The Farm Crisis Network has issued an urgent plea for donations after it was swamped with calls for help from farmers hit by delayed single farm payments.
The farming aid body said its case load had more than doubled in the past months and it was fighting to help 250 families in financial crisis.
“The current SFP problems are simply the latest in a long line of issues for farmers, but are proving very demanding,” a spokeswoman for the network said.
“For many farming people a delay to their 2010 single farm payment has been the straw that has finally broken the camel’s back.
“Hundreds of farming families and businesses, already struggling financially and emotionally, have been tipped into crisis by the delayed arrival of such a critical part of their income,” the spokeswoman said.
“We can’t always fix things, but we can offer practical and pastoral support and care for family and business as well as working with the Rural Payments Agency and other organisations to try to help facilitate a solution for the most pressing cases.”
She continued to make an impassioned plea for help for the crisis network itself.
“We are struggling under the pressure of recent events. Many cases are being successfully resolved – but not all. We can’t work miracles.
“This massive increase in caseload needs funding. We are a small organisation and without help now we will not be able to continue to bear the cost of the support that we give to so many. We need donations, large or small,” she said.
£1 helps keep 300 volunteers on the road and the helpline staffed.
£5 pays for two critical telephone calls.
£60 will fill a volunteer’s car with petrol to enable them to travel to farmers who are in difficulty; £300 covers the full cost of an average case.
£1000 keeps the whole of FCN going for a day.
How to donate
Cheques can be made out to Farm Crisis Network and sent to FCN, Manor Farm, West Haddon, Northampton NN6 7AQ. Ask for a gift aid declaration, which enables FCN to claim back 28p for every pound you give from the tax man.
Regular, ongoing support is the most valuable to the FCN as it enables it to budget with confidence. Corporate sponsorship is also welcomed. Please contact FCN if you would like to contribute in this way.
You can also donate online.