Conwy Cynhaliol approved a cooperation project with Farming Community Network (FCN) to produce a bilingual booklet that would target farmers who were working in isolation.

The bilingual booklet which will be distributed to every farm holding in Conwy, will aim to improve health, wellbeing and self-esteem of farmers living in the rural areas of Conwy.

Farmers and farming families across the UK are highly susceptible to poor mental wellbeing, including stress, anxiety and depression.

Meira Woosnam, rural enabling officer for Conwy Cynhaliol who led on the project said, “Having seen the very good work that Farming Community Network have done in the UK, we felt it important that we did something locally in Conwy to support our agricultural sector”.

“Health and wellbeing is becoming more and more apparent in the media with the struggles of day to day life we decided to work in partnership with FCN and develop the book”.

Farming Community Network (FCN) is a voluntary organisation and charity that supports farmers and families within the farming community through difficult times.

They have a network of over 400 volunteers across England and Wales, many of whom are involved in farming, or have close links with agriculture, and therefore have a great understanding of the issues farm workers and farming families regularly face.

The volunteers “walk with” the members and help them find a positive way through their problems – for as long as it is needed.

Goronwy Edwards, chair of the Conwy Local Action Group (CLAG) said, “It has been a privilege to be part of this project, farming is not just a job – it’s a way of life. It can also be a very isolating and lonely occupation, with farm workers often spending long hours out in the field with little or no form of social interaction”.

“It’s an inherently risky and volatile industry to work in with farmers regularly forced to deal with issues on the farm that are beyond their control. We the CLAG, hope this booklet can help signpost farmers to help and let them know that there is always someone that is ready to help”.

Dafydd Jones of the FUW said, “As an industry there are dark and difficult times, and often sharing the worry and distress with someone else is one step forward to overcome the barriers and deal with it”.

“With the help of this booklet which has extensive knowledge of where to get advice and how to try to cope with a matter whether it’s personal, work or health, I hope it will benefit many”.

“As the Farmers Union of Wales we are very supportive and very grateful to the Conwy Local Action Group for their commitment to the rural community in Conwy by publishing the Fit for farming booklet”.

The “Fit for Farming” booklets will be distributed to all farm holdings in Conwy County and will also be shared with relevant organisations.

This project received funding through LEADER, which is part of the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

For more information on the booklet or to request a copy, please contact a members of the team on 01492 576672 or email conwylocalactiongroup@conwy.gov.uk.