Supporting agriculture: Spotlight on the Farming Community Network 

   07 Jul 2023

Did you know that as well as being a charity itself, the Edenbridge and Oxted Agricultural Show supports other charities too?

Our charitable purpose is to support agriculture, especially developing the industry’s next generation, and this is why we give grants every year to charities selected by our Honorary Almoner. 

One of the charities to benefit from last year’s show is the Farming Community Network; a voluntary organisation and charity that supports farmers and families within the farming community, running a confidential, national helpline and e-helpline which is open every day of the year from 7am to 11pm. 

Founded in 1995 by Christopher Jones MBE, the charity was originally set up under the name The Farm Crisis Network, and following the 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak, the charity became a key player in supporting farmers who had been affected. 

Today, more than 6,000 people a year benefit from the Farming Community Network’s support with their volunteers travelling over 130,000 miles to provide practical and pastoral support to members of the farming community. 

In addition to the Farming Community Network, our Show made donations of £6,000 in total to a number of charitable causes, including: 

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance, who fight every day to save lives and last year alone responded to over 3,000 incidents.   

Perennial Gardeners Society, the UK’s only charity dedicated to helping everyone who works in horticulture, and their families, when times get tough.   

Young Epilepsy, Lingfield, creating better lives for children and young people with epilepsy. 

Farms for City Children, a charity that enables children from disadvantaged communities to experience the adventure of working together on farms in the heart of the British countryside.   

Addington Fund, a UK farming charity that falls under the ‘Farming Help’ umbrella, helping farming families in their time of need.   

Surrey Docks Farm, a working city farm and charity that enables the whole community to learn about farming, food production and the natural environment.   

Cobtree Young Farmers, meeting every Saturday, members are between the ages of ten and 18 years old and help out with the feeding and cleaning of the Kent Life animals, as well as taking trips to other farms to learn about new farming systems and advances in agriculture.