Raising Their Voice For Mental Wellbeing

On Day Four of Farm Safety Week, the focus is on mental health and wellbeing and we are absolutely delighted to introduce you to a very special group of people from Scotland with a strong voice in the industry…

It’s the success story that wasn’t planned. Five years after their ‘one-off’ performance at the SAYFC’s 75th anniversary concert, the Farmers & Farmers Wives Choir still sound as fresh as the first time they performed at the Hydro in Glasgow. Now, inspired by our recent ‘Mind Your Head’ campaign, the choir has recorded a cover version of the Ward Thomas hit ‘Carry You Home” which will be released today on iTunes with a powerful video on YouTube.

The single features the echoing and beautifully haunting vocal from soloists Jennifer and Rachel before the rest of the 100 strong choir join in unison for the rest of the song, accompanied by a steady drum beat. The chorus is very powerful and is very anthem like.

According to choirmaster Kate Picken a farmer’s wife and music teacher from Kirkcudbright: “It is well known that farming is a higher risk occupation for experiencing mental health problems and we want to send out a positive message of hope and encouragement, that it’s okay to not be okay and help is at hand. Through their campaigns, the Farm Safety Foundation is encouraging farmers and their families not to neglect their physical and mental health. Our hope is that this will encourage people to reach out and ask for help.”

Kate met up with Stephanie Berkeley from the Farm Safety Foundation at the recent Royal Highland Show and shared the choir’s journey and hopes for the new single:

“To be honest after the first call out for a choir of ex SAYFC members to form a choir to celebrate their 75th anniversary we got together and did a performance and really gelled as a choir. We had no plans for the future beyond the first event but it just snowballed and now, in 2018, we are doing our 5th appearance at the Royal Highland Show.

Our numbers have grown but we’re still having fun. We don’t look at the choir as something that’s too regimented. We take breaks and when we do meet up, it’s never a chore. Some of our members travel for two hours and wouldn’t miss a practice. We even have choir members from Campbelltown who rehearse on their own and join for performances. With the challenges of geography we do stop after the Royal Highland and restart after the break in October.

There are around a hundred of us now – around 80 ladies and 25 men. The ages vary too as the oldest is in his 80s and the youngest is fresh out of young farmers at only 25.”

The choir is still open and welcomes new members and, as Kate says, you don’t have to be a trained singer you just have to enjoy singing!

To listen to the single please visit Spotify or Amazon Music HERE To buy the single visit the iTunes store and search ‘Carry You Home Farmer’ and to learn more about the Farmers Wives Choir and Farmers Choir visit their Facebook page HERE

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