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    Alumnae raise more than £4000 for Farming Community Network charity

    5 May 2023

    Two Harper Adams alumna have completed the 102-mile-long Cotswold Way to raise money for the Farming Community Network. 

    BSc (Hons) Rural Enterprise and Land Management graduates Olivia Meredith and Caryss Pickavance, who now both work for Carter Jonas LLP, decided to take on the challenge to raise awareness of mental health in the agricultural sector 

    We spoke to them in late March as they prepared for the challenge, which you can read here. 

    Since then, they have completed the 102 miles – and then some! We caught up with them to hear how they got on. 

    Here’s what Caryss had to say. 

    Olivia Meredith and I walked 123 miles over five days all in aid of The Farming Community Network.  

    When we set off on, we were expecting to do 102 miles. However, we managed to find another 21, just in case the 102 wasn’t enough!  

    This wasn’t due to poor map reading - the Cotswold Way has some routes where there are options to take a longer or shorter path, in which we always chose the longer one - as well as navigating back to our accommodation for the night.  

    We completed the following route: 

    Day 1 - Bath Abbey - Old Sodbury 

    Day 2 - Old Sodbury - Dursley 

    Day 3 - Dursley - Birdlip 

    Day 4 - Birdlip - Winchcombe 

    Day 5 - Winchcombe - Chipping Campden 

    The aim of the walk was to raise awareness of mental health within the rural community. Oliva has set up a page on Instagram Let’s Get Talking @letsgettalking2022 to direct people to the mental health support available, as well as brightening up people’s days with some positivity!

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Let’s Get Talking (@letsgettalking2022)


    The walk was therefore called “Let's Get Talking and Walking” to encourage others to get outside for a walk with a friend and start talking about their mental health. 

    A few statistics: 

    Number of blisters: Four 

    Number of steps: 238,718 

    Number of miles: 123 

    Number of laughs along the way: 1,000,000 

    The amount of support we have received has been overwhelming from everyone. There really are so many kind people out there in this world and completing this walk has really highlighted that to us! We have currently raised £4,100 for such a worthwhile charity, which helps so many in the rural community and we couldn’t have done it without all this support! 

    Let’s keep trying to raise awareness! - Let’s Get Talking 

    You can still donate to Caryss and Olivia's JustGiving page here 


    Help for Harper Adams staff 

    Harper Adams University works with Health Assured to provide an enhanced Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). 

    The programme allows employees to directly access counselling, legal information and advice on debt, work, lifestyle addictions and relationships. 

    Contact details are shared with employees every week through an internal newsletter. Employees also receive wellbeing support from line managers and our Chaplaincy, HR and Mental Health First Aid teams; in addition to occupational health services provided by Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust. 

    Help for Harper Adams students

    We all have mental health and we encourage our students to reach out if they are experiencing any difficulties.

    It’s important to look after our mental health just as we do our physical wellbeing. You may be a student at the start or end of your student journey, or somewhere in between, or a member of the wider university community. You may feel you can talk to friends, your course team, colleagues and or your GP but the important thing to remember is no problem is too small and it can help to talk things through.

    It is never too late to let someone know how you are feeling and asking for help. At University, specialist support can be offered via self-referral to the wellbeing team, by accessing the Student Assistance Programme or talking to one of the Mental Health First Aiders.

    Further details can be found here.

    Sometimes, online can be a good place to start to find out what other support is out there, and there is plenty: 24/7

    Samaritans 116 123 listening service 24/7

    Alumnae raise more than £4000 for Farming Community Network charity



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