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Farming communities

A view of Herefordshire's countryside

If you’re a farmer, you’ll know that farming isn’t just a job, it’s a way of life!  It can often be a wonderful way of life, but one which comes with ever-changing and demanding challenges, from dealing with fluctuating market prices, extreme weather conditions, European uncertainty and animal diseases to financial problems, family illnesses, relationship breakdowns and bereavement.

Farming can also be extremely lonely and isolating, with long hours spent out in the fields with little or no interaction with others.  This can often make the farming community more susceptible to poor mental health and wellbeing, including stress, anxiety and depression.  There’s also an increased risk of suicide amongst farmers (on average, one farmer a week dies by suicide in the UK), which is why it’s so important to talk to someone if you need additional support and take that first step towards improving your mental wellbeing.

There are a number of local and national organisations, which can provide information, advice and support on a wide range of issues for the farming community.

Local support

Borderlands Rural Chaplaincy offer confidential pastoral support to farmers, farming families and agricultural communities in Herefordshire.

Healthy Minds is a free and confidential service, run by Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, which can help if you're feeling stressed, anxious or depressed.

Herefordshire Mind provide a range of services and support for local people with mental health problems.

Herefordshire Rural Hub promote economic, social and environmental improvements in farming and rural businesses in Herefordshire and can offer information on a range of areas, including business development, funding opportunities and changes to rules and regulations.

Herefordshire Samaritans offer a telephone and drop in service, if you’re struggling and need help.  You can contact them on 116 123 (free) or 0330 094 5717 (local call charges apply).

Wye Valley Mediation offer private and legal aid funded family mediation to help farming families in Herefordshire.

National support

Addington Fund provide homes for farming families, who have to leave the industry through no fault of their own, which means losing their home.  In times of emergency, they may also be able to assist with grants towards certain business costs.

The Farming Community Network (FCN) support farmers and families within the farming community with a wide range of information and advice, covering farming, business, health and family matters.  They also offer a free helpline, which provides confidential, pastoral and practical support, including around issues such as stress, depression and isolation, to anyone who needs help on 03000 111 999.

The Farm Safety Foundation provide education and engagement programmes to help support the physical and mental wellbeing of young farmers, ensuring they’re safe and resilient.

FarmWell is run by the Farming Community Network and provides information and advice to help you and your farm business stay strong and resilient.

The Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust offer support for current and former gamekeepers, stalkers, ghillies and their families, including financial grants in times of hardship, ill health or retirement and educational grants to help young people further their gamekeeping careers.

The Gay Farmer Helpline is run by those who not only understand farming, but also what it’s like to be gay.  They offer confidential advice and support to help other gay farmers.

Kooth, in partnership with RABI (Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution), offer free, safe and anonymous online wellbeing support and counselling for people in the farming community.

Mind provide information, advice and support for anyone experiencing a mental health problem.

The NFU champions British agriculture and horticulture for a stable and sustainable future for British farmers.  It also offers information and advice on a wide range of areas, including health and safety, tenant farming, training and rural crime.

Perennial provide free and confidential advice, support and financial assistance to people of all ages working in or retired from the horticultural industry.

The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) offer financial support, practical care and guidance to farming people of all ages, including farmers, farmworkers and dependants.  They also provide a free helpline on 0808 281 9490.

Samaritans provide support, information and someone to talk to 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  They can be contacted on 116 123 or