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RSABI launches year of activities to mark 125-year milestone


By Alan Beresford

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A SUPPORT charity for those in Scotland's agricultural sector has unveiled a year of events to celebrate its 125th anniversary.

(From left) Pete Black, Kirsty Macaskill (RSABI), David Leggat (Chairman RSABI) and Ronnie Black marking the 125th Anniversary of RSABI. Picture by Graeme Hart. Copyright Perthshire Picture Agency Tel: 07990 594431 ppapix@icloud.com
(From left) Pete Black, Kirsty Macaskill (RSABI), David Leggat (Chairman RSABI) and Ronnie Black marking the 125th Anniversary of RSABI. Picture by Graeme Hart. Copyright Perthshire Picture Agency Tel: 07990 594431 ppapix@icloud.com

RSABI, which was established on April 7th 1897, will be launching a range of initiatives during the coming 12 months as well as extending its existing services.

Now known simply as RSABI, it was founded as the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution in 1897 to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and in recognition of the deep agricultural depression at the time. Her Majesty The Queen has been patron of RSABI for her entire 70-year reign.

When initially set up, the charity’s aim was to help Scottish tenant farmers in need and at its first AGM the funds available supported 16 pensioners to each receive £20 per year.

David Leggat, Chair of RSABI, said: “Over the years, RSABI has evolved significantly and now supports many hundreds of people of all ages across the agricultural industry each year.

“The support services on offer are wide-ranging and include emotional and practical support as well as financial assistance. During the months ahead we will be launching a pilot programme for young people in Scottish agriculture and we are keen to ensure that people of all ages are aware that RSABI is here for them.”

As well as extending its helpline services this month, the charity is also working on a new website aimed at clearly communicating the wide range of support it offers, in a way which is easy to navigate and resonates with younger people as well those more senior in age.

Exciting plans for RSABI’s 2022 Great Glen Challenge will be announced shortly, including a new sponsor for the event and a #Challenge125 initiative. This will start at the Royal Highland Show in June and run until the Great Glen Challenge on August 26.

The Supporters’ Scheme has now been firmly established as a cornerstone of the charity’s income stream and a target of 125 new individual, business and corporate supporters from all parts of the industry has been set for the year. RSABI will also be marking its 125th anniversary with a St Andrew’s dinner on December 2 and details of the event will be announced in the coming weeks.

“During our anniversary year we will very much be celebrating the extraordinary people involved in Scottish agriculture and thanking everyone who, in a huge variety of ways, supports the work undertaken by RSABI,” said Carol McLaren, Chief Executive of RSABI.

“The support from farming and crofting families and agricultural businesses which has built up over 125 years is a huge strength which underpins the work we do for people facing difficult times.”

To mark the special milestone Chair David Leggat and Kirsty Macaskill, RSABI’s longest-serving member of staff who has worked for nearly 21 years with the charity, visited Newton of Collessie near Cupar to celebrate horsepower in agriculture through the years.


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