SLIDESHOW: Rural Support celebrates success of Christmas hamper scheme

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Rural Support, and wind energy company, Simple Power, are celebrating the success of its biggest ever ‘Christmas Hamper Scheme’, which aimed to help farming and rural families in need this Christmas.

Due to the support and generosity of 17 local agri-food businesses, the charity was able to deliver over 70 hampers to hard-hit families throughout Northern Ireland. Partners that signed up to help those in need included Ballyeamon Eggs, Clandeboye Estate Yoghurt, Comber Potato Company, Dale Farm, DJ’s Apple Juice, Karro Food Group, Mash Direct, Moy Park, Punjana Tea, Rural Development Council, South Antrim Community Network, Tayto, Tesco, Ulster Farmers Union and Dungannon Vineyard Church.

Philip Rainey, Chief Executive of Simple Power and Jude McCann, Rural Support, are pictured as they deliver over 70 hampers to rural families in need this Christmas. Partners that signed up to help those in need included Ballyeamon Eggs, Clandeboye Estate Yoghurt, Comber Potato Company, Dale Farm, DJ's Apple Juice, Karro Food Group, Mash Direct, Moy Park, Punjana Tea, Rural Development Council, South Antrim Community Network, Tayto, Tesco, Ulster Farmers Union and Dungannon Vineyard Church.

Philip Rainey, Chief Executive of Simple Power and Jude McCann, Rural Support, are pictured as they deliver over 70 hampers to rural families in need this Christmas. Partners that signed up to help those in need included Ballyeamon Eggs, Clandeboye Estate Yoghurt, Comber Potato Company, Dale Farm, DJ's Apple Juice, Karro Food Group, Mash Direct, Moy Park, Punjana Tea, Rural Development Council, South Antrim Community Network, Tayto, Tesco, Ulster Farmers Union and Dungannon Vineyard Church.

Rural Support Development Director, Jude McCann said: “We are delighted with the success of our second Christmas Hamper Scheme and have been overwhelmed once again with the generosity and support that has shown by the local business community. The hampers have gone some way to alleviate the financial burden facing many rural families this Christmas. We look forward to continuing with the Hamper Scheme in the years ahead and hope to build further on our success.”

Rural Support provides support for farmers and rural families through a helpline offering a listening and signposting service. It deals with a range of issues including emotional distress, physical and mental health, farming paperwork and bureaucracy. Rural Support has also recently launched a pilot project focusing on Financial Stress, providing one-to-one financial mentoring aimed at those experiencing debt or financial issues.

Simple Power Chief Executive, Philip Rainey, commented: “We are delighted with the success of our second Christmas Hamper Scheme in partnership with Rural Support. 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 community. With the support of the local producers, the hampers have gone some way towards providing a little Christmas cheer, alongside Rural Support’s very beneficial support service.”

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 fundraising activities.