Rural insurer NFU Mutual has recently welcomed award-winning Devon dairy farmer Di Wastenage MBE as their new Regional Advisory Board Chair. As a passionate advocate for social causes, Di celebrates NFU Mutual's long-standing commitment to supporting rural communities in the South West and throughout the UK.

In 2022, NFU Mutual donated £3.25m to local and national charities. Reflecting on this support Di says:

"Since starting my position as RAB Chair, I can see that NFU Mutual is committed to supporting rural communities on the topics that matter most. It fills me with immense pride to witness the significant impact made across the South West of England through the NFU Mutual Agency Giving Fund, the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust, and the Farm Safety Foundation.”

Established in 1998, the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust promotes and supports charitable causes in agriculture and rural development across the UK. Since it was founded, the Trust has donated over £7m and made a positive difference in education, research, social welfare, and poverty relief.

One of the causes supported by the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust is Farms for City Children, a charity based in Exeter which enables children from urban-rural communities to experience working on the charity’s farm in the heart of the British countryside. The experience immerses children in a new world, away from everyday life.

Speaking about how the Trust’s donation has helped the charity, Donna Edmonds, Chief Executive Officer of Farms for City Children, said: “As children find their new normal post-pandemic, we find that our farms are needed now more than ever. NFU Mutual’s generous grant through the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust will enable less privileged children to experience the natural world through food, farming, and outdoor learning activities.”

In 2022, FareShare, the UK’s biggest food redistribution charity received a donation of £100,000 from the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust to support its work to fight food poverty and food waste. To support its partnership with the charity, NFU Mutual launched a campaign urging businesses across the food supply chain to donate edible food waste to the charity.

Somerset County Gazette:

NFU Mutual is proud to have several clients throughout the UK who partner with FareShare to combat food poverty. Among these is St Ewe Free Range Eggs, which collaborates closely with the charity on their Shell Out 2 Help Out initiative.

As a British food business, St. Ewe Free Range Eggs understand its responsibility to help support those in need. Following the success of their Shell Out 2 Help Out campaign, which saw the company donating eggs to local food banks throughout the pandemic, St. Ewe has partnered with Fareshare South West. This has allowed them to extend their reach and support across the Southwest. #SO2HO has become an integral part of the company, resulting in over 375,000 eggs being donated.

In 2022, NFU Mutual’s South West agency offices and branches nominated 56 local charities in the region to receive a combined donation of more than £287,000 from NFU Mutual’s £1.92m ‘Agency Giving Fund’.

One of the charities supported by the Fund last year was the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC). GWAAC brings the skill and expertise of a hospital emergency department to the patient wherever they are. Over the last two years, GWAAC were called to an average of one farming incident per month across the area the charity covers.

Philippa Walker, Supporter Engagement Coordinator for GWAAC, said: “Each mission costs around £2,000 to attend. That’s why we’re so grateful for the donations received from NFU Mutual branches in the region; they help fund our missions and purchase vital equipment and training.”

“NFU Mutual is uniquely positioned to understand the issues affecting our members and their communities and its charitable giving programmes have had a significant impact supporting charities in the South West of England,” Di adds.

To find out more about NFU Mutual’s responsible business programme, please visit