Christmas Hamper scheme launched

Farming and rural charity, Rural Support, and local wind energy company, Simple Power, are teaming up again this year to launch the charity's largest 'Christmas Hamper Scheme', with the aim of delivering over 100 hampers to hard-hit families in need throughout Northern Ireland. Now in its third year, the charity is calling on local food and drink producers and suppliers to contribute items for the hampers and help farming and rural families in need this festive period. Pictured launching the appeal is Rural Support chief executive, Jude McCann and Simple Power chief executive, Philip Rainey. To get involved in the Rural Support 'Christmas Hamper Scheme', in partnership with Simple Power, call 028 8676 0040 or email: melissa@ruralsupport.org.uk.

Farming and rural charity, Rural Support, and local wind energy company, Simple Power, are teaming up again this year to launch the charity's largest 'Christmas Hamper Scheme', with the aim of delivering over 100 hampers to hard-hit families in need throughout Northern Ireland. Now in its third year, the charity is calling on local food and drink producers and suppliers to contribute items for the hampers and help farming and rural families in need this festive period. Pictured launching the appeal is Rural Support chief executive, Jude McCann and Simple Power chief executive, Philip Rainey. To get involved in the Rural Support 'Christmas Hamper Scheme', in partnership with Simple Power, call 028 8676 0040 or email: melissa@ruralsupport.org.uk.

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Farming and rural charity, Rural Support, and local wind energy company, Simple Power, are teaming up again this year to launch the charity’s largest ‘Christmas Hamper Scheme’ aimed at helping farming and rural families in need this festive season.

Following the success of last year’s ‘Christmas Hamper Scheme’ which saw over 17 local agri-food producers join together to deliver over 70 hampers throughout Northern Ireland, Rural Support and Simple Power are aiming to coordinate an even bigger scheme this Christmas than ever before.

The local charity and business are calling on the agricultural community to contribute items for the hampers, with local food and drink producers and suppliers asked to donate suitable items. With this support, the team hope to be able to deliver a minimum of 100 hampers to hard-hit families throughout Northern Ireland.

Rural Support’s chief executive, Jude McCann, said: “The hamper scheme recognises that every year families throughout Northern Ireland’s rural and farming community face a difficult Christmas. In the wake of farm gate prices and the dairy crisis, we anticipate even more families will be affected this year and our Christmas Hamper Scheme aims to provide a lift for these families that can make all the difference at this time of year.

“Last year, we were overwhelmed with the response to the initiative, and this would not have been possible without the generous support from our local agri-food producers. With even more families in crisis after a difficult year, we are calling on the many successful and vibrant local food producers and suppliers to make a contribution. We aim to build on the Hamper Scheme’s success to date and deliver over 100 hampers to families in need this Christmas. We would appeal to local food producers to help support us in this vital scheme by kindly donating to the appeal. By contributing only 100-120 items of your product, you can make a huge difference to a rural family in need this Christmas.”

To get involved in the Rural Support ‘Christmas Hamper Scheme’, in partnership with Simple Power, call 028 8676 0040 or email: melissa@ruralsupport.org.uk

Since 2002, Rural Support has been helping farming and rural families across Northern Ireland on a wide range of issues, from farming paperwork and financial issues to concerns about physical and mental health. The charity provides support for the rural community through a helpline offering a listening and signposting service.

Rural Support is working with its CSR partner wind energy company, Simple Power, on campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of health and wellbeing in rural communities and farm families, including the Christmas Hamper Appeal initiated in 2013. Simple Power works in partnership with farmers across Northern Ireland and is committed to an on-going partnership with the local charity, providing financial support alongside awareness-raising and fundraising activities.

Simple Power chief executive, Philip Rainey, commented: “We are delighted to be launching our third Christmas Hamper Scheme in partnership with Rural Support, and we hope that it is going to be our largest scheme to date. At Simple Power, we recognise that Christmas can be a very special time for many, but it’s important to acknowledge that it can also be a difficult time of year for those in hardship, particularly within the rural and farming community.

“Last year, we saw the generosity of local agri-producers that enabled us to deliver hampers throughout Northern Ireland and provide a little Christmas cheer, alongside Rural Support’s very beneficial support service. We couldn’t be more delighted to be coordinating the largest appeal to date this year and we hope many more local agri-food producers join the appeal and help us make Christmas special for many more families throughout Northern Ireland.”