Each UFU president has the option to select a charity to support during their term. Over the years the UFU has supported a number of different charities from the NI Cancer Fund for Children to the MS Society.
Commenting Mr Bell said: “After becoming UFU President earlier this year I took some time to carefully consider what charity to support. I decided to select Rural Support, a charity dedicated to providing help and support to farm families and members of the rural community.”
Rural Support was formed in 2002 to help deal with the foot and mouth epidemic and has gone from strength to strength in recent years. The charity provides help and support to farmers and rural dwellers through a confidential helpline and signposting service.
“Rural Support provide us with an invaluable service. They have a team of dedicated trained volunteers who listen and assist farmers and rural families with issues such as: financial problems, physical and mental health, emotional distress, farming paperwork and bureaucracy,” said Mr Bell.
Over the past few months the UFU leadership team have visited UFU groups across the province.
“This was a brilliant opportunity to engage with our members at a local level. It also highlighted the challenges farmers are facing due to a combination of different factors. This is a difficult time for all commodities, cash flow pressures continue to be an issue for many farmers across NI. Rural Support are available to provide technical and emotional advice and support. They are available seven days a week and the support they can provide is vital. I would encourage anyone who feels they are struggling to contact Rural Support.”
If you feel Rural Support could help you they can be contacted on 0845 606 7607 or visit their website at www.ruralsupport.org.uk . The Rural Support helpline operates from 8am to 11pm, seven days a week (voicemail and support options available at all other times).