back to latest news


Two longstanding Lincolnshire Rural Support Network team members, Rev Canon Alan Robson and Alison Twiddy have been recognised by Lincolnshire’s High Sheriff, Michael Scott for their work supporting the county’s farming and rural communities.

Their High Sheriff’s Awards were presented at a small, covid-secure ceremony at the Epic Centre, Lincolnshire Showground on Tuesday 30 March by Michael Scott.

Mr Scott said: “My year as High Sheriff has been an odd one as the pandemic has meant I was unable to travel around the county visiting people and organisations and seeing their work at first hand. But because of the problems we have all experienced this year, these awards are doubly important as they reward service to our community that was so much more vital. Alison and Alan’s work epitomises the care, concern and understanding that LRSN has for the many issues facing Lincolnshire’s rural and farming families, made all the more complex by coronavirus and the added problems that we have all faced on a day-to-day basis. I have the greatest respect and admiration for all that LRSN does for our agricultural and rural communities.”

Rev Canon Robson is Lincolnshire’s agricultural chaplain and a founding trustee of LRSN: the Lincolnshire-based charity was founded in 1999 to help and support farming and rural families through times of crisis. His vital role as agricultural chaplain is often undertaken “below the radar” as he helps countless individuals and families through troubles as varied as bereavement and family disputes. He has helped many and saved lives. Alan has used the opportunity of the chaplain’s voice to champion rural issues, act as a catalyst to connect partners and networks and to care for rural folk. Most importantly, he has achieved the recognition and respect for the role of the rural chaplain.

For fourteen years, Alison Twiddy has led LRSN as its Project Manager. She has shepherded the organisation as it has grown from a small charity supporting the work of our agricultural chaplain, into a county-wide organisation that is recognised throughout Lincolnshire and beyond. It is Alison’s passion and commitment and her skill in developing the people – staff and volunteers – that have built the organisation’s capacity and values: last year LRSN supported 160 families and carried out nearly a 1,000 health checks as well as working with organisations such as the Young Farmers, related charities, local Government and the NHS networks to enhance LRSN’s services and reach. Alison retires in October.

LRSN Chair of Trustees, Meryl Ward, said: “To have two of our long-standing LRSN family members recognised by the High Sheriff is exceptional, but they are so deserving of the awards. They are the bedrock of LRSN’s service, combining the practical and pastoral support that we have delivered to many hundreds of families over the years; epitomising our ideals and our purpose to walk with everyone who needs a helping hand or a listening ear.”