Arthur Rank Centre

Rural Stress Helpline

Rural Stress Helpline is a confidential, non judgemental listening service for anyone in a rural area feeling troubled, anxious, worried, stressed or needing information.

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It ran from to

Registered Charity in England and Wales (1104300)




  • Community Support & DevelopmentCommunity Support & Development
  • Environment/ConservationEnvironment/Conservation
  • Health/WellbeingHealth/Wellbeing
  • Poverty Alleviation/ReliefPoverty Alleviation/Relief
  • ReligiousReligious
  • OtherOther


  • Older PeopleOlder People
  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • OtherOther



Last year (2007-8) the RSH took 1252 calls from 308 people. One full-time and one part-time operator handle the calls, but to keep up with demand we want to train 5 volunteers, in 2009, to ensure we can answer every single desperate call. The Helpline telephone number is 0845 094 8286 and operates 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday. Calls can be quite distressing, are usually very complex, and tend to be long (often 40 minutes to 1 hour). It can help to talk; our operators are here to listen. Some callers need specialised or local support; we help them access it through referral, mediation or follow up work, walking with callers until their problem is resolved. The clear demand is in part due to increasing problems of poverty, isolation, expensive housing, diminishing local services and a depressed farming industry in rural Britain. People call from all parts of the UK to seek help. Our remit is to support all rural people, and the helpline provides an important support service for farmers, women (59% of our callers) and for the elderly (39% are over the age of 60). Our project is easy to access, low-cost to users, and has a special understanding of rural and farming issues. Rural Stress Helpline is a member of the Telephone Helplines Association and works to THA standards The budgeted shortfall for maintaining the service and developing our volunteer programme is £38,000. Countrywide Stores is sponsoring the helpline in 2009 and other fundraising activity helps to keep it running.