R.A.B.I – the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution – is farming’s oldest and largest charity, providing financial support, practical care and guidance to people of all ages.
Although much of the assistance provided is financial, R.A.B.I does a lot more than send out cheques in the post. The charity helps farmers, farmworkers and their dependants with support that is personally tailored to suit individual need. This includes signposting and liaising with other organisations and agencies. Every request for help is treated on its merits and handled with compassion and discretion. The mission is that no member of the farming community should ever face adversity alone.
Year on year, more and more working people are turning to R.A.B.I for help and their problems are rarely of their own making. Extreme weather, physical and mental illness, accidents, animal disease, family issues, personal debt, housing issues and cash flow concerns are just some of the reasons why people seek the charity’s help. Farming can be an unpredictable business with many factors beyond the farmer’s control. Often, problems can quickly escalate but sometimes all it takes is a small amount of assistance at the right time to get things back on track. R.A.B.I can help with the small things as well as the big.
Support for the sick, elderly and disabled is provided in various ways. This includes regular living allowances, funding for disability equipment, paying home help costs or contributing to care home top-up fees. The charity owns and runs two residential care homes – Beaufort House in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset and Manson House in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk – primarily for former farmers and farmworkers. Dependants can also qualify for assistance, including widows and widowers.
R.A.B.I’s work is funded by income from legacies and investments, public donations and money raised at events arranged by volunteers, businesses and community groups. The charity has more than 50 county committees who work at a grass roots level to raise both funds and awareness. Committees, and the hundreds of dedicated volunteers who serve on them, are the lifeblood of R.A.B.I.
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