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More farmers are asking for help
CALLS to a farming charity’s helpline have more than doubled because of financial problems forcing farmers to ask for help.
The Farming Community Network (FCN) reports that calls to its helpline more than doubled over the first six months of this year.
Volunteers at the charity took approximately 760 calls in the first half of 2013 compared with 725 calls over the whole of last year.
Another worrying fact is that more calls this year have come directly from farmers, rather than being case referrals. From January to June, 62 per cent of cases were initiated by a call to the helpline, compared with 44 per cent in 2012.
FCN spokesman Peter Riley said: “Many of the issues farmers are having in 2013 stem from financial problems as a result of poor weather last year and during the first half of this year. The majority of the calls this year have started with financial problems which have gone on to become social and family problems. Financial difficulty causes a huge strain on family and other relationships.
“This year’s cases, involving 1,659 people so far, have been more complex and taken much longer to deal with. Volunteers are having to spend more time on each case, both on the telephone and visiting farms. Volunteers report that farmers and farming families are revealing more complex problems, which often stem from financial problems.”
FCN has around 300 volunteers across the country. Farmers or their families in need of support are urged to contact the helpline on 0845 367 9990. Anyone wishing to volunteer to help FCN should call 01788 510866 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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