Local wind energy company, Simple Power and farming charity, Rural Support, are this month celebrating the third year milestone of their highly successful corporate social responsibility partnership.
Rural Support has become a leading charity for the rural community in Northern Ireland, with a dedicated helpline which offers a listening and signposting service for farmers and rural families. The charity has experienced an increase in the demand for its services since the CSR partnership began and has witnessed an overall increase of twenty five percent in the number of calls during this time.
Simple Power has not only provided the charity with financial support but has worked with Rural Support in dedicated joint fundraising and awareness building activities to promote its vital support services to members of the rural community in need of a helping hand in Northern Ireland.
The CSR partnership has strengthened year on year, with successful annual initiatives, such as the Rural Support Christmas Hamper Scheme and the viral ‘Wellies to Work’ day, growing significantly to reach more rural families across the province.
Since the inaugural Christmas Hamper Scheme in 2013, the campaign doubled in size last Christmas with Rural Support delivering over 100 food hampers to hard hit farming families in Northern Ireland. The social media ‘Wellies to Work’ day highly increased Rural Support’s presence online year on year, with the reach of the campaign growing to over 513,000 Twitter users this year from a level of 16,000 in 2015.
Simple Power Chief Executive, Philip Rainey commented: “We are proud to celebrate three years of successful partnership with Rural Support. At Simple Power we recognise the fundamental services the charity provides for our rural community and we are delighted to work with the team to promote their offerings to those in need. There have been many highlights over the past three years, from the Christmas Hamper Scheme to our latest Rural Support Roadshow initiative which is bringing the charity to local council areas throughout Northern Ireland. The increasing success of these events highlights the progress being made in raising awareness of the vital work Rural Support is carrying out in our communities.”
“As partners to the farming and agricultural community, we understand the difficulties and the uncertainties of farming life and we thank Rural Support for the great work it is doing to help alleviate farmers’ concerns.”
Rural Support Chief Executive, Jude McCann stated: “Rural support is increasingly recognised in the farming and rural communities and is now well-known to many in Northern Ireland. We are very grateful to Simple Power for their support as it has been integral in raising our profile and encouraging people to avail of our services. The partnership has enabled us to give the farming and rural communities the support they need to overcome many challenges in this sector; we are particularly delighted that through Simple Power’s help we were able to deliver over 100 hampers to families last Christmas.”
Since 2002, Rural Support has been helping farming and rural families across Northern Ireland on a wide range of issues from finance and debt issues, succession planning concerns, physical and mental health issues, farming paperwork, technical and enterprise issues. Rural Support’s trained staff, volunteers and highly experienced mentors provide support both face-to-face or via a confidential helpline. The charity can help to analyse current farm business positions, identify options and explore possible ways forward. If you do require assistance or are experiencing a challenging period, you are encouraged to contact Rural Support as early as possible so that options can be explored.
Simple Power has a number of partnerships with farming organisations in Northern Ireland including the Young Farmer’s Clubs of Ulster, Farm Safety Partnership and also the annual Farming Life Awards.