Nuffield Farming has been awarded a grant to help deliver a programme offering mental health support to farming businesses in the UK.
The initiative will include a video series, mentorship programme, farm walk series, online webinar, newsletter, peer support networks and workshops.
Support will be given across the sector to those members of the farming community affected most by the hardships and isolation brought by this year’s challenges.
The programme will be delivered in partnership with Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust (NFST), the Farming Community Network (FCN) and Focussed Farmers.
“We are delighted that the Garfield Weston Foundation have chosen to provide funding for this important project,” said Mike Vacher, director of NFST.
“This year has been full of agricultural challenges like drought and flooding, as well as further stress and isolation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
"Our hope is that by using the Nuffield Farming name, we will be able to reach those who would otherwise not approach other organisations due to the stigma around mental health.”
The Farming Community Network will produce a series of videos to help the farming community plan ahead for the future during this period of immense change.
These will consist of a mix of in-depth interviews and shorter clips with farmers discussing topical subjects such as planning for Brexit, succession and diversification.
“A lack of medium and long-term planning, and stresses caused by this, are common themes in many calls presenting to FCN’s Helpline every year,” said Jude McCann, FCN CEO.
“With 2020 causing great disruption for many, and post-Brexit rural policy likely to affect our industry in significant ways for years to come, FCN is playing a key role in helping to support the farming community in preparing for the future and planning ahead.
"We are delighted to be working with the Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust and Focussed Farmers in delivering this important partnership and supporting farmers’ business and mental resilience.”
Focussed Farmers will provide online workshops, discussion groups and an online social network for farmers to increase focus, productivity and well-being.
This programme will explore real-life examples of how mindfulness practice and goal setting have helped farmers achieve personal and business growth, as well as provide strategies and tools for participants to take away and utilise themselves.