Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Mentoring?

A: Mentoring is an opportunity to discuss your farm business needs and options openly, and in confidence, with an experienced mentor who through their skills and experience, is in a position to be of positive help to you.  They will come out to visit the farm family for up to 3 sessions at a time convenient to you. 

Q: Who is eligible to apply for the Mentoring programme?

A: To apply for the Mentoring programme you must have a Category 1 DARD Business ID number and be actively farming.

Q: Who are the Mentors?

A: The Mentors are independent people who have expertise and experience in an agricultural business environment. 

Q: How will I benefit from taking part in the Mentoring Programme?

A: You will receive up to 3 free sessions with the Mentor to review and discuss your options and also avail of up to £250 for legal or financial advice from a Solicitor or Accountant of your choice.

Q: How do I claim the £250?

A: Firstly you must complete your mentoring sessions. On completion, you will be issued with both your Action Plan (a review of what you have discussed with your mentor, which includes useful contacts) and also your claim documentation with guidance notes.  You can seek the advice at anytime after you commence mentoring but cannot submit a claim until you have completed mentoring.  To claim, complete your claim form and forward that with your invoice and bank statement highlighting the payment in question leaving your account.  Providing all of the relevant paperwork is in place you will receive your reimbursed claim amount within 6 weeks of receipt. 

Q: I do not have many concerns to discuss; do I still have to complete 3 mentoring sessions in order to avail of the £250?

A: No, it is up to you and will depend on your own individual circumstances how many mentoring sessions you feel you need.

Q: How are the Mentors allocated?

A: Mentors are usually chosen on a geographic and current availability basis, although in certain exceptional circumstances, Mentors can be chosen depending on their experience, relevant to the applicant’s concerns.

Q: How do I apply for the programme?

A: You can apply by completing an application form and forwarding it to our office at Farm Family Options Mentoring Programme, 97 Moy Road, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, BT71 7DX. You can download the application by clicking on the following link http://www.countrysiderural.co.uk/farmfamilyoptions/application-mentoring.php

Q: How long does it take for the Mentor to arrange the first visit after I submit a completed application form?

A: We endeavour to issue Letters of Offer within two weeks of receiving the completed application form. When we receive the signed form of acceptance part of the Letter of Offer we can then go ahead and appoint the Mentor, who will in turn contact you to arrange the first meeting.

Q:  If I know the mentor who has been appointed to me, is it possible to change Mentor?

A: Yes, all applicants can contact the office within five days of receiving their Mentor appointment letter if they have any concerns with their appointed Mentor or would like someone else to mentor them.  After five days the applicant’s details will have been forwarded onto the Mentor, although it still may be possible to change the Mentor at the applicant’s request.

Q: Is there much paperwork involved with participating in the programme?

A: No, the application form is a short, 2-page document.  

Q: After applying for the Mentoring Programme, is it still possible to withdraw from it?

A: Applicants are not committing themselves to anything when applying for the Mentoring Programme and sessions can be discontinued and/or delayed at any time, at the applicant’s request. 

Q: Do I have to use a Solicitor or Accountant approved by FFO Mentoring programme to use my £250 for legal or financial advice?

A: No you can go to a solicitor or accountant of your choice to access advice in relation to succession planning and then submit your claim.