Farming Health and Wellbeing Project Secures LEADER Funding

AN INNOVATIVE programme in Dumfries and Galloway that brings the farming community and key partner organisations together to tackle health and wellbeing concerns is to be part funded by the Scottish Government and the European Union LEADER 2014-2020 programme.

The award of £14,800 will enable the development of community-led initiatives to address the top concerns of the farming community over the next two years.

The top concerns identified, following over 200 conversations with individuals and groups through an on-line survey, included the impact of a farming way of life on mental health and wellbeing, isolation and loneliness, health and safety and men’s health awareness.

The Health and Wellbeing in the Farming Community Working Group chairman is Rupert Shaw MBE, who is also the National Farmers Union (NFU) Scotland regional chairman for Dumfries and Galloway, and he said: “We are thrilled to receive this critical funding from Dumfries and Galloway LEADER Programme.

“This project will make a real difference in addressing many of the health issues that have been identified in our farming community.”
Claire Thirlwall is Health and Wellbeing Specialist at DG Health and Wellbeing, and she said: “Through the conversations with the farming community, we recognise that there are a number of health inequalities facing the community.
“We are now planning various actions with partners and the community to address these such as improving knowledge on health and wellbeing services, mental health training, as well as health and safety advice and looking at ways to address isolation and loneliness with links to the Retired Farmers group.”

As well as NFUS, the working group has representatives from NHS Dumfries and Galloway, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Royal Highland Education Trust, Alzheimer Scotland, SRUC Barony and Scottish charity RSABI.