The newly appointed DAERA Minister Michelle McIlveen put her best ‘boot’ forward for Rural Support’s second ‘Wellies to Work Day’ on Friday 3rd June.
The campaign saw workers and supporters across Northern Ireland don their wellingtons in support of the charity.
The social media initiative urged the public to wear their wellies to work and upload photographs and selfies of themselves with the hashtag #WelliesToWork to raise awareness of the services the charity offers.
Launched with CSR partner, local wind energy company, Simple Power, Wellies To Work Day 2016 surpassed the success of the previous year, reaching thousands of twitter users across Northern Ireland with Uthe lster Farmers’ Union on board as an additional key supporter.
Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Michelle McIlveen kicked into action in her newly appointed role as she swapped her heels for wellies to support the important awareness-building initiative. Key representatives from the local agriculture community also gave it some welly including Conor Macauley, BBC NI Agriculture and Environment correspondent and the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster.
Rural Support Chief Executive, Jude McCann, expressed his appreciation for all those who took part and emphasised the need for increased awareness of the charity throughout Northern Ireland: “We are truly delighted with the success of the second Wellies To Work Day and would like to extend our thanks to everyone that contributed. With mounting pressure on farmers and new challenges facing the rural community, we hope this campaign will have made more people aware of our services and that help is available through our dedicated helpline - 0845 606 7 607. We would urge anyone from the farming and rural community who is struggling to cope to speak to our highly experienced staff and volunteers.
“We are thankful to the team at Simple Power for launching the second Wellies To Work campaign with us as we celebrate our third year of CSR partnership, and also to the Ulster Farmers’ Union for officially supporting and promoting the initiative this year. We appreciate all the work that both do.”
Simple Power Chief Executive, Philip Rainey, added: “After three years of CSR partnership, it’s a great privilege to work with Rural Support on important campaigns that raise awareness of the charity and ‘Wellies to Work Day’ was no exception. It’s a fun campaign but it has a very important message behind it.”
Wesley Aston, Chief Executive of Ulster Farmers Union, commented: “We were delighted to be part of the second ‘Wellies to Work’ campaign. We are thankful to Rural Support for the helpline and listening service they provide for our community, and we are happy that we have been able to add to the success of the initiative and spread the message that help is available for the agriculture sector.”
Since 2002, Rural Support has been helping farming and rural families across Northern Ireland on a wide range of issues, from physical and mental health, farming paperwork and financial issues. The charity provides support for the rural community through a helpline offering listening and signposting service.