The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I) gives out around £2m every year to farming people in financial difficulty. The 155-year-old charity also supports the farming community during disasters such as floods.
Paul Burrows, chief executive of R.A.B.I, said: “The scenes witnessed in Cumbria and other parts of northern England this week, where a month’s rain fell in 24 hours and 55,000 homes were left without power, will have terrible consequences for months and years to come.
“Getting people back on their feet will be a long and difficult process and many in the farming industry, already pushed to the brink by other pressures, will not know who to turn to.
“R.A.B.I is ready to support farmers who meet our criteria and need help immediately. We will also be working with other organisations and charities to help those in Cumbria and elsewhere recover from this disaster.”
From January to October 2015, R.A.B.I gave out more than £40k in grants in Cumbria alone – a 68% increase on the equivalent period in 2014. Although it may not be possible for the charity’s welfare officers to visit farms currently cut off by floodwater, R.A.B.I’s staff will do their utmost to quickly get information and forms to those who need rapid assistance.
Paul Burrows added: “Farmers are resilient people but events such as this can quickly push someone to their limit. The impact on communities is huge. On a human level, many people have been forced to live upstairs without electricity, unable to even make a warm drink. For farming businesses, there are serious public health and animal welfare issues to contend with.
“We have fast-tracked our application process to make it easier and quicker for us to get money to eligible people, whether they are currently working in the industry, or are retired from farming but still affected by the crisis.”
For help, please call R.A.B.I’s Freephone confidential helpline 0808 281 9490 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.