A local mental health charity recently launched a new project aimed at helping support the mental health for rural workers in Monmouthshire.

Mind Monmouthshire, which has an office based in Abergavenny, publicly launched the Rural Workers Project at Raglan Farm Park on Tuesday May 24.

The project officially began on May 31 2022 and will run until May 31 2024.

The project has been funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, with Mind Monmouthshire receiving a grant of £249,220 which is to be used over the project’s three-year duration to identify isolated rural workers in Monmouthshire, and to provide support and advice to people who either have or are in danger of experiencing poor mental health.

As part of the new project one-to-one support, family advice and guidance sessions will be provided, whilst a permanent presence at the Raglan Farmers Market will all be part of the package of support.

Due to Covid19 restrictions a live launch had been delayed although work started on the project in July 2021.

Raglan Farm Park, kindly provided the opportunity for Mind Monmouthshire to bring people together at the farm park where they openly thanked the National lottery for their investment into Monmouthshire along with thanking the partners who helped and supported the funding bid, including new partners who are supporting the project also.

This investment brings increased support for rural workers here in Monmouthshire, connecting with individuals working in the rural community and supporting them to get the right help at the time they need it.

Rural Workers Project
(Pic from MIND Monmouthshire)

Operations Manager Bernadette Kelly said: “Huge thanks to the National Lottery for providing this much needed funding which has led to increased support for rural workers here in Monmouthshire. We would also like to thank all the partner agencies which helped and supported this bid, including the NFU, Monmouthshire livestock market, Capsel, Gwent Police, Farming Community Network, Monmouthshire County Council, and Bridges Monmouth.

“Today has been brilliant with all the partners and people in attendance showing support and having a great day. Its been a long time coming and just a brilliant get together.

“Now we are asking everyone to help spread the word so people know where they can turn for help.”

The service is available to anyone in Monmouthshire with links to the rural community, either through the farming network, along with the wider rural community of forestry workers, animal welfare, animal transportation, feedstuffs and rural water management. The National Lottery Rural Workers Support project (NLRWP) provides staff to go out and meet with individuals on a regular basis to try to identify firstly what the problems are, and then how to start to get help addressing these.

The Project will provide a ‘listening ear’, a chance to talk about a situation, put things into perspective and ease feelings of stress and isolation. Often, these conversations start to identify areas that an individual would like support with. The Rural Workers Project staff can help identify strategies and connections to sort the problems.

Gwent Police’s Rural Crime Team were also present at the launch. A spokesperson for the Team posted on social media saying:

“Great to attend Raglan Farm Park for the launch of the National Lottery Community funded Rural Workers Project supporting Monmouthshire communities, showing our support for this fantastic Mind Monmouthshire project offering farming focused practical and confidential services to help farmers with support for their mental health.”