The Prince’s Countryside Fund receives £25,000 from the National Lottery to continue vital work

October 30, 2020

The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded The Prince’s Countryside Fund £25,000 as part of their Coronavirus Community Support Fund.

The grant will go towards the PCF’s Farm Support Initiative, a programme which supports farmer networks in the UK. The PCF’s Farm Support Coordinator works to increase collaboration and knowledge sharing between the 40 plus farm support groups, who provide vital support to rural and farming families in the form of free, confidential and practical advice to help people with problems such as business worries, financial hardship, isolation and ill health.

Diane Spark, Farm Support Coordinator said: “Many family farm businesses who were already struggling with the uncertainty of their future have now also been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in many ways. On top of this, it is also a difficult time for these support groups as they tend to rely heavily on fundraising and are currently facing concerns over their own financial situations, whilst dealing with increased demand for their services. My continued work as PCF’s Farm Support Coordinator will enable more vulnerable farming families to receive the support they need, from their local farm support groups, to adapt to and overcome the immediate challenges they are facing.”

The grant from the NLCF, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK, will allow the PCF to extend the FSC’s contract for a further six months. This will allow the PCF to continue to work with the FSC to provide this pivotal role and funding advice to these community-based groups who are providing vital, practical support to farming and rural communities.

Adam Day, Director of The Farmer Network said: “The Farm Support Initiative is a conduit between farmer support organisations across the country and helps us deliver and share relevant information about the support available to the farming communities of Cumbria, the Yorkshire Dales and beyond. Diane is also a valuable source of information about funding for Networks and a sounding board for ideas about how we might develop into the future.”

Founded in 2010 by HRH The Prince of Wales, The Prince’s Countryside Fund is a charity that works to improve the prospects of farming families and the quality of life in rural areas. Thanks to donations from trusts, foundations, individuals and corporate partners, the PCF has invested more than £10 million in rural parts of the UK over the past decade, including £2.5 million for farm and rural support groups.

Keith Halstead, Executive Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund said: “The PCF is so grateful to the National Lottery Community Fund for the funding which will allow us to continue our vital work. As agriculture faces the most significant change in living memory, there could not be a more important time to provide support to farmers and rural communities through the work of our Farm Support Coordinator.”

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Find out more about our Farm Support Group Initiative