by NFU Scotland Vice President Martin Kennedy

'WITH ALL the continuing uncertainty facing farmers and crofters right across Scotland, we are very fortunate to have a fantastic organisation we can turn to when things start to get too much.

Uncertainty and worry not only have an adverse impact on the financial viability of many businesses, but is also increasingly take a toll on the health and wellbeing of many individuals.

There’s so much pressure from all angles on agriculture now, whether it be financial difficulties, feeling victimised by single issue groups, or simply the fact we’re being asked to do more and more for less and less. It makes us feel undervalued with no recognition for all we’re providing.

Scotland’s rural charity, the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RSABI), are sadly finding themselves speaking to and helping individuals and families more now than ever before.

At home, we have supported RSABI in a small way in the past but decided this year to be a business supporter which means signing up to £150.00 donation on an annual basis.

In the bigger picture, it’s a very small price to pay to help those involved in RSABI make a massive difference to many individuals and families.

It’s not always financial help that’s required. In fact, in many cases, it’s simply the ability to talk to someone in an understanding professional manner that makes such a massive difference to many who feel they have nowhere to go.

Many who contact RSABI are not necessarily those who are having difficulties. It’s often a caring friend or relative who have concerns about someone that makes the initial contact, which then leads to the first conversation between an individual and this undervalued but very professional service.

As we are getting closer to the festive season, spare a thought for anyone who you think may be feeling they have nothing to celebrate and are feeling isolated. If you are concerned about anyone then please contact RSABI on 0300 111 4166 and take their advice on how to help.

That help is available every day of the year from 7am to 11pm.

What would make the biggest difference would be increasing the financial resource available to RSABI to allow them to continue to cope with the increasing demand on their valuable service to the rural sector. I would urge as many of you as possible to sign up to be a business supporter and do your bit to help those who find themselves in difficult circumstances.

You can read more about how you can support RSABI as an individual or a business at:

Merry Christmas and here’s hoping next year will bring us some much-needed certainty and prosperity.'

(This blog originally appeared on