Farmers’ tractor selfies raise cash for suicide prevention charity

Farmers everywhere are posing with their machines taking “tractor selfies” to raise awareness and funds for charity Papyrus.

The #tractorselfie4rob social media campaign was kicked off by Alex Paske in memory of farmer Rob Chapman who took his own life last year.

Money raised will be used to support Papyrus, a UK-wide charity dedicated to helping prevent young people from taking their own lives.

The charity was picked by Rob’s parents as the cause they wanted to see supported by fundraising in his memory.

The drive is picking up pace on Facebook.

People must take a selfie with their tractor in the background, make a donation to Papyrus by texting RFTG64 with the amount (for example RFTG64 £5) to 70070 and then upload their photo to Facebook with the hashtag #tractorselfie4rob and nominate friends to take part.

screen grab of Alex Paske's #tractorselfie4rob Facebook posts

Alex Paske’s family kicked off the #tractorselfie4rob campaign in memory of their late friend Rob Chapman. (c) Alex Paske

“The aim is to raise awareness of the stigma of mental health in the farming community and to make people realise that it is an illness and that people are not alone,” said Alex from Oundle, Northamptonshire, who was inspired by the Ice Bucket Challenge.

“I thought ‘how can we include Rob’s favourite thing, a tractor, and make it go viral?’”.

“My family did the first one and each of us nominated people in different areas to try to spread it,” Alex explained.

“My brother Sam used to farm in Poland so he has got some farmers there involved too.”

Screen grab of William Brooke's Facebook post for #tractorselfie4rob

(c) William Brookes

So far £660 has been raised through text messages and JustGiving donations and Alex hopes it will continue to gain momentum.