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04:03 | 23rd October 2017

News: UK

Wed 11 May, 2011
By Sam Bristowe


There's the pressure in the farming community to get married and produce an heir, so a lot [have done that and] now feel trapped

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Gay farmers helpline in Cheshire is a success

Gay farmers helpline in Cheshire is a success
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A gay farmers helpline that was set up in Cheshire by the local Chaplin in late last years has proved to be a success as the helpline continues to face an ever-growing high demand.

Chaplin Keith Ineson decided to open up the service after becoming aware of certain issues surround gay farmers in the local Cheshire area.

The movement, which began in late 2010, has proved to be highly successful with local farmers who are struggling with issues surrounding their sexuality.

Ineson, reportedly said that most callers were over the age of 50, who had previously felt the "pressure to get married and produce an heir [and] now feel trapped".



According to the BBC, he said: "What I'm finding when the gay farmers ring up is that they think they are the only gay farmer in the world. There's the pressure in the farming community to get married and produce an heir, so a lot [have done that and] now feel trapped. When they are looking for gay areas, they are not at home down Canal Street, they are at home in the countryside. So there are huge isolation problems."

With a high number of callers Ineson is looking to expand the project with the help of volunteers in a bid to cater to those suffering from depression within the farming environment.
About what they do, he said: "We listen, it's as simple as that, we don't take over the farm, we don't take over the marriage; we help them to look at the options that are around and then they decide which option they're going for."

In the hunt for ideal volunteers: "They need to be able to listen, to know about gay issues and preferably know about farming as well, I spoke to some of the original gay farmers [who rang] and asked them what they would have done if someone answered the phone who was not male, not gay or not a farmer. They said they would have simply put the phone down."

 

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