RSABI and NFUS Extend Joint Offer of Help

NFU Scotland and RSABI - a Scottish charity dedicated to the relief of hardship and poverty amongst people who have depended for their livelihoods on the land – are reminding those who live and work in the Scottish countryside that help is at hand.

At the Union’s Christmas press briefing, Maurice Hankey, RSABI Chief Executive said:

“After the appalling weather that has plagued Scotland’s farmers during 2012 we know that there are farming families out there struggling to cope.

“RSABI can help, but we can only do so if people get in touch with us, and discuss the problems they are experiencing. We guarantee confidentiality, we understand what they are going through and after this summer and autumn no one should feel reluctant to seek help … but we need them to initiate the contact, either directly to RSABI or through our GATEPOST helpline.

“We are immensely grateful to HRH The Prince of Wales and to The Prince’s Countryside Fund for their generous donation to the UK farming charities to help farmers who are struggling.  

“In Scotland, RSABI will play its part in distributing these funds, and we urge farming families who need help to get in touch with us. We will do everything we can to help.”

NFU Scotland President, Nigel Miller added:
“This can be the most difficult time of year for many families but the message to those struggling or worried is that family, friends, neighbours and organisations like NFUS and RSABI are there to help.

“Our recent surveys on the impact that the weather has had on Scottish farming in 2012 has highlighted the huge pressures that many farm businesses are under this year and the worries that may generate. Financial pressures, bereavement or illness can all generate intolerable strain that impacts on the family and the households of those who live and work in the countryside. We want to reassure them that help and assistance is at hand.

“I would urge those within our membership to also take time over this festive period to consider those in their communities who may need extra comfort and support at this time. Sometimes a conversation is all that is needed, and sometimes some financial assistance would be beneficial. That is where RSABI – with its Gatepost listening service – and others in the community can assist.

“NFU Scotland has regularly supported RSABI in the hugely important job it is doing in supporting people in the Scottish countryside. The charity is there to help and this week, application details on how individuals or families seeking assistance from RSABI will be circulated to our branch secretary offices across Scotland.

“Many of us may know of those nearby who may benefit from the great work RSABI does in the Scottish rural community and details on how to access that support will soon be available at local NFUS offices.”

Notes to Editors

  • RSABI is a Scottish charity dedicated to the relief of hardship and poverty amongst people who have depended for their livelihoods on the land
  • RSABI's predecessor, The Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution, was founded in 1897 to mark Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, to help elderly, infirm, distressed and disabled Scottish farmers and their dependents. At its first AGM, the funds available allowed 16 pensioners to be elected, each receiving £20 per year.
  • Today, RSABI now provides financial and practical support to over 600 individuals and their families across a range of occupations with the common theme of working on the land in Scotland, or providing services to those who do.
  • Last year RSABI provided direct financial support worth more than £380,000 to 566 individuals in 479 homes around Scotland.
  • More details available at


Contact Bob Carruth/Sarah Anderson on 0131 472 4006/4108

Date Published:

News Article No.: 153/12

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