A FARMING benevolent society had cause for double celebrations at its Spring Party held in the gardens of Tissington Hall.
More than £7,500 was raised for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) after supporters and local businesses were invited by Sir Richard FitzHerbert to host a party at the hall.
It was a double celebration for the local RABI charity fund-raising group who had organised the occasion, having been awarded a national trophy for the most progressive committee with a 302% increase in funds raised last year.
Guests, who had paid £20 for tickets, were treated to drinks, canapés and regional produce with amusing entertainment from Buxton Young Farmers' Club.
There was even an artist on hand to sketch caricatures for guests.
This was followed by an auction of six lots, including a day's shooting, a Massey Ferguson pedal tractor and stunning floral display, raising a total of £2,780.
The top bid, which made £1,000, was for a fine dining experience for four people in London donated and hosted by Barclays bank.
Etwall farmer and Derbyshire RABI chairman Angela Sargent said: ''I can't thank everyone enough for their fantastic support.
"We have become a very strong committee and love to organise fun events that help to raise vital funds for RABI too.
"We were overwhelmed when we heard about our award, which we collected at the national AGM.
"We will continue to work hard to raise awareness and funds in the future," she added.
Milly Wastie, RABI East Midlands regional manager said: "In 2013 we distributed more than £48,000 in grants to farming families across Derbyshire to support them during tough times.
"This could be through the provision of food vouchers and heating oil, to mobility equipment and relief payments while a farmer recovers from an accident or illness. Last year we saw a 53% increase in support given to local families, which was partly due to the harsh winter and prolonged snowfall where we saw livestock farmers digging their animals from the drifts.
"The funds at Tissington Hall will really make a difference to improving the quality of farming people's lives. If you or somebody you know needs financial or practical assistance please give the confidential helpline a call on 0300 3037373 where we can help to signpost you to the help and support you need," she said.
Further information on the work of the benevolent charity is available online at www.rabi.org.uk