Take care of yourselves and each other

Young NPA chair Wes Udall explains why the group is supporting an important farming charity at this difficult time for many people

This hasn’t been a normal year for any of us, and I am sure that I can speak for Jack Bosworth and Jon McKechnie when I say that this certainly isn’t how we envisaged our first year would go.

From a YNPA perspective, the planning for our summer tour, our meet up at the Pig and Poultry fair and the social media training we’d planned are now all on hold.

I recently chaired a steering group call where we discussed how we can still come out of this having set ourselves up for the years ahead. With events looking less likely to go ahead, I am certainly hopeful that we will be able to provide a YNPA National towards the end of the year that will be the social event we all need!

Our strategy is also in the final stages of being signed off by the NPA board so I can guarantee that next year YNPA will be back with a bang.

One of the pillars of the new YNPA strategy is to give back to the agricultural industry that we, as young people, receive a lot of support from.

Sometimes, no matter how great your network of friends and family, the pressures of life at the moment can be too much for some people.

Sadly, it is reported that during the COVID-19 pandemic the number of suicides is only likely to increase. We all must remember that, whoever you are, man, woman or child, it is OK not to be OK and there are people out there to call and talk through your concerns.

The current COVID-19 crisis can present a huge mixture of emotions to many people. Whether you are a producer or allied industry member, we all have new challenges facing us now, compared with just a few months ago. There may also be many challenges around the corner which, despite feeling secure, can throw our lives off course.

It’s important to have a network of support during this uncertain time

The time spent walking our dog allows my girlfriend and I (pictured) to get things off our chest, whether that is about our fears for the future or whose turn it is to make dinner.

It is for these reasons that we, as the Steering group, have committed to supporting the Farming Community Network.

The FCN runs a confidential, national helpline which is open every day of the year from 7am to 11pm. Volunteers provide free, confidential, pastoral and practical support to anyone, with over 6,000 people a year benefiting from FCN’s support.

If you feel like you need to get in touch anonymously with someone please contact them (more on the specifics of our support for this charity coming soon).

I hope this situation will be the only such experience in our lives, but what we learn from it should last a life time. I hope that soon we will all able to have these conversations in person but for now from my household to yours, take care of yourselves and each other.

FCN number: 01788 510 866

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