19 July 2002

NEED A LITTLE HELP WHEN BIG BILLS ARRIVE?

Hundreds of farming families have already received

cash through the Royal Agricultural Benevolent

Institution/FARMERS WEEKLY Grant Scheme.

You may be able to benefit, too

RABI and farmers weekly have teamed up to offer hard-pressed farming families across the UK a helping hand with household bills or other domestic expenses.

Our ground-breaking grant scheme, which is fully confidential, can offer the free cash boost youre looking for in these tough times.

Many farming families are facing such pressures at the moment. Problems have arisen due to all manner of reasons – it might be a result of foot-and-mouth or low returns in the arable sector. Alternatively, they might be due to an illness or injury to a breadwinner or possibly even the breakdown in a family relationship.

Whatever your circumstances, the RABI/ FW Grant Scheme could make a big difference, relieving some of your immediate financial worries.

The grants can be a single lump sum or a series of payments. And while the RABIs charter (and Charities Commission rules) mean this financial support cannot cover business expenses, essential expenditure on the family home is eligible.

This scheme can, therefore, provide money for a huge variety of items – fuel, telephone and food bills, to give just three examples.

And every £ that you can get through the scheme to spend on such items, means youll have to find one less £ of your own money for your business.

Farming families are – and always have been – proud, resilient and independent and you may view asking for support as a sign of failure. But try not to.

For generations, farmers have worked incredibly hard for modest rewards. And the current circumstances are exceptional, with a whole series of events having conspired against the industry. Incomes have dropped to their lowest for generations, bringing money worries to homes where such worries have never occurred before.

The RABI/FW Grant Scheme could give you the chance to sow the seeds of a better, more prosperous future. People who have already been helped by RABI cash say the hardest thing was asking in the first place. Once theyve done that, they often experience a huge sense of relief that their problems will at last be shared by someone who will listen and understand.

&#42 Earlier request

Theyll also tell you that, if the request for financial help had been made earlier, the suffering would have been reduced.

So, if you think youd benefit, please dont delay. Get in touch now. Farmers, farm managers, farm workers and their families are all eligible to apply.

Application is, of course, no guarantee of approval, but all applications will be carefully considered, in a bid to ensure money is dispatched to as many of those who are eligible as possible. Every application will, of course, be handled completely confidentially.

To apply, call the relevant number and a member of RABIs experienced, trained and sympathetic staff will send you details and an application form.

Members of the public donated the money generously to RABI to help farmers because they know what a vital role you play in feeding the nation and caring for the countryside.

They gave it to RABI to give to you. Thats what its there for. The RABI/FW Grant Scheme will hopefully help play a part in this process.

How to apply:

If in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, please ring 01865-727888.

In Scotland a similar scheme for those affected byF&M is available via the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution, tel 0131-333 1023.

State of the art… RABI coffers are set to get a boost thanks to two artistic initiatives at the recent Royal Show at Stoneleigh, Warks. Artist Terry Webster (pictured) painted a pastoral scene on a lifesize model cow, while Jakkii Mickle worked on a mural depicting the show. Both creations will be used for fundraising.

RABI background

RABI is a national charity, dedicated to supporting farming families who are suffering hardship. Founded in 1860, it covers England, Wales and Northern Ireland. RABI has helped over 8000 farming families since the foot-and-mouth epidemic began, as well as continuing to provide regular grants and assistance to an increasing number or elderly or disabled beneficiaries.

MORE than £82,000 has been given away under the RABI/FW Grant Scheme to nearly 100 people.

According to RABIs Jackie Newman, it shows the "ongoing acute need" of many in the farming community. "Its a myth to think the problems have gone away."

Her advice is to act sooner rather than later. "Some people think they have to wait until all their money is gone before they apply – this is not the case."

&#42 Apply again

And even those who have previously benefited from RABI cash can apply to the scheme, she stresses. "Dont be afraid to come back to us."

RABI chairman John Wallis is also urging members of the farming community to take advantage of RABI money. "During the foot-and-mouth restrictions, when everyone was suffering financial hardship, it was not so difficult to swallow ones pride and ask for help.

"Now that things are supposed to be better and positive success stories are appearing in the press, it is a lotharder to admit that you are in trouble.

"Foot-and-mouth may be a thing of the past in the eyes of the general public but the scars are deep and in an increasing number of cases the long-term knock-on effects are only now becoming manifest," said Mr Wallis.

Grant scheme payouts show need still high