One of our volunteers, Emma Watkin, has been actively supporting YANA in her local area, making new connections and raising awareness.
We find out why volunteering with YANA is important to her.
Embracing country life
We asked Emma how she became involved with YANA.
“I learnt about YANA through the Rural Coffee Caravan that visits remote villages. Coming from a non-farming background, to then living and being involved on my husband’s farm, I understood the pressures that farmers face.
Being new to farming, and not having a clue about country life and farm life I hadn’t realised how much was involved with farming. How out of control farmers are when it comes to a good crop and how much money they get for the crops and animals. It was a big learning curve.
I also noticed that lots of farmers liked to stay and have a chat when visiting farms and what a lonely hard life it is. This gave me a greater understanding of why farmers need the support in mental health and why the suicide rate in farming is high. This is why I volunteer with YANA.”
Life of a volunteer
Our volunteers carry out a wide range of tasks, so it was useful to discover exactly what Emma does as she listed some of what came to mind:
- Completed Mental Health First Aider training
- Approaches local farms and farming industry companies
- Attends events to promote YANA
- Talks about YANA to lots of people who come to the farm, including bank managers, agronomists, vets
- Puts together information packs
- Supports YANA through social media and other campaigns
Passion & commitment helps reach more people
Without the passion and commitment of our volunteers it would take us much longer to reach the many businesses and farms we have reached.
Our volunteers are the experts in their local communities, by talking to others and identifying opportunities, they help to effectively raise awareness of the support available and of mental health in general.
Insight and recommendations
Emma answers a few questions to give us an insight into mental health and volunteering
How do you look after yourself?
“I look after my mental health by taking time out for myself and doing something I enjoy such as walking my dog and spending time in the garden and greenhouse.”
What would you say to people who are thinking about volunteering?
“Even if you have a couple of hours to spare every so often, it makes you feel good to be helping. It might be just to help out at a couple of events a year. You are always well supported by YANA in doing these too.”
How would you describe volunteering with YANA?
“Insightful into the industry and knowing you are never alone.”
Always room for more
Find out about volunteering at YANA through: