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LRSN AGM 2016 raises charity profile and over £8,000!

A big "Thank You" to all our supporters and new faces who turned out to our AGM on Monday 17th October at the beautiful Granary, Elms Farm Cottages at Hubberts Bridge, courtesy of John and Carol Emerson.

Over 100 guests joined us to hear all about our achievements in 2015/2016 and our hopes and aims for future work.

At the AGM Meryl Ward, Chairman of the charity, thanked all the staff and volunteers for all the work that they do for LRSN and the way that they undertake the work, genuinely delivering to LRSN’s values. She explained that as in any organisation it is important to invest and for LRSN to run a professional service to all parts of the county the organisation has to find over £100,000 each year from scratch. This can only be achieved through the support of its people and the organisations that LRSN has built up a relationship with over the years and investment in its services and she thanked these people and organisations and hoped that these relationships, and new ones in the future, would secure LRSN’s future sustainability and services to help those in Lincolnshire’s agricultural and rural communities.

Alison Twiddy, LRSN’s Project Manager, read a quote from a former client to put LRSN’s work into context for the guests and to show the uniqueness of the service LRSN offers and how LRSN is able to pull together all the strands- the emotional support, physical health screening and information as well as practical support to meet the needs of those who it helps with a tailored, responsive and holistic solution to the multi-faceted and layered problems they face.

“Our family was falling apart at the seams.  My husband, an insulin dependent diabetic, was petrified to seek help about prostate problems and my dyslexic son, 30 years old, and a partner in our small livestock farm had a nervous breakdown after a relationship broke down.  I didn’t know which way to turn.  I am sure that without the combined help of Heather, the nurse and Alison’s team of volunteer caseworkers neither my husband nor my son would be here today.

Statutory services were unable to respond to our needs as farmers with busy harvest time and animals and they just didn’t seem to understand how to help us or fit us in.  After 18 months we can finally see light at the end of the tunnel.  We know we can always trust LRSN to be there encouraging and supporting us to get through”

Alison went on to talk about the three areas where LRSN has been investing its energies.

Firstly, the LRSN Volunteers, through the Investing in Volunteers Standard, a UK quality standard for all organisations involving volunteers, which Alison was delighted to announce that LRSN has now achieved. Secondly, investing in partnerships and communities to bring health and wellbeing advantages to Lincolnshire’s community, including a joint venture with Lincoln University to upskill LRSN’s caseworker team on solution focussed conversation techniques, to help plug the gap where statutory mental health services are so often unavailable or inadequate. And thirdly, working at national and local level with Young Farmers and Farming Community Network (FCN) on an initiative called the Rural Plus with an aim to raise awareness and reduce stigma of talking about mental health issues amongst Young Farmers’ club members.

Charles Holt, LRSN’s Treasurer, referred the AGM to the summary of the accounts in the Annual Report explaining that LRSN continues to have a sound financial position with a £14,000 increase in funds from last year resulting in net assets as at 31/03/16 of £178,416, £98,049 of which is restricted for the health screening services and LRSN personnel training.

Following the AGM a Reception was held with refreshments kindly supplied by Tom Wood's Beers and Springfields House Association before a very entertaining and frank presentation by Richard Williamson, Managing Director of Beeswax Dyson Farming Ltd. Richard talked openly about Beeswax’s current and future plans for its farming enterprises, its commitment to agriculture for the long term and the three requirements of introducing a new enterprise, technique or project into the business- it had to increase performance, help improve the environment and it had to interest him!

The evening was concluded with a fabulous Charity Auction of 27 auction promises kindly donated by LRSN’s friends and supporters. Robbie Longstaff from Longstaff Chartered Surveyors, Estate Agents, Auctioneers and Valuers conducted an excellent auction which raised over £6,000 for LRSN- another big thank you to everyone who took part; a list of the auction promise donors is as follows:

Michael and Mary Davenport, Cotehill Cheese; Peacock and Binnington, Brigg; The Ship Inn, Pinchbeck, Spalding; Wilkin Chapman; Rev David Creasey; Stephen Francis, Fen Peas Ltd.; Mr and Mrs Arthur Borrill; Pipers Crisps; Francis Dymoke, Scrivelsby Estate; Trent Valley Gliding Club; Jo’s Kitchen; Mr and Mrs R Alderson; The Lincolnshire Aviation Centre; Michael Read (FE Read and Son); The Rt Hon Lord Taylor of Holbeach CBE; Branston Ltd.; Jonathan Wilkinson-White of The Elm Tree; Grimsthorpe and Drummond Castle Trust Ltd.; Terry Cracknell.; Adrian Morrell, Lingrain; Alan and Sue Stennett; Mr and Mrs Herring, Washingborough Hall; Sean Sparling; Mideas Creative Ltd.; Winteringham Fields; Lincolnshire Agricultural Society and Jane Hiles.

In total, with donations and the raffle nearly £8,000 overall has been raised. A great night raising funds, catching up with regular supporters, making new friends and helping to extend LRSN's profile in the south of the county. Thank you!!