December 7, 2020
Last winter we introduced a new role to the charity, in the form of our Farm Support Coordinator, Diane Spark. Read on to get a flavour of what Diane does each day!
Last winter we introduced a new role to the charity, in the form of our Farm Support Coordinator, Diane Spark. The need for the position arose after a number of regional farmer support groups and networks expressed a desire for greater collaboration, knowledge transfer and cohesion between the 40-plus organisations. Diane’s role is therefore to share best practice, guidance and advice across the support networks in the UK.
“After 2 very large mugs of tea my first job of the morning is checking BBC news for any agriculture related articles, and then looking for updates on the individual English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh government websites. Next I turn to twitter – mainly to like and retweet posts from the growing number of farm support groups who are embracing social media and using it to spread the word about some of the amazing work they are doing in their patch. I may then do a trawl to see any new funding opportunities across the UK, gathering eligibility criteria and other documentation which is sent on to the 46 farm support group members. I’ve always got an eye out for good practice which can be shared and learnt from!
I then give my dog (Springer Spaniel – Barney) the first of his walks.
Each day I will try and speak with at least one farm support group coordinator to catch up on how the Charity is doing and any guidance or advice I can help with. Depending upon what is happening in their lives the conversation can often span an hour plus!
My husband Gordon makes me lovely lunch (usually soup or a sandwich) and we have a catch up on family and home matters.
In the afternoon, I could be writing my quarterly newsletter for all 46 support groups, or participating in Defra Farming Charity Impact and RPA Farming Help Organisations round table events where I aim to give the smaller farming help organisations a voice. I also participate in Farming Help Charities meetings which highlight issues in the industry and any changes in government legislation.
In normal life I’m off and about a lot, attending events such as the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission’s ‘Developing a 10 year plan for farming’ at Windsor Castle or the Fund’s Annual Farmer Network Conference.
The day will finish with another walk for Barney, dinner and relaxing!”
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