In January this year, R.A.B.I gave out over £47k in grants to working farmers and their dependants – a 171% increase on last year’s figure of £17k for the same period.
Trish Pickford, head of welfare, said: “Year on year, more working people are seeking our support and this trend was highlighted in January.
“We’ve seen an increase in the number of people contacting us through our helpline this year. We’re consistently raising awareness about what we do and it’s encouraging that people are reaching out to us when they need support.”
In January, R.A.B.I received 93 new requests for help, compared to 44 in December 2018. Of these new referrals, 58 came from working farmers. They cited a number of reasons for their current financial difficulties, with injuries and illnesses being one of the highest causes.
Trish added: “There’s no one reason why more farming people are getting in touch. Many need support following a physical or mental illness, and some are still suffering the effects of the hot, dry summer last year.
“Whatever the reason, R.A.B.I remains in a position to support those in the farming community who are struggling financially and have little savings.”
If you know of anyone who works or has worked in farming and is struggling financially, please pass on our confidential helpline number: 0800 188 4444
Figures (unaudited) cover the period January 1 – January 31, 2019. They have been rounded up where appropriate.