Mole Valley Farmers is donating money from every box of full-length gloves sold this lambing season to The UK Sepsis Trust to raise awareness of the silent killer.
Many farmers don’t wear gloves when lambing sheep and could be putting themselves or their staff at unnecessary risk of contracting sepsis, an infection that claims the lives of five people every hour in the UK.
Minor skin injuries and skin infections cause about 10% of all sepsis cases, but among farmers it is significantly higher due to the nature of their work. Falls, crush injuries and needle stick injuries also considerably increase the chances of farmers contracting the infection.
Mole Valley Farmers’ senior product manager Trevor Frost said no farmer should be taking the risk of not wearing gloves at lambing time.
Mr Frost said: “Ask yourself, is not wearing gloves really worth the risk? So many people don’t wear gloves, and they ought to. Very few farmers will calve a cow without wearing a full-length glove, yet the opposite is true when lambing a sheep.
“£20 can go a long way to getting all the gloves you need for a season, and in return, a proportion of that money will go directly to the UK Sepsis Trust to help fund the vital work of raising awareness of this deadly killer.
“:This campaign isn’t about raising money for our business, but simply about raising awareness of sepsis and its risks and promoting best practice,” he said.
Alongside this, there will also be a focus on sepsis awareness through Mole Valley Farmers’ stores, its monthly Newsletter and online platforms.
“If we can help save just one life, then that’s a start,” added Mr Frost.
Sepsis is an illness that came to light in the farming community in 2021 when, tragically, 26-year-old Cumbrian farmer Hannah Brown lost her life to the disease.
Sepsis arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. If it isn’t treated immediately with antibiotics, it can result in organ failure and death.
Hannah worked at Mole Valley Farmers’ Leyburn store and was well-known in the farming community and on the livestock show circuit. She left behind her fiancé Ben Richardson, seven-month-old daughter Millie and parents Martin and Val Brown.
She began feeling ill with flu-like symptoms that she initially thought were the signs of a cold. However, it wasn’t until she spoke to a friend in a local shop who suggested she might have sepsis that she attended hospital. Sadly, by then, it was too late to save her, and she died in hospital.
Mr Richardson said it all happened so quickly.
Speaking on a video produced by the NFU Mutual and the UK Sepsis Trust, he said: “It was all so quick and sudden. Everything turned upside down overnight, and everybody’s lives have had to change to adapt to it.”
Her mum, Val, added: “You don’t think it’s going to happen to you. If you can catch it soon enough, you can put a stop to it happening.”
Following Hannah’s death, her family have worked with the Trust and NFU Mutual to raise awareness of sepsis and the increased risk in farming.
Mr Frost added: “Hannah’s tragic loss demonstrated that sepsis can happen to anyone and the importance of protecting yourself. Something as simple as wearing gloves could be all that is needed to prevent you from contracting sepsis.”