We know that some of you are concerned and have questions about the changes that are taking place at the charity. We are always happy to discuss specific questions individually, however we also wanted to provide some further information here about this period of activity which is so essential for the charity’s future.
As is apparent to all those engaged with agriculture today, farming people face increasingly complex and diverse challenges that impact not only how they farm, but also their physical and mental wellbeing.
RABI has a duty to support farming people and help improve resilience across the farming population. Fundamental to achieving these aims is the understanding that RABI must expand and enhance the services the charity offers, to provide a greater breadth of support to even more farming people.
RABI is proud of the welfare support it has provided historically, however this traditional approach must now be supplemented to fulfil these ambitions. It is true that RABI has therefore embarked on a period of significant and far-reaching change. This is necessary because the charity simply cannot continue in the way it always has done, and still be relevant to the changing needs of our farming communities.
We are now seeing a greater demand for support from working farmers, as well as growth in awareness of mental health issues and the need to find effective ways to address these issues. There is also a growing need for better support for individuals in their own home and local communities, for RABI to be available 24 hours, and a need to provide pre-emptive intervention wherever possible.
The requirements for RABI to be able to respond appropriately to secure the delivery of services and support to meet these developing needs, whilst maintaining our long-established service to the retired and elderly lies at the core of the changes the charity is currently undertaking.
To meet these developing needs, RABI must evolve, but as a charity that is close to the hearts of many, we appreciate change can be unsettling. This need for change does not distract from the hard work and commitment of staff and volunteers, both historically and during these recent challenging times.
The Trustees want to reassure RABI’s supporters that everything we are doing to expand and evolve our services is to provide an even greater breadth of support to even more farming people. On top of this, our traditional and long-term support, including financial support, together with our core values will remain.
We have a fantastic 160-year heritage that we are very proud of, and an incredibly hard working and committed team of staff and volunteers across England and Wales. These local networks of knowledgeable, experienced and compassionate individuals will continue to remain absolutely fundamental to the delivery of RABI’s services now and in the future.
Change is never easy for organisations with such a respected history, and as Trustees, we are extremely conscious we are custodians of one of agriculture’s longest standing, most respected charities.
Nonetheless, we are steadfast in our conviction that the changes taking place are necessary and will enable RABI to fulfil its duty to ensure that a toolkit of services and support is available to assist even more farming people across England and Wales, meeting their changing needs now and in the future.
We would like to thank you on behalf of all at RABI for your continued support.
RABI Council of Trustees