A MENTAL health campaign launched in memory of a 22-year-old farmer will begin the mammoth next leg of its awareness mission at an agricultural show in June.
Andy and Lynda Eadon lost their son Len when he took his own life on New Year’s Day 2022. Less than 18 months later, having already raised over £90,000 pounds for charity, supporters of their cause will hit the road on a nationwide tractor relay to show that noone should feel alone or isolated in the UK’s rural communities.
Len’s Light, a tractor-front mounted beacon attached to the lead tractor of a multi-vehicle procession, will travel from county to county from John O’Groats to Lands’ End after its official unveiling at the Kenilworth Show on Saturday June 3.
The Kenilworth and District Agricultural Society, of which Andy and Lynda are members, hosted a private event for Len’s family and friends – Len’s Day – on the day after the Kenilworth Show last year.
More than 1,000 people from across the farming community turned up to show their support. And now, thousands more will have the chance to engage with Len’s story, and see Len’s Light before it makes its way to Northern Scotland to begin its epic journey.
Len’s Village, a special section of the showgrounds dedicated to Len Eadon, will allow the public to find out more about mental health support in agriculture, catch up with others in the community, and take part in a range of competitions.
Among the activities will be a tug-of-war which will see young farmers clubs from across the region compete for Len’s Trophy, and a scrapheap challenge which invites farmers to scour their farmyards for materials to make a useful item.
The fun will continue with a shearing competition in which teams of three compete with each other by shearing a sheep, eating a pie and drinking pint of beer in the fastest time possible.
Andy and Lynda hope that Len’s Village and Len’s Light, which will be unveiled in the Main Ring on the afternoon of show day, will help to raise funds and awareness for the charities that they have been working with over the last year – including Farming Community Network, Farm Safety Foundation (Yellow Wellies) and Papyrus, a charity for the prevention of suicide in young people.
Andy said: “The outpouring of support on Len’s Day last year from the people who knew Len was absolutely incredible. Since then, it’s hard to believe how strongly our message has resonated with so many people.
“Len’s Village is a chance for anyone who either knew Len or simply want to find out more or show their support to gather – but also a chance to connect with the farming community and enjoy some fun and games.
“Our goal has always been to leave a legacy for Len, and we hope that Len’s Light will be more than an incredible spectacle, but prompt a wider, ongoing conversation around mental health in agriculture and show that no one has to be alone or isolated.
If we can stop one family going through what we did and are continuing to go through, then it will have been worth it.”
For more information and tickets visit www.kenilworthshow.co.uk