Rural charity RSABI has updated its helpline service to make it more accessible to seasonal migrant farm workers.
The charity, which provides support to people working in the Scottish agricultural industry, has added a translation service to its helpline.
Any seasonal migrant workers in need of support can contact the charity directly on the helpline number of 0300 111 4160, or by completing an online form requesting a call back at rsabi.org.uk/Help-for-Seasonal-Workers
“This helpline has been put in place to reach out to the difficult to reach migrant workers,” said RSABI chief executive, Nina Clancy.
She said Covid-19 restrictions and post-Brexit visa requirements had made this season difficult for both farmers and their workers, and it had taken a toll on their wellbeing.
“Working away from home with language barriers can increase stress and anxiety for workers, in some cases magnifying the problems they are facing, and it is important that everyone in Scottish agriculture has an opportunity to receive support,” added Ms Clancy.
She said the charity was working with farming union NFU Scotland (NFUS) and agricultural co-operatives body SAOS to promote the new helpline service to foreign workers.
NFUS horticulture working group chairman, Iain Brown, said ensuring good worker wellbeing and morale was crucial for horticultural businesses.
He added: “Seasonal migrant workers are a vital asset to the Scottish horticulture sector and are a critical part of its success.
“Services that improve the mental wellbeing and morale of workers will have benefits for both the workers and for our members’ businesses.”
RSABI said the helpline will offer practical, emotional, and in some cases financial, support to seasonal workers in a “friendly voice in their own language”.
Earlier this year RSABI said demand for support from the charity had soared during the pandemic, with 2,734 calls to its helpline between April 2020 and March 2021 – up 63% on the previous year.