At their stand at the Royal Cornwall Show, the Farming Health Hub team had a chance to talk to local farmers, businesses and organisations and get their input on their plans.

The Farming Health Hub – the first of its kind to be developed in England– is a totally new concept.

Organisations from the private, public and voluntary sectors will join together to provide advice, support and guidance to farming communities in local venues, such as livestock markets and pop up venues rather than farmers and their families having to visit more formal environments.

Reporter Becky Payne met with Jon James to find out the latest on what's happening with the Hub.

How's it been going at the Show?

We've had a lot of interest from people in what we're doing and the feedback has been very positive. Generally people think the Hub is a great idea and will work. After our meetings with members of the public we are confident that it is something that people in the South West farming community want.

How has the Hub been progressing?

Since the information day we have created our advisory group, who are now focussing in on two areas. One is creating health hubs in livestock markets, initially looking at Truro and Holsworthy, and possibly one other. These may initially focus on physical health and business health, but we will then also try and feed into that on how we can better address the mental health side. The other is looking at working with young farmers to create a mental health campaign, which we they have already started. We've already pulled together a public health team from Cornwall Council to work with young farmers.

We are continuing to work with Professor Matt Lobley from Exeter University, and are also within the next week meeting with Professor Gordon Taylor and looking at how we can start measuring the successes, failures and benefits of the health hubs that we create. We want to measure the on-going benefits so we know that it's working. Then we can also take into account any changes that happen within the industry.

What's the next stage?

I've been talking with potential partner organisations like Duchy College, two minute farmer and the Agri-tech project about how we could work better with them.

What we're looking for now is funding to take things forward.

We are currently trying to source commercial sponsors. We've got a number of applications out there. We are refining our model now and talking to the public at this Show will give us the final information we need. We are asking people what they want from the Hub.

What's the response been so far?

Everything we've done so far has been really positive, the feedback has been really astounding, I'm really pleased with the feedback from people.

Today for us was testing the market live. The response we've had is very good. I've spoken to a lot of people in the Mole Valley stand today and they're all very positive about it. I've had a lot of emails and people phoning me up saying "I'm really interested in it, how can I actually support it."

I've got meetings lined up over the next couple of days with people that have got in touch and asked how they can help. While we are not yet ready to go out and do stuff we are building up a much clearer picture of what we want to do, we're seeking the funding, and then we can actually start delivering.

Why do you think the Farming Health Hub is especially important in the South West?

Suicide rates in farming are top amongst any industry but in the South West particularly the suicide rate is quite staggering. This is something that we really hope to try and address, by working with lots of organisations and bringing them in. We hope to eventually create a blueprint that other regions in the UK can take and deliver themselves.

Which of the Hub's plans are you finding that people are most interested in?

Most people are most focussed on the mental health side. A lot of farmers are saying that it's the uncertainty about what's going to happen that causes the most stress. We want to make sure that farmers have the support there when things do start to change so they know who to contact when they need the support.

Are you surprised by what an open response you've had from people as mental health has been such a closed subject in the past?

I am very surprised by how open and supportive people have been. The younger generation are much more open to talking about it. I find it quite empowering how they can stand up there and talk about their mental health whereas for the older generation there's a bit of a stigma attached to it.

It's about making sure that it's OK to talk about it. It's not a weakness. Farming is a tough industry. It's long hours, lots of pressures, lots of bureaucracy, it's a tough job. So you are going to have a lot of pressure and a lot of stress with it, and it's OK to talk about it. The response we are having, even from the older generation, shows that this is an issue that has been there for a long time.

When people do try to take their lives it's recorded, but there's an awful lot that goes un-recorded, so it's the tip of the ice-berg that we're looking at at the moment.

I was at a national farming resilience conference in Stratford Upon Avon a couple of weeks ago and we were saying "How can we prepared with the new agricultural bill coming in?" "What's going to happen with Brexit? Is that going to push more onto farmers, so how can we better support them?" For me, it's about how organisations across the voluntary, public and private sectors can work better together and take that collaborative approach. It's not a competition, it's about how we can work together better. And it's making sure that organisations aren't trying to deliver the same thing independently. Bringing them together will help to focus their resources, their time, and obviously, the funding.

How have you funded your work on the Hub so far?

Everyone that's working on it is doing it in their own time, taking days off work, working in their evenings. It's all voluntary, and it's all our own money that we're putting in to this to actually make it happen because we believe we can make a difference. If we can do what we believe we can, I think we can make a huge difference.