An area of Mole Valley Farmers’ Liskeard and St Columb stores was turned into a health clinic last week thanks to the Farming Health Hub charity.

Two health practitioners from Cornwall Council’s Healthy Cornwall initiative set-up the clinic offering visitors a free NHS Health Check.

Blood pressures were taken, cholesterol levels checked and weights monitored as part of the checks, which were available to those aged 40-74.

The clinics were run in partnership with Mole Valley Farmers to complement their Take A Moment campaign, which encourages farmers to think about their physical and mental health.

The hub opened its doors on 11 February in Liskeard and 12 February in St Columb, to coincide with Mole Valley Farmers’ shareholder days.

The Farming Health Hub aims to join up the range of pubic, private and voluntary services available to support rural communities and link up farmers with the services.

Healthy lifestyle advisor, Hazel Smith was one of the health practitioners working in store. She offered advice to farmers based on their Health Check results and - in some cases - referred them to their doctor for follow up checks.

A lot of Hazel’s day-to-day work is focused around taking health services to isolated Cornish communities, such as the fishing industry. She believes the service is just as important for farmers.

“Farmers and fisherman work long hours or aren’t able to go to the doctor so it’s about getting our services out to them so they can make changes,” she explained.

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Fellow health practitioner, Graham Hicks is in agreement. “Farmers work long hours and they’re absorbed in what they do and don’t think about themselves. But keeping healthy keeps you working. It keeps the farm going!” he said.

One of the aims of The Farming Health Hub is to provide services in easy to access locations so farmers can fit a trip in as part of their day-to-day lives.

Mole Valley Farmers member, Michael Jones from Kernow Fallen Stock had popped into the Liskeard store to pick up a number for Mole Insurance. Whilst he was there, he decided to take advantage of the health check service.

“It’s edged me on to lose a stone and drink plenty of water,” he said. “The only thing that was wrong was my blood pressure. If I lose a stone then that blood pressure will come down. My cholesterol is all tickety-boo.”

Karen Reid from The Farming Health Hub was manning a stand at the events to tell people more about the charity and encourage them to get a health check.

“It’s not just about getting a physical check, but just speaking to someone and opening up about mental health,” she said. “Farmers are under so much pressure with business, financial and weather worries. The Farming Health Hub is about ensuring farmers know about the services available to help them.”