12:03pm Wednesday 7th August 2013
WELSH farmers affected by last winter's disastrous weather will be given a helping hand by a charity raceday.
The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution is inviting businesses and groups of friends to the fixture on November 6.
Funds will be raised by hospitality packages which include an afternoon’s racing, welcome drinks, a three-course formal lunch, afternoon tea, tipster talk and charity auction.
Tickets cost £62.50 each and £625 for a table of ten. Sponsorship deals are also available.
The Institution says some farmers are struggling to recover from severe livestock losses during heavy snow and cold weather, which hit them hard earlier this year and last winter.
A spokeswoman said livestock farmers had to bring their cattle in from June onwards as it was too wet for grazing, forcing them to buy additional food.
Then the snow came and some lost up to 50 lambs, while the cold conditions meant sheep weren't lambing very well.
In April Alun Davies, Minister for Natural Resources and Food said the Institution would be given £150,000 to assist with their pastoral and advice-related work and give direct support to the most hard-pressed families.
Its regional manager for Wales Erys Hughes said a lot of money was given out to those affected, so the raceday will be a great help.
He said: "Chepstow is a beautiful race course and the event is a great way for businesses to entertain clients, or for a group of friends to have a great day out, knowing they are all the while helping farming families in financial difficulty.
“These are difficult times for many businesses, but farming in Wales has been especially hit by last winter’s disastrous weather. R.A.B.I. gave out 80% more in grants to farming families in Wales in the first six months of this year compared with 2012 - £218,411 compared with £121,495.
“Traditionally our charity has helped more retired and disabled farmers and farmworkers, but this year we’ve seen a marked increased in the number of working farmers coming to us, with five times as many working farmers in Wales asking for help in the first six months of this year than in 2012 - 67 compared to 13.”
For more information about the event and to book, call 01291 622260.
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