In response to the ongoing challenges faced by communities across the UK, ICMIF member and rural insurer NFU Mutual has today announced GBP 2.75m of funding for local and national charities in 2021.
As the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic continue, the funding looks to offer ongoing support to charities and the communities they serve.
NFU Mutual says the GBP 2m Agency Giving Fund will help local charities and communities across the UK to stay strong and resilient. To ensure these donations reach all corners of the UK and are directed where they’re needed most, NFU Mutual’s Agents, with over 300 offices nationwide, will be given the opportunity to nominate local charities to receive a share of the fund. The funds will be distributed over 16 weeks from the end of February, offering support as lockdown measures continue to impact our communities.
Additional funding of GBP 750,000 to the Charitable Trust will enable donations of up to GBP 1m to support more national organisations, reaching the isolated and vulnerable, those experiencing mental health issues, and families facing financial challenges, some of those due to coronavirus.
These latest donation announcements follow NFU Mutual’s circa GBP 1.8m of charitable funding in 2020, allocated across the UK in response to the pandemic.
Alongside this funding, NFU Mutual will also be supporting ‘mental health in farming’ training sessions for NFU Mutual Agents and farmers. These will be run by the Farm Safety Foundation, a charity founded and funded by NFU Mutual.
The one-hour sessions will offer attendees insight into the impact of poor mental health in the agricultural industry. Farmers work long hours and often in isolation. These sessions will encourage those living and working in the industry to look out for each other, recognise the signs that someone may be struggling and gain the confidence to start conversations or signpost available support.
Commenting on the community support measures announced by NFU Mutual for 2021, Lindsay Sinclair, Group Chief Executive of NFU Mutual, said: “Sadly, the increased demand for support services as a result of the pandemic remains, as do the fundraising challenges caused by cancelled events.
“Recent NFU Mutual research told us that 82% of our members gave to charity in 2020, with over a third saying they increased their charitable giving last year.* Like our members, we recognise that these are difficult times and understand the importance of extending our heightened support during the ongoing crisis.
“NFU Mutual has been supporting communities for over a hundred years. Our Agents are part of those communities and the Agency Giving Fund allows them to use that local knowledge to direct support where it’s needed most.
“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.
“British farmers and growers have also played a vital role during the pandemic, working long hours to look after their land and livestock to feed the nation. In recent years, the Farm Safety Foundation has offered education and support to protect the mental wellbeing of farmers. The new awareness sessions will extend that support at this difficult time.”
* Customer-facing research conducted on behalf of NFU Mutual: Join the Dots conducted an online survey of 501 NFU Mutual customers between 20 November and 30 November 2020.