Embrace FARM Encircle Programme

Country: Ireland

Wellbeing of Farmers:  Physical Wellbeing, Mental Wellbeing, Social Wellbeing

Key Challenges: Lack of basic services, Lack or difficulties in accessing health services, Lack of specialist mental healthcare services, External factors (whether, climate change, etc.), Pressure from society/negative perceptions

Key Target Groups: Young farmers, Female farmers, Older farmers, Farm Workers (laborers)

Farm Size: Small/Family, Medium, Large

Find Out More

Key contact: Catherine Kenneally

Email: info@embracefarm.com

Organization: Embrace FARM

Relevant Links:

Embrace FARM Website


Embrace FARM has taken a comprehensive approach to addressing the critical need for support for families affected by sudden deaths and injuries on the family farm. The organisation has implemented various programmes and initiatives aimed at providing structured support, raising awareness, and fostering community among farm families impacted by these tragedies. Their Encircle Programme provides farm families with a single point of contact for accessing local professional and peer-to-peer supports. This programme aims to connect those impacted by sudden loss or trauma on farms with the resources they need to cope and heal.

Embrace FARM has also hosted targeted support groups for those who have life-changing injuries as a result of a farm accident and grief support groups for family members or individuals who have lost a loved one in a sudden farm death. These support groups aim to provide a safe space for those impacted by farm accidents to share their experiences and find comfort and support from others who understand their struggles.

In addition to these initiatives, Embrace FARM has hosted residential therapy weekends once a year, bringing farm families together for a weekend of activities focusing on mental and emotional support. They have also held annual remembrance services since 2014, which commemorates all those lost in farm accidents in Ireland and is attended by an average of 400 people per year.


The Embrace FARM Encircle Programme aims to provide supports (emotional and practical) to farm families and communities affected by sudden death and injury on farms. It aims to do so by providing them with information and a structured, single point of contact access to local professional and peer to peer supports. Currently there is no such set of structured supports available for farm families impacted by sudden death or injury on the farm.


Activities include:
• Set up and staff a head office for the Embrace FARM Encircle Programme.
• Implement a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system
• Establish five Regional Hubs providing for local points of contacts to specialist services. Professional and specialist services (counsellors, legal, financial) for these hubs will be sourced.
• Carry out marketing activities such as the creation of a new logo to promote the new service offered by the Encircle Project.
• Build collaborative relationships with other Agri-Businesses and charities to raise awareness, referrals access for farm families to engage with the Encircle Programme.

Main Outcome of the activity

In terms of specific outcomes, Embrace FARM has helped farmers and farm families by:
• Providing practical and emotional support for families impacted by sudden farm deaths and injuries.
• Increasing awareness of the impact of sudden farm deaths and injuries on individuals, families, and the wider farming community.
• Advocating on behalf of those affected by sudden farm deaths and injuries and ensure the sustainability of Embrace FARM.
• Expanding their current level of support offered and continually improve supports for farm families in a phased way.
• Increasing their profile and public awareness.
Overall, Embrace FARM has created a supportive and sustainable network for those impacted by sudden farm deaths and injuries, reducing the emotional, financial, and legal burdens associated with these crises, and creating a community where those affected can find the help and resources they need.

Main Practical Recommendations

The deaths or serious injuries of family members on farms can have significant impacts on those living within rural communities across Ireland. Besides the obvious emotional trauma and grief that come with the loss of a loved one, it can also result in financial and legal burdens. The loss of a family member who played an integral role in the farm’s operations can have a significant impact on the farm’s productivity, leading to potential income loss and financial hardship.

Additionally, the family members left behind may face social isolation and exclusion, particularly in rural areas. Survivors of serious farm accidents may also face long-term physical and psychological impacts, affecting their quality of life and ability to work.

The services Embrace FARM provides comes from a place of compassion and understanding with people who have a lived experience. Creating a safe space where people can come and talk and seek support in an environment where they are heard and understood the organisation feel is one of the most crucial aspects of the work they do.

Key Stakeholders Involved
  • Farmers
  • EIP-AGRI Operational Groups
  • Farm Health and Safety Advisors

Most Innovative Aspects of the Solution

The most innovative aspects of the Encircle Programme are as follows:
• One-to-one specialist supports for farm families affected by sudden injury and loss on farms in Ireland.
• Building a community of support in response to the needs of farm families after sudden loss & injury.
• Raising awareness of the impact sudden loss and injury has on farm families and the farming business.
• Building a solid picture of the types of issues farm families experience following a sudden death of injury on family farms as this is largely unrecorded both in Ireland and beyond.
• Providing a safe and informative space for people to seek support following a traumatic situation.