MOLE Valley Farmers has donated £2,500 to The Farming Community Network (FCN) as a result of plastic bag sales from their retail stores over the past 12 months.

The FCN is a voluntary organisation and charity that supports farmers and families in the farming community through difficult times.

Their network of 400 volunteers across England and Wales helps about 6,000 individuals a year with various issues, from money worries to family issues, health problems and farming concerns.

Picking up the cheque from Mole Valley Farmers’ head of communications and agricultural affairs, Julie Edwards, The FCN’s South West regional director, Stephen Dennis, said the £2,500 would be used to support the charity’s national helpline and regional volunteers across the UK.

“The donation is very valuable. It means even more than the money – it’s the recognition of the need for the FCN. We’re constantly looking at how we can support those in need,” he said.

In recent years, the charity has seen an increase in farmers struggling with family issues and, particularly, succession.

Volunteers are also regularly needed to provide emotional support.

Mr Dennis said: “We have seen a rise in mental health issues and stress and anxiety in farming. We’re here to help and you needn’t be in crisis before you contact us. We seek to be there for people and especially those struggling with loneliness and depression.”

As a farmer-owned business, Ms Edwards said Mole Valley Farmers was keen to ensure support was available to help its members through challenging times.

She added: “Farming can be hugely challenging and lonely at times. The FCN is vital to ensure farmers have somewhere to turn to during difficulties.”

To talk to a sympathetic person, call The Farming Community Network on 03000 111999, from 7am to 11pm, every day of the year, or visit