Esme Moffett, a vet at Synergy Farm Health, has raised more than £1500 for the Farming Community Network after taking part in the 36th Virgin Money London Marathon. Esme finished with a new PB of 3hrs 20 mins 50 secs.
Esme, who originates from Gillingham, is a keen runner and has completed the London Marathon once before in 2007. Since then she has completed another five marathons including Amsterdam and Auckland.
Esme is passionate about the work of the Farming Community Network, previously known as the Farm Crisis Network, and grasped the opportunity to make a difference by raising both money and awareness for the charity. Esme says, “Being a vet I spend much of my time on farms, working alongside farmers. I am well aware of the challenges farmers face at the moment; poor milk prices and unpredictable markets for beef and lamb are just a few. The Farming Community Network came to speak to the practice last year about the fantastic work they do for the farming community. I was inspired to use this opportunity to raise money for the charity but also to raise awareness of the work the charity does and how it can help.”
The Farming Community Network (FCN) provides help and support to those in need in the farming community; whether that is business or farm advice or help with family or health issues. It is completely volunteer run, but all the volunteers are either famers themselves or associated with farming in some way so understand the many issues facing farming today.
Ben Wightman a Dorset Volunteer for the Farming Community Network says, “What a fantastic result for Esme - a brilliant effort! A large amount of money raised for FCN and a PB into the bargain! FCN are so grateful for the support when the difficulties facing all sectors of the farming community are at an all-time high. The calls to the FCN helpline are running at around 30% higher in the first four months of this year compared to last year , which is stretching FCN resources, both in terms of finances and volunteers.’’
From nearly 40,000 runners entering the London Marathon more than three quarters of competitors run for a good cause and a third of all entry places are offered by charitable organisations, with a record-breaking £23 million raised for charities to date at this year’s race. Esme gained an automatic place into this year’s race by achieving the ‘Good for Age’ qualifying time of sub 3:45 at last year’s Windermere marathon.
Esme’s aim was not just to raise money for this good cause but also raise awareness about the charity and what it does. She explains, “Farming is a hard business and many farmers suffer in silence, either because they are trying to put on a brave face, or don’t know who to turn to. Because the FCN volunteers are all farmers or linked to farming they can relate to people’s issues, which hopefully makes it easier to confide in them.”
FCN works within the farming community throughout England and Wales and is ideally placed to ensure that hard to reach sectors of the farming community are not forgotten and that their needs are catered for by people who understand farming. In an average year, around 6000 people are supported through the issues they have asked for help with. This happens via face to face meetings or on the phone. The FCN have a helpline (03000 111 999) open every day of the year, 7am -11pm and their website is www.fcn.org.uk
At the time of going to press Esme has raised over £1500 for this worthy cause. If you would like to make a donation you still can. Please visit Esme’s fundraising page www.virginmoneygiving.com/esme-moffett-fcn