Financial support at hand for hard-pressed farmers

FARMERS at crisis point as a direct result of the recent bad weather are being offered financial support by a national charity.

RSABI is the only charity in Scotland which helps to relieve poverty and hardship among people who make their living from the land and is able to offer assistance after receiving money from The Prince’s Countryside Fund Emergency Fund and The Scottish Government.

Last summer was the second wettest in the UK since records began, and record-breaking wet weather meant a poor harvest for many farmers, resulting in higher costs to keep livestock and high seed prices for next year’s crops. This year’s plantings have also suffered in the already waterlogged ground.

In additional to financial support, RSABI’s existing and well established, GATEPOST listening and support service will be a key element of the charity’s work as it deals with the consequences of the recent weather patterns, allowing those who feel overcome or fed up with financial or social problems to seek advice or someone to talk to.

Dr Maurice Hankey, chief executive, said: “RSABI is a people charity and we are here to help people cope with what life throws at them. Our primary focus is on helping to feed and keep warm individuals and families who are unable to do so themselves.

“Beyond the household we have a number of other support mechanisms from which to choose according to an individual’s position, including emergency business support and help to take the business forward. We can help, but we can only do so if people get in touch with us, and discuss the problems they are experiencing. No two businesses or people are alike so we will look at putting a package of support in place to suit the needs of the individual.

Application forms for financial assistance can be obtained from RSABI’s website or by calling either RSABI (0131 472 4166) or GATEPOST (0300 111 4166).