By Alicia Chivers, CEO
If you asked people to describe what R.A.B.I does, they would probably emphasise the financial help that we give to farming families in need.
Whilst providing grants will always remain at the core of our work, the needs of those who turn to us for support are becoming increasingly complex. Against the backdrop of fundamental uncertainties that our farming community face, we are launching an ambitious new strategy that seeks to ensure no member of the farming community will ever have to face adversity alone.
Understanding the issues and problems that affect people in agriculture is a vital step in our journey. In order to get a clearer picture of these issues we believe more research is required and we will be looking to establish deep-rooted partnerships with other agricultural organisations, both big
and small, to gain greater insights into the issues that affect wellbeing, before working in tandem with them to provide support and solutions.
We are currently working with specialist third party providers to set-up pilot schemes across England and Wales that will begin to transform the way the charity works and the services it can offer. The pilots aim to provide the farming community with easy access to approved and qualified counsellors, including one-to-one online consultations, that are available free at the point of use, 365 days a year.
For R.A.B.I this is something of a revolution rather than an evolution, however I believe it is our
responsibility to develop a range of support packages that address emotional and practical needs in addition to financial ones. We want to provide safe spaces for farmers and their families to talk about their anxieties, concerns, problems and fears.
Farmers matter and our role, as agriculture’s oldest and largest charity, is to make sure we provide our people with the support they need. These are exciting times for R.A.B.I because we are building new tools and support programmes which, we believe, will help our farmers get through life’s challenges.
I also believe what we are doing is exciting for the farming community – watch this space….