Launch of RIWAS Rural Careers Fund

25 October 2013

To coincide with the rejuvenation of the Royal Isle of Wight County Show the Royal Isle of Wight Agricultural Society (RIWAS) has today (23rd April) announced the re-launch of its support for young people wishing to enter or work in land based industries on the Island.

Over the last 9 years the RIWAS has awarded just under £25,000 in educational bursaries and is now looking to expand this support further. With the assistance of Country Land and Business Association, Isle of Wight Council, National Farmers Union and Natural Enterprise, the RIWAS has been able to extend its educational fund to include the creation of a new Scholarship category to operate alongside the existing bursary awards.

Danny Fisher, Chairman of RIWAS said: "We are a membership led organisation supporting Island agriculture and associated land based rural industries. It is because of our expanding membership, support from our partners and the growing success of the Royal Isle of Wight County Show that we have been able to re-launch RIWAS Rural Careers Fund. This is an important day for the Society".

Belinda Walters, RIWAS Educational Committee Chairman added: "A vibrant rural sector needs good people working in it and the RIWAS intends to play its part in promoting and supporting rural careers. We are delighted to be able to re-launch the Society's educational programme to include the creation of Scholarships".

"In 2013 it is our intention to award a minimum of 2 scholarships so we would invite any would-be applicants to come forward. We are also looking for rural businesses and organisations to become involved by sponsoring the fund to allow us to support more and more young people to enter the sector with good skills and qualifications".

The annual Royal Isle of Wight County Show is operated by RIWAS and underpins the ability of the Society to provide the Rural Careers Fund.

Amy Willcock, Chair of the RIWAS County Show committee commented: "The Society's ability to re-launch and extend to its Rural Careers Fund is directly linked to the success of the Royal Isle of Wight County Show. It is great to see all the hard work which is going into re-establishing the show delivering real benefits to the sector.

We are confident that the 2013 Show on 29th June will build on last year's successful show. We would encourage everyone on the Island to either take part or come along and enjoy a great day out".

Anyone interested in the Rural Careers Fund or becoming a member of the RIWAS should contact:

RIWAS Office
0845 226 9098
www.riwas.org.uk

NOTES:

The Royal Isle of Wight Agricultural Society (RIWAS)

The Royal Isle of Wight Agricultural Society (RIWAS) is a member led registered charity that works to:

• Support Island agriculture and rural industries and the conservation of the natural environment
• Raise awareness and promote understanding of rural issues to all Island residents
• Offer financial support to help Island students to further their studies in agriculture, the natural environment and related subjects.

It owns the County Showground at Northwood which is available for hire.

The Royal Isle of Wight County Show

The Royal Isle of Wight County Show (RIWCS) is operated by RIWAS and underpins the ability of the Charity to carry out its wider objectives. The RIWCS aims to:

- be a platform to promote all things rural to general public

- support agriculture and the natural environment

- support rural businesses

- pioneer new ideas

- bring Town and Country together

- generate surpluses to support the activities of RIWAS

After a number of years in decline the 2012 show was the first show under a three year development plan.

In 2012 the focus was to re-establish many of the core features associated with a County Show and in line with the objects of the Society the heart of the Show will always be agricultural, rural industries, activities and pursuits. The next step is to extend the County Show's profile to the mainland, attracting new competitors and visitors. The aim is to ultimately deliver greater benefit to the Island's rural businesses.