The national Farming Help charities have launched new awareness raising sessions for delivery from February 2022 – with a focus on stress management, succession and planning for the future of the farm business.
The sessions – which are supported by DEFRA and will initially be delivered online by representatives from the Farming Help charities in England- are informed by the knowledge and experience of the charities, who regularly hear directly from farmers about the key challenges they are experiencing.
The sessions are discussion-led and take a positive approach towards change, inviting audience participation and the sharing of experiences to benefit others.
Scenarios have been designed to get people thinking about how they would respond in a particular situation – including a difficult conversation around succession on the family farm and two farmers responding to change in drastically different ways.
The first sessions will take place online on the following dates and are targeted at farm groups, businesses and stakeholders across agriculture:
- 24 Feb (12-2pm)
- 25 Feb (12-2pm)
- 10 March (12-2pm)
- 11 March (12-2pm)
If you are interested in attending these sessions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book your free place.
Further information about the sessions is available here: https://fcn.org.uk/training-and-development/
Later in the year sessions will be delivered in person, with Covid precautions in mind.
Many cases that present to the Farming Help helpline (03000 111 999 – operated by FCN) are complex in nature and require a joined-up approach from the Farming Help charities.
Through close working and collaboration, the charities can provide support for practical and pastoral needs; forage, feed and bedding; housing and emergency relief; mental health and wellbeing; and training and development.
The Farming Community Network (FCN) provides practical and pastoral support to people across agriculture through its network of over 400 volunteers across England and Wales. Each year FCN helps approximately 6,000 people with a wide range of issues, including mental health, family relationships, animal disease and future planning.
Dr Jude McCann, Chair of Farming Help and CEO of The Farming Community Network, said: “We hope these awareness raising sessions, developed with the input of the Farming Help charities, will be of great value to people across agriculture. The sessions have been developed to support the farming community in spotting signs of stress, planning ahead and managing change, and include practical scenarios informed by real experiences of farming families. We hope these two-way conversations, inviting audience response and openness, will help promote positive discussions and a fresh perspective on change.”
Addington Fund helps farmers by providing retirement homes for retiring farmers and affordable rural housing for farming families as well as disaster relief in the form of animal feed or services to farmers in need across England and Wales. They also operate a fund to help farm workers and last year launched a young entrants scheme to encourage first generation farmers into agriculture.
Bill Young, Chief Executive of Addington Fund, said: “Working alongside other charities as part of Farming Help allows us to collaborate at a time when our industry really needs to come together as a community and show a united front. As well as delivering the Farming Help awareness sessions, this close working model allows us to provide greater support to farmers and farming families, particularly during times of crisis and emergency, while cutting costs and reducing duplication.”
Forage Aid coordinates the goodwill of the agricultural community to help UK livestock farms hit by extreme weather events and certain disease outbreaks. This help is often in the form of emergency forage and/or bedding delivered to wherever it is needed.
Andrew Ward MBE, Founder, Forage Aid, said: “Being part ofFarming Help allows us to consolidate our charitable efforts by working together on projects and ensuring farmers can access relevant support when required, particularly during times of emergency. Farmers helping farmers is our mantra, and our charities exist to help the farming community stay safe and well and find a positive way through their problems.”
Farming Help is supported by The Prince’s Countryside Fund.