Rural people for rural people
The 14 RSTs around the country are independent charitable trusts.
They agreed the formation of the National Council in 2017 to represent them nationally.
Rural Support Trusts operate independently in their areas, staffed by local people who really know their local communities.
All Trusts have trained facilitators who can assist rural people with a range of issues. The facilitators are all local people who know the area and the farming or growing industries, and much of their work is helping sometimes isolated rural communities keep connected and build morale when the going is tough.
The National Council provides a single point of contact for other national organisations and the Government, and helps the different regions share resources and experience.
The Trusts and National Council work closely with MPI, which provides partial funding, along with their own fundraising work.
About Rural Support Trusts
- Rural Support Trusts provide free and confidential assistance to farmers and growers facing challenges; climate, financial or personal. They are well-placed to point people in the right direction for further advice and help.
- Some Rural Support Trusts have been around since the 1980s to provide support on hardship or assistance in adverse events, such as the Otago RST. Others, like Taranaki, have been set up out of Federated Farmers. A number of Trusts, such as Northland, were formed or strengthened with (then) MAF’s assistance after the On-Farm Adverse Events Recovery Framework came into effect in 2007.
- Government has recently provided extra funding to Rural Support Trusts to improve access to mental health support in the rural community. Coordinators have been trained to recognise and manage signs of depression or extreme stress, and are connected to rural health professionals.
- Call 0800 RURAL HELP - for a confidential chat about you, your business, the weather, your finances; or a neighbour, partner, friend, family member, or worker.