FARMING MATTERS: New leader for farming charity

Alicia Chivers, who takes over as CEO of R.A.B.I. this month (November)
Alicia Chivers, who takes over as CEO of R.A.B.I. this month (November)

Farming charity R.A.B.I. (The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution) has announced the appointment of Alicia Chivers as its new chief executive, taking over from Paul Burrows this month (November).

A qualified chartered accountant from a farming family, Alicia is currently CEO of the RAF Central Fund, a charity providing support to those serving in the RAF. She brings more than 15 years of senior charitable management experience to R.A.B.I.

Alicia said: “I am delighted to be joining R.A.B.I. and look forward to building on the fantastic work of Paul and the team. Farming faces some major challenges over the next couple of years but R.A.B.I. will continue to stand alongside the community, providing invaluable support to families suffering hardship, often through no fault of their own. Having grown up on and around farms, I see R.A.B.I. as the charitable heart of the farming community and I am honoured to be a part of the team.”

R.A.B.I provides grants of around £2m each year to people of all ages from the farming sector in financial need. Funding comes via public donations and money raised by county committees and community groups, businesses and fundraising staff, as well as legacies and investment income.

Alicia replaces Paul Burrows who has served as R.A.B.I’s chief executive for the past 12 years. Having spent much of his time at the charity’s base in Oxfordshire, Paul is looking forward to returning home to Devon.

He said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with R.A.B.I. and would like to thank everyone associated with the charity for the wonderful support and commitment to the cause. There are many uncertainties in farming at the moment, largely due to Brexit, but there are still exciting opportunities too.”

R.A.B.I. chairman, Malcolm Thomas MBE added: “Paul’s dedication over many years has been immense and I would personally like to thank him for everything he has done to move our organisation forwards.

“I am confident that Alicia will bring fresh new ideas to R.A.B.I. to build on the foundations that are already in place.

“It could be a difficult winter for many in farming, but rest assured, R.A.B.I. is here to help.”