IN MANY parts of the UK, storms and flash floods have put a tremendous strain on farming communities.

Reacting to what the elements throw at you is all part of a farmer’s life, but extreme weather creates extreme challenges.

In such circumstances, the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) is here to offer support.

We have a central confidential helpline (0808-2819490) and a regional support team covering England and Wales. Many farmers have lost silage and hay bales - harvested and stored for winter feed - as well as livestock, or had farmland severely impacted, with walls, hedges and fences brought down.

The expense of rectifying all of this can, in turn, badly hit the family’s home life.

RABI has been providing confidential financial support, practical care and guidance to farming people of all ages since 1860. If farming is your main source of income, during difficult times like these we can help with non-business costs, including providing emergency grants. We tailor our support to suit individual need.

Our team is working with the NFU, local councils and other support organisations, including fellow Farming Help charities FCN and Addington, to offer assistance to affected farmers to get them back on their feet

We often find there’s a time lag between someone suffering hardship and contacting us, so we expect to receive calls to our helpline as a result of the bad weather during the coming months. I would encourage any farmers who are struggling to pay household bills to contact us via our confidential freephone helpline 0808-2819490. Farming Help as a whole may be contacted on 03000-111999.

Storms may disappear as quickly as they arrive but the devastating impact on those farming families affected can be long-lasting

Malcolm Thomas

Chairman, Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution