Health and Wellbeing
With our busy lives we can all be guilty of neglecting our own health and welfare. But to be able to deal with life’s challenges we need to be fit and healthy. So, in September 2019 the Rural Hub and Farmers’ Community Network (FCN) brought the health and welfare professionals to the farmer when we organised our first Fit for Farming health support event at Rugby Farmers’ Mart at Stoneleigh Park.
Working from the café we offered free head and shoulder massages to help relieve stress, organised for two registered nurses from Parish Nursing to take blood pressure readings and be available for private consultations, handed out the FCN booklet “Fit for Farming” free of charge and gave farmers the opportunity to speak informally to staff and volunteers from Farming Community Network, Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, Addington Fund and MacMillan Cancer Support.
By the end of the afternoon 46 farmers had had their blood pressure taken, 8 had been referred to their GP, 9 farmers had enjoyed a massage and 60 farmers had received information from MacMillan Cancer Support.
In January 2022 the Prince’s Countryside Fund awarded us a grant to organise 10 health and welfare events in 2022 and 2023, to be held at Rugby Livestock Mart, Worcester Livestock Mart and 2 village halls in the north of Warwickshire. Statistics collated from these events show:
297 people engaged with a nurse
108 people had a back and neck massage
25 farmers received a private consultation in a separate room.
42 farmers were advised to visit their GP because of hypertension or other medical conditions.
But as well as physical health support our events also provide the opportunity for farmers to talk to someone about any mental health issues. These events saw our nurses discuss subjects such as bereavement, depression, stress, sleep problems and financial worries.
** We will be back at Rugby Livestock Mart on Monday 4 September 2023 and Monday 20 November 2023 – so please come into the cafe to meet us **
“Thank you so much for today’s session. It came at a very useful time for me, and both Maya’s massage and the blood pressure reading have given me real help and insight into my current problems”.
Feedback comment received after our health event on 21 February 2022
HEALTH EVENTS AT MARKETS HELP REMOVE THE STIGMA FOR SEEKING ADVICE
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
Talking to someone who understands the issues you face can help make a positive difference. This is why the farming charity Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution offers in-person mental health counselling for farming people. This free service provides:
- Access to a professional counsellor within 24 hours
- No need for a clinical referral
- Support delivered by trained professionals who understand how tough farming can be
- Confidential support is available face-to-face at home, or in a place where you feel comfortable, by telephone or video conferencing
- Freely available to all farming people
Whenever you are ready to talk, call the freephone 24/7 helpline – 0800 188 4444. Alternatively, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you prefer to talk to someone online, RABI has formed a partnership with Qwell and Kooth to provide a free, confidential online community and counselling service for farmers and their families. The websites include dedicated farmer friendly content that addresses farming sector specific challenges such as loneliness, Brexit anxiety, animal health, crop disease and farm debt. Users will be able to anonymously access farmer specific and more generic content, as well as a wealth of discussion boards, case studies and messaging functions. There are many tools, such as a journal to record and track progress against personal goals, as well as tips and articles. In addition, all users can access one-to-one counselling support from BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) recognised, qualified professionals through a chat function. The practitioners are trained in different forms of counselling, allowing them to meet individual needs and preferences.
Visit the Qwell site if you are over 18 years old.
Visit the Kooth site if you are aged between 11 and 17 years.
FARMING ADVICE SERVICE PODCAST ON MENTAL HEALTH IN FARMING
The following podcast sees Laura Harpham from the Farming Advice Service being joined by Mark Thomas from FCN and Caroline Harrison from RABI to talk about the particular challenges for mental health in those who working in the farming industry. They talk about how attitudes are changing, how people approach taking care of their own and others’ wellbeing, and where they can get help if they need it. Caroline is a regular attendee of the Rural Hub health and wellbeing events at Rugby Livestock Mart and references these events in her talk.
THE FIVE A DAY CHALLENGE – KEEP YOURSELF SAFE
- Be honest with yourself and those around you.
