A new Farming Health Hub initiative to provide the farming community with vital support is in development in Cornwall.
Jon James originally came up with the idea of the hub.
He wanted to build a partnership where private, public and voluntary sector organisations can work together to provide advice to farmers and their families.
The aim of the hub is to offer support and signposting in three key areas: physical health, mental health, and business health. The hub will set up in local halls, bringing the information right to the doorstep of the farming community.
Jon has been liaising with a number of organisations about the hub, including R.A.B.I, the Prince’s Countryside Fund, the NFU, Cornwall YFC, Exeter University, Cornwall’s Public Health team, NHS Kernow and GP’s, and the Cornwall Development Company.
Martin Howlett, a mixed livestock farmer and chairman of R.A.B.I’s Cornwall committee, said: “Life within the vast majority of family farms revolves around the day-to-day routine of tending stock, seasonal periods of calving and lambing, plus the harvesting of crops – all physical & demanding work.
"Financial impacts of markets, weather and disease threats, each add to the challenges of cash flow within the farm business.
“But it is so often to the detriment of health and wellbeing of each and any member of the family team, that can so easily jeopardise the whole farm business. Having access to a Farming Health Hub here in Cornwall is most welcome and ultimately a lifeline for agriculture.”
Chris Riddle, Secretary of the Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association and former R.A.B.I chairman, added: “Initiatives such as this are a very welcome added resource and source of reassurance and support to the farming community, many of whom work in often quite isolated situations where the pressures of modern farming and business life can, at times, be rather overwhelming.”
For more information about the Farming Health Hub, visit their website.