Organisation Overview

Ballyhoura Rural Services (BRS) is a registered charity which was established 2010 to address the issue of physical, social and emotional isolation in the East Limerick and North Cork Region. We have developed tailored services to meet the needs of our target groups. These services are:

BRS Befriending

  • One to one befriending
  • Phonelink Befriending
  • Lifestory Recording

BRS Befriending delivers its befriending service through two Community Employment Schemes and a Volunteer Programme.

BRS Social Farm

  • Doon Social Farm is a 33 acre organic farm which provides therapeutic services to people in society who are experiencing social isolation, particularly young people. The farm was inspired by the success of Social Farms in Holland and the United Kingdom which have proven successful in addressing the causes of isolation/exclusion along with offering choice and removing barriers to education for young people in the area.
  • Ballyhoura Rural Services Local Training Initiative (LTI) is a community based education and training project focused on organic horticulture. The project runs over the academic year from October to May, it is targeted at learners who may have difficulties accessing education and training.
  • BRS Social Farm delivers its services through the Community Services Programme and an the LCETB funded Local Training Initiative.

BRS Housing

Ballyhoura Rural Services (BRS) has in 2021 taken ownership of the Sisters of Mercy Campus in Doon, Co Limerick. The Campus consists of a 33-acre farm, St Joseph’s Convent of Mercy and the former St Joseph’s Secondary School building with a number of ancillary buildings. The goal of the board of BRS is to convert the Convent into a supported living housing development and to convert the old Secondary School into a residential mother and child reconciliation service for women in an advanced recovery phase from drug use.

Our Mission & Vision

Our mission is to identify and assist individuals who are experiencing physical, social and emotional isolation in rural areas, particularly older people.

Our vision is that people are aware of the high quality support delivered by BRS, covering a range of services that is client-centred, empowering and which is owned, valued and used by the community it seeks to serve.

Our aim is to combat the sense of isolation and loss experienced by many people living in rural areas through a range of services, focussed on specific target groups. To date, BRS has concentrated on establishing services and supports centred predominantly on older people. We do this – internally – by investing in staff skills, training and structures. Externally, we work with complimentary partners and learn from best practice. Together this enables us to empower and facilitate local people to take the next step towards improving their quality of life, by encouraging socialisation and community involvement.

Our Guiding Principles

  • To treat each individual with respect and dignity and work in a spirit of partnership.
  • To promote inclusiveness and not discriminate on the grounds of gender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability or membership of the Travelling community.
  • To provide a non-judgmental and non-directive service.
  • To respect clients confidentiality, as per the BRS confidentiality policy.
  • To work within the policies and procedures and ethos of the organisation and commit to ongoing training.