The Free Range Dairy Network

Director, Carol Lever, explains how two bespoke webinars from HG experts proved the ideal way to help and support the Free Range Dairy Network’s members in these challenging times.

I run a social enterprise called The Free Range Dairy Network. We support and promote pasture-based dairy farming and farmers. By protecting and promoting pasture-based dairy farming we are protecting a way of producing fresh milk that works with nature, pays farmers a premium and ensures cows have the right to graze outdoors. This produces exceptionally tasting milk that is good for your health.

… Dairy farmers … have really taken a hit professionally and mentally with Covid-19 …”

2020 has certainly been a tough year for many of us. Dairy farmers, our supporters, and we at the Network, have really taken a hit professionally and mentally with Covid-19. It has been a time of loss – losing loved ones, losing jobs and losing our daily routines of work, sport and socialising with family and friends. Farmers can sometimes feel isolated even in “normal” times – this year has further exacerbated that, and widespread concerns about the economy have added another level of stress to an already hard job.

We are a caring community interest company (CIC). Usually, we meet farmers and other members of our community at events, where we support them in a variety of ways, but obviously lockdown has meant we have not been able to do that this year. We have missed being in close and regular contact with our community – and wanted to find a new way to connect with, and support, them. As I have lost loved ones myself this year, being able to help meant a lot to me.

Instead of getting together face-to-face over a cup of tea or coffee, we decided to arrange some special online gatherings – which would not only help people feel less lonely but would also give them additional support in facing these difficult times. I’m not an expert in the field of mental health, so I reached out to Human Givens about running two webinars – which I hoped could take place during the evening and provide plenty of opportunity for Q&A.

This is my first time working with Human Givens and I have been really pleased …”

Human Givens were happy to help, and together we arranged to run one webinar on Helping to Build Resilience (with HG tutor and therapist Carol Harper) and the second on Loneliness (with HG tutor and therapist Karen Hunter-Jones). In the first webinar, Carol explained how meeting your needs, whether these are emotional or physical, is central to your well-being and to developing resilience. In our webinar on loneliness, Karen will explore low and high levels of loneliness and how to weaken old negative neural pathways and strengthen new positive ones, to help overcome the effects of loneliness.

This is my first time working with Human Givens and I have been really pleased with how helpful everyone has been – getting in touch with me quickly when I’ve had any questions. The therapists have been happy to discuss the webinar outlines, and have offered the people attending a private follow-up if needed.

The Resilience webinar was extremely helpful and thought-provoking, and feedback from our members was very positive. Running these webinars might seem a little outside what we would normally organise – but what is normal anymore? I think we’re all looking to make connections with people and help each other as much as we can. I’m looking forward to the next webinar and hopefully to working with Human Givens again in the future.

The webinars are available to view on the Free Range Dairy Facebook page

Thanks to Carol and The Free Range Dairy Network – we were very glad to be able to help you and your members and wish you all the best in your mission.

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Working together to tailor these webinars meant our tutors were able to share the information and strategies that would best meet the specific needs of The Free Range Dairy Network’s members – at a time and in a format that suited them.

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