Help at Hand for Farmers

February 25, 2013 | 1 Comment | Filed under: 2013, March 2013

In the mid 90’s mad cow disease or BSE knocked the British cattle industry for six. Many a livestock farmer would say that this was the start of all the regulations and bureaucracy that has invaded their lives; it was further compounded by the 2001 Foot & Mouth Disease epidemic and the insidious spread of bovine TB, and more recently the Schmallenberg virus.

Walking side by side over this same period of time has been the springing up of local support groups, willing to give a helping hand to farmers and their families. I am privileged to be part of such a service available to Derbyshire farmers.
In fact I wear FOUR hats! Let me explain.
Farm Crisis Network (FCN) is a national Christian based organisation with over 300 volunteers within 32 county groups across the UK. The Derbyshire group comprises 10 trained volunteers, including several farmers, and myself as the county coordinator. In 2012, emotional and practical support was provided to 23 new referrals. A national telephone helpline operates every day of the year by volunteers – the number being 0845 367 9990. The website will give you more information:
 www.farmcrisisnetwork.org.uk
My work as agricultural chaplain was God’s timing for me and the industry I serve. Due to falling numbers I was made redundant from my position as lecturer in agriculture at Derby College (Broomfield). I moved in to the chaplaincy work ten years ago in response to a need for extra pastoral support for hill and upland farmers of the Derbyshire Dales and High Peak. Since then the work has extended to include the Amber Valley area. This is an ecumenical position, working alongside the leadership of the rural churches, under the wing of Workplace Chaplaincy in Derbyshire, and managed by Rural Action Derbyshire. I have a presence at Bakewell Market on Mondays – being a member of the Rural Health Team, where an increasingly used farmer’s “Drop-in” clinic operates. I also attend Derby Market on Thursdays. 
My chaplaincy work includes planned and unplanned farm visits, networking, hospital/prison visits etc.
 Find more information on my personal website – www.GrahamHinds.com
Over the past two years I have been acting as Rural Officer for the Derby Diocese, providing information, help and support to the rural clergy, as well as representing the diocese both in and outside of the county.
I am a founder member of the Agricultural Christian Fellowship, which provides social interaction, support, fun and fellowship to local farming families. There is a variety of meetings over the year, including a farm walk and a barbecue. The next meeting will be held at Calver Village Hall on Saturday 11th May, starting at 7.45pm. Feel free to encourage local farmers to attend.

Graham Hinds (01332 602124/07833 638562/grahamhinds [at] hotmail [dot] com)

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One Response to Help at Hand for Farmers

  1. Lindsay Allison February 25, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Hi Graham,
    I read your article with interest. One of my tutors used to hold a Homeopathic Clinic for farmers suffering from depression, it was very well attended and I wonder if I may be of help to you in that regard? I am not in a position to give my time freely but I may be able to do a discount for them. I am about to start working as one of seven Homeopoaths on a year long research project with Sheffield University working with NHS depressed patients.

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