Markets across the country support mission to raise greater awareness of mental health issues within the farming community
Livestock markets across the country have helped shine a light on mental health awareness within the rural community, in support of the incredible efforts of Len’s Light Tractor Relay, a month-long, nationwide journey helping to break down the stigma attached to suicide and mental health.
Lynda and Andy Eadon, who tragically lost their son Len to suicide aged 22, have since been campaigning to raise national awareness to the mental health issues that affect people in the rural community.
Since Len’s death in 2022, the couple have helped raise over £100,000 for charities in their son’s name, and the latest initiative saw Andy drive a donated John Deere tractor across England, Wales and Scotland, with the route taking in some 38 livestock markets along the way.
At the culmination of the epic 2000-mile relay at Land’s End on 20 July, Lynda and Andy reflected on their efforts, and feel that every mile has been worthwhile.
“We have had tremendous support from the agricultural community throughout Great Britain,” says Andy, who also explains why they focused their tour around livestock markets.
“Both Lynda and I chose to engage with livestock markets because we appreciate the key role they play as rural hubs, often being the only place for some farmers to interact with others during the week,” he says.
As Lynda states, the aim is very much to encourage conversation and help people to reach out for help when it is needed, and the mart provides the hub where people have access to that support.
“We have really seen communities come out of their shell, and along the way have had some very poignant conversations and heart-felt moments with others who have been affected by mental health or suicide,” she says.