Posted 6 October 2023
“Few of us can imagine what they’ve been through, but their reaction to Leonard’s tragic passing has been incredible. They are truly extraordinary people, and the legacy of good they are building in Len’s memory will benefit countless others in our industry.”
Andy and Lynda Eadon have been awarded Farmers Weekly’s Farming Champion of the Year for the profound difference they have made on raising awareness for mental health.
The award, sponsored by the NFU, has been honouring farming champions for over ten years to recognise the work of those in the farming sector. For the Eadons, they were Farmers Weekly's winners for their selfless and courageous commitment to a vital cause.
The Warwickshire farming couple began their work after the loss of their son, Len, to improve mental health awareness among young people and raise money for three important charities within the community - Farming Community Network, Farm Safety Foundation – also known as Yellow Wellies – and Papyrus.
Among many of their endeavours to raise money was a tractor relay that was welcomed to Harper Adams in July this year.
Len graduated from his Rural Enterprise and Land Management degree at Harper Adams in 2021 and was a well-liked member of the University community.
On January 1, 2022, Len took his own life, and in his memory, his parents have worked to raise funds and to ensure that people in farming communities feel they can talk about any issues they are facing.
Whilst the tractor relay concluded in Land’s End on 20 July, the Eadons pointed out that the journey did not end there, as they vowed to keep working, in Len’s memory, on this vital cause.
The NFU president, Minette Batters said: “Despite many worthy contenders this year, there can be no better winners than Andy and Lynda Eadon.
“Few of us can imagine what they’ve been through, but their reaction to Leonard’s tragic passing has been incredible. Their tireless campaigning is testament to their selflessness, drive and bravery and is matched only by their compassion for their fellow farmers and their families.
"They are truly extraordinary people, and the legacy of good they are building in Len’s memory will benefit countless others in our industry.”
Their success at the awards evening has been reported by Farmers Weekly – you can read the full article here.
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.
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.
Sometimes, online can be a good place to start to find out what other support is out there, and there is plenty:
Samaritans 116 123 listening service 24/7