18th May 2020
Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week and, with a survey of NFU Mutual customers showing that nearly three quarters of people are feeling more isolated since the UK went into lockdown, it’s a crucial time for support to be available.
However, the cancellation of fundraising events means that many charities are facing a funding gap, impacting their ability to provide vital services.
To ensure support continues during the current health emergency, the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust has now made donations totalling £739,000 across several national organisations that reach out to the isolated and vulnerable across the UK.
The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust is one the main ways NFU Mutual provides charitable support for its communities. Early in April, the insurer pledged an additional £750,000 to the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust to grant these donations, as part of an overall £32m support package NFU Mutual committed for the benefit of its members and communities affected by the Coronavirus. Additional donations will be distributed by the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust to further this support over the coming months and, by the end of the year, it is expected that the Trust’s overall donations during 2020 will reach £1m.
The charities set to benefit from this first round of donations are: The Addington Fund, The Farming Community Network, Forage Aid, the National Emergencies Trust: Coronavirus Appeal, The Prince’s Countryside Fund, The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI), The Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RSABI), Rural Support and Samaritans.
The donations will support those experiencing stress or worry, help families facing financial challenges and encourage physical and mental wellbeing in our communities.
The donations will be available immediately, allowing the charities to continue to provide crucial support services, such as: freephone telephone helplines, e-counselling, signposting and outreach, volunteer training, workshops to improve business management and one-off grants to support individuals and families in rural communities.
Lindsay Sinclair, Group Chief Executive of NFU Mutual, said: “We understand how isolation is affecting people and families, and that our members need these services now more than ever. The emotional and practical support offered by these charities will be vital for all our communities at this challenging time.
“Our members have told us that loneliness, the strain of juggling home and work, financial pressures, lack of broadband and access to general amenities, is impacting every inch of their lives and leading to feelings of heightened anxiety and fear.
“As a result of Covid-19, we know that there are extra demands on charities, which is why we want to help them take care of the ‘now,’ as well as the future financial health of their organisation. Some of these funds will enable charities to ‘stay open’ so they can continue to deliver their much needed services. Other donations will be used to support frontline assistance such as telephone and email helplines and advice and signposting, helping our communities to stay strong and resilient, from the Highlands and Islands to towns and remote villages.”
Bill Young from the Addington Fund, said: “To put it quite simply, the money given by the NFU Mutual will enable us to carry on helping farmers and those involved in agriculture with housing and disaster relief in times of need through this crisis and help with our shortfall of funds.”
We would like to thank the NFU Mutual for their kindness and their support for the Addington Fund during these challenging times.