A CLARBESTON woman who set up a mental health charity after her husband tragically took his own life has received a prestigious National Lottery Award for her work.

As part of the 25th birthday National Lottery Awards, Emma Picton-Jones has been awarded one of only 12 prestigious Local Legend Awards in the whole UK.

Emma is the only recipient from Wales.

Mother-of-three, Emma, 31, has received the prestigious National Lottery Local Legend Award for her tireless work in supporting farmers and people in rural communities throughout the country with poor mental health.

In July 2016, Emma’s 34-year-old husband, Daniel Picton-Jones, an agricultural contractor, tragically took his own life after battling with depression and anxiety.

In the wake of Daniel’s death, Emma, a farmer’s daughter, set up The DPJ Foundation – named after Daniel’s initials.

The group encourages people in farming communities to open up about mental health, especially men working in the agricultural sector.

Two grants, amounting to £20,000 from the National Lottery over the last two years, have enabled The DPJ foundation to launch and raise awareness of Share the Load - a 24/7 telephone and counselling service for people with mental health problems in rural communities.

“I was naive before Daniel’s death,” said Emma, who has raised around £150,000 to provide mental health training to farming industry professionals.

“I didn’t realise the extent of the issues in our community. When I started talking to people, everyone knew someone who had died through suicide. I needed to do something positive. Farming is a really traditional sector and people can be very isolated.

“Farmers also work long hours which can often take its toll on them and they are more likely to be resistant towards seeking support. I also think people tend not to talk about mental health and keep it to themselves a lot more in rural communities. Not everyone wants to admit to their neighbours that they’re suffering. All these barriers prevent people from talking about their mental health problems. That’s why I set up the charity and I wanted to use Daniel’s story to break down the stigma.”

Emma added: “The National Lottery funding has enabled us to take what we’re doing throughout the whole country and reach more people with our support.”

The glittering 25th Birthday National Lottery Awards show will be filmed for BBC One on Tuesday, October 15, and will air on November 19.