NFU Mutual Charitable Trust gives £739,000 of support to local communities as research shows isolation is escalating

Issue date: 18 May

Issued by: NFU Mutual, republished by FCN

Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week and, with a survey of NFU Mutual customers showing that nearly three quarters of people are feeling more isolated since the UK went into lockdown, it’s a crucial time for support to be available.  

However, the cancellation of fundraising events means that many charities are facing a funding gap, impacting their ability to provide vital services.  

To ensure support continues during the current health emergency, the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust has now made donations totalling £739,000 across several national organisations that reach out to the isolated and vulnerable across the UK.

The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust is one the main ways NFU Mutual provides charitable support for its communities.  Early in April, the insurer pledged an additional £750,000 to the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust to grant these donations, as part of an overall £32m support package NFU Mutual committed for the benefit of its members and communities affected by the Coronavirus.  Additional donations will be distributed by the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust to further this support over the coming months and, by the end of the year, it is expected that the Trust’s overall donations during 2020 will reach £1m.

The charities set to benefit from this first round of donations are: The Addington Fund, The Farming Community Network, Forage Aid, the National Emergencies Trust: Coronavirus Appeal, The Prince’s Countryside Fund, The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI), The Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RSABI), Rural Support and Samaritans.

The donations will support those experiencing stress or worry, help families facing financial challenges and encourage physical and mental wellbeing in our communities.

The donations will be available immediately, allowing the charities to continue to provide crucial support services, such as: freephone telephone helplines, e-counselling, signposting and outreach, volunteer training, workshops to improve business management and one-off grants to support individuals and families in rural communities.  

Lindsay Sinclair, Group Chief Executive of NFU Mutual, said: “We understand how isolation is affecting people and families, and that our members need these services now more than ever. The emotional and practical support offered by these charities will be vital for all our communities at this challenging time.

“Our members have told us that loneliness, the strain of juggling home and work, financial pressures, lack of broadband and access to general amenities, is impacting every inch of their lives and leading to feelings of heightened anxiety and fear. 

“As a result of Covid-19, we know that there are extra demands on charities, which is why we want to help them take care of the ‘now,’ as well as the future financial health of their organisation.  Some of these funds will enable charities to ‘stay open’ so they can continue to deliver their much needed services.  Other donations will be used to support frontline assistance such as telephone and email helplines and advice and signposting, helping our communities to stay strong and resilient, from the Highlands and Islands to towns and remote villages.”   

–ENDS–

*Join the Dots interviewed 772 adults aged 18+ online between the 16th-23rd April 2020. The data was weighted to be a nationally representative sample of Great Britain.

The research showed that 74% of customers feel more socially isolated that before the lockdown, with 45% feeling a ‘little more isolated’ and 29% feeling ‘much more isolated’. Men are significantly more likely to feel ‘much more isolated’ than women​ (32% of men vs. 24% of women).

The predominant feeling amongst customers is that they are ‘coping’ with the situation (72%). Significantly more customers under 55 feel relaxed compared to those over 55 (40% to 26%).

Full breakdown of NFU Mutual Charitable Trust donations:

Addington Fund£75,000
Farming Community Network£100,000
Forage Aid£14,000
National Emergencies Trust: Coronavirus Appeal£250,000
Prince’s Countryside Fund£50,000
RABI*£75,000
RSABI*£50,000
Rural Support£50,000
Samaritans£75,000
Total£739,000

*RABI – Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution

*RSABI – The Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution

For further information, please contact:

Kay Henderson, Press Officer

Tel: 07980 793354

Email: kay_henderson@nfumutual.co.uk

About NFU Mutual:

NFU Mutual offers a wide range of products, including general insurance, life, pensions, and investments. These products and services are delivered through the agency network, as well as through a direct sales and service centre. With over 300 offices located in rural towns and villages throughout the UK, NFU Mutual has become part of the fabric of rural life and remains committed to serving the needs of people who visit, live or work in the countryside.

NFU Mutual is proud to deliver more than simply insurance. Making farming safer, tackling rural poverty, supporting rural initiatives across the UK and helping to look after the environment are just some of the ways we do that. To find out more about everything we do to support our communities, visit https://www.nfumutual.co.uk/about-us/responsible-business

The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust donations referred to in this press release forms part of an overall £32m support package NFU Mutual has committed to for the benefit of customers and communities affected by the coronavirus. To find out about NFU Mutual’s coronavirus support package, visit: https://www.nfumutual.co.uk/about-us/coronavirus/

About the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust:

The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust was set up by NFU Mutual in 1998 to promote and support charities in the United Kingdom working in agriculture, rural development and insurance. Since then, its donations of over £4.2m have made a positive difference to education, research, social welfare and poverty relief. To find out more about the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust, please visit: https://www.nfumutual.co.uk/about-us/charitable-trust/

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