New Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) boss Alicia Chivers has officially taken over from former chief executive Paul Burrows.

A qualified chartered accountant from a farming family, Ms. Chivers was previously the chief executive of the RAF Central Fund, a charity providing support to those serving in the Air Force.

Across her career, Ms. Chivers brings more than 15 years of senior charitable management experience to RABI.

She said: “I am delighted to be joining RABI 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 RABI 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 RABI as the charitable heart of the farming community and I am honoured to be a part of the team.

Ms. Chivers replaces Paul Burrows who has served as RABI’s chief executive for the past 12 years.

Having spent much of his time at the charity’s base in Oxfordshire, Burrows is looking forward to returning home to Devon and pursuing his passion of supporting Plymouth Argyle Football Club.

He said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with RABI 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.

RABI 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 forward.

"I am confident that Alicia will bring fresh new ideas to RABI to build on the foundations that are already in place. It could be a difficult winter for many in farming, but rest assured, RABI is here to help.”