I’Anson Bros Limited, based in Masham, North Yorkshire and one of the UK’s leading, independent, family-owned farm feeds businesses, has continued its longstanding programme of support for local farmers in hardship by leading two legs of a physically demanding nationwide charity bike ride.
The Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA) aims to raise £100,000 for the Farming Community Network (FCN), which supports farmers and their families across the UK.
A team of eight employees will be led by I’Anson’s managing director Chris I’Anson, fresh from a recent gruelling charity cycle ride, where his team of two rode the length of New Zealand’s two islands in just 19 days. This time, the new group will cycle the 53 miles from Masham to Consett before covering another 100 miles up to Berwick-Upon-Tweed.
The GAFT Bike Ride left Westminster on 20 June after meeting George Eustice, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Minister. The relay will now make its way to the I’Anson factory in Masham via 171 participating feed mills, ports, grain stores and supply trade businesses.
The team will set off on this latest two wheeled challenge on 10 July and will cover the estimated 153 miles in a single day. The route will lead the I’Anson team first to Apheya Animal Nutrition in Consett, continuing to Berwick-Upon-Tweed where the team will “pass on the baton” to McCreath-Simpson-Prentice Ltd. After criss-crossing England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the relay will end at the National Farmers’ Union headquarters in Warwickshire, on 31 July.
The Farming Community Network helps farmers tackle a range of problems such as financial distress, family disputes and mental health. Its role is increasingly important following a recent National Farmers’ Union report which highlighted a high level of suicide amongst farmers. Staffed by a force of 400 volunteers nationwide, the Farming Community Network encourages people in the farming community to discuss their problems with a friendly, non-judgemental advisor. Each year the charity tackles approximately 2,500 cases, helping 6,000 farmers and dependents resolve their business and personal issues.
I’Anson managing director Chris I’Anson, said: “At I’Anson we relish a challenge and we are proud to support farmers across North Yorkshire and the rest of the country. The Farming Community Network volunteers make a positive difference to the lives of thousands of families every year by talking with and advising those who are isolated and in difficulty.”
Richard Cooksley, co-organiser of the GAFT ride and with it every step of the way, commented “The supply trade is working together tremendously to raise the profile of the Farming Community Network. Along the way we’ll have some fun but more importantly raise some funding for the FCN. We are indebted to I’Anson for their support and in undertaking such a long and difficult leg.”
Donations to the GAFT bike ride can be made on the JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/GAFT