20 November 1998

Charity dishes out £50,000

FARMING charity the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution distributed nearly £50,000 to 80 farming families in the seven months to October.

The figures were disclosed by RABI president Lord Plumb at a dinner in Wales last week.

"When RABI launched its emergency fund and telephone helpline in April, it was because we were concerned by the increasing number of farming families at threat from the growing financial crisis in our industry.

"We did not know how great the uptake would be, how long the crisis would last or if we would be able to meet the demand," Lord Plumb said.

"We still dont. But what we do know is that, whereas in the first few months calls numbered just one or two a week, RABI welfare staff are now receiving four or five a day, with every indication that the number will continue to increase for some time" he said.

The RABI emergency helpline number is 01865-727888. &#42