Oxfordshire's farmers come together for Christmas


Young farmers from Bicester Junior YFC were out in force at a Thame carol concert raising money for farming people in financial need.

The fantastic sum of £1,080 was generated, with more than 150 people packing into the sales ring at Thame Farmers Auction Mart on December 8.

Music was provided by the Chinnor Silver Training Band and Sara Oliver. An auction was also held on the night with donated lots bringing in more than £300 for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I), the 156-year old charity that gives out around £2m per year to farming people in hardship.

In 2016, R.A.B.I has given out more than £417k to working farmers and their dependants. In Oxfordshire, grants of more than £18k have been paid out this year *.

R.A.B.I – the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution – is a welfare charity which helps farming people in financial difficulty. Each year we support around 1,500 farming families and, in addition to giving practical help, pay out around £2 million in grants.

Support is offered in confidence to people of all ages and includes one-off, emergency or regular payments, as well as the provision of essential household items and disability equipment. For working farmers R.A.B.I can also fund relief farm staff to help in a crisis. For retired and/or disabled people we can also pay towards care home and home-help costs. We run two residential homes of our own, Manson House in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk and Beaufort House, in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset.

Jenni Thompson, R.A.B.I regional manager for South Central, said: “Nothing R.A.B.I achieves would be possible without our fantastic supporters who give up so much of their time for the cause.
“It was wonderful to see so many of our supporters come together for an evening of festive farming fun and the Chinnor Silver Training Band provided the icing on the cake. If people weren’t ready for Christmas before they arrived, they certainly left full of festive cheer.”

If you or someone you know works in farming and is in need of help call the Freephone Helpline 0808 281 9490.