National Hero accolade for farming charity worker

Helen Benson receives her award from Christine Heemskerk, chair of Chartered Trading Standards Institute.
Helen Benson receives her award from Christine Heemskerk, chair of Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

Teamwork between North Yorkshire trading standards officers and the farming charity Farming Community Network has been recognised with a national award.

Helen Benson, Yorkshire coordinator for the charity, received a Certificate of Commendation in the Chartered Trading Standards Institute’s Hero Awards after being nominated by North Yorkshire County Council’s trading standards team.

The award recognises the invaluable role Helen has played while working in partnership with trading standards for 15 years. One particular case involved her support in helping a farmer to regain control of his life after he faced animal welfare charges for neglecting his livestock.

Working with trading standards and the farming community, Helen found a solution that enabled the farmer to avoid prosecution and improved his welfare and that of his sheep.

Divisional Trading Standards Officer Angela Lacy said: “Helen’s intervention means the sheep are being tended and no further issues have arisen since. The farmer has been able to maintain his status as a sheep farmer and the land his family has farmed for nearly 100 years.”