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Spotlight on The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution

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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and NFU Mutual have both raised concerns about the worrying lack of safety on farms and the industry’s poor record of managing risk. But where can British farmers find help when they have an accident or are suffering financial hardship?

Lindsay Sinclair, the Chief Executive of NFU Mutual, has stated that although farming may account for just 1.5% of the current UK workforce, it is responsible for 15-20% of all workplace fatalities.

With statistics this worrying it is no surprise to learn that many farmers and farming families find themselves facing financial hardship, but where can British farmers turn to for additional support?

The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution
In 1860, The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I) was founded by John Joseph Mechi. He and a group of Essex farmers had become concerned about the level of poverty within the farming community and the fact that there was no official body representing them, and decided to take action.

A grant structure was quickly established and the needy within the community were entitled to £40 per year for married couples, £26 per year for single males and £20 per year for single females. On top of this, married couples and single males would receive 1.5 tonnes of coal while single females would receive 1 tonne of coal. All of this was paid weekly and the R.A.B.I also ensured that children within the farming community were being fed, clothed and educated.

By the mid 1930s the organisation was supporting 1,000 pensioners, and in 1935 the R.A.B.I was granted a royal charter by King George V.

In 1999 the charter was amended to include not just the farmers but also the farm workers and their families, and in 2001, R.A.B.I was nominated as a charity for HM the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Year.

R.A.B.I today
Today R.A.B.I provides support for farmers, farm workers, farm managers and their dependants.

R.A.B.I helps a variety of individuals including those who are retired and struggling to get by on low incomes and the disabled. They look after children and adults alike and provide assistance to anyone within the farming community in times of crisis. You can find out more about how R.A.B.I helps people in the farming community by visiting their website www.rabi.org.uk.

When you’ve been injured, pursuing a personal injury claim may be another way of getting help. If you or a member of your family has been affected by injuries sustained on farm land either while you were working or as a visitor to the farm please contact us on 0800 923 2068 or email pi.enquiries@roydswithyking.com.

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