Belfast Telegraph

Rural Support spreads festive cheer through Christmas Hamper Scheme to over 100 families

Rural Support and wind energy company, Simple Power, is celebrating the success of its 'Christmas Hamper Scheme', which helped over 100 farming and rural families.

Now in its fifth year, the annual scheme has been a huge success with the large number of food and drink donations highlighting the immense generosity of participating local agricultural businesses. The support has allowed the charity to continue to provide crucial support to farming communities during the festive period.

Rural Support’s chief executive, Jude McCann said: "The prolonged wet weather has impacted Northern Ireland’s farming community severely, with many farm businesses now facing severe fodder shortages over the winter period.

"This combined with the recent snow and icy conditions also arriving at the beginning of the Christmas period, it has been a tough season for the farming community. The hamper scheme with Simple Power aims to relieve families’ burdens, particularly around Christmas  when there can be added pressure and stress.

“The response to the initiative over the last few years has been very positive, and we are delighted that the hampers have helped ease the burden facing many rural families this Christmas.

"We are incredibly grateful for the continuous support shown by the local business community, and to Simple Power for their on-going help in the co-ordination of the scheme.”

Simple Power chief executive, Philip Rainey, added: "We are delighted to continue to support and coordinate the Christmas Hamper Scheme with Rural Support, and to see how it continues to help families in need during the festive period. Christmas can be a very special time for many, but it can also be a struggle for those in hardship, particularly within the rural community.

"We would like to thank all those who have helped deliver essential items to rural families at this time of year. With the support of the local producers the hampers have helped provide a little Christmas cheer, alongside Rural Support’s very beneficial support service.”

This year’s Christmas Hamper Scheme included generous donations from Karro Food Group, White’s Oats, Kestral Foods, Farmlay Eggs, Moy Park, Mash Direct, Tayto, Clandeboye Estate Yogurt, DJ’s Apple Juice, Ulster Farmers Union, Cavanagh Free Range Eggs, The Good Little Company, Gilfresh Produce, Fresh Fields NI, Punjuna Tea and Wilson’s Potatoes.

Rural Support helps farming and rural families across Northern Ireland on a wide range of issues from farm business and financial issues to concerns about physical and mental health.

The charity provides support for the rural community through a helpline offering a listening and signposting service. If you do require assistance during the Christmas period or are experiencing a challenging time, contact Rural Support as early as possible so that options can be explored. For more information on Rural Support and their services visit: www.ruralsupport.org.uk or call 0845 606 7 607.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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