National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

Community Spirit Award finalists

Thank you to everyone who entered or nominated someone for the Community Spirit Award 2021, sponsored by Tama.

The five finalists and the winners of this category have been chosen by TV presenter and farmer Gareth Wyn Jones, CEO of The Farming Community Network Jude McCann and NFYFC’s Chair Rachel Goldie.

WINNER: Pontfaen YFC

Keeping the community together and boosting morale has been a major focus for Pontfaen YFC. Through fundraisers, online activities and encouraging the community to gather they have offered hope during challenging times. 

As well as delivering groceries, collecting prescriptions and making scrubs bags, one project in particular is helping to improve the mental wellbeing of residents in Merthyr Cynog. Members have created a ‘talking bench’ –  a place for people to sit and talk to others – and decorated it with stones that include the numbers of organisations people can contact for support or counselling. 

When restrictions cancelled their illuminated tractor run at Christmas, they created a virtual Carol Service to bring some festive cheer to the local community instead. Members recorded readings, prayers and songs and hosted their jolly compilation on social media.

They managed to raise more than £800 for the local ICU department through a Christmas raffle and a further £1600 for charities through an online auction. 

They also played Father Christmas by doing a lap of the surrounding villages with their President’s ‘illuminated’ tractor and a festive cow and sleigh in tow. Their efforts brought the local community out on their doorsteps to catch a glimpse of Santa passing by. 

Pontfaen YFC is truly at the heart of its community and has received praise locally in recognition of its work. Not only is the club supporting young people from the local rural area, it is also regularly giving back to the community where it thrives. 

RUNNER UP: Southern District of Cumbria YFC (10 clubs)

It was a united effort across all 10 clubs in Cumbria’s Southern District when it came to offering their communities support during the pandemic. Working together as a district they provided much needed support to local surgeries and Covid-19 vaccination centres in Kendal and Grange over Sands. From marshalling car parks to moving furniture and guiding people through the centre for their vaccine – their support meant healthcare workers and admin staff could continue assisting the clinics.  

Their efforts were praised on television, social media and in the local press – with positive headlines applauding YFC for being ‘instrumental’ to the vaccine roll out in the local area. And it’s little wonder that YFC members have been stopped in supermarkets to thank them for their support!   

They also raised money for the Great North Air Ambulance by collecting people’s unwanted items and some members bravely took part in a 15,000ft sky dive to raise funds for their district and The Calvert Trust.  

Their joined-up efforts also extended to organising a tractor relay to show YFC’s support for the local agricultural college that is closing, volunteering to plant hedges for the Westmorland Agricultural Society and also helping with car park stewarding at the Society’s Food and Craft Fair. 

Their collective support has also kept members connected during the isolation of the pandemic and proven what can be achieved when you work together.

FINALISTS: 

Lewdown YFC

Local and national charities have benefited from the generosity of Lewdown YFC and their hard work has been recognised by the local media too. 

Despite the challenges of hosting events during restrictions, the club managed to hold a tractor run in December with an impressive 123 tractors taking part. The event helped to raise more than £2,500 for Devon Air Ambulance and Cancer Research UK and brought their local community together in a Covid-secure way. Feedback from the event was positive and many said it helped them to feel ‘normal’ during a time when things were definitely not normal. 

The club also held a Christmas hamper and Easter hamper prize draw and raised a further £1000 for charity too. Many of the items in the hampers included gifts donated by local companies too. 

As well as the fundraising, the club also offered their time to support local residents by doing shopping, collecting prescriptions or just being at the end of a phone for a chat. 

Their efforts also helped club members stay connected during the pandemic and also retained their interest in being part of the organisation. The club has managed to maintain its membership numbers throughout by offering much-valued support to its local community.

Avon Valley YFC 

YFCs offer a vital service to young people in rural communities by providing a social network in remote locations. Recognising that these important connections could be lost when clubs were unable to meet during the pandemic, Avon Valley ensured it supported young people in its community by offering an online programme of activities to its members and those from surrounding areas.

The club reached out to current and lapsed members in their local community to help them combat feelings of isolation, loneliness and anxiety that can be even more prominent due to rural and farming pressures. 

To engage people in their online programme, Avon Valley made sure it was accessible to all – incorporating activities for junior members too. Ideas included virtual bonfire nights, quizzes, online pumpkin carving and arranging for teams to be involved in online Public Speaking competitions. The competitions also encouraged more training and mentoring to take place between members – ensuring they motivated and inspired each other. 

Ultimately, the club wanted to keep their members connected – even if it was just for an informal get together online. 

The result of their efforts was to create a membership that became reliant on their regular online gatherings – with some dialling in from their tractor cabs just to be part of the conversation. 

The club recognised the power of YFC to make an impact on its local community by ensuring it continued to be available for young people throughout the pandemic.

Grayrigg YFC

Grayrigg YFC is a rural club attracting members from across a 20-mile radius and it’s not unknown for members to arrive by tractor!  Keen to participate in most activities, the club’s members take pride in wearing their distinctive black and white club shirt.

Recognising the gargantuan effort that the NHS faced to roll out the vaccination programme in Cumbria, Grayrigg YFC stepped up to offer its support to its local community. 

Members helped with marshalling at car parks and moving furniture for different centres – allowing health workers to continue their important role of offering vaccinations. Their efforts received recognition from Cumbria police and the local press has also regularly promoted Grayrigg YFC’s achievements.   

The club clocked up 12 impressive community projects – including a 12-hour shift supporting the vaccination programme. And it also inspired much wider involvement from the Southern District – bringing all 10 clubs together to support the community’s vaccination programme.  

Getting involved with the club’s community efforts had a positive impact on the positive wellbeing of its club members too. Meeting with others – even in a freezing car park – was valued highly and especially as they were volunteering to help others. Many asked when they could help again and expressed how much they had enjoyed volunteering. 

Most of all, their efforts have been appreciated by the local community – with many thanking them for their work.  



  



 

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