Six women from across Northumberland and the Scottish Borders – all farmers’ wives or involved in the industry – are celebrating the success of a charity event they organised in aid of flood-hit Somerset farmers.
The Spring Shindig, organised by Lucy Armstrong, Kirsty Barr, Jill McGregor, Jane Fenwick, Susan Thompson, Tania Conway and Ailsa Tweedie, was held at Springwood Park, Kelso, and raised more than £24,000.
The cash will be handed over to the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institute (Rabi) and the Addington Fund which will ring-fence it to help with the haulage costs of forage and welfare issues relating to the devastation left by the floods.
The Spring Shindig was sponsored by a number of local and national businesses and individuals with vegetables being donated from as far afield as Herefordshire.
Guest speaker was Andrew Ward, crowned Farmers’ Weekly Farming Champion last year for organising Forage Aid which delivered vital supplies to farms suffering in heavy snowfall, and now happy to lend his support to his peers suffering fresh weather-related trauma.
Lucy Armstrong 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”