IT'S BEEN great to see 'actual' events taking place again and perhaps the single most important reason for them being able to go ahead has been to allow people to re-connect on a face-to-face level.

Farming is a lonely enough business without having any restrictions placed upon it on where you can go and what you can and cannot do, and so it's been fab to see the likes of the Cereals Event, the Royal Highland Showcase and last weekend's Textravaganza breed show in Carlisle, as well as East Kilbride's exhibitor's only show, go ahead. You can almost feel a palpable lift in mood at these events and it just goes to show that a little contact goes a long way to securing a feeling of well-being.

We can only hope that more events that are in the pipeline will also be able to go ahead and people should be encouraged to get out and about. The beer tents may even be able to open!

Mental health problems brought on by loneliness are a big thing in this industry and it is sometimes easy to make light of them, which makes regular contact all the more important. Sometimes the happy smiley face that you see, is hiding behind a facade. Everyone is capable of having moments of poor mental health and so it is not just a problem for those who are prone to them, but also for each and every one of us to take a care for those less fortunate than themselves in this respect.

That's why the rural charity, RSABI, needs your support and it is great to see the organisation maintaining it's connection between physical activities and mental well-being by going ahead with its virtual Great Glen Challenge – which is open to everyone (even those capable of little more than tiddlywinks!).

The event is to be staged at, or around August 27 and RSABI is looking for rural people from all walks of life to either operate individually, or as part of a team do their bit to raise funds for an organisation whose help-lines have been creaking at the seams because of the extra load measured upon them by Covid-19 and that 'isolation' factor brought on by the various lockdowns.

So we'd encourage as many as possible to sign up for taking part. Nothing would give us, at The Scottish Farmer, more pleasure than having the headache of handing out hundreds of the polo shirts we have on order for those who do take part and raise more than £75. As one of the main sponsors of this event – and indeed a willing (some more than others!) participant – it would be great to report that we can emulate virtually what can be achieved at an actual event. So, there's no need to go to the Great Glen, this is something that you can take part in in your own local.

The main things is that we have industry-wide support for a movement which very much subscribes to the argument that it's okay, not to be okay (For more, see page 66).