Trust donates over £1m to farming charities amid pandemic

The funds have helped support a range of rural-based initiatives
The funds have helped support a range of rural-based initiatives

Over £1 million was donated to farming charities last year as many face up to the reality of bankruptcy this year due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

Twenty agricultural and rural-based organisations received funding worth £1,092,500 from NFU Mutual Charitable Trust as demand for their services grows due to the pandemic.

Figures show that one in 10 UK-based charities face bankruptcy this year as the sector has been one of the worst-hit by the coronavirus crisis.

The Trust's donations were made possible by an additional £750,000 pledge from rural insurer NFU Mutual, aiming to help charities maintain resilience.

The funds have helped support a range of initiatives, including projects that tackle rural isolation, support farmers' mental wellbeing, and enrich young lives through agri education.

The impacts of these initiatives included support for 523 households from the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RSABI) and support provided over 1 million times by Samaritans via phone, email and letters.

Elsewhere, 16,309 hours of continual professional development for teachers was delivered by LEAF Education last year.

Lindsay Sinclair, group chief executive of NFU Mutual said: “NFU Mutual is proud to have supported causes across all corners of the UK which are changing lives and giving hope for a better future.

“While many fundraising events have had to be side-lined this year, the demand for these charities’ services has grown.

"We want to help them meet that need and build resilience for the future, maintaining practical and emotional support for our communities at a time which is proving especially difficult.”

Charities which received donations include: Addington Fund; LEAF Education; National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC); Open Farm weekend NI; Prince’s Countryside Fund; Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI); Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RSABI); Rural Support; Samaritans; YFCU.