Farmers feel the love after Valentine’s Ball raises £1,400 for charity

Regional Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution manager for the East, Lucy Bellefontaine.

Regional Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution manager for the East, Lucy Bellefontaine. - Credit: Archant

A charity supporting farmers in financial hardship received a boost of £1,400 following a big Valentine’s Ball at Ely City Football Club.

The ball was attended by 120 glamorous guests on Saturday February 13, who sat down to a three-course meal and took part in a raffle, with prizes donated by local causes in support of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I).

Pymoor has always held an agricultural show to raise money for the local cricket and social club and in 2000, the organising committee also chose to support charities and local ventures.

Over the following 11 years, the show raised more than £25,000 for R.A.B.I. However, the 2012 event was cancelled because of bad weather and no further shows were arranged. The Pymoor Fundraising Committee wanted to continue raising funds for charity in some other way and so the Valentine’s Ball was born.

Lucy Bellefontaine, R.A.B.I regional manager for the East, said: “We are grateful to everyone who helped make the ball such a success. Around 20 prizes were on offer for the raffle, with individuals and businesses donating some fantastic items, including cash prizes, a pedal tractor and hampers.

“In 2015, R.A.B.I gave out grants of more than £26k in Cambridgeshire and our help is tailored to individual need.

“Many people are surprised when they discover how much help R.A.B.I offers and the diverse ways in which this support is provided, including regular grants and payments for such things as telephone line rentals, lifeline alarms, TV licences and home-help costs.”

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The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I) is farming’s oldest charity, dating back to 1860.

R.A.B.I helps working farmers, farm workers and their families who rely on farming for their main source of income. Help can also be given to retired farmers, farm workers and their dependants. In 2015, the charity gave out grants of £1.9 million to around 1,340 individuals and families.