Shortly after celebrating its fourth birthday, a Pembrokeshire-based mental health charity prepares to spread its wings with the appointment of a new management team.

With funding to extend its services into north Wales, founder of the DPJ Foundation, Emma Picton-Jones, takes a step back and a new management team join.

Emma, who set up the DPJ Foundation in July 2016 following the death by suicide of her husband Daniel, plans to return to her job as a teacher in September (though she will remain a volunteer with the DPJ Foundation).

“Little did I imagine that in the sheer darkness of that July in 2016, the small idea I had would transpire into something which has brought so much joy, support, fun and tears," said Emma.

"It has been my recovery, my healing and my grieving process. Thank you to each and every person for following this journey, this foundation would be nothing without all of the people championing it on the ground.

"I knew something needed to be done but didn’t understand the extent of the issues and never imagined how far this would go.”

Kate Miles joins the DPJ Foundation taking over as charity manager from Emma.

Kate, who is from a sheep farming background in Neath, says: “I hope to use my experience of working in the voluntary sector to carry on Emma’s great work. My aim for the DPJ Foundation is that every farmer in Wales is aware of the services we offer and more people are talking about mental health.”

Since starting as a small charity to help farmers with their mental health in Pembrokeshire, the DPJ Foundation has grown to cover the whole of Wales, with more than 200 farmers having accessed the fully funded counselling service and many more speaking to the Share the Load service volunteers when they need it most.

Share the Load is a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week call line that is staffed by Samaritans-trained volunteers who understand the farming community and the challenges that farmers can face.

The service is completely confidential and can provide the first step to recovery from poor mental health. The foundation has been fortunate to receive funding from the Welsh Government to deliver this service in north Wales along with support from the Ashley Family Foundation via Community Foundation Wales.

The DPJ Foundation also provides mental health awareness training to farmers, their families and professionals who work with them. This prepares those who have been trained to spot the signs of poor mental health, to help people who are suffering and to have conversations about suicide.

A new training manager, Kay Helyar will be developing the training programme and joins with considerable experience of delivering training in the housing sector.

Kay explained: “Making a difference to people and communities has always been important to me and I know this role will give me that opportunity. I look forward to working with the team to broaden awareness of mental health issues in agricultural communities”.

Alongside its Share the Load volunteers, the DPJ Foundation also has a team of regional champions spread across Wales. These volunteers regularly attend meetings and events to raise awareness of mental health, to talk about the work of the foundation and to ensure people know how to get in touch with Share the Load if they need support.

To find out more and how you can get involved, contact, call 07984 169652 or visit

To access the Share the Load service you can call 0800 587 4262 or text 07860 048799. The freephone helpline is open 24 hours a day, everyday.