RSABI'S Ayrshire committee is this month celebrating raising over £100,000 during the 10 years since its establishment.

The rural charity's chief executive, Nina Clancy, congratulated all those who have served on the Ayrshire committee, and those who have supported its activities, for raising such an exceptional amount.

“Our heartfelt thanks go to all those on the Ayrshire committee who have worked hard to raise funds to support the work of RSABI. You have shown what can be achieved by a dedicated team of people who all share an ambition to support people in need in Scottish agriculture,” said Ms Clancy.

Among the initiatives which the Ayrshire committee have delivered were two tractor raffles; £20,000 in sponsorship for walking the Southern Upland Way; £24,000 for fund-raising lunches; and various Ayrshire Machinery Club and other events.

According to committee member, Russell McNab, the success of the committee has been very much down to the commitment of drive of its chairman from the outset, Gregor Caldwell.

“Our committee is still held in check by our charismatic chairman Gregor Caldwell, who after 10 years in the chair, still insists on what he sees as the two most important factors for our meetings – that they are always light-hearted and that do not extend beyond 9pm!” said Mr McNab.

Fellow committee member Christine Cuthbertson said: “We are also delighted to have helped to raise the profile of this wonderful charity and the help and support available to farming folk in the county, and that is priceless.”

For his part, Mr Caldwell extended his thanks to all those who have served on the committee over the past decade and to those who have supported the wide-ranging fund-raising initiatives.

“As well as being very rewarding to have served on the committee and to have had such strong support for our events and activities, it has also been great fun and highlighted how much the farming community can achieve when we all pull in the same direction.” said Mr Caldwell.

The funds will be used for the work of RSABI, which provides vital financial, practical and emotional support to individuals and families with links to Scottish agriculture. A key focus of the on-going #supportRSABI campaign is encouraging people to help with fund-raising and to become members of its Supporters’ Schemes which include individual, business and corporate memberships.

RSABI also runs a confidential helpline (co-funded by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland), 0300 1114166, which people from Scottish agriculture are encouraged to call if they are in need of support.

RSABI chairman Ewan Pate, said that ensuring the charity was adequately resourced to fund its vital work in Scottish agriculture was essential: “Our Ayrshire committee have shown what can be achieved and we are very grateful to them and all the other supporters and volunteers who are raising funds and helping us in a myriad of different ways. It is also vital that our we continue to raise awareness of the range of services provided by RSABI.

The charity is urging people to consider buying a £25 individual membership as a Christmas gift and to consider making a donation to RSABI on Christmas jumper day, Friday December 13.

It will also be encouraging high-profile individuals working in the industry to raise the profile of their support via social media, as part of the #supportRSABI campaign.