FCN Helpline 03000 111 999

About The Farming Community Network

The Farming Community Network (FCN) is a voluntary organisation and charity that supports farmers and families within the farming community through difficult times.

We have a network of over 400 volunteers across England and Wales, many of whom are involved in farming, or have close links with agriculture, and therefore have a great understanding of the issues farm workers and farming families regularly face.

We have helped thousands of people deal with a variety of issues, including financial difficulties, animal disease, mental health and family disputes. Our volunteers will "walk with" you and help you find a positive way through your problems - for as long as it is needed.

Why does FCN exist?
Farming is not just a job - it's a way of life. But it is also an inherently risky and volatile industry to work in. Farmers are regularly forced to deal with issues on the farm that are beyond their control, such as animal disease, fluctuating market prices and the weather. Farming can also be a very isolating and lonely occupation, with farm workers often spend long hours out in the field with little or no form of social interaction.

On top of their responsibilities on the farm, farm workers also deal with issues in their personal life, such as relationship breakdowns, physical health problems and bereavement.

Furthermore, as Britain prepares to leave the European Union, many farmers face great uncertainity about the future of their farm business.

All of this means that farmers and farming families across the UK are highly susceptible to poor mental wellbeing, including stress, anxiety and depression - and sadly, approximately one farmer a week dies by suicide in the UK.

Simply talking about your problems is often the first step towards improved mental wellbeing. But because of the stigma surrounding mental health, many within the farming community have difficulty coming forward and admitting that they need help. Farmers generally also don’t discuss their issues with a friend or relative as they don't wish to become a burden. More often than not, they prefer to discuss their issues in confidence with someone who they have no emotiaonal attachment to and who will treat their situation without judgment  - this is where FCN can help.

In addition to local groups of volunteers, FCN provides a confidential, national telephone Helpline which is available from 7.00 am until 11.00 pm every day of the year.

FCN is a Christian organisation and registered charity which has been working in the farming community since 1995. It is overseen by a Board of Trustees under the chairmanship of Mark Suthern. FCN is based in Northamptonshire where a small team undertakes the administrative functions led by Chief Executive, Charles W Smith.

FCN’s Patron is H.R.H. The Prince of Wales and its Honorary President is Christopher Jones MBE who is one of the founders of the charity.

FCN has a clear Christian ethos in all it does. All its services are made available to those in need from all faiths or none in a supportive, non-judgmental, non-proselytising manner.

FCN is part of the Farming Help group of national farm charities. Working together with RABI, RSABI and The Addington Fund in the farming community; we provide a wide range of complementary support. FCN also works with and alongside many other organisations in order to provide the best available help in each individual situation. This includes professional advice and support where appropriate. Click here to visit the Farming Help website.

Our Mission

Our Mission Statement is this: FCN seeks to provide confidential, non-judgemental support to all those in need of help in the farming community, whether the issue is related to the farm business or the farm household.

Our Vision

Just like any other business, farming and agriculture evolve to meet the times and the changes in demand. Consumers are becoming more and more conscious of what they eat, where it comes from and how it has been grown or reared. Food retailers are ever conscious of the need to compete on the quality and the price of their products and, at the same time, everyone is increasingly concerned about the land and our environment.

FCN will continue to support farmers through times of difficulty and is clear in its aims for the future.

  • We will continue to expand the network of volunteers to provide the support that is needed now and in the foreseeable future.
  • We will continue to improve our practice, to develop our training and to recruit new volunteers to meet an increasing demand for support.
  • We will aim to become better known for our work, not only in the world of agriculture but also among industry bodies, commercial organisations and other voluntary and charitable concerns.
  • We will seek to speak for disadvantaged individuals and for farmers in general.
  • We will support the farming community as it goes through difficult and challenging times – and we ask you to stand with them too.

Our core values

We acknowledge one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Our motivation is to express Christ’s Love but not to proselytise. We maintain our Christian identity whilst serving anyone in the farming community of all faiths and none. We seek to base our decisions on Christian standards.

We are committed to all in need in the farming community

We will respond to and act quickly upon all requests for help and will work proactively where needed.

We value people

We regard all people as loved and created by God. We give priority to people before money, structure systems and other institutional machinery. We act in ways that respect the dignity, uniqueness and intrinsic worth of every person; those whom we serve, our supporters, our donors, our volunteers, our staff and all those we work with.

We are non-judgemental towards those whom we serve. We are stewards

The resources at our disposal are not our own. They are a trust from God through donors and supporters. We speak and act with integrity in our dealings with all those we work with including donors, public agencies and the public at large.

We are partners

We are committed to working both formally and informally with a variety of organisations such as Farming Help Charities, welfare organisations and a range of other agencies. We actively pursue relationships with churches and rely on mutual participation in ministry.