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Supporting people in rural communities

Helping people to develop strong networks of support across rural, and often remote, geographies.


Some people baking

In rural areas, populations can be more widely dispersed, leading to extra challenges when sourcing and drawing on help and care at home.

Traditional domiciliary care services are not always set up to deliver a high-quality service in rural areas as increased travel times negatively impact on time ‘allowed’ for individual visits, missed appointments, changes to routines and continuity of carers.

Day activities and groups where people can connect and do the things they enjoy can also be more challenging in rural areas. People can spend a long time travelling to attend activities, and transport costs can be significant, meaning people may become more isolated.

People gardening


Community Catalysts has been working in a number of rural areas across the UK to bring choice and diversity to the ‘marketplace’. Through our established approach, we employ a local Catalyst who identifies individuals who are interested in doing care differently and/or who want to support people differently during the day. The Catalyst runs a development programme underpinned by coaching, mentoring and an emphasis on local networks.

In rural areas, this role can be supported by a Facilitator to help reach more isolated communities. Alongside our work with local people, we help public sector organisations understand and make the systems and culture change necessary to sustain this more creative approach. 


Our approach helps to boost rural economies by creating meaningful, longer-term jobs for local people who are able to deliver great care and support. Research by Barrow Cadbury Foundation and the New Economics Foundation demonstrated that people who had been helped to set up their own community enterprises in rural areas experienced higher levels of job satisfaction than in other caring roles and said they would continue working in the social care sector for longer when working for themselves.

Infographic of people knitting


We are commissioned, contracted or funded by public, third or private sector organisations to design and deliver this approach. We co-design and co-produce whenever possible.

Examples of this work in practice: