Life Beyond is a bereavement and loss support programme, which was founded by Mr Chestnutt and delivered by Rural Support, in partnership with Embrace FARM.
This significant amount of money has enabled them to work with over 40 families since the programme’s launch last August.
As a charity, Rural Support relies on the kindness of all and the generosity of many.
Donations made to the charity go towards supporting farmers and farming families, helping to build more resilient farm businesses and healthier farming families throughout Northern Ireland.
The Life Beyond programme provides much-needed practical and emotional support for farm families in Northern Ireland who have experienced bereavement, as well as those who have survived a farm accident.
The programme has continued to go from strength to strength in its support for farmers and their families.
Mr Chestnutt is passionate about Life Beyond and the support it brings to farming families affected by loss in Northern Ireland.
Through his platform as UFU president, he helped to raise the profile of the programme, as well as the significant funds.
Mr Chestnutt commented: “I am pleased to have played a part in getting Life Beyond going and will continue to help keep it moving forward over the coming years.
“I chose to fundraise for Life Beyond during my term as president of UFU through our JustGiving page, and I will continue to raise money to fund these services as it is something I feel very passionate about and believe it is a vital and important service here in Northern Ireland.
“I want to thank each and every organisation, business and individual who donated to the programme.
“Every penny makes a difference and we are so grateful for the support given.”
It was through the JustGiving page, along with various events he held over the year and advocating on behalf of the programme, that Mr Chestnutt managed to raise the incredible amount of money for Life Beyond.
He has also been developing it, along with the steering group, so the programme can continue to help and support those who need it most.
Rural Support have also welcomed Mr Chestnutt onto the charity’s board.
CEO, Veronica Morris, commented: “We are just delighted to have Victor on board as a trustee, as well as welcome the significant amount of funding he was instrumental in raising during his term as president of the UFU.
“His commitment and drive have also helped us to make the Life Beyond programme a unique and accessible service for our farming families, who have suffered loss or have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
“The practical business mentoring, along with trauma and counselling support, make such a difference for our farming families at the most difficult time in their lives.”
If you or someone you know would benefit from the Life Beyond programme, or from speaking to a Rural Support team member, please ring the Support Line, which is confidential and is available 9am-9pm, Monday to Friday (voicemail and options available at all other times).
The freephone number is 0800 138 1678.