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FCN chief, Charles Smith, to retire

Charles Smith, the chief executive officer of the Farming Community Network (FCN) is to retire at the end of the year.

The announcement was made today (30 July) as Charles has decided that after eight years at the head of the country’s foremost Christian farming support charity, he will retire at the end of 2019, to spend more time on his farm.

Adding her own thanks to the many tributes to Charles’ work for FCN, Lincolnshire Rural Support Network chairman, Meryl Ward said: “On behalf of everyone at LRSN, I would like to thank Charles for his help, advice and friendship throughout the eight years he has been CEO of the Farming Community Network. We all wish him well in his retirement.

“Charles’ steady hand on the FCN tiller has seen his organisation develop and evolve. And here at LRSN, we particularly welcomed the opportunity to work collaboratively with FCN and the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs as part of the team who developed the Rural+ workshops, which have been so welcomed in Lincolnshire as we all work together to encourage and support young people in our industry to address society’s growing mental health challenges.

“We know he leaves FCN in good hands with a team of wonderful staff and volunteers. We wish his successor well and hope that we maintain the excellent relationship that we have grown to appreciate so much with Charles.”

Founded in 1995 by Christopher Jones MBE, now the organisation’s Honorary President, FCN has a small staff but relies on its 400 volunteers to "walk with" anyone from farming or farming families who seeks support and help them find a positive way through their problems - for as long as it is needed. It operates a free and confidential helpline and for callers in Lincolnshire, refers them to LRSN for help and support.

Read the FCN news release on Charles’ retirement here.