Articles Tagged with: funding

24 hours on North Ronaldsay

The RCF’s total investment of £32,000 enables the community on the island to develop their future through establishing a “Gateway House” for newcomers to the island; turning plastic litter from the beach and domestically into resaleable products, starting with coasters; to conducting a feasibility study on repairs to the drystone wall which keeps the famous North Ronaldsay sheep on the foreshore so they can continue their seaweed diet, which is vital to the survival of this rare breed.

Keith thanked Luke Fraser of the North Ronaldsay Trust for hosting his visit and Olly Gibb of Transition North Ronaldsay CIC for the early morning demonstration of the plastic recycling kit.

Keith stayed at the Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage and visited the Wool Mill, Lighthouse Bakery & Café and the Bird Observatory and can thoroughly recommend all to anyone visiting North Ronaldsay.

Keith also stopped by BBC Radio Orkney this morning to talk more about how we are furthering our support for many people living and working in rural Scotland.

If you have a project that is working to support your rural community’s needs, we will be opening for applications to our next round of grant funding on Friday 8th September.

Find out more about our grant funding

NFU Mutual Charitable Trust donates £60,000 to The Royal Countryside Fund 

James Kittow (RCF farmer), Edward Richardson (Farm Cornwall), Allan Wilkinson (RCF Trustee), Keith Halstead (RCF) and Nick Turner (NFU Mutual) at the Royal Cornwall Show.

The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust is one of the main ways leading rural insurer NFU Mutual provides charitable donations, and its work forms part of NFU Mutual’s £3.25m charitable giving pledge to support its members and their communities during 2023. 

This latest round of funding will help to deliver a range of initiatives, including rural poverty relief, helping small farming businesses to thrive, educating and mentoring young people, and supporting the UK’s air ambulance network.  

The Royal Countryside Fund is very grateful to have received £60,000 to help Farm Support Groups and ensure that we can continue providing vital services to local farming communities. Other organisations set to benefit from the donations include Addington Fund, RSABI, The Farming Community Network and Tir Dewi  

Nick Turner, Group Chief Executive of NFU Mutual, said: “Supporting our communities has always been at the very heart of our approach, and NFU Mutual is committed to making a positive impact through its charitable giving programme. These latest donations from the Trust will help support our members and their communities in many different ways, and we’re very proud to be championing the work of these great causes.”   

Keith Halstead, Executive Director of The Royal Countryside Fund, explained how the Trust’s donation will be making a difference: “The Royal Countryside Fund is incredibly grateful for the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust’s continued support of our Farm Support Group Initiative. This funding has allowed us to increase capacity across the network, supporting hundreds more farming families each year on a wide range of issues from business advice through to pastoral support, helping to ensure a thriving and diverse agricultural community in the UK. As farming families continue to face uncertainty, we are proud to offer them practical assistance when they need it most.” 

Learn more about our funders

11 rural community projects boosted with over £200,000

One of the community organisations receiving funding; The Blackmore Vale Charity – The Vale Pantry project in Dorset.

At The Royal Countryside Fund, our vision is for rural communities to achieve their own solutions to build the social infrastructure and local services they need. Too often, rural communities are without access to transport, jobs, and community spaces, increasing isolation and mental health issues.

As a charity, we seek to help those who live and work in rural communities across the UK to achieve their own solutions to the issues they face.  Whether its developing environmental initiatives such as reducing food waste, providing skills training to improve employment opportunities for young people, or creating accessible community spaces, the community commitment behind each project means that thousands of people will directly benefit from the RCF’s support in a way that is meaningful to them and their communities. Since being founded in 2010, The Royal Countryside Fund has invested more than £11.2 million in over 480 rural community-led projects.

One project which has been recognised for its sustainability values and the impact the project will have on the community is Eigg Tree Nursery. Rebecca Long, IEHT Development Manager for Isle of Eigg, says “The funding will enable Eigg’s Tree Nursery to become a self-sustaining community enterprise. Supporting local enterprise and employment, the Tree Nursery helps sustain native species, producing and protecting much more biodiverse woodlands and habitats. This helps protect Eigg’s future ecology and expands the island’s circular economy, all while we work towards carbon net zero.”

Keith Halstead, Executive Director of The Royal Countryside Fund says: “Living in rural Britain has significant challenges – we hear first-hand how isolation and a lack of local services and facilities are detrimental to the quality of rural life. Countryside communities need practical and grounded support in responding to these challenges, to build themselves a secure and sustainable future.

Our investment in rural communities enables those who live and work in villages and the countryside across the UK to succeed as we fund their solutions to local issues.

I would like to thank our partners and supporters, particularly the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery and Waitrose & Partners, as their help is vital to the success of our Supporting Rural Communities grant programme.”

A total of £202,820 was awarded in this round to the following 11 rural projects:

  • Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust, Highlands, £25,000
  • Hoo Peninsula Cares (wHoo Cares), Kent, £18,000
  • The Blackmore Vale Charity, The Vale Pantry, Dorset, £10,400
  • Boleskine Community Care (BCC), Highlands, £25,000
  • Comunn Eachdraidh Nis, Western Isles, £25,000
  • Chopwell Regeneration CIO, Tyne and Wear, £25,000
  • Countryside Learning Scotland, Perth and Kinross, £12,500
  • North Norfolk Community Transport, Norfolk, £20,000
  • Hour Community, Suffolk, £13,500
  • BCW Training Ltd, Antrim, £12,370
  • Wingfield Barns CIC, Suffolk, £16,050

Our autumn grant round will be open for applications on Friday 8th September 2023.

Find out more