The Dorset County Show has helped to raise over £8,960 for local farming charities – the Dorset Farming Community Network (FCN) and the Dorset branch of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) both received £4,480 each.

The money was raised through two fundraising events – an annual tractor run and a special charity night at the Dorset County Show. Receiving the cheque from Show Chair Nicki Ralph were Rebecca Hill and Steve Cove.

A delighted Rebecca Hill said: “Dorset FCN are immensely grateful to Dorset County Show for choosing FCN as one of their chosen charities last year. The money raised will be used to help farmers and their families across the county.”

FCN is a charity set up to help individual farmers and their families on a one-to-one basis, offering support in times of crisis including suicide threats, depression, illness, family disputes and financial issues.

Rebecca Hill added: “Each case is different, and often when responding the farm may have rung about one issue, but there’s several underlying problems bubbling below the service. Our volunteers walk with the client – ultimately enabling them to deal with the issues that arose, which put the individual in a position to pick up the phone in the first place.

Without the generosity of funds raised from the likes of Dorset County Show our work would be very difficult.”

Steve Cove, representing the Dorset arm of the RABI, a charity established in 1860 to give guidance, financial support and practical care to farming people of all generations said: “The fantastic sum raised will go a long way to supporting farming families at a time when we are seeing an increasing amount of working, retired farmers and farm workers asking for help.

Following our ‘Big Farm Survey’ we noticed an increased need for mental health support and RABI are now offering farmers and other businesses training and a confidential helpline to talk about their issues before things escalate. This money will go a long way to further help in these areas and many others.”

The Dorset County Show, which takes place on Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd September and is expected to attract 60,000 visitors with a range of new and exciting attractions for 2023, will be announcing its chosen charity for 2023 very soon!

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