UK potato supply chain specialist, AKP Group, has announced that it will sponsor the ‘Take One a Day’ photography project and exhibition, which kicks off this weekend.

The Take One a Day photo exhibition will be available to view at Sprout Yard Park Gallery, Louth, Lincolnshire, from this Sunday (October 8) until Saturday, October 14.

The exhibition also coincides with World Mental Health Day on October 10.

The project, focused on well-being in the farming industry, is promoting finding positivity in your surroundings and “discovering something beautiful everyday”.

Managing director of AKP Group, Richard Arundel, said: “We’re driven by people, and as partners to farmers and growers across the country, we are no strangers to the prevalent mental health challenges within farming.

“It can be an isolating and lonely industry at times, and we are extremely proud to be supporting and championing this impactful exhibition and all that it stands for.”

Take One a Day

Source: Take One a Day

Take One a Day was created by photographer Paul Gutherson in November 2020, after he unexpectedly discovered a person who had died by suicide during a morning dog walk.

Afterwards, Gutherson began to ‘Take One a Day’ – one photograph every day to “rediscover the beauty of the Lincolnshire landscape”.

“Sometimes the photograph itself is not that important. It is the purposeful act of seeking something beautiful,” he said.

“Shutting out negative self-talk through the discipline of looking, especially on difficult days, is what becomes important.”

Gutherson’s exhibition will be supported by photographic artist and Samaritans volunteer Richard Ansett.

“‘It is a genuine privilege to be invited to contribute to Paul’s exhibition. I have been so warmly welcomed by many people who it turns out I share a great deal with,” Ansett said.

“In this exhibition, we have all tried to make sense of the terrible loss of life of an unknown woman. In her darkest moment, she has brought us together.

“I hope that this memorialisation reminds others in their moment of despair that people do care.”

Suicides in farming

“Suicide rates have risen in rural areas since 2016. Lincolnshire has a large farming community, responsible for £2 billion of the UK’s agricultural output, but mental health support is spread thinly,” AKP Group said.

“The severity of the mental health crisis within the farming sector is highlighted by the alarming statistic that more lives are lost to suicide each year, than to fatal farm accidents.”

According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), there were 36 suicides recorded in England and Wales among those working in the farming and agricultural industry in 2021.

Last month, the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) reported that three people in the UK farming and agricultural industry die by suicide every week.

BACP fears that suicide rates in rural communities across the UK will rise due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Its chief executive, Anna Daroy, said that even before the cost-of-living crisis, male farm workers were three times more likely to take their own lives than the national male average.

The BACP said the UK government’s mental health supports for rural communities are not enough as “much more is needed to recognise the on-going impacts of the cost-of-living crisis alongside other factors such as Covid-19, Brexit, the war in Ukraine, farm succession, and labour shortages”.

“We know that the cost-of-living crisis will have a profoundly damaging and long-lasting effect on the mental health of farmers and those living in rural communities who already experience a unique set of challenging circumstances, unless the government acts now and invests more in counselling and psychotherapy support,” Daroy said.

“Even before the cost-of-living crisis, male farm workers are three times more likely to take their own lives than the male national average, and every week three people in the UK farming and agricultural industry die by suicide.

“Worryingly, we expect these figures to rise as the cost-of-living crisis exacerbates the longstanding challenges farmers already face – including higher living costs, known as the rural premium, increased rates of loneliness, and isolation.”