A CHARITY breakfast in support of a farming mental health charity saw over 15 British sports cars pull in at a campsite near Skenfrith.

A convoy of TVR’s left the Severn Bridge in the early hours of Sunday morning, Aug 27, and wound their way through some Herefordshire countryside before stopping at the home of Tony and Loraine Webb for a full English breakfast, sponsored by local businessman Jeff Smith.

The breakfast event was in aid of ‘We are Farming Minds’, a Herefordshire-based group of over 50s retired and veteran farmers represented by local farmer Richard Sperry.

The charity was chosen by Tony and Loraine after their friend, Louise Williams, who passed away at the age of 60 earlier this year, had become involved in the group along with her husband Brian, following the sad passing of their son Rees in 2022.

Richard Sperry admitted that the charity “basically saved me last year, I was in a real state” following his battle with alcohol.

“I was really poorly and ready to go, I just hit the bottle really hard and I just didn’t know how to be here anymore but the charity really helped me,” he admitted.

“They do a retired farmers club trying to tackle loneliness as well as suicide: the suicide rate in farming is off the clock, there have been six or seven in Herefordshire this year and that’s the big thing to catch, but a lot of it is older retired farmers who are seriously lonely. It’s like a buddy system for when someone has retired and is a bit more chatty, they can go and see someone once a week and take them out for breakfast or something like that.”

“I can cope with it now, I just don’t want anyone else ending up in the state I was” he added.

“In farming, there are a lot of blokes with Range Rovers, it’s a bit jet-setty some of it, but underneath that posh layer of veneer is a serious serious problem” he said.

“I can talk about this now and if there is someone struggling, I can go out and see them and tell them we can sort out some help.”

Tony Webb, a TVR fan himself, had led the parade of sports cars from the Severn Bridge back to his home for a breakfast stop to support the mental health charity.

Loraine explained that they raise money for cardiomyelopathy two years ago “and this time we are doing it in memory of Lou”.

We are Farming Minds is a Herefordshire based charity set up by Farmers for Farmers. The charity organises events, counselling, Mental Health Training and has a 24/7 telephone helpline. They offer advice and support, encouraging those with poor mental health to seek appropriate help and treatment removing the stigma of mental health issues within the Farming World.

You can contact them through [email protected] or their helpline is always open: Call: 0808 802 0070 or Text: 07786 203130.

There is also a Mind Monmouthshire Farmers project who have an office in Abergavenny which launched from Raglan Farm Park last year: 01873 858275 https://www.mindmonmouthshire.org.uk/ Text 07950 889415.