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North East farmer leaves RSABI an incredible legacy

North East farmer leaves RSABI an incredible legacy

31 May 2021

RSABI, the charity supporting people in Scottish agriculture, has been left a very generous legacy by a Marykirk farmer.

The charity has been gifted Sheila Erskine's estate, valued at approximately £3m, with the wish to help the farming community, in recognition that donating to RSABI was a good way to do this.

RSABI’s Chair David Leggat said the gift was incredibly humbling. He said: “We’re all very moved by Sheila’s generosity and her choice to help RSABI support people in Scottish agriculture with this legacy.

“This amazing gift not only gives the charity financial security for a number of years, it will also enable us to support more people. We’re always looking at ways to improve our services and these funds will help us do even more on this.”

RSABI say their plans for the legacy funds are to:

  • Invest the majority of funds to provide annual income for many years to come.
  • Allocate some funds to the charity’s Crisis Fund to enable them to quickly ramp up support to the industry in the case of future crises.
  • Look at developing ways of raising awareness of RSABI’s services to more people, particularly the younger generation.

The charity’s Finance Manager and Company Secretary Harry Seran explains more about the positive impact the legacy will have.

“This extremely generous legacy helps secure the future of our support in the medium-term.

“The charity currently spends around £1m annually on providing a much needed and effective service for hundreds of people who are really struggling, helping them move on with their lives.

“Thanks to the efforts of agricultural communities across the generations, we are lucky to have reserves, which have been crucial in enabling us to expand our services in recent years and to weather difficult times like the pandemic.

“After the turmoil of 2020 we’ve seen a reduction in our annual investment income of around £86,000, with no sign of recovery for the 2021 financial year.

“Dividends from the investment of this legacy will be an important source of income for the charity in the years to come.”

Chief Executive of RSABI Nina Clancy added: “Investments are only one source of income for RSABI and we still need donations, fundraisers and more people and businesses signed up as Supporters to continue to make an impact.

“This legacy will not only benefit the agricultural community now, but for many years to come and for that we are all incredibly grateful.”

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Providing emotional, practical and financial support to individuals and their families across the agricultural sector including farming, crofting and growing.

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