England’s first farming health hub to open in Cornwall

The aim of the new hub is to offer support and signposting in three key areas
The aim of the new hub is to offer support and signposting in three key areas

A new hub to offer support to farmers in three key areas - physical, mental and business - is in development in Cornwall.

In an England first, the new Farming Health Hub initiative will provide the local farming community with much-needed support.

The hub will build a partnership where private, public and voluntary sector organisations can work together to provide advice to farmers and their families.

The aim of it is to offer support and signposting in three key areas: physical health, mental health, and business health.

It comes as statistics show that one in four people will suffer a mental health issue in their lifetime, with agriculture carrying one of the highest rates of suicide.

The hub will set up in local halls, bringing the information to the doorstep of the farming community.

A number of organisations have liaised with the idea, including farming charity RABI, the Prince’s Countryside Fund and the NFU.

Martin Howlett, a mixed livestock farmer and chairman of RABI's Cornwall committee, said: “Life within the vast majority of family farms revolves around the day-to-day routine of tending stock, seasonal periods of calving and lambing, plus the harvesting of crops – all physical and demanding work.

“Financial impacts of markets, weather and disease threats, each add to the challenges of cash flow within the farm business.”

He added: “But it is so often to the detriment of health and wellbeing of each and any member of the family team, that can so easily jeopardise the whole farm business. Having access to a Farming Health Hub here in Cornwall is most welcome and ultimately a lifeline for agriculture.”