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RSABI’s #KeepTalking campaign shortlisted for national charity award

By David Porter

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Agricultural charity RSABI’s 2020 #KeepTalking campaign has been shortlisted for Campaign of the Year in the Scottish Charity Awards and is also in the running for the People’s Choice Award, which is voted on by the public.

Run annually by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), the Scottish Charity Awards celebrate the best of Scotland’s voluntary sector.

This year’s shortlist includes 47 individuals and organisations from charities and voluntary groups across the country.

While a judging panel will determine the winners under nine distinct categories, members of the public can have their say by voting for their favourite overall entry in the People’s Choice Award – by visiting scvo.scot/vote - before 5pm on Friday, August 27.

RSABI, the charity supporting people in Scottish agriculture, was concerned about the effects of the pandemic on the agricultural community – particularly with the loss of the usual social gatherings such as trips to the auction market and agricultural shows.

Launched in May 2020, RSABI’s four-week #KeepTalking campaign encouraged everyone in Scottish agriculture to make the time to talk, check in with each other and to seek support if they were struggling – to stay connected even when alone.

Norette Ferns of RSABI
Norette Ferns of RSABI

Norette Ferns, RSABI communications and marketing officer, said: “To say we’re chuffed to have our 2020 #KeepTalking campaign shortlisted for the Scottish Charity Awards is an understatement.

"We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who was involved and the whole agricultural industry who got behind the campaign and helped to make it such a success.

"Being shortlisted for this prestigious award is an achievement not just for RSABI, but for the entire Scottish agricultural community.

"We hope the campaign continues to encourage everybody to stay connected, to talk about how they’re feeling and to seek support when they’re struggling.”

RSABI is encouraging everyone in the agricultural community to cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award.

#KeepTalking was supported by a host of industry organisations and fronted by Perthshire farmer and TV comedian Jim Smith, with 12 auctioneer ambassadors on board.

The campaign also featured a moving short film featuring a farming family affected by suicide.

On a small budget the campaign reached over 630,000 people on social media alone, and was featured in print, on TV and radio.

Nina Clancy, RSABI chief executive, said: “To be shortlisted in the Scottish Charity Awards and to be in the running for the People’s Choice Award alongside such inspiring charities and individuals is amazing.

"It’s another fantastic opportunity to share the #KeepTalking message – which is so important in farming, crofting and beyond.

"So many people and organisations were involved in the campaign, and it was this industry support that helped #KeepTalking reach so many people.

"We’re encouraging everyone in the agricultural community to get behind #KeepTalking once again by voting for us in the People’s Choice Awards.”

RSABI’s helpline is open every day of the year from 7am to 11pm on 0300 111 4166 and also offers a telephone call out service.

Demand on RSABI’s helpline services increased dramatically last year, particularly for the call out service, as many people felt isolated.

Prior to lockdown, around 30-50 people in the agricultural community were receiving a regular call from RSABI’s staff and volunteers, all of whom are mental health first aid trained.

During lockdowns this rose significantly, with 150 people receiving a twice weekly, weekly, fortnightly or monthly call.

Winners will be announced on October 1 in an online ceremony so that all finalists and attendees who wish to attend are still able to join the celebrations in a safe way, regardless of lockdown restrictions.

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