, and to the Gortilea and Butterlope Social Farms in delivering this project. It demonstrates how individuals’ lives may be improved through participation on a European Social Fund project and enables people to progress into education, employment and training. I congratulate all those individuals on achieving their Lantra Awards qualification and wish each of you every success in your future."

The SoFarm project is led by Rural Area Partnership in Derry (RAPID) Ltd and delivered in partnership with Gortilea and Butterlope Social Farms. The project delivered Lantra Awards Level 1 in Health and Safety and Level 1 Units in Land Based Activities. Lantra Awards is a nationally recognised Awarding Organisation with almost 40 years experience specialising in training and qualifications primarily for the environment and land-based sector.

The ESF Programme has an allocation of £112million towards funding projects that will provide support to approximately 39,000 participants across Northern Ireland.


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The first presentation of Lantra Awards qualifications to graduating participants on the SoFarm project