What to expect when you call FCN’s helpline

Don’t put off ringing FCN

It can be daunting to ring a helpline for the first time and for some people this can become a blocker to seeking support. The earlier you connect with FCN, the more help we can be, and experience shows that early contact, before problems escalate, can result in better outcomes. If you feel nervous, or embarrassed – please don’t. We don’t judge and our volunteers are used to hearing about all sorts of problems. And of course, your call will be treated in confidence, and you will have the option to speak to someone outside your local area if you prefer. We can also arrange for a follow-up conversation with a Welsh speaker.

Contact FCN’s Helpline: dial 03000 111 999 or email help@fcn.org.uk

You can ring us between 7am and 11pm every day of the week – or some people find it preferable to write down their concerns and email us in the first instance.

If you ring us, you will initially hear a message that confirms you are through to FCN and the system will then transfer you direct to one of our volunteers on duty.

Should they be busy on other calls (or during the hours of 11pm to 7am), you have an option to leave us a voicemail and we will call you back during helpline hours – or transfer immediately to The Samaritans.

Connect with one of our farming volunteers – be heard and understood

You will be connected with one of our trained and experienced helpline volunteers who are all from farming/rural backgrounds and understand the issues that people in our industry face. Our volunteers range in age from 21 to 95, which brings a wealth of life and farming experience. We always try and connect you with someone who has knowledge and skills relevant to your particular situation.

People call us about a wide range of things – financial worries, family relationships, difficulties with TB, concerns about the future, problems with tenancies, RPA payments, physical health, and a whole host of other factors that cause stress and impact on mental wellbeing. The emphasis during the call will be to LISTEN and understand, SUPPORT you by helping you consider your options and, if you wish, CONNECT you with a local FCN volunteer who will make contact with you to continue the conversation.

The next step is your choice

Sometimes people just want someone to listen – to download things that are worrying them and relieve the pressure of stress and anxiety. Our helpline volunteer will give you all the time you need and just talking may help you to feel better. It’s up to you if you would like to be connected with some local support and we only pass your details on if you give us permission to do so. If you choose to be referred to local FCN support, someone will aim to contact you within 24-36 hours. They will offer to continue the conversation on the phone or in person. Ongoing support might be considered, and your FCN contact will ‘walk with you’ as you take the next steps, respecting your privacy and maintaining confidentiality at all times.

We continue to be here for you

We will stay in touch for as long as you wish and you can contact your local FCN volunteer or ring our Helpline again at any time. When you feel that your concern has been addressed, or your circumstances improve, we will still be here for you should you need us.

Maybe you are worried about someone else

If you are concerned about a neighbour, colleague, family member – ring us and we can help you to start a conversation to either encourage the person to contact FCN themselves or give you their permission for us to get in touch direct.

FCN is here for everyone

Whatever your situation, whatever your background – FCN is here for you.

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