01 Nov Harper Adams University community event for the Len’s Light campaign.
Deputy Lieutenant Tony Morris-Eyton joined the students at Harper Adams University for a campus community event for the Len’s Light campaign. The event drew a crowd of more than a hundred students, employees, dignitaries and guests for a day of fun, games and reflection at Harper Adams.
The event was organised by student volunteers who serve as Harper Student Life Representatives (SLRs) and the University’s Student Services team alongside the Len’s Light campaign, run by Lynda and Andy Eadon, the parents of Len Eadon.
Len, from Napton on the Hill in Warwickshire, was a well-liked student at Harper Adams University, who graduated from his Rural Enterprise and Land Management degree in 2021. On January 1, 2022, Len took his own life, and the Len’s light campaign was set up by his parents in his memory.
The campaign has both worked to raise funds for rural mental health charities and to remove the stigma of discussing issues around mental health in rural communities and beyond.
Len’s Day, which was held in the Harper Adams Soil Hall and featured a range of fun competitions, including a fit for farming challenge course, a tug of war competition and much more.
The day also offered students the chance to talk to charities working on rural mental health issues, with stalls from Papyrus, Shropshire Rural Support and Yellow Wellies along side the Harper Adams Wellbeing Team and Ambassadors for the Farm Community Network and We Are Farming Minds.
Harper Adams Head of Wellbeing Services, Hayley Borrett, said: “After celebrating Mental Health Awareness Day on campus in the week, it was lovely to see the Student Life Reps work so hard to continue to promote positive mental health amongst our students.
“We were lucky enough to also be supported by some local and national charities including Papyrus, Shropshire Rural Support and Yellow Wellies, who all play vital roles in the support network for our community.
“The message Andy and Lynda are spreading through the Len’s Light campaign – that you are not alone – is one which we will continue to promote through the work of the Wellbeing Team and undoubtedly will have made a difference to those who attended.”
Among the students who talk part in organising the day alongside Andy and Lynda were Annabel Lea and Henry Pearson.
Henry said: “Len’s story and Andy and Lynda’s mission resonate with all of us here at Harper. Mental health is one of the biggest problems facing the agricultural sector today and as such we really wanted to put on an event in Len’s honour that gave Andy and Lynda the platform to spread their message and one that would encourage our peers to talk about their mental health.”
And Annabel added: “We were extremely pleased with how the day went and the conversations it has sparked around the campus.”
Len’s parents, Andy and Lynda, praised the students for the work they had put into the day – and into ensuring their peers heard the campaign’s message.
Andy said: “The future of Len’s Light has become a lot brighter due to the ability, dedication and care shown by SLR students at Harper Adams.”
And Lynda added: “To be invited back to Harper Adams during Ag Mental Health week meant a lot to us both – but being invited back specifically by the fourth year SLRs made it all the more special.
Credit – Harper Adams University