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Funding Boost and New Dates for Yorkshire Farmer Fitness Checks

Potentially lifesaving free farmer health checks have received a boost with news that additional funding has been received which will help keep Yorkshire farmers fighting fit.

Following the launch of its groundbreaking health checks eight years ago, the Yorkshire Rural Support Network has enabled hundreds of farmers to have routine tests at popular agricultural venues, for example at auction marts, machinery shows and other rural events.

Dates and venues for checks have now been announced for December and early 2017, which have been given a boost by the announcement of new funding from the Yorkshire-based Two Ridings Community Foundation, North Yorkshire Reward Fund. The support is in addition to sponsorship from agricultural machinery businesses Ripon Farm Services and Farmstar at their events. The Network is co-ordinated and supported by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society as part of its year round work in the industry.

Kate Dale, Network Co-ordinator said: “This extra support will enable us to build on our existing programme of health checks and potentially reach new areas. It’s well known that farmers are amongst the least likely to seek help and visit a GP, and rarely for a routine checkup. Providing this service by health professionals has proved hugely popular and without doubt, along with our “Fit for Farming” booklet, has made a difference. Often the checks give reassurance, but they have also helped save lives by flagging up problems early which can then be treated.”

The checks include heart rate, cholesterol levels, blood pressure and the benefit of a one to one conversation with an expert.

Kate added:  “We are hugely indebted to the commitment and dedication of the nurses who carry out the health checks and turn out in all weathers to offer a very professional and much needed service.”

Dates confirmed are:

  • Thurs 1 December 2016: Thirsk Auction Mart at the Thirsk Christmas Fatstock Show.
  • Weds 11 January: Ripon Farm Services Open Day at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate.
  • Thurs 12 January: Farmstar Open Day, Marr, near Doncaster
  • Weds 8 February: Yorkshire Agricultural Machinery Show, Murton near York.

Further dates are expected to be announced in due course.

For more information please contact Kate Dale, Co-ordinator, Yorkshire Rural Support Network on or visit the Yorkshire Rural Support Network page.

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