- A new campaign launched this week (22 November) by The Farming Community Network (FCN) charity encourages people across farming and agriculture to recognise the people in their lives that help to support them during difficult times by asking them one simple question: ‘Who’s Your Julie?’
The ‘Who’s Your Julie?’ campaign is inspired by FCN Ambassador, mental health advocate and Lincolnshire farmer Charles Anyan, who has a close friend named Julie. Julie is someone he can always confide in – when he’s feeling stressed, he is able to speak with Julie and discuss the issues or worries on his mind.
‘Julie’ represents the reliable people in our social circles who are there to listen and support us. Your ‘Julie’ might even be your pet cat or dog.
The ‘Who’s Your Julie?’ campaign encourages people to think about their own ‘Julies’ – whether that be a good friend, a mate down the pub, a sibling or a parent – and to recognise the support networks they have.
And if someone doesn’t have a ‘Julie’, the campaign encourages them to find one – either by talking to FCN, engaging with local support networks or by speaking with other people taking part in the campaign.
The campaign follows new research by FCN and the University of Exeter’s Centre for Rural Policy Research that shows that many farmers can feel isolated and disconnected, and that talking and finding time to socialise can have a positive effect on mental health.
FCN is a voluntary organisation and charity that supports farmers and families within the farming community through difficult times. FCN operates a confidential national Helpline (03000 111 999) which is open every day of the year from 7am to 11pm. Each year FCN supports approximately 6,000 people with a wide range of issues, including mental health, family disputes, animal welfare and planning for the future.
FCN is encouraging people to share social media posts and videos using the hashtag #MyJulieIs to talk about their support networks, tagging them in the post to create a chain of support across agriculture and helping to reinforce the message that it’s OK to ask for help and to talk to others.
Charles Anyan, FCN Ambassador, said: “I’m delighted to have been involved in the development of the ‘Who’s Your Julie?’ campaign, alongside my own ‘Julie’. Recognising that a problem shared is a problem halved can help us to deal with challenging situations and find a positive way through them. I encourage everyone across agriculture to get involved in the campaign, sharing who their own ‘Julies’ are and encouraging others to do the same. We want to ensure everyone has a ‘Julie’. Please remember as well that charities such as The Farming Community Network are also here to listen and support you during difficult times. Help is always out there.”
Follow these 3 simple steps to take part in the ‘Who’s Your Julie?’’ campaign:
- Record a video, lasting a maximum of roughly 1 minute and 30 seconds (or share a graphic from the below media pack) to speak about a close friend or family member. Introduce the video by saying that you’re taking part in FCN’s ‘Who’s Your Julie?’ campaign, and say ‘My Julie is…’ before talking about your Julie(s).
It’s also important to mention that if someone doesn’t have a ‘Julie’, support networks such as FCN are here to help (contact 03000 111 999 / email@example.com) and remind people they are part of a community that understands the challenges and pressures of farming.
- Share the video on the social media platform of your choice.
- In your post, use the hashtag #MyJulieIs and tag other people in your network, asking them ‘Who’s Your Julie?’.
A post example could be as follows:
#MyJulieIs my mum, who is always on the other end of the phone and listens to me when I need a good vent. She also still cooks for me once a week!
‘Who’s your Julie?’ @tagging friends and coworkers’
With the winter months approaching, this can be a cold, lonely and isolating period for some. The ‘Who’s Your Julie?’ campaign hopes to remind people across agriculture that there is a wide network of support available and that the farm community needs to look out for one another.