- Talk openly about daily challenges and LISTEN.
- Care for yourself as well as you care for others.
- Contact that person you’ve been saying you should.
- Plan for the unexpected – make the right choices.
In loving memory of Warwickshire farmer, Leonard James Eadon, 14 February 1999 – 1 January 2022
FAMILIES AND FRIENDS THAT TALK TOGETHER – STAY TOGETHER
To read all about Len’s life and the fundraising events which are taking place in his memory, please visit this tribute page.
The funds raised are being donated to Papyrus Prevention of Young Suicide, Farming Community Network and The Farm Safety Foundation.
Health Support Organisations
MacMillan Cancer Support provides physical, financial and emotional support to families living with cancer to help you live life as fully as you can.
Prostate Cancer UK offers information and support on the most common cancer in males that affects 1 in 8 men.
Melanoma UK gives advice and information on skin cancer which is more common in outdoor occupations.
Arthritis Action offers hands-on, practical help for people with arthritis to improve their quality of life whilst living with the condition.
British Heart Foundation has a vision for a world free from heart and circulatory diseases.
British Lung Foundation is working to ensure that one day everyone will breath clean air with healthy lungs.
Dementia UK provides specialist information and advice about dementia.
SANE provides information, guidance and support to anyone affected by mental illness.
Turning Point Warwickshire support to empower individuals with a learning disability or autism
Farming Community Network is a voluntary organisation and charity that supports farmers and families within the farming community. They run a confidential, national helpline and e-helpline which is open every day of the year from 7am to 11pm and volunteers provide free, confidential, pastoral and practical support to anyone who seeks help.
Helpline number: 03000 111 999
Farmwell is FCN’s one stop resource to help you and your farm business stay strong and resilient.
The Prince’s Countryside Fund National Directory of Farm and Rural Support Groups lists 69 organisations (including Warwickshire Rural Hub) who can provide support, guidance and advice to farming and rural communities.
The Addington Fund is a registered farming charity whose main area of work is to provide homes for farming families living in England and Wales who have to leave the industry, through no fault of their own, and by doing so will lose their home. In times of emergency and where hardship prevails they may be able to assist with a grant towards certain business costs.
Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institute is farming’s oldest and largest charity which has been serving the farming community since 1860. They offer financial support, practical care and guidance to farming people of all ages, including farmers, farmworkers and dependants.
Perennial is the UK’s only charity dedicated to helping everyone who works in horticulture, and their families, when times get tough. They provide free and confidential advice, information and support to people working in, or retired from horticulture and their families.
The Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust provides grants, a telephone advice line and a jobs’ register for gamekeepers, stalkers, ghillies and their dependents.
Farm Safety Foundation is working to raise awareness of farm safety in order to challenge and change attitudes to farming safely and reduce the number of accidents and fatalities in the agricultural industry.
Focussed Farmers has a set of resources for farmers and agri-sector workers to develop better understanding of their minds and in turn the ability to train their minds to achieve their goals with less stress
AgRespect wants to promote the countryside as a vibrant, tolerant and welcoming place for everyone irrespective of gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.
The 2 Minute Farmer has identified 10 areas that contribute to a balanced farm life and has created a farm business self-assessment tool called the ‘Tractor Wheel of Life’. The tool is in development so farmers are encouraged to complete the wheel and provide feedback.
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The Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC
2 Church Street, Marton, Rugby CV23 9RL
Tel: 07780 159291
Company Registration No: 7026157
Registered office: 23 West Bar Street, Banbury, OX16 9SA
Warwickshire Rural Hub CIC Directors
Karen Ellis (Chair)
Marion Perrett Pearson
Environmental Steering Group Members
Zoe Bell (Chair)
Meehal Grint, Kings Seeds
Tom Newbery, Highfield Farm
Louis Phipps, Bragborough Estate
Zoe Burrows, Rookery Farm
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