RSABI, the charity which supports people in Scottish agriculture, has been awarded £50,000 from the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust.

A recent survey of the rural insurers' customers found that nearly three quarters of them are feeling 'more isolated' since the UK went into lockdown, while demand for RSABI’s telephone call out service has increased significantly during the crisis. Crucially, the crisis is also having an impact on the number of fundraising events that can be held.

RSABI chief executive Nina Clancy said: “We’re extremely grateful for the very generous donation of £50,000 from the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust. It comes at a time when income is uncertain for RSABI and it will help us to continue our work and deal with the impact of Covid-19 on the agricultural community in Scotland.

“The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust has funded some vital work over recent years. My thanks goes to everyone involved for their support.”

The trust has now made donations totalling £739,000 across several national organisations, including RSABI. Group chief executive of the Mutual, Lindsay Sinclair, 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," said Mr Sinclair.

“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.”

In April, the insurer pledged an additional £750,000 to the charitable trust, which by the end of the year is expected to have made donations totalling £1m.

The charities set to benefit from the current 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), RSABI, Rural Support and Samaritans.

RSABI’s helpline, 0300 111 4166, is open every day of the year from 7am to 11pm. People who are feeling isolated are encouraged to give RSABI a call.