The R.A.B.I is a grant-making welfare charity that gives confidential help to farming people in financial difficulty.
Launched in 1860, we work across England and Wales. Our HQ is in Oxford but we work at a local level, with a team of 14 part-time regional welfare officers, as well as 10 regional managers who are responsible for fundraising and awareness.
R.A.B.I helps working farmers and farm-workers who have suffered accidents or ill-health or whose livelihoods are threatened by such things as bad weather or diseased animals. Help is tailored to individual need.
We also provide long-term support to elderly people and disabled people of all ages.
In 2016, £2.1 million was paid out in grants to around 1,350 individuals and families. Of this, £450K was paid to working farmers and we helped people claim £287k in state benefits.
We can help in a diverse range of ways, depending on circumstances. Examples include: covering the costs if you have a sick child in hospital, paying domestic utility bills, providing food vouchers and hampers, funding farm staff if you’re sick or injured, buying white goods and/or disability equipment, helping you claim state benefits, organising free business appraisals and arranging free debt advice.
If you or someone you know needs R.A.B.I’s help, call the confidential helpline 0808 281 9490.
Richard knows only too well how quickly disaster can strike and what the effect on families and businesses can be.
He lost part of a leg in a combine accident and his wife Claire was left to cope with looking after their dairy farm and two teenage boys while Richard was in hospital.
Richard explained: “It was a terrible time and we honestly thought we were going to lose the farm.”
Thankfully he had heard of R.A.B.I and contacted the charity. As a result, we agreed to pay for temporary labour while Richard recuperated.
Richard said: “To know we had somebody there every day while I was off work was a massive bonus. To find a few hundred pounds a month for a relief workman was beyond us with no income coming in.”
After the immediate crisis was over, R.A.B.I helped again.
Richard explained: “When I got back to the farm I tried to work on crutches but kept falling over so R.A.B.I stepped in and provided an all-terrain vehicle for me to get about. But it’s not just about the money, it’s also the information and advice that counts.”
Years later, Richard, Claire and their sons, who now work on the farm, help to raise awareness of R.A.B.I as well as funds.
“We try to give a bit back because R.A.B.I. helped us,” said Richard.
“They changed our lives and we kept the farm. We couldn’t have done that without them.”