Welsh sheep and beef farmer, Gareth Wyn Jones, is completing the ’25 push ups, 25 days’ challenge to raise money for Rabi, Farming Community Network, the DPJ Foundation and Yellow Wellies.
The challenge invites people to do 25 push ups a day for 25 days and nominate others to do the same, to help raise awareness of mental health issues in farming.
It was launched as a way to continue breaking down taboos over mental health and saw a boost in popularity on social media at the start of the UK lockdown.
Gareth was nominated to do the challenge by a friend and says he has been doing it in various different locations, including the top of the mountains. Commenting on what motivated him to complete the challenge, he said: “It’s very important to share mental health awareness, especially at the moment when there’s a lot of hardships and pressures for many families, and not just farming families…
“I thought, it’s a good opportunity to get the awareness out there that it’s good to talk and there’s nothing to be ashamed of if you’re down.”
He added: “In this industry, you have no idea how much your produce will sell for six months down the line. That causes a lot of stress.
“I’m a big believer in the need to be more open about mental health. The more we do to lessen the taboo, the easier it is for people to talk.”
Gareth published an autobiography called ‘The Hill Farmer’ about his life on the farm with his wife Rhian and their three children in 2014. Since then he has appeared on TV and radio to promote farming issues and support the community.
After being nominated to do the challenge by a friend, he commented: “It’s a bit of fun, but also shares an important message.
“We can all do our bit to help each other. I feel lucky that I have a beautiful wife and three healthy children,” he said. “What I do is what I love, but I think if I can help someone else then I should try.”