Wednesday 21 July 2010

Rural Rides

It's the Royal Welsh Show and I go up to Builth to witness the microbus wowing the crowds and getting our message across to this 200,000 plus audience of farmers and other countryfolk. Rain does not dampen enthusiasm and hats off to Andrew Mulholland for setting up and looking after our large stand for the duration - the Show seems to get up with the farmers but go to bed with the clubbers - long days indeed. Among other contacts I talk to Simon Hatch, Director of the Samaritans in Wales, about the importance of sustaining a focus on reducing suicide among the high risk group often oddly neglected in this context - people with severe mental illnesses, many of them known to services, of whom around 10% will take their own lives. John Rose from the Big Lottery warns of the impending cuts in Lottery funding: well, yes, and when their Mental Health Matters funding ends in three years time we will all need to be sure our exit strategies are in place as no doubt the general squeeze will still be tight. I also chew the fat with Fireman Sam and Sali Mali who confirm they are just good friends (see this link which clears up any misunderstanding).