Yorkshire Rural Support Network
The Yorkshire Rural Support Network is a partnership of farming organisations, charities and voluntary agencies that together promote and provide sources of help – whether practical, financial, medical or emotional – to those who live in farming and rural communities.
Key areas of our work include:
- Farmer Health and Wellbeing – by raising awareness of support for the farming community and holding regular health checks at marts and machinery shows. Take a virtual health check by watching the video clip below.
- Networking and support for women in the countryside – via the Women In Farming Network.
- Farming Community Lunches – to tackle rural isolation by encouraging the community to come together to share information and socialise.
Our members include: the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, Farming Community Network, Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, Perennial, Addington Fund, Samaritans, CLA, Community First Yorkshire, TFA, NFU, Farm Safety Foundation and Health & Safety Executive.
For an overview of our recent work, read our 2022 Annual Report.
Yorkshire Rural Support Network Co-ordinator
Fiona is the Yorkshire Rural Support Network Co-ordinator based at the Regional Agricultural Centre offices in Harrogate. Fiona’s background is in agricultural education; hosting school farm visits for primary school children and previously as Head of Agriculture at Askham Bryan College near York.
Last summer Fiona returned to hands-on agriculture, working in a family harvest team as an arable operator. Continuing her passion for growing, Fiona also works at Field and Bloom, growing wholesale British flowers for florists.
Fiona, who lives in East Yorkshire, co-ordinates the work of the Yorkshire Rural Support Network at the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, which focuses on three main strands: farmer health and wellbeing, rural isolation and loneliness and Women in Farming.
Chair of the Yorkshire Rural Support Network
Laurie is a longstanding member of the Yorkshire Rural Support Network and works for the National Farmers Union (NFU). She lives near Thirsk with her husband and son.
At the NFU, Laurie is currently County Adviser for the North Riding and Durham but she has held a number of other roles including regional policy adviser and environment adviser since joining the NFU in since 1999.
In her County Adviser role, Laurie is based at Concept Business Park in Thirsk, where she supports NFU members and manages activity across the county. This includes managing the NFU’s lobbying activities with MPs and a range of external organisations from local authorities, the police and government agencies to non-governmental organisations and relevant commercial bodies.
Laurie is also the NFU’s regional lead for combinable crops and hill farming.