Farming’s leading charities have joined forces so farmers – including those affected by the current floods – find it easier to get help and the charities themselves find it easier to access government funding.

Farm Crisis Network, the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution and the ARC-Addington Fund have strengthened their ties and agreed to work under the umbrella of the ‘Farming Help Partnership’.

This means that there will be a ‘one stop shop’ for farmers through which each partner charity will offer different but complementary forms of assistance and support.

The move has been facilitated by NFU Mutual which has provided assistance with the secondment of a senior NFU Mutual manager and cash support.

As part of the plan, the Rural Stress Information Network, which has traditionally signposted people towards the other organisations, will also be wound down.

“In recent years it has become increasingly clear that many farmers who are in difficulty are not facing a single issue – such as stress, a housing problem or a financial issue – but a combination of problems,” said Sir Don Curry, NFU Mutual chairman.

“The agricultural charities do an excellent job for the worryingly high number of farming families who are facing a very difficult circumstances. Working closely together can only be of benefit to the farming community.”

The three charities will retain their autonomy and keep fund-raising in their own names. But they will co-ordinate their support services and public funding applications.

Requests for help are confidential and can be made on 07002 326 326 (7am-11p every day).  For more information see www.farminghelp.org.uk