National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

Coronavirus guidance for YFC members

Last updated: 23.09.20

NFYFC has collated this information to help YFC members concerned about the impact of Coronavirus on their club activities. Keeping the YFC community safe is our priority and we will be updating this information regularly as the situation develops.

All the latest updates and advice are available on the Government website here.

County offices, County Chairs, NFYFC Council and County management teams are also being regularly updated with more detailed and specific information through weekly Covid-19 briefings from NFYFC. Please speak to your County Office if you would like access to this more detailed information. 

YFC Club and County meetings and events

Advice for YFCs in England 

The Government imposed further Covid-19 restrictions on 22 September 2020 to help reduce infection transmission. The National Youth Agency (NYA) has confirmed that there is no change to the current Amber level of readiness for the youth work sector in England.

Social gathering restrictions in England are limited to the ‘rule of six’ but this does not apply to a YFC setting when clubs adhere to Covid-Secure guidelines. Youth sector activity is classed as an essential service and is therefore exempt from this rule as long as Covid-Secure guidelines are followed IN FULL when holding a club meeting.

YFC clubs are advised that it is possible for groups of 15 members, plus two leaders, to meet in a Covid-secure venue, as long as the club has followed the appropriate guidance and has a risk assessment in place.

YFCs in England should exercise extreme caution when considering and planning activities – and MUST follow the published guidance in full. 

Considerations should be made for continuing with online and virtual YFC club activities and online Annual General Meetings.

For those clubs that do want to have a physical meeting, please be aware of the new Covid-19 rules and restrictions:

  • Follow the Covid-secure YFC guide IN FULL and be sure to check everything is planned and checked before any activity takes place. Covid-secure arrangements are becoming a legal requirement and those operating without Covid-secure plans will be subject to fines (fines have increased).
  • All police forces and all local authorities in England are aware of the youthwork exemption and the NYA guidance – the exemption still applies to youth sector activities during a local lockdown – as it is an essential service. Covid-secure pre-planned small group activities can take place in England.
  • Good practice is for leaders/supervisors to alert the police of their planned activity and to ask for a reference number they can use, if required. This is a recommended course of action, especially for activities taking place in public spaces such as parks or community centres where members of the general public may be concerned about seeing a group of people together. The police reference number can then be given to anyone who challenges a leader about the activity so they can contact the police for reassurance.

When running an event:

  • YFCs should think carefully about the public image of the club and activities and must account for local situations and the local community when deciding to run small group activities. Where possible, run online/virtual activities.
  • Some YFC members may not wish to participate in an event in-person.
  • It is important for YFC club officers to be familiar with the Covid-Secure YFC Guide so they are prepared for any questions from their membership and from parents of U18 members and are able to offer reassurances.
  • Be prepared in case of negative feedback about decisions to host a pre-planned YFC activity – especially if it is in an area where there is a local lockdown. Speak to county officials for support and follow guidance on how to best manage these situations online. 

NFYFC has produced a full guidance document on what YFCs need to do for organising activities and meetings see herewhich has been prepared with the support of the National Youth Agency. This updated guidance has been sent to all county offices and club committee members can download the guidance here so they can plan how they can open in a Covid-secure way

The current guidance for YFCs is in line with the National Youth Agency – and you can read these guidelines in full here.

NFYFC has delivered online training sessions to all county federations and each county federation should be running similar training meetings with club officials to support them with planning a programme of activities that is Covid-secure. NFYFC has provided the training resources for county federations to use

Advice for YFCs in Wales

The Welsh Government also imposed new restrictions on 22 September 2020, which include meeting with only six people indoors in a single extended household. Curfews on pubs, bars and restaurants have also been imposed and people have been asked to only make journeys that are necessary. 

NFYFC has prepared guidance for YFCs on planning club activities and these are currently with Wales YFC for final approval before being published. This guidance will be added to the website once available. 

Working together 

As a community we must all comply with the Government’s advice and work together to help control the spread of the virus. Many clubs and counties have been organising online activities and events for YFC members to enjoy and we continue to encourage all clubs to continue to do this as well as considering some form of physical meetings. 

NFYFC continues to encourage members to enjoy YFC at Home and is currently developing a national programme for 2020-21 that means we can all enjoy YFC through social distancing measures.   

Find out more about YFC at Home.    

Supporting your community – YFC Rural Support

All YFCs in England and Wales can continue to assist community groups with their Covid-19 response.  It is likely that some people will again require assistance as they shield or take extra care to protect themselves.  

We are aware many YFC clubs have been supporting their local communities during the pandemic. As clubs start to meet and plan activities, we would encourage you to look at Covid-19 Mutual Aid for ways to support existing local groups too and ensure you follow social distancing guidelines.You can find out more about Covid19 Mutual Aid UK here and find a group near to you. 

If you’re taking part in a local community support group – with or without your YFC – you could be part of the Farming Help database that is supporting the farming community during the Covid-19 outbreak. The Helpline (03000 111 999), operated by FCN, is open 7am - 11pm every day of the year.

FCN is also helping the farming community to build personal and business resilience during this challenging time. Its FarmWell website and FarmWell Wales website provides a wealth of information and guidance around topics such as Brexit, Covid-19, mental health, faith and spirituality and much more. 

YFC Competitions 

The 2019-20 NFYFC Competitions programme has been moved to 2020-21 – with an extension to the age ranges that can compete. The decision was made by YFC members who sit on NFYFC’s Competitions Steering Group and was based on the information and opinions provided by County Federations in England and Wales.

It means that in 2020-21 YFC members who are aged 27 or under on 1 September will still be able to compete. Clubs and counties are asked to check the ages that can compete in sports though, as insurance restrictions will still remain.

More information about plans for the 2020-21 Competitions programme will be released soon.   

YFC Travel

All YFC Travel trips in 2020 have been moved or postponed. The YFC Travel team is in contact with the individuals who were chosen to go on these trips. 

NFYFC Council and Steering Group Meetings

Members of all five steering groups have been holding regular meetings online to discuss and guide the programme of work at NFYFC during this difficult time. The June Council meeting was not held but a briefing paper was shared with Council members.     

NFYFC events

All of NFYFC's events and activities for the new membership year are being reviewed in line with Government guidance.

Mental health

We understand the impact social distancing restrictions are having on YFC members – especially as so many already live in isolated areas and rely on their weekly club meetings to socialise with others.

To help YFC members look after their mental wellbeing during these uncertain times, NFYFC has created Take Time resources, sponsored by Tama. There are seven steps to follow with practical advice and tips on helping you to take time away from the pressures you may be under. All of these resources are available online here

If you feel that you are having a mental health crisis, emergency or breakdown, you need to seek immediate expert advice and assessment. You can call your GP, ring the Samaritans on 116 123 or the Farming Help number on 03000 111 999. You can also follow the links under the ‘Urgent Help’ section here. 

The NHS also suggests viewing the Every Mind Matters website if you are having to self-isolate and are feeling lonely. 

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