Tir Dewi

Tir Dewi

Tir Dewi, a volunteer run service has provided critical support to over 200 farmers in West Wales. Through a telephone helpline, and further on-farm support, they address and combat issues such as isolation, financial pressure, and issues with physical and mental health.

As one of Tir Dewi’s principal funders, The Prince’s Countryside Fund has enabled the expansion of their support into North Wales. This will enable them to provide this critical service to more farmers. 
Gareth, director and founder of Tir Dewi, explains: “Farming is a highly inspected industry, meaning the pressure on farmers can be catastrophic. Simply having someone to talk to can be a lifeline. In other instances, we send volunteers on-farm and gradually work on the problems, not for the farmers but with them.” 
“Without us, there are several farms that would have failed, and the concerns of farmer mental health – farmer breakdown, hospitalisation and suicide – are grave.” 
“The difference of working with The Prince’s Countryside Fund has been significant; we simply wouldn’t be able to survive without them.” 


A case study from Tir Dewi:

"We have a farmer who calls our Freephone Helpline every 6 weeks or so and has done so for the last 3 years.  She has never told us her name or where she farms.  I once told her I’d call her Fred when chatting with her and she laughed at this – I suspect that this is the only time she laughed in a very long time.

Whenever she calls, she is in a desperate state.  She has clear mental health issues as well as some huge farming challenges.  She lives alone and has no friends.  Along with talking about her latest challenges, Fred often mentions the idea of taking her own life, but she worries about her animals if she did so.  This is of huge concern but, after a call which typically lasts 30 – 40 minutes (a call on Christmas Day last year lasted 3 hours!) she always ends by saying thank you and that we’ll speak again.  This gives us comfort that she intends to be alive.

There is not much more that we can do as we can’t insist on more information.  We may be helping, Fred certainly seems to suggest this, and we are frustrated that we can do no more, but we are doing what is asked of us."