The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) is mounting a new publicity campaign to raise greater awareness of the different ways it can help farming families in need.
Launched at the farming charity's annual general meeting at the Weston Manor Hotel in Oxford on Wednesday (17 May), the campaign's message is "Just Ask! We do more than you think".
Chairman of trustees Julian Sayers said: "RABI already helps around 2,000 people every year and the number of people contacting us in an emergency, particularly working farmers, is growing.
"However, we know that we don't reach every farming family in need, not least because some people are reluctant to ask for help, and others simply don't know we exist.
"We hope the 'Just Ask!' campaign will encourage farmers and farmworkers to contact us if they face hardship and make it easier for them, or someone who knows them, to do so."
As part of the initiative, RABI has introduced an 0300 number - 0300 303 7373 - for its confidential helpline. This means that anyone calling from a landline in England or Wales will now be able to call it free of charge. The cost of calls from mobiles will vary according to the service provider.
The year-long campaign is supported by new promotional literature and display materials which will be used at summer agricultural shows. It will also feature on RABI's website, Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as in the charity's magazine and a new DVD to be produced later this year.