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Next steps for LRSN as new staff member appointed

Lincolnshire Rural Support Network’s newest member of staff began work this week.

Gilly Steel, a mental health professional from near Grimsby, joins the Lincolnshire-based farming support charity at a critical time for both the organisation and for the farming and rural communities it serves.

LRSN chairman, Meryl Ward, said: “Gilly Steel’s appointment marks a significant step forward for LRSN. For some time, we have been conscious that both the number and complexity of our cases involving mental health issues has been increasing, so now is a crucial time for Gilly to join us as our Health and Wellbeing Lead.

“The next few years will be a period of unprecedented change for farming and horticulture; it will bring new stresses and pressures to bear. It is vitally important that there is support in place to help and advise anyone facing problems of whatever kind and we are pleased that Gilly will add her vast array of skills and experience to LRSN’s staff and volunteer force.

“LRSN’s strategies to help farmers are not just reactive, but proactive, too. Gilly will help to develop services and advice to both farming and associated businesses to help them anticipate, recognise and tackle the signs of stress and anxiety. She will lead our healthcare, volunteer caseworker and helpline teams as they deal with the increasing number of cases we see and build on the twenty years of experience we have of helping Lincolnshire’s farming folk.”

Gilly Steel said: “It’s a really exciting time to be joining LRSN and I am looking forward to helping to expand the services offered and support many more people in the county. I am looking forward to linking with the variety of organisations and individuals already involved with LRSN and bringing with me a vast network of organisations and resources to aid in the development of our service.”

LRSN’s project manager, Alison Twiddy added: “LRSN is grateful to the Worth Waynflete Foundation for providing funding for Gilly’s appointment and to Lincolnshire County Council for its generous grant to LRSN in recognition of farming and horticulture’s place in the county’s economy.

“In future LRSN will be sourcing funding from a variety of sources to ensure that our work continues, and we are looking at new ways to develop our advice and support services for the county’s farming and rural communities. Gilly’s appointment adds strength and depth to our team at a time when Lincolnshire’s farming industry will need us. We are grateful to all our friends and fundraisers: the money they give, and their vital support is very much appreciated.”

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