Thank you to all our fantastic volunteers
01 June 2021
This Volunteers Week we’d like to say a huge thank you to all our volunteers who help us support people in Scottish agriculture.
We have a dedicated board of volunteer trustees who bring a tremendous amount of experience and enthusiasm to their roles, helping the charity to be as effective as possible.
Our regional voluntary committees raise awareness of RSABI and vital funds that help us to support people. The Ayrshire Voluntary Committee, along with members of the Ayrshire Tractor and Machinery Club, restored a Massey Ferguson tractor donated to us by farmer Harold McKeever. The tractor was sold last year at auction for a fantastic £11,800.
We also have a small team of volunteers who make outbound support calls as part of our telephone call out service. Demand for this service has increased dramatically since the pandemic hit, with regular calls being made to around 150 people. Previously it was around 30-50 people. Our volunteers have been invaluable in helping us to meet this increase in demand.
One of our volunteers Monica explains what she gets out of her role: “Born and raised on a beef and sheep farm in Wigtownshire, I am grateful to the life experiences it has given me. My late Mother was a volunteer collector in the early days of the charity and my brother Arthur was past Chairman of the organisation.
“Along with a group from the agricultural community in Scotland I undertook a trek in Peru to walk the Inca trail to raise money for RSABI in 2004 so have always been as involved as possible in helping to raise awareness of the organisation.
“Following the death of my husband John I was keen to offer help in some way and living alone I know only too well how important hearing a friendly voice on the telephone can be in helping with mental health and loneliness.
“Whilst I haven’t been a volunteer for very long I genuinely get so much from listening to others and hearing their story. If there are issues raised I report back to RSABI and the named case officer will follow that up.
“Hopefully I can help a little and it is nice to know I am carrying on the family tradition!”
People that we are calling regularly really appreciate the calls. Here is just some of the feedback we’ve received:
"Staff at RSABI have been amazing and supportive over the years and over the Covid-19 lock-down. They are very helpful and understanding, a lovely group of people."
“You have no idea of the difference you have made to me.”
“I enjoy hearing from RSABI – it’s nice to know someone is thinking about me.”
We’re currently running our 2021 #KeepTalking campaign and this week the focus is encouraging people to reach out if they are struggling. Please do not hesitate to pick up the phone and call us on 0300 111 4166.
As one person said: “I feel so much better after making the call to RSABI – I wish I had done it six months ago.”
Providing emotional, practical and financial support to individuals and their families across the agricultural sector including farming, crofting and growing.
The Rural Centre
West Mains of Ingliston
The helpline is available every day of the year from 7am to 11pm.