1st July 2020

Collaboration between LORIC and Rose Regeneration seeks to support the well being of farmers

The LORIC team at Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU), in collaboration with economic development consultants, Rose Regeneration, has been successful in securing grant funding of over £90,000 in order to deliver a project to support the wellbeing of farmers in England as part of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) Future Farming Resilience Fund programme.

The Future Farming Resilience Fund programme aims to support the farming industry through the post- Brexit Agricultural Transition Period which is in place until 2027. The Lincolnshire Open Research and Innovation Centre (LORIC) team at BGU, along with consultants from Rose Regeneration, plan to work with Farmer Support Network organisations across the country to evaluate the impact that Farmer Support Networks have on the health and wellbeing of the farmers and land managers that they serve.

We have worked closely with the consultants from Rose Regeneration in the past, and this grant funded programme gave the perfect opportunity for us to get involved in a large, joint piece of work. We were delighted to be awarded the funding and attended the programme inception event together in London in February. The programme, which is a pilot scheme, aims to help Farmer Support Networks to be able to better support their farming communities, with a particular reference to health and wellbeing, which is a subject of key interest to the whole project team.” – Kay Purle, LORIC Data Analyst.

Impact evaluation work is underway with a selection of Farmer Supports Networks located across England. The intention is that this will result in the production of bespoke reports, and an overall social impact report that will enable the Networks to develop their offer of services so that they can focus their support on the areas of greatest impact. This work will also support the development of tools that can be used on an ongoing basis to further evaluate social impact within the sector in the future.

An initial networking meeting of the Farmer Support Networks involved in the project is planned remotely for 13th July, and will provide a valuable opportunity for reflective discussions on the social impact that they have. The results from this programme will be of vital importance in helping Defra to understand what types of support are effective in helping farmers throughout the agricultural transition period.