Stephen’s Story

Today’s Mind Your Head blog from The Farming Community Network (FCN) is about Stephen, a beef farmer struggling to come to terms with the end of his marriage.
This story is based on true events, however the names of the individuals have been changed in order to protect their identity.

Stephen ran a 200-acre beef farm with his wife, Rachel for 15 years. When Rachel decided to file for divorce and custody of the children, it came as a devastating shock to Stephen. Not only did he have to carry on running the farm on his own, he had to adjust to a new life at home, without his family close by.

Suddenly things got too much for Stephen. The farm began losing money and he slowly sank into a deep depression. Thankfully, he recalled being given a helpline card by somebody from the Farming Community Network (FCN), with whom he met at a local show earlier in the year.

He called the helpline and discussed his issues over the phone, before being referred to a local volunteer. The volunteer met with Stephen to go through his situation. Over the next few months, the volunteer helped Stephen get his paperwork and finances in order – and even signposted him to a local mental health service to help him with his depression.

Topics such as divorce, retirement and succession can put a real strain on farming families. FCN volunteers can offer support to all family members involved, while remaining impartial and objective.

FCN has over 400 volunteers located throughout England and Wales, providing support to anyone who asks for it. In total, volunteers travel over 130,000 miles every year supporting the farming community.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by this issue, FCN can help.
Call the FCN helpline on 03000 111999 or email The helpline is open from 7am to 11pm. More information visit

stephanie_berkeley_zl4u2oa9Stephen’s Story

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