Shropshire Star

Shropshire Rural Support set to launch text messaging service to help those in need

A new text service is set to start on Monday offering vital support to farmers in need.

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The ‘Text SRS at 85258’ campaign, which will launch officially at the Shropshire County Show, has been developed target young people living and working in rural Shropshire who prefer to text than talking on their phones.

Shropshire Rural Support, in partnership with SHOUT, have launched the 24-hour, 365-day service so people have access to a text messaging help line that connects callers with real people who are trained to support.

The charity has been operating a free helpline for farmers, their families, small rural businesses, and people living in rural Shropshire for more than 30 years.

The new service will help those in need

And while this continues to provide support and signposting at times of crisis, the group was keen to adopt newer technology to expand its reach.

Shropshire Rural Support, with the help of Young Farmers Club across Shropshire, carried out an online survey to obtain the views of their members and the overwhelming response was that text messaging was preferred to talking on the phone.

Andrew Bebb, chair of Shropshire Rural Support chair, said: “Text SRS at 85258 is an exciting development, adding a second communication channel to our established free confidential telephone helpline service that will enable us to support hard to reach young people who are seeking independent and confidential support.

"Shropshire Rural Support is a self-funding charity and in recent years has received considerable financial support from Young Farmers Clubs across Shropshire. Launching this service is a tangible way to repay their generosity and provide a service that we know they will use.”

Shout is the UK's first and only free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging service for anyone who is struggling to cope.

They have taken more than two million conversations with people who are sad, worried, lonely or suicidal and who need urgent, in-the-moment support.

The service will be going live on Monday, where support will be available by texting ‘SRS’ to the number 85258.

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