ADVICE: Jo Turnbull
ADVICE: Jo Turnbull

RABI, farming’s oldest and largest charity, has been supporting the industry almost as long as the humble tractor. However, despite 159 years of history, we know there are people who have worked in agriculture their entire lives who haven’t heard of us.

In many ways, reaching people in our sector – and convincing them that it’s okay to ask for help – remains one of our biggest challenges.

The internet and social media is fantastic for helping us to connect, but some people remain extremely difficult to reach because they do not readily engage with the online world or even with traditional forms of media. We understand that when there are 101 jobs that need doing urgently, and only 24 hours in a day, a farmer’s world might not stretch too far beyond his fields or his milking parlour.

Time might be a precious commodity in farming, but it’s something our staff will happily give you. Most of the help we provide at RABI is financial, but we don’t just send out cheques; we try to build personal relationships too. 

We provide tailored support and believe we have a crucial role to play in helping farming families overcome increasingly complex financial, emotional and practical problems. 

We want people to know that we’re here for the small things as well as the big, and that we’re continuing to develop our services to ensure we remain proactive, putting rounded support systems in place. 

Our regional managers are the faces of their districts, attending conferences and events, canvassing support, giving talks and developing relationships with companies and other public and private bodies. 

Our regional manager in the North East is Sally Conner, who hails from strong farming stock. Sally will be out and about this summer at many agricultural shows so seek her out if you’d like to find out more about RABI and how we might be able to help you. We’re fortunate to have hundreds of dedicated volunteers who serve on county committees. 

We would always welcome more. However, another simple but important way you can help us is by telling friends and families about what we do. Many families have contacted us and changed their circumstances for the better following a chance conversation with a friend, loved one or acquaintance.