Shropshire well presented at Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution volunteer conference

The Shropshire committee of Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) was well represented at the volunteer conference held recently.

Christine Downes, member of the Shropshire RABI committee
Christine Downes, member of the Shropshire RABI committee

We heard of the wrap around cover offered to farming people, who are suffering with anxiety, stress and practical worries.

A free phone call to 0800 188 4444 to talk through those concerns any time of day or night, will put you in touch with someone who cares.

The poor mental health that exists in the farming community, with more than a third reporting they are probably or possibly depressed, was highlighted in The Big Farming Survey.

We are a resilient and positive group of people, if you would like to join in any way, please contact regional manager Kate Jones 07876 492839 or

The bravery of Oliver Edwards, an Exmoor farmer, who spoke eloquently about his tragedies, and the excellent support he and his family have received from RABI and other organisations, illustrated his strength, which has now enabled him to encourage people to talk about the pressures of life as a farmer.

Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones was born in Jamaica. He and his parents came to Birmingham as part of the Windrush generation. He enjoyed helping his father on the allotment and from the age of 10 he dreamt of being a farmer. Through many years of hard work, adversity, he kept his focus and passion, working as a chef, then a successful career in television. He bought his small farm in Devon and developed his brand of gluten free foods. An inspirational speaker, and in 2020 was awarded an MBE for services to farming.

The NFU County Chairman’s Lunch was held recently and profits of almost £3,000 went to RABI to help farming people in Shropshire.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much,” a quotation by Helen Keller is a good thought for RABI.

Christine Downes is a member of the Shropshire RABI committee

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