Rural advice evening to be held on Thursday

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A Rural Advice Evening is being held this Thursday 26 March in Banbridge Old Town Hall.

The event, which is scheduled to begin at 7.30pm, will include speakers from support service Rural Support NI, local mental health charity Yellow Ribbon and the Department of Agriculture.

Commenting local MLA Jo-Anne Dobson who is hosting the evening said: “Our farmers and people who live and work in rural areas face immense challenges. The message from this event will be that they need not face these alone – support and guidance is available.

“There is considerable concern and confusion amongst farmers around the recent reform of the Common Agricultural Policy which affects every single farmer and landowner.

“Falling farm gate prices and the many changes and challenges in farming can sadly lead to difficult and sometimes tragic consequences and the locally-based charity Yellow Ribbon are keen to help provide advice and support on a confidential basis.

Rural Support provides a telephone helpline for farming and rural families across Northern Ireland.

“It offers a listening ear and signposting service for issues such as farming information and technical queries.

Portadown-based charity Yellow Ribbon came into existence as a result of the increased instances of suicide and self-harm in the local area. They provide a comprehensive and professional range of family support services.

A representative from the Department of Agriculture will also be present on the evening.

In conclusion Mrs Dobson said: “The evening is aimed at providing key advice and information.

“While the speakers may not have all the answers on the evening, and indeed some people may want to make contact with them afterwards in private, we would encourage those interested to come along on Thursday evening.

“People attending can learn more about the dedicated support which Rural Support and Yellow Ribbon can provide.”