Striding out to make a difference for mental health awareness

This press release was issued by Kendalls PR and Marketing and is being republished by FCN.

Mental health at the forefront as animal feed companies donate miles for money in 5,000-mile charity push.

Addressing growing concerns around mental health awareness within the farming community, heightened further through the challenges of Covid-19, team members at animal feed businesses ABN and KW Alternative Feeds are striding out to make a difference, while helping to raise funds for farming charity, the Farming Community Network (FCN).

Simon Heath

Combining the opportunity to enjoy daily exercise allowances while blowing away the cobwebs of the early months of 2021, ABN and KW team members have been taking to foot to cover a 5000 mile virtual walk between all KW and ABN sites, while donating £1 for every mile walked, in a joint Connect & Care initiative.

As part of the initiative, ABN and KW have also provided Q&A sessions for team members with a mental health first aider, helping to further understand the importance of mental health within the workplace and outside.

“Now more than ever, it is vitally important that we support the mental wellbeing of everyone in our agricultural industry who have done so much to keep Britain fed,” says Simon Heath, managing director of AB Agri’s Compound Feed Business.

Farming has long been associated with concerns around mental health, with isolation often intrinsically linked to the nature of a rural industry, where daily human contact can be limited.

This is why ABN and KW turned to FCN when selecting a recipient to benefit from their fund-raising efforts.

FCN is a voluntary organisation and charity that supports farmers and families within the farming community through difficult times. It provides support on personal and business-related issues, through a network of more than 400 volunteers across England and Wales. It also runs a confidential national helpline (03000 111 999) and e-helpline (help@fcn.org.uk).

FCN has seen an increase in the percentage of calls to its helpline over the past year that contain a mental health component, such as stress or anxiety.

Alex Phillimore, Marketing and Communications Manager with FCN, said: “FCN welcomes this fundraising initiative during this challenging time for those living and working in farming communities. With heightened feelings of isolation due to Covid-19 restrictions, projects that help to raise awareness, provide mental health training and encourage people to come together as a community can make a positive impact.

“Many farmers will need support in the coming months and years in adapting to change and planning ahead. Our FarmWell website (farmwell.org.uk) is a great, free resource to support business resilience and personal wellbeing. FCN is here to listen, support and connect those in need in the farming community with appropriate help.”

With the farming and agricultural sector having taken on the twin challenges of a global pandemic and the changes driven by Brexit, it is crucial the people that have provided such a solid foundation for the country, also receive the support they need.

“As an industry, it is important we need to be looking after each other during these challenging times. We truly value the work of FCN in helping to provide this network of support, and hope our donations will make an important difference for their work,” concludes Mr Heath.

ENDS

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