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Our Aims

Aim 1 – Empowering the voice of rural communities

To provide rural people with the skills required to engage effectively with decision makers.


  • To advocate on behalf of rural communities.
  • To actively support rural communities in the development and articulation of their voices.
  • To actively support rural communities to develop a vision for the future of rural.
  • To promote/contribute to effective ‘Community Planning’ processes.
  • To identify priority needs in rural communities.
  • To increase effective communication on rural community development issues.

Aim 2 – Championing excellence in rural community development practice

To promote rural community development practice as an agent for change.


  • To promote learning, sharing and development of rural community development skills and knowledge at local, sub-regional and regional levels and on a European and international basis.
  • To support the sub-regional Rural Support Networks, statutory and other agencies in their rural community development practice.
  • To support the rural community development practitioner (paid/unpaid volunteer) in their community development practice.
  • To encourage and support continuous professional development opportunities in the rural community development field.
  • To promote and inform national occupational standards in rural community development at UK and ROI level.

Aim 3 – Developing civic leadership in rural communities

To promote volunteering and, in particular, focus on encouraging volunteers from the most excluded sectors of rural society.


  • To identify, actively support and encourage those most disadvantaged to engage in rural community development activity to address social need, social cohesion, community capacity and social exclusion.
  • To champion and support the role of the volunteer in rural community development.
  • To build community capacity to enable communities to identify issues and advocate on behalf of themselves.
  • To promote and support increased levels of community activity/active citizenship in rural communities.

Aim 4 – Actively working towards an equitable and peaceful society

To support rural communities in making a contribution towards ‘a Shared Future’ through community relations and good relations work.


  • To actively encourage peace and reconciliation work throughout rural communities.
  • To promote and actively support the ethos of ‘A Shared Future’ within and between communities.
  • To embed the principles and practice of EDI and ‘A Shared Future’ within all the work of Rural Community Network, the work of the sub-regional Rural Support Networks and that of other organisations.

Aim 5 – Promoting the sustainable development of rural communities

To support rural communities in exploring what sustainable
development means in a rural context.


  • To explore and promote what sustainable development means for the future of rural communities.
  • To promote and encourage inclusive service delivery in rural areas, informed by community involvement and accountability.
  • To develop best practice in participatory governance structures.
  • To promote and develop good governance in Rural Community Network, the sub-regional Rural Support Networks and other organisations.