Scotland’s rural charity, RSABI, has launched a new multi-lingual helpline to improve its accessibility to seasonal migrant workers.

The charity, which was founded as the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution in 1897 but is now known simply as RSABI, ensures that support is available to all people involved in the Scottish agricultural industry.

The helpline provides an additional service that seasonal workers can use to get practical, emotional and, in some cases, financial support from a friendly voice in their own language.

RSABI is working with NFU Scotland and SAOS to promote the helpline to ensure that those who need it can access assistance.

Covid restrictions and post-Brexit visa requirements have made this season a difficult one for both farmers and their workers, and this can take a toll on well-being.

Nina Clancy, RSABI’s chief executive, explained why they have made this service available. She said: “This helpline has been put in place to reach out to the difficult to reach migrant workers.

Working away from home with language barriers can increase stress and anxiety for workers, in some cases magnifying the problems they are facing, and it is important that everyone in Scottish agriculture has an opportunity to receive support.”

NFU Scotland Horticulture Working Group chairman Iain Brown highlighted the importance of worker wellbeing and morale to horticultural businesses.

“Seasonal migrant workers are a vital asset to the Scottish horticulture sector and are a critical part of its success. Services that improve the mental wellbeing and morale of workers will have benefits for both the workers and for our members’ businesses," he said.

How to access the new service

The RSABI helpline can be reached on: 0300-111-4160. Alternatively, seasonal workers who need help can complete a ‘call back’ form here online. The helpline has a translation service.

The helpline opening hours are:

  • Weekday: 5:00pm to 8:00pm;
  • Weekend: 10:30am to 2:00pm.