130-mile egg and spoon race raises £6,500 for farming charity

A 130-mile egg and spoon relay has raised over £6,400 for farming mental health charity YANA

A 130-mile egg and spoon relay has raised £6,500 for farming mental health charity YANA. From left: NFU chief poultry adviser Aimee Mahony, Nigel Joice, Olivia Joice, Jack Joice, Zanna Joice, and NFU poultry adviser Tom Glen - Credit: NFU

A 130-mile egg and spoon relay race in memory of an inspirational Norfolk poultry farmer has raised £6,500 for a rural mental health charity.

Patrick Joice died in 2019, at the age of 46, after a courageous battle against both an incurable cancer and the severe depression which followed his diagnosis.

But he used those experiences to raise awareness of mental health issues in the farming community, including organising a cricket day which generated £53,000 for rural mental health charity YANA (You Are Not Alone).

Norfolk poultry farmer Patrick Joice pictured at the Naked Farmer charity cricket day in 2019

Norfolk poultry farmer Patrick Joice pictured at the Naked Farmer charity cricket day in 2019, which raised £53,000 for mental health charity YANA - Credit: Chris Hill

His poultry industry colleagues from the National Farmers' Union (NFU) came up with the idea of continuing that charitable legacy with a fun egg and spoon challenge.

More than 30 people took part in the relay, which started from the Joice family's farm in South Raynham, near Fakenham, and finished at the British Pig and Poultry Fair at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire.

Patrick's family - including his father Nigel, wife Zanna, and two children Jack, 12, and Olivia, nine - took the first leg of the relay, and also carried the egg over the finish line in Warwickshire.

Mrs Joice said: "Patrick would be so proud that everyone has got behind this and gone to such lengths to get an egg and spoon to another part of the country.

"The children really enjoyed being a part of it too - they now feel they are a part of what daddy started.

"I think all of this shows that mental health in agriculture is in such a prominent place now, and people are more aware of it. As a result, it is keeping the conversation going and everyone who put in £10 or £20 is keeping that essential conversation going."

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NFU poultry board chairman James Mottershead also took part in the relay. He said: “There are so many people who rely on charities like YANA to help support their mental health and every penny raised through this event will help YANA continue this vital work in rural communities.

“I also hope this fundraiser helps to continue Patrick’s legacy in opening up the conversation around mental health and shows anyone who may be struggling in silence that help is out there."