R.A.B.I - the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution - gives confidential help to farming people of all ages, particularly those on low incomes and little in the way of savings when they are in financial difficulty.
Founded in 1860, each year R.A.B.I assists around 2,000 farming families in a variety of ways. We give out some £2 million in grants across England and Wales but we do a lot more than simply make financial payments.
From the first contact with the small, friendly team members who answer our Helpline, R.A.B.I will try to assist. We work in confidence and, if R.A.B.I can’t help directly, we often know someone else who may be able to.
We help working farmers, farm-workers and their dependants with financial grants on a short-term basis. This may be during a personal or family member’s illness perhaps, or, following an accident or bereavement, family breakdown or a crisis such as when animal disease hits the farm. Although R.A.B.I. does not pay business bills, we can pay for relief farm staff if, for example, a farmer is temporarily incapacitated or needs to be with a close family member who is ill.
There are also special grants available to enable a farmer to train in skills that they can then use for work off-farm to supplement their income and thereby meet their living costs.
For elderly farming people and those who can no longer work due to ill health or disability, R.A.B.I’s support can be long-term, with regular grants to supplement a low income, as well as one-off payments for items such as specialist equipment and essential household goods. We can also assist with third party contributions to care home fees and home-help/care costs. R.A.B.I also runs two residential care homes of its own.
The hub of the charity’s operation is its office in Oxford, but at local level R.A.B.I’s services are provided by knowledgeable home-based caseworkers. This front-line team visits new applicants so that we can tailor our help to the family’s or individual’s needs. They also visit our long-term beneficiaries at least once a year.
One of the first things that the caseworker will do is to check that someone who needs help is getting the state benefits to which they are entitled. In 2018 R.A.B.I gained nearly half a million pounds in state benefits payments for farming people.
R.A.B.I’s work within the farming community is funded by voluntary donations, money raised at events arranged by volunteers up and down the country, charitable trust grants and contributions from businesses and community groups as well as our investment income. Our team of 10 fundraising managers, who work from home, are the face of R.A.B.I in the regions and cover the whole of England and Wales. They welcome new volunteers to help raise funds to support our work and to spread the word about what R.A.B.I can offer to everyone in the farming community who needs our help.
To find out more visit www.rabi.org.uk, or, to talk to someone call R.A.B.I.’s helpline: 0808 281 9490.