Working together for farmers at Balmoral 2019

Following on the success of the previous three years, Rural Support is once again joining forces with the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) and the Farm Families Health Checks Programme to highlight important health and safety issues facing the farming community.

This joint stand will offer a wide range of information and advice for farmers and farming families to help protect the greatest asset in the farm business – the farmer.

Rural Support’s recent ‘Resilient Farmers’ Conference,’ which delivered a key message that farmers’ health and building resilience within our farming community is the responsibility of everyone including government and statutory agencies, key stakeholders within the agricultural industry and farmers themselves. Following on from this conference, at this year’s show Rural Support will be continuing this theme of building resilience and will focus on highlighting how we as individuals, businesses and agencies can help those in the farming community who are struggling to cope with the pressures of farming. Rural Support will be asking representatives of those businesses and agencies and also visitors to the show to save its freephone helpline number 0800 138 1678 to their mobile phones.

Rural Support Chief Executive, Jude McCann said: ‘Due to the challenges and pressures of farming, farmers can sometimes be more susceptible to poor health and wellbeing. Many farmers are under significant pressure due to financial issues and debt problems, TB outbreaks, succession planning issues and increasing bureaucracy. At this year’s show we will again be promoting the need to look after our mental and physical health but also that we need to be aware of those individuals within our community, our workplace and even our own families who may not be coping with the pressures of farming. The onus is on us to assist and support those individuals to seek appropriate help. Even as you read this article – I ask that any individual who lives or works in the countryside, if you’re in contact with farmers or even if you have an interest in farming to please save Rural Support’s freephone helpline number 0800 138 1678 to your mobile phone. This means that you will have it to hand at all times should the need to contact us ever arise. It is vital that we start to build a community of support, a community where our farmers and farm families are resilient and one way of doing this is to recognise when we or someone we know isn’t coping with the pressures we are faced with and to seek help, whether that be for ourselves or encouraging others to do so.’

Rural Support will also be providing information on its ongoing services at the Balmoral Show which help to address issues that can cause added pressure for farmers, including:

  • stress and anxiety associated with increasing levels of debt;
  • farming paperwork;
  • physical and mental health concerns and
  • succession planning

The Balmoral Show runs from 15th to the 18th May 2019 at Balmoral Park, situated at Maze Long Kesh – off the M1, close to Lisburn. The HSENI/Farm Families Health Checks Programme/Rural Support will be at stand C67. Please call at the Rural Support stand to chat with our volunteers, mentors and staff members

For more information about Rural Support please contact the helpline on: 0800 138 1678 or visit: www.ruralsupport.org.uk or follow us on Twitter: @RuralSupport