RSABI and RABI – Lycetts Charities of the Month – February 2021
In the second instalment of our charity of the month we focus on RABI, farming’s oldest and largest charity, serving the farming community since 1860. They offer financial support, practical care and guidance to farming people of all ages, including farmers, farmworkers and dependants. Here Suzi Deeley, corporate relationship manager, tells us more about the charity.
Can you please give us a brief overview of what your charity does and who it supports?
RABI has provided guidance, financial support and practical care to farming people for generations. Tailored to individual needs, this confidential support is available via RABI’s free helpline or through referral.
Against the backdrop of growing challenges in the sector, RABI has continued to evolve the charity’s services including: the introduction of a new online wellbeing and counselling service in 2020; and the launch of the ‘Big Farming Survey’ in January.
Explain the relationship between RABI & RSABI?
We work closely with RSABI. They operate in Scotland, while we work across England and Wales.
Where are you based?
While we are a national charity based in Oxford. We have a team of passionate, trained staff working across the regions, so we work very much at a local level as well as nationally.
How much have you been impacted by Covid-19?
The effects of Covid-19 have been felt by everyone, but we have adapted our services to continue to support the farming community as we always have. It has of course had a big impact on our fundraising opportunities, but also our opportunities to meet and interact with the farming community and to raise awareness of the support we’re able to provide.
What are your future hopes and aims for your charity?
We recognise that farming people are facing many complex challenges and these are impacting their wellbeing both physical and mental and also their farm businesses. Our vision is that no member of the farming community should ever face adversity alone and we have an ambitious strategy to evolve our services to better meet the needs of our community.
We first need a base of evidence on which to build a true picture of the farming community, how the many challenges are impacting their wellbeing both physical and mental and also their farm businesses. In January we launched the Big Farming Survey across England and Wales to do just this, it’s open until the end of March, available in print and online. We’d encourage the whole farming community, whether farmer (tenant or owner-occupier), farm worker, contractor, partner or adult children to please take part and have your voice heard. The findings will help us and other in the sector to evolve our support services. To take part please go to www.rabi.org.uk/BigFarmingSurvey or you can email FarmSurvey@exeter.ac.uk to receive a printed copy.
Recognising the needs of the community, we also launched, in October last year, an online wellbeing platform, Qwell, in partnership with a leading provider. It’s accessed through our website, and is free and anonymous with no referral required. It’s easy to register and access and provides a wealth of information, including articles, discussion forums and chat, as well as access to one-to-one counselling, all provided by BACP accredited professional counsellors.
We’d love to hear from anyone that would like to work with us and support us. We need to keep raising awareness of our services and it’s important to know that many of those we help come through referral. Equally we’d very much appreciate support in fundraising for us, either as individuals, through your organisations, or perhaps getting involved with any of our regional fundraising events – once lockdown is over!
How can people find out more about your work?