The shearing shed at the Great Yorkshire Show (12-15 July) provided the perfect setting for the launch of the nationwide ‘Wool and Wellness’ campaign, organized by British Wool and national farming charity The Farming Community Network (FCN) to support farmers’ physical and mental health during the winter months.

Photo caption: L to R: FCN Yorkshire county group chaplain and Yorkshire Ag Soc honorary Chaplain Rev. Cannon Leslie Morley,  Bishop of Selby, Bishop of Whitby, CEO of British Wool Andrew Hogley, FCN Senior Partnerships Manager Georgina Lamb.

The Wool and Wellness campaign encourages members of the public and the farming community to take up the challenge of knitting a hat using wool, stitching in an FCN Helpline label (03000 111 999) – and then generously giving it to another person.

FCN and British Wool are asking people to share photos of their creations on social media using the hashtag #WoolAndWellness.

The initial batch of wool for the campaign has been generously provided by West Yorkshire Spinners, and the campaign is encouraging those taking part where possible to use yarn made from British wool.

The campaign hopes to raise awareness of the importance of good mental health in farming, encouraging people to keep the FCN Helpline number close to our heads in case they need to talk to someone during the winter months, which can be cold and challenging at times.

It also encourages people to support British farmers by using British wool and nurtures a sense of community and kindness amongst those taking part in the campaign.

Georgina Lamb, Senior Partnerships Manager with The Farming Community Network, said: “The Wool and Wellness campaign gets people to think about their physical wellbeing by wearing a hat to keep warm through chilly weather, as well as look after their mental wellbeing by keeping FCN’s contact details close by.

“The campaign also encourages everyone to take up a new hobby – for those who may never have tried knitting before, it’s a great way to destress! Importantly, the campaign also helps in supporting the farming community and recognizes their hard work, as well as utilizes an often overlooked element of our sheep industry – wool!”

Throughout the summer months FCN and British Wool will be supplying wool, FCN Helpline labels and knitting patterns at a range of events and agricultural shows to anyone who would like to take part in the campaign. 

A number of events and hat giveaways during National Wool Week (September 25th to October 2nd) will also help to promote the campaign.

This exciting new partnership has been inspired quite literally from a ball of wool which was knitted into a simple beanie hat by the Mayor of West Devon and FCN supporter Caroline Mott.

With the help of other keen knitters, Caroline produced 80 woolen hats complete with a tag containing the FCN Helpline details and distributed them to farmers at local auction marts. The venture captured the hearts of the community and the imagination of British Wool.

British Wool CEO Andrew Hogley said: “British Wool is proud to be working in partnership with FCN who provide essential support for the whole farming community. Looking after your mental and physical health is as important as keeping your head warm and there is no doubt that a hat made from British wool is a great way to do it.”

Full details on how to get involved can be found on the FCN website: https://fcn.org.uk/wool-and-wellness/

Updates will be provided via this webpage.

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