THE importance of support for farmers and farm workers was stressed by the Duke of Gloucester when he visited a care home.
The Duke, a cousin of the Queen and president of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI), was at the charity’s Manson House home in Northgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, on Wednesday for a turf-cutting ceremony to launch a renovation programme.
He said: “Over the last few decades the industry has got smaller in numbers and, hopefully, mechanisation has made it less of a strain for people working in it.
“But over the years the individuals working in it have become more isolated. It’s important that an organisation like this can catch those who would otherwise ‘disappear’. It’s also a unifying force that farming neighbours can come together and do something collectively that they couldn’t do alone.”
Manson House is one of two RABI care homes and the turf- cutting starts a £4.5 million, two-year project to build new self-contained apartments and to refurbish the Grade II* listed Georgian house that form’s the home’s frontage.Paul Burrows, RABI chief executive, said: “There are a lot of tenant farmers and farm workers we look after. They’ve worked all their lives and come out of it without much money, so something like this is important.”
RABI provides welfare advice, care and financial support to retired and working farmers and farm workers suffering hardship, illness, accident or injury.
For information about its work visit www.rabi.org.uk