Farming charity sees alarming increase in calls for help

The Lincolnshire Rural Support Network (LRSN) which supports farming and horticultural communities has said it had seen a 90% increase to its helpline in a year – taking 171 calls in total in the last financial year.

Publishing its annual report, LRSN says many of the calls are related to money and debt. However, the area that has seen the biggest growth – a 229% increase – is stress and mental-health related concerns.

The figures go on to show that every person who made contact with LRSN “felt more hopeful for the future as a result of the support” and that they “felt less anxious and alone”.

Speaking to the BBC, the charity’s head, Amy Thomas, said:

"Last year alone we've had a 90% increase in calls to our helpline which is astounding.

"They are in crisis quite often when they come to us.  It is really worrying and quite sad so many people need our help."

The impact report also features quotes from people who have used the service, with one person stating:

“If I’m honest, we would be in dire straits without the support of LRSN, one way or another we wouldn’t be here now.”

Alongside the helpline, the charity has set up a clinic at Melton Mowbray Livestock Market, a venue many people in the Lincolnshire farming community visit regularly.  After a successful pilot, LRSN has now secured funding to run the clinic for a further 2 years.

The organisation is run by a team of 52 volunteers who amassed 9,136 volunteer hours working 1 to 1 with people in need.


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