Awareness Head to Toe launched
Anna May McHugh, managing director of the National Ploughing Association, visited Ferns last week to launch a new organisation, Awareness Head to Toe, which aims to promote mental health, general health, and farm safety awareness.
Details were also revealed of the organisation's first event, a farm safety and mental health open day on Leslie Dixon's farm, Moneylawn, Gorey, on Saturday, September 30, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Up to 70 people were present in the Courtyard for the launch. Chairperson of Awareness Head to Toe, George Graham, explained that the open day will highlight dangers around the farm such as slurry pits, livestock, and machinery, particularly quad bikes. Alongside this, organisations working in the area of mental health promotion and support will also be represented.
George said they were very grateful to Anna May for launching the organisation. Thanks also went to Dr Michael O'Doherty for attending.
George explained that he was in the depths of despair five or six years ago, and as he travelled around the country doing sheep shearing demonstrations, he also began talking about mental health.
A farm safety and mental health open day was held locally last year, and a voluntary committee has now been formed to do similar work. It includes: chairman, George Graham; secretary, Emily Barker; treasurer and financial controller, John Kelly; legal advisor, Nicholas Redmond; Anne Murphy; Michael O'Neill; Una Sinnott; Leslie Dixon; and Mervyn Jones. The group will attend various farming events, and has the full support of farming and other organisations. Sincere thanks went to all who helped the group so far and the individuals and businesses that made financial contributions.