A group of farmers’ wives and country ladies from the Borders and north Northumberland have raised over £24,000 for flood-hit farmers.
The ladies organised a Spring Shindig which was held at Springwood Park, Kelso, last week (Saturday, May 3) in order to raise money for the Flood Hit Somerset Farmers.
The funds raised are being donated to RABI (Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution) and the Addington Fund who are ring fencing this money for the purposes of helping with the haulage costs of forage and also welfare issues relating to the devastation the floods left.
The Spring Shindig, which was generously sponsored by a number of local and national businesses as well as various individuals, was held at Springwood Park, Kelso. Guests were treated to an excellent meal of Borders beef with vegetables being donated from as far afield as Herefordshire.
A raffle, silent auction and live auction all contributed to a fundraising total of over £24,000. Raffle prizes included a Barbour coat, malt whisky, two days’ shooting, a £100 wine voucher, a week’s stay in a cottage on Holy Island and much more.
Farmers Weekly Arable Farmer of the Year (2008), Andrew Ward, who was also crowned Farming Champion in 2013, was guest speaker for the event. Andrew founded Forage Aid which is dedicated to supporting flood hit farmers who, he said, will need bedding and fodder for possibly the next 18 months.
A spokesperson for the Shindig Committee, said: “We were overwhelmed by the impact the flooding had on the farming community in the south of England, particularly Somerset, and being from farming backgrounds we all have a bit of an appreciation of the devastation caused.
“We are all so thankful to never have had to deal with such a disastrous situation, but realise how important it is in such times to be able to rely on support from fellow farmers.
“The Spring Shindig was such a fun night and the amount raised is really quite significant. Any difference we can make to the lives of those who have suffered at the hands of the flooding will make all the hard work well worth it.
“The whole organising committee would like to thank our sponsors, who are too numerous to list but are certainly much appreciated, and also to Andrew Ward for being our guest speaker for the evening.
“It’s just been unbelievable. It would be great if there was a knock-on effect and there were shindigs throughout the country to raise money.”
The organising committee were Kirsty Barr, Ailsa Tweedie, Susan Thomson, Jane Fenwick, Andrew Ward, Jill McGregor, Tania Conway and Lucy Armstrong.