We are delighted to hear that the Cumbrian Farming Flood Action Group (CFFAG) has won the Farmers Guardian Farming Hero Award for its work helping flood victims in Cumbria at the beginning of the year.
The CFFAG was formed in the aftermath of a series of devastating storms which saw 1.15 million litres of rain fall on already sodden ground.
The farming community quickly rallied together to get help where it was needed most and the CCFAG brought together many organisations, including: The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I), NFU, Farming Community Network, The Addington Fund, Forage Aid, CLA, Cumbrian Commoners Association, The Farmer Network, Westmorland Agricultural Society, Cumbrian Chaplaincy, The Federation for Common Land and The Prince’s Countryside Fund.
Representatives from the various organisations attended the British Farming Awards dinner at the Chateau Impney Hotel in Droitwich Spa on October 20 to collect their prize. Around 450 farmers and industry reps attended on the night. Guest speaker was former athlete Sally Gunnell, an Olympic gold medal winner in Barcelona in 1992.
R.A.B.I was among the first charities to give support on the ground with North West regional manager Georgina Lamb and welfare officer Jackie Clegg setting up stalls at auction marts to talk to flood-affected farmers. R.A.B.I gave out emergency grants of around £88,000 in the wake of the storms.
Georgina said: “Storm Desmond and the subsequent flooding led to dark times for many farmers, some of whom are still feeling the effects. CFFAG tried to make life a little easier for those suffering by directing them to available help so they could access support. By pooling all our resources and knowledge, CFFAG was a one-stop shop for many. The support of the farming press was imperative in getting our message out there so this farming hero award is a delight to receive, but totally unexpected.”
Georgina (above left) and Jackie (above right) attended the awards ceremony to accept the award with other CFFAG members, along with R.A.B.I Chairman, Malcolm Thomas, and R.A.B.I Corporate Development Manager, Suzy Deeley.
David Martin, a farmer from Kendal, added: “Heroes can be found in all walks of life but when the flood-affected farmers of Cumbria became surrounded by a team of them, it was pretty special. We look after one in another in farming, better than we give ourselves credit for.”