10 ways R.A.B.I can help working people and their families…

28th March 2017


The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I) is a national farming charity helping farming people in financial difficulty.

Please note: the views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of SellMyLivestock.

The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I) has been around since 1860 and is well established in the farming sector, providing help to those in financial need.

Last year we gave out grants of more than £2m and around £450k went to working people and their dependants. Year on year, we are doing more to support working farmers.

Applicants must have limited savings and be on a low income to qualify for help but even if we can’t give a grant we may be able to help in other ways, for example, with advice or food vouchers.

Here are 10 ways we can help working people and their families:  

1. Covering costs if a child is sick in hospital

Coping with a child in hospital is bad enough without having to worry about how you will cover the expense of being with them when they need you most. Many specialist hospitals are not ‘down the road’.

2. Paying domestic utility bills

Many people fall into financial difficulty through circumstances beyond their control, due to such things as ill health, accidents, extreme weather or animal disease. We can help working farmers by providing one-off emergency grants to help with domestic bills in times of hardship.

3. Providing food vouchers and hampers

Every year we send out around 800 Christmas hampers and bouquets of flowers, in addition to sending out cards and flowers at other times of the year, such as on beneficiaries’ birthdays. We also give out food vouchers to those struggling to feed their families.

4. Paying for farm staff if you’re sick or injured

Although we’re unable to help with the payment of business bills, we may be able to pay for relief workers to work on the farm in times of crisis – when the farmer cannot do the work and is unable to pay for someone else to do it.

5. Buying white goods

If there’s a genuine need, we can pay for a whole host of things such as washing machines and fridges. For example, the charity recently bought a new cooker for someone who needed an eye level grill for medical reasons.

6. Buying disability equipment

We can pay for larger items that disabled people need but cannot afford, such as electrically powered wheelchairs, riser/recliner chairs, stairlifts and specialist all-terrain mobility scooters.

7. Helping with claims for state benefits

In 2016, we helped people from the farming community obtain £287k in benefit payments. Welfare officers visit retired farmers and farmworkers to check they are in receipt of all the state benefits they are entitled to and help with applications on their behalf. Once a year, welfare officers visit beneficiaries to carry out a financial review and talk about problems that may have arisen since the previous visit.

8. Arranging free debt advice

In addition to the help given by regional welfare officers, free confidential advice can be provided through referrals to Payplan, who offer valuable assistance on personal finances.

9. Organising free business appraisals

We will consider putting you in touch with Promar, a consultancy specialising in farm and agri business advice. Following an initial visit, our welfare officers can direct people to Promar and the first half-day’s consultancy is free.

10. Providing grants for vocational training

We provide vocational training grants for established working farmers who are not making enough income from the farm alone. It enables people to build upon their existing skills and experience to gain qualifications leading to secondary employment to supplement the farm income.  

Useful links: Need help? – Want to help? – Donate – Upcoming events


Further reading:

10 reasons I’m glad I’m a farmer

Rural Crime, by North Wales Police

10 ways you might be farming in the future


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