Longford Leader Farming: Macra na Feirme announces range of Covid-19 member supports

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Macra lay out priorities for 'more progressive agricultural sector'

Thomas Duffy, Macra President

Macra na Feirme has announced a range of support measures to assist members, clubs and county executives dealing with the impact of Covid-19.

The measures include a club reboot package, signposting members struggling with mental health to an online mental health charity, Turn2me, as well as incentives at county level to support activities.

Macra na Feirme President, Thomas Duffy said, “Participating in Macra na Feirme activities have for many members of the organisation provided an outlet for those struggling with isolation, loneliness and other mental health difficulties. These activities have been heavily curtailed by Covid-19.

“ By signposting members struggling to Turn2me.ie, those members will be able to avail of the Turn2me’s suite of safe, secure and confidential online services such as 24/7 online clinically moderated peer support and information, counselling sessions online and online support groups on a wide range of mental health themes - 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

“These services complement Macra’s own efforts of the past 12-18 months such as the Tipperary based initiative Make the Moove which is a peer-to-peer service, supported by Health Ireland Tipperary, for young farmers in Tipperary.”

In outlining details of the Club reboot package, President Duffy said “Over the next 1-2 weeks, Club Secretaries will receive a reboot care package for members in their own clubs. That package includes HSE approved signage, a supply of hand sanitizer, and a selection of Macra branded facemasks to distribute free of charge.”

Macra na Feirme will distribute an initial quantity of 2,000 face masks to members around the country.

Macra na Feirme have also created a fund for County Executives to access to support a return to activities around the country. The development fund provides small grants to County Executives to support requirements and additional measures needed to ensure Covid-19 compliance with existing or new events that encourage member engagement.

In concluding his remarks Macra President, Thomas Duffy said: “The Macra na Feirme Board, Finance Committee, staff and management are acutely aware of the challenges that members, clubs and county executives are facing with Covid-19. These measures have been designed with that in mind. Our desire is to have as safe a return to activity in compliance with public health guidance as we can possibly have.”