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ABP Finalists Frank Hanna and Edward McKay Raise Money for Life Beyond Programme

17th Sep 2023

Frank Hanna and Edward McKay from Down High School have had a very busy 12 months! Last year they were selected as one of the finalists in the ABP Angus Youth Challenge Competiton. As part of their prize they received a mini-herd of Angus cross calves courtesy of the beef processor ABP and the Certified Irish Angus Producer Group. During the year they have reared their calves through to beef; pocketing the proceeds of their sale to ABP. Alongside the practical experience gained in beef farming, they have been also been working on a project on sustainability with a focus on multi-species swards and carbon sequestration.  As part of the generous prize package, they also received an all-expenses trip to Brussels in June as well as a number of media and interview training events.  


They have also been busy promoting agriculture and rural issues across their school community by hosting a range of events. As a results of these, they have raised an impressive £590 for the Life Beyond Programme.  


The Life Beyond Programme provides support for farming families across Northern Ireland who has experienced loss through farm accident, suicide, unexpected or expected death. They understand the implications this has not only for the family but also for the farm business and so support is tailored according to each individual family’s needs.  


Life Beyond provides a unique combination of support, specifically tailored to what each family needs, with an all-in approach that incorporates various aspects of the farming family and the farming enterprise that has been affected by the loss. It will provide farm business, financial and technical mentoring support, alongside emotional health, and bereavement counselling including trauma support where needed. 


It will also provide one to one support for those and their families who have been given a terminal diagnosis to assist them in planning and to help give them space and time to spend with their loved ones.  


This support will operate alongside peer-to-peer group activities tailored for specific groups: for example: widows/widowers, parents, siblings, family members, farm accident survivors and their families, and there is also access to digital resources online through the Northern Ireland Farm Support Hub. 


All support is free of charge and will be provided over a 12-month period and beyond if needed, with the aim of helping families to navigate their experiences and move forward in their new normal – whatever that is for each family and farm business. More information about the programme can be found on the Rural Support. 


Frank and Edward are now looking forward to the final of the competition in late October.   


Pictured: Edward McKay and Frank Hanna along with Hannah Kirkpatrick (Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator Rural Support).