Tributes paid to inspirational Norfolk poultry farmer Patrick Joice

A broiler grower who campaigned to end the stigma around depression, raising tens of thousands of pounds for charity in the past year, has died aged 46.

Patrick Joice of Uphouse Farm, Norfolk, was diagnosed with a rare cancer of the salivary duct in March 2018, and subsequently became ill with depression. After struggling to accept the diagnosis of depression, a condition he said he initially didn’t believe was real, he drew wide acclaim after posting about his illness on the Naked Farmer Facebook page, which encourages farmers to talk about their problems.

With his wife Zanna, Joice spent his final year raising awareness about mental health problems, and promoting the work of rural charity YANA (You Are Not Alone) which provides counselling services. He died on 19 September.

In June, Joice helped raise £53,000 for YANA with a charity cricket day.

Joice served on the NFU’s National Poultry Board and was one of the first members of the NFU’s Poultry Industry Programme when it first launched in 2012. He since chaired the 2015 and 2017 cohorts.

His wife Zanna told the East Anglian Daily Times: “Patrick was always striving for the best – he never did anything half-heartedly.

“He always wanted to leave a lasting legacy in farming, but I don’t think he expected it to be done in the way he has done it. He would have hoped to make his mark in the poultry industry and continue improving it, like his father, but in the end he has made his legacy in a way that is much more important than a general farmer. He has done it in a way that is going to help many more people.

“He was loyal to all his friends and family. He was someone who always had a smile on his face when he walked into a room, and he was full of mischief and cheekiness. There was always a twinkle in his eye.”

Minette Batters, NFU president tweeted: “Patrick with his wife Zanna really did make a difference to so many people’s lives. His legacy will live on with us all.” 

 

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