Meet Kate Miles, DPJ Foundation Charity Manager

THERE have been lots of changes at the DPJ Foundation over the summer. Our founder Emma Picton‐Jones is taking a step back (but

will still be volunteering) and I have joined as the new Charity Manager. To introduce myself a little, I grew up on a beef and sheep hill farm near Neath and despite stints in various cities

working as a solicitor I always come back to farming and now live on a sheep farm in Gower. You might have seen me before at Wales YFC

or Penderyn Market (where I assist at the busier sales).
I am also joined by a new Training Manager, Kay Helyar who will be developing and delivering our mental health training.

Kay’s last role was as the Head of Housing in a Housing Association in Cardiff. She devised training for their staff

and contractors to help them spot the signs of poor mental health amongst tenants. Kay is from the Newport,

Gwent area but is in the process of moving to Pembrokeshire with her husband and dogs.

We have also recruited two new trustees to our Board: Gwynfor Thomas and Maralene Griffiths, both from Montgomeryshire and both well known within

their respective communities.
We have really missed the shows this summer. From the local shows to the Royal Welsh they

provide a much‐needed opportunity to catch‐up and let off steam; without them the farming

calendar has seemed almost empty. We have been keeping in touch with our volunteers and delivering training using Zoom and Social Media. However, it’s not the same as being in the same space, rubbing shoulders and shaking hands.

We had planned a tractor run which wasn’t able to take place in the usual sense, so instead we took it online and received videos and photos from across Wales as well as from the rest of the UK, Ireland, Canada and even New Zealand. If you haven’t had a chance to watch it, you can find it on our Facebook page.

We have been overwhelmed by the support that we have received from supporters undertaking individual and group challenges to raise funds. Thank you everyone who has partaken in an egg, sugar and shot, daily press‐up or other challenge as well as everyone who has donated. Our next challenge will be calling for knitters to knit our very popular bobble hats. If you can knit, then please get involved.

This summer we received more calls to our Share the Load call line than over the same period last year. We know that this year has been especially difficult for many with the weather extremes and Coronavirus. However, talking to someone independent can be the release that is needed: all calls and texts are confidential and our volunteers are available 24/7.

I would like to end by thanking Emma for her energy and drive in creating the DPJ Foundation and making it what it is today. I personally don’t feel we can thank her enough for founding this service which has already provided a lifeline to farmers and their families across Wales.

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