Farming community coming together in sadnessEdwina Mullins
Suicide is something that the farming community is unfortunately very familiar with. Tough conditions and isolation can just get too much.
On 15th December 2019, Steven Pile sadly took his life at the farm in Wiltshire that he shared with his wife, Jo. With the support of her farming community, Jo is now running the farm on her own but had significant and obviously unexpected funeral costs – life insurance doesn’t pay out with suicide. No one should have to deal with the sudden loss of a loved one, and sell farm equipment to pay for funeral expenses.
From the start of this ordeal, Jo was updating her Twitter feed with how suicide effects the ones left behind, using the hashtag #ItsOKToNotBeOK. She continues to be an ambassador for farming and mental health through her Tweets.
To rapidly get the funds needed for Jo to pay Steve’s funeral. Jono and the #ch team got in touch with Jo and found out the funeral director’s quote was £5,300, plus there would be some costs for funeral food/teas. The farming community really came together to support Jo, both with words of support and financial support via the Just Giving page which raised over £10,000! This has given Jo the ability to start her life afresh on her farm. Thank you to all #clubhectare members who got involved.
Background: The Piles are beef farmers, the main enterprise being a calf unit which has capacity for 480 calves which they contract rear. They graze store cattle and take them through to finishing or sell as older stores. Steve also did groundworks and agricultural fencing.
Steve was originally from a dairy background but started out on his own with Jo after his dad died and built their farm from scratch. They were 2017 finalists for Beef Farmer of the year at the FW Awards.
If you need support during tough times, it is there for you. It’s OK to not be OK. Please contact: