A farmer who lost half of her cattle to tuberculosis-carrying badgers was given a helping hand by a deputy manager at a nursery who raised more than £25,000 for her through a GoFundMe campaign.
The farmer, Emma Ledbury, appeared on the second season of the Amazon Prime show “Clarkson’s Farm”, which follows Jeremy Clarkson as he manages a farm in Oxfordshire. Rebecca Poole, 45, from Solihull, West Midlands, was inspired to help Emma after watching the show and created the fundraising campaign.
Poole was overwhelmed by the response, which came not only from the UK and Ireland but from countries as far away as Australia, Canada, and the United States. The success of the fundraising effort sends a message about the support for UK farmers and highlights the impact that shows as Clarkson’s Farm has in raising awareness about the challenges that farmers face.
“I am absolutely overwhelmed and I can’t thank people enough,” Ms Poole said to the PA news agency.
“It’s just blown me away how kind people are, especially in the current financial climate where people are struggling to buy food or heating, donating to a cause.
“And this cause – we’ve touched the heart of not only me, but the whole nation.
“I’ve had donations from Australia, Canada, America, as well as Britain and Ireland and Scotland.
Through the donations, Emma Ledbury will be able to keep her farm running despite the devastating effects of TB on British farming. Poole has been in contact with Emma Ledbury’s husband Pete, and the team at GoFundMe has made the couple beneficiaries of the online fund.
Poole told the press that after her father got cancer, she needed to focus on her feelings:
“I thought I’ve got all these angry feelings around my dad, having the cancer and not being able to be cured of it,” she said.
“I thought I could just brood or I could do something – so I decided to put all this anger and focus it into something.
“I just saw (Emma) on the telly and thought I can help her.”
“I think people support British farming.
“I do think Jeremy Clarkson has a lot to do with highlighting some of the problems that British farmers face that maybe the normal, everyday person like myself wouldn’t realise.
“Because they just get on with it, they just continue to work.
“We don’t necessarily know that they’re working for nothing, which is what some farmers are doing.”
She wasn’t expecting her GoFundMe to hit such high numbers:
“I set it at £10,000 thinking, ‘Oh, well, you know, that might be able to buy a few cows’, because I think cows are quite expensive,” she said.
“That was quite an ambitious target.
“And I never dreamt that it would ever double – and keep on going.”
The success of this fundraising effort demonstrates the power of community and the willingness of people to come together for a good cause. It is inspiring to see how people are willing to help a farmer in need, particularly in the current financial climate where many are struggling to make ends meet.