Building Resilience in NI Farming Families – Supported by The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust

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Building Resilience in NI Farming Families – Supported by The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust

Building Resilience in NI Farming Families – Supported by The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust

June 25, 2024 Victoria Ross

As the farm support charity for Northen Ireland, Rural Support’s mission is to develop a sustainable and more resilient agri-sector. This mission has been recently helped by the announcement of vital funding from NFU Mutual Charitable Trust which will allow the charity to continue to provide professional mentoring for members of the farming community and help build sustainable farm businesses and create healthier lives for farmers and farm families.

The organisation has seen a surge in the number of calls to its confidential support line and the additional strain that is being placed on our farm businesses is significant. During the last quarter of 2023, Rural Support saw a 40% increase in calls to its support line compared to the year before. Furthermore, 20% of clients currently engaging with on farm business mentoring support require follow up with emotional and/or therapeutic support.

To help address these very real concerns Rural Support has been awarded £80,000 by the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust and will be delivering further support to the farming community across the province through their ‘Building Resilience in NI Farming Families’ initiative. This initiative will focus on expanding the outcomes of the “Supporting NI Farmers in Times of Rapid Change” survey from spring 2023. The results of the survey indicated that the main concerns for farming families are rising costs, farm inspections, succession, loneliness, workload, mental/physical health, and family relationships.

Kevin Doherty, Rural Support CEO said, “Rural Support are seeing a significant increase in demand for services and are working with farming families and the agri-sector to navigate these challenges. As the industry faces unprecedented uncertainly the need for tailored training and one-to-one mentoring and counselling is high. This new initiative will help to address this need and will enable Rural Support to provide additional support for farming families who have been experiencing a negative or stressful impact on their farm business and personal wellbeing. We are extremely grateful to the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust and value their continued support.”

Through the donation Rural Support will be offering targeted training to the agri sector, professional guidance and farm business mentoring and crisis counselling/trauma support for those families who are in increasing need of this type of intervention.

To learn more about Rural Support’s programmes and workshops visit the NI Farm Support Hub www.ruralsupport.org.uk or contact the Farm Support Unit via their free, confidential support line 0800 138 1678, which is available 9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday for more guidance and assistance.

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