FARMERS whose livelihoods have been affected by the foot-and-mouth outbreak are to receive help.

The County Durham Foundation has set up an emergency relief fund, which will support farmers with grants, counselling and advice services.

Grants will be distributed quickly and the foundation will work with local people and voluntary organisations to identify which areas need most support.

Sir Paul Nicholson, foundation chairman, said: "It is important we rally round our local communities in their time of crisis, and the County Durham Foundation is ideally placed to achieve a fast and effective response."

Anyone who would like to support the emergency relief fund should send donations to County Durham Foundation, Jordan House, Finchale Road, Durham, DH1 5HL or telephone 0191-383 0055 for more information