FOR 20 years, a group of fundraisers in Clwyd have been raising money for farming people in financial hardship.

The Clwyd committee of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) initially came together in Wrexham in 1997.

That was the year the UK last won the Eurovision Song Contest, Dolly the sheep was cloned and the Welsh devolution referendum took place.

At the first meeting Trebor Roberts, then an RABI trustee, acted as chairman until John Mainwaring was elected as the first committee chair.

John James Jones was elected vice-chairman, with Muriel Morris as secretary and the treasurer was Meirion Roberts.

The first fundraising event was a lunch at the home of the chairman and tickets were sold for £10 apiece.

The committee grew quickly and won RABI’s Sam Taylor Cup in recognition of its early efforts.

Today, the Clwyd committee has more than 20 members and hosts a number of regular fundraising events, including an afternoon tea and a carol service at Ruthin Livestock Market.

Members also man a stand each year at the Denbigh and Flint Show.

Earlier this year, a reunion was held for members past and present.

During this occasion, Muriel Morris and Rob Jones were both presented with certificates to commemorate 20 years of service.

RABI is a farming welfare charity that operates throughout England and Wales, helping working farmers, farmworkers and their families who rely on farming for their main source of income.

Help can also be given to retired farmers, farmworkers and their dependants, who have spent at least 10 years in the industry.

RABI’s regional manager for North Wales Becky Davies said: “We’ve got some fantastic fundraisers in Clwyd who have been making a difference in their community for two decades.

“Last year, RABI gave out more than £22,000 in Clwyd and I’d urge anyone from the farming sector, who is struggling, to be brave, pick up the phone and call our freephone helpline on 0808 281 9490.

“One call could help you get things back on track.”

The Clwyd committee is organising a China-themed afternoon tea to mark its 20-year anniversary on Saturday, August 5.

The event will be held at the Flint home of RABI supporter Carol Stephenson. Tickets cost £5 and are available from Carol Stephenson on 01352 732374 or Becky Davies on 07730 765377.

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