This spring, four fantastic supporters of FCN will clock up 131 marathon miles between them to raise funds for our charity. It’s a huge distance that would take you from our charity founder’s farm at West Haddon in Northamptonshire, around Leicester and Nottingham, through the Peak District towards Sheffield, onwards to Leeds, and up to the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales.
We are extremely grateful to Charles Anyan, Annabel Richards, Daniel Pidgeon and Kate Lewin, who have made FCN their chosen charity for some very high profile and challenging events.
Charles, FCN Ambassador and Lincolnshire farmer, is really bumping up the miles covered with two full marathons. He completed the first in Manchester on 16th April with a personal best time, and will run again in Leeds for the Rob Burrow Marathon on 14th May.
Annabel, Daniel and Kate are all taking part in the TCS London Marathon on 23rd April.
Uniting all four runners is their determination to ensure farmers and farming families have access to good mental health support and someone to share their thoughts and concerns with.
Annabel’s close friend, Harvey Holehouse, tragically lost his life in a road traffic accident in September 2022. Harvey was an ambassador for Just Talk Agriculture, an organisation focused on raising awareness of mental health issues in agriculture and encouraging the farming community to keep talking.
Annabel, from Kent, says, “Harvey and I shared a love for farming, and running the London Marathon for him through FCN means everything to me, as I know he will be there with me every step of the way.”
Daniel, who lives in Somerset and grew up in a rural area, knows from experience what a difficult job farming can be, having seen family and friends face challenges big and small.
He says, “Everyone needs help from time to time, even if it’s just a phone call to have a chat and get things off your chest. The more money that can be raised, the more support FCN can offer.”
Kate works for an agricultural machinery supplier in Nottinghamshire, and says she sees the emotional wellbeing issues associated with the industry on a daily basis, which was a factor that influenced her decision to raise money for FCN.
She continues, “ A close family friend has also had a big struggle with his mental health. I have been told that FCN helped him massively, along with many others as well. I would like to do what I can to raise money for the charity so you can continue to support as many others as you possibly can.”
Kate suffers from a connective tissue disease, and running helps with the pain the condition brings. And the benefits of running on not only physical health, but also on mental health, are something else all the runners agree on.
Charles only started running at the beginning of the first Covid-19 lockdown, and has since completed numerous half and full marathons, as well as losing 7 stone in weight.
“Mentally and physically I’m in a much better place. It’s almost as if I’ve had a full reset”, he says.
Getting out into the countryside, creating some headspace, reducing the stresses of day-to-day life, and boosting physical energy, are all things our runners cite as the advantages of a long run. As Annabel says, “I can always rely on running to lift my spirits!”.
So, in supporting FCN, they are also taking care of their own mental well-being. Our emotional health can be impacted negatively by so many experiences – bereavement, illness, financial problems, damaged relationships, the list goes on. These fantastic runners are a great example of the benefits of understanding the importance of looking after your own mental health, and then reaching out to others to support theirs. We wish them lots of luck!
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