Mara Project Northern Ireland

Mara Project – maximising access in rural areas in Northern Ireland

Mara Project Northern Ireland

The MARA project

MARA project Northern Ireland,  aims to improve the health and well-being of people living in rural areas throughout Northern Ireland, where the hidden nature of poverty and isolation can make it difficult to connect with the most vulnerable members of our community.

Under the project, people can benefit from a household visit whereby they will be given useful information on services, grants and benefits which may be of assistance to them.

The project is funded by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and led by the Public Health Agency for the four year period April 2011 – March 2015.

It is important that people in rural areas are made aware of the support that is available through MARA, and I hope you can help us spread the word.


The programme aims to increase access to benefits, grants and services which are known to improve health and wellbeing. To reach out to the most vulnerable rural households, a personal, supportive and empathetic approach is required. That is where MARA makes a difference.

By placing community networks at the heart of the MARA project and using local knowledge, it is easier to identify and connect with people who could benefit from a household visit.

There are no eligibility criteria for a MARA household visit. However, typically householders that would benefit from a visit include older people, carers, disabled people, lone parents, ethnic minorities, lone adults, farming families and low income families.

People are given information on useful support and services, such as rural community transport, SmartPass, warm homes/energy savings homes scheme, occupational therapy assessments for disabled facilities grants, home safety checks, and benefits entitlement checks.

This support can make a real difference to people’s lives in rural areas.

How you can help

So that we can help make people aware of the support that is available through MARA, I would be
grateful if you could share this information with organisations and groups in your area, as well as staff
in your organisation.

This will help us to ensure that the project continues to meet the needs of the most disadvantaged
groups in our community.

How to get in touch

If you have any queries or would like further information on the MARA project, please contact:

Teresa McGarvey,
MARA Regional Project Manager, Public Health Agency, Health Improvement Team (West), 2ndFloor, Anderson House, Omagh Co Tyrone, BT78 1EE, telephone (028) 8225
3950, or email

<h2>Or contact your local MARA group on the details below:<h2>

Zone District  | Council Area | Project Manager |  Organisation Contact Number Email Address

Zone 1  | Banbridge | Lycrecia McGeary    Tyrone Antrim Down Armagh (TADA)
(028) 3839 8888

Zone 2 Cookstown, Magherafelt      Nuala Kildunne Cookstown and Western Shores Area Network (CWSAN)
(028) 8773 8845

Zone 3 Down Nuala McElroy County Down Rural Community Network
(028) 4461 2311

Zone 4 Derry, Strabane Limavady    Pauline Buchanan    Rural North West Community
Support (RNWCS)
(028) 8166 2588

Zone 5 Moyle, Antrim, Larne, Ballymena      Liz Bird     North Antrim Community Network (NACN)
(028) 2177 1155

Zone 6 Omagh    Aidan Bunting    Omagh Forum for Rural Associations (OFRA)
(028) 8225 1559

Zone 7 Ballymoney Coleraine    Paul Sampson   Causeway Rural Urban Network (CRUN)
(028) 7094 4934

Zone 8 Dungannon Armagh       Clare Thompson    Community Organisations of South Tyrone and Areas (COSTA)
(028) 8555 6880

Zone 9 Newry, Mourne Craigavon      Allison Slater       South Down Family Health Initiative (SDFHI)
(028) 4177 4248

Zone 10 Ards & Castlereagh      Leslie Johnston     County Down Rural Community Network (CDRCN)
(028) 9182 8884

Zone 12 Lisburn Lycrecia McGeary Tyrone Antrim Down Armagh (TADA)
(028) 3839 8888

Zone 13 Carrickfergus and Newtownabbey    Anne Thompson    outh Antrim Community Network (SACN)
(028) 9447 8645

Zone 14 Fermanagh    Barry Boyle    Fermanagh Rural Community Network (FRCN)
(028) 6632 7006


check out our social media pages for more information

mara project mara project architects mara project architects ballymena mara project architects northern ireland mara project DARD slemish design studio architects  architects magherfelt  

    Send us a message & we'll be in touch.