As part of a series of articles shedding light on FCN volunteers, pastoral volunteer Morgan Williams explains his background in agriculture, the impact of lockdown and his motivations behind becoming an FCN volunteer.
Now a rural chartered surveyor running his business from the family farm, Morgan Williams (pictured) has “spent his entire life in agriculture” and is using that knowledge to give back to the farming community by volunteering with FCN in Wales. He is part of a multi-generational family of farmers on both sides, and grew up living on the family farm, where he now runs his business.
As a rural surveyor, Morgan’s favourite part of the job is the interaction he typically gets with different farmers – which has sadly been made more challenging this year due to lockdown. Interactions being online has, according to Morgan, “highlighted that rural broadband is a major issue, especially throughout Mid-Wales”. This has made contacting clients difficult, especially when the phone signal is also poor.
“I like the interaction with a number of different farmers who all farm very differently and all have very different set-ups; I find that side of the job the most fascinating”, says Morgan. This is part of why he has been motivated to volunteer with FCN, as he works with all types of different farmers and people. Morgan first started fundraising for FCN in 2017, and a major motivation behind this was wanting to support the Helpline, which he described as “fantastic”.
After learning more about FCN through his fundraising efforts, Morgan became a volunteer. Once he’d set up his own surveyor business, he felt that he had the “freedom and flexibility to volunteer”. One of the best things about volunteering for Morgan, he says, is “helping people see the wood from the trees and look at things from a different perspective”. Sometimes farm life can become overwhelming, and having someone on hand to talk to can make a big and positive difference.
Morgan also said that one of the most rewarding parts of being an FCN volunteer is “seeing a positive resolution”. Often, Morgan says, problems such as a farm inspection seem bigger than they are, and as a volunteer helping share the load, to see it come back with no problems is one of the best parts of the role. Morgan enjoys “seeing the smile come back into their life” after helping someone, and this makes him want to continue to volunteer and help people.
“If anybody is struggling, contacting FCN means that they can speak to somebody who is like-minded,” says Morgan. He believes that often problems in the agricultural sector can feel isolating, as others might not understand, but talking to a volunteer who knows the sector and business can be hugely helpful. “If there is an issue, you’ll be amazed that when you ring up you won’t be the first with that issue and you won’t be the last,” he adds.
Although Morgan is not able to provide pastoral support face-to-face at the moment, he has been able to continue helping people through having telephone conversations, and he looks forward to when he can get back on farms to continue to support the agricultural community.
Learn more about volunteering with FCN and giving something back to the farming community. Visit: https://fcn.org.uk/volunteering-for-fcn/