Farming Health Hub issues new leaflet to help struggling farmers cope

As farmers and those living and working in rural areas struggle with the impact of the Covid-19, Cornwall’s Farming Health Hub has set out signposting people to where they can go for help and advice.

The leaflet is aimed at those struggling with their physical, mental and business health.

Farming Health Hub

Set up just over 12 months ago, in partnership with organisations from the private, public and voluntary sectors, the Farming Health Hub offers a single source of business, physical and mental health support for farmers and their families.

The decision to extend the restrictions for at least a further three weeks has led to growing fears for the physical and mental health and well-being of people in farming and rural communities.

Lockdown restrictions have already reportedly had a significant impact on the sale and distribution of local produce, including milk, and the availability of farmworkers to pick seasonal crops.

Jon James, chief executive of the Farming Health Hub, said: “While people working in the agricultural sector can access some of the business support measures already announced by the Government, we know that many are struggling to understand and access the advice about what might be available to them.

This is adding to the stress and pressures farmers and their families are under which is, in turn, affecting their physical and mental health and well-being.

“With so many people in rural communities across Cornwall dependent on farming for their income, it is vital that organisations pull together to support and guide the farming community.

“We have worked with people across the private, public and voluntary sector to develop this document which contains the latest information about the support which is currently available, as well as practical advice on how people can protect their physical and mental health.

“We recognise that a number of organisations are currently calling on the Government to increase the level of support for rural and farming communities and will provide further updates highlighting any changes.”

Hub membership

Membership of the hub includes a wide range of organisations, including auctioneers, banks and insurance companies and local churches, to name a few.

“Our key concern is that the farming community are able to access any support they need during this current situation and we are aware that getting this type of information to the right people is a challenge,” added Ruth Goldstein, chair of the Farming Health Hub.

One of the organisations involved in the creation of the leaflet is the Farming Community Network. Cornwall FCN co-ordinator Sue Gillbard said the network is still taking cases which are being managed over the phone during the crisis.

There is lots of useful information on the FarmWell page of our website and we also have a Helpline which is open from 7:00am until 11:00pm if farmers want someone to talk to. The number is: 03000-111-999.

“We recognise that this is a very difficult time for the farming community,” she said.

FarmWell’s resources on personal and business resilience during the Covid-19 pandemic can be found here.