Claims from flood victims are being dealt with as a priority, using a shorter application form. Emergency grants will meet ‘immediate need’, for such as things as food and accommodation costs. Requests for help are being assessed on a case by case basis.
Currently, R.A.B.I’s welfare officers and regional managers are extremely busy on the ground in Cumbria and Lancashire, liaising with other agencies including The Prince’s Countryside Fund, Farming Community Network, NFU, The Cumbria Farmers’ Network, YFC, Forage Aid and the Churches Rural Commission.
Paul Burrows, R.A.B.I’s CEO, said: “We have streamlined our form for emergency help so it is easier to complete and, if applicants meet the criteria, we will send out funds immediately to support families.
“Next week, our officers – in conjunction with the Farming Community Network – will be holding surgeries for people affected by flooding at various auction marts.
“Sadly, the rain is continuing to fall, but people are pulling together in the face of adversity. R.A.B.I held a carol service at Wigton Mart on Wednesday night which was full to capacity, with around 250 people attending.”
Every year, R.A.B.I gives out around £2m to farming people in financial difficulty and the work never stops – with more than £2k being given out in food vouchers in the last two weeks.
In 2014, the 155-year-old charity gave out more than £150k in Somerset following flooding in that county.
On Monday December 14, R.A.B.I and the Farming Community Network will be arranging a summit meeting at the NFU offices in Penrith. Attending this meeting will be representatives from Forage Aid, the Cumbria Farmers’ Network, the NFU and agricultural show organisers.
Paul Burrows added: “We will look to co-ordinate our action plans to ensure the right support goes to the right people at the right time. At the moment, it is important to meet immediate needs, but we will continue to support affected families in the weeks, months and possibly years to come.”
To apply for help from R.A.B.I please call the Freephone confidential helpline 0808 281 9490 or email email@example.com.