UK-based rural insurer and ICMIF member NFU Mutual has this week pledged an additional GBP 750,000 to support eight charities through donations facilitated by the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust in response to the ongoing challenges faced by communities across the UK. FareShare and Samaritans are among the eight national charities to receive a funding boost from the Charitable Trust.
The funding will support a wealth of initiatives, such as efforts to tackle mental health concerns and food insecurity. Impacts will include enabling FareShare to redistribute the equivalent of 600,000 meals to vulnerable individuals and families across the UK.
Announced this week, the eight charities set to benefit from the additional funding are:
- Addington Fund
- Farming Community Network
- Prince’s Countryside Fund
- Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I)
- Rural Support
NFU Mutual says the donations will be available immediately, allowing the charities to continue providing their critical services at a time when the demand for their support is high, but many of their usual fundraising events have had to be cancelled.
FareShare, the UK’s biggest charity fighting hunger and food waste, will receive a donation of GBP 150,000. This will help to divert food which would otherwise have gone to waste onto people at risk of hunger. FareShare has experienced a surge in demand for its services and is preparing for a continued increase in UK food insecurity as more people resort to frontline voluntary sector services as a result of the pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic, the charity has already more than doubled the amount of food it distributes each week – to the equivalent of over 2 million meals.
Lindsay Boswell, FareShare Chief Executive, said: “It is essential that FareShare is able to continue to distribute the higher volumes of food we are supplying to those most in need across the UK. We are extremely grateful to the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust for this support, which comes at a crucial time and will make a huge difference as we continue to tackle the issue that good food goes to waste whilst millions experience food poverty. The donation will help expand projects like our new warehouses in Aberdeen and Cornwall, getting food to harder to reach rural and isolated parts of the UK.”
Samaritans are set to receive a donation of GBP 100,000 to support the charity’s response to the pandemic and its work in rural communities. Samaritans is there for anyone struggling to cope and responds to a call for help every seven seconds. They are open day and night, 365 days a year, and provide support through a listening service including by phone, email, letter, face-to-face (currently suspended due to coronavirus) and through their Welsh language service.
Julie Bentley, CEO of Samaritans, said: “Samaritans is a critical service and, through a year like no other, it’s needed now more than ever. As the challenges of the pandemic continue, with rising loneliness and isolation, NFU Mutual’s donation will help Samaritans continue to be there for anyone who is struggling to cope, including those in rural communities. Together we can make a difference for those in need of support.”
The GBP 750,000 of additional funding for the Charitable Trust is part of NFU Mutual’s GBP 2.75m donation pledge to support communities in 2021, made in response to the ongoing challenges caused by the pandemic. The remaining GBP 2m will be donated to local frontline charities through the insurer’s Agency Giving Fund.
Lindsay Sinclair, Group Chief Executive of NFU Mutual, said: “A recent NFU Mutual survey showed that one in five respondents have felt uncertain how to cope with the potential emotional implications of the pandemic.
“These feelings are driving a growing need for support, and we want to help these charities meet the demand, enabling them to maintain practical and emotional support for our communities at a time which is proving to be especially difficult.
“The impact of the funding will reach the isolated and vulnerable, those experiencing mental health issues and families facing financial challenges across the UK – all areas of particular concern as the pandemic continues to affect our communities.
“Last year saw the highest value of support provided by the Charitable Trust since it was formed in 1998. We’re proud to match the same level of funding this year as national charities strive to meet the demand for their vital services. We recognise that these continue to be difficult times and understand the importance of extending our heightened support during the ongoing crisis.”