National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

Community Supporter of the Year Award 2021 

Thank you to everyone who entered or nominated someone for the Community Supporter of the Year Award 2021. The five finalists and the winners of this category have been chosen by Jeanette Dawson, Chair of Trustees for RABI, Abi Reader, dairy farmer and Chair of NFU Cymru Milk Board, and NFYFC’s Vice Chair Rosie Bennett. 

WINNER: Joe Holmes, Worth Valley YFC, Yorkshire  

Joe is a keen supporter of local causes and has always given his time to support his rural community. As the Club’s Chair he also encourages other members of the club to get involved in charity work too and will often tie in activities to a club meeting or event. It has also proven to be a popular way to sign up new members too as Joe will actively promote the fundraising events so more people join in and learn more about YFC. 

Joe has a track record of supporting his local community and helped with re-painting the train stations for the local steam railway, tree planting and collecting Christmas trees. 

The festive tree collection fundraiser, which was organised with the club, raised an impressive £27,000 for the local Sue Ryder hospice – a charity that relies on donations to give a vital end of life care to patients and their families. Joe also volunteers for the Sue Ryder Hospice, giving comfort to those who need it most. 

Joe’s dedication to involving Worth Valley YFC in charity work has also provided a lot of positive press coverage for the club and has shown what the organisation can achieve. 

His commitment to charity work goes above and beyond his position as Chair and he is a role model for others in the club and the wider organisation. 

RUNNER UP: Alastair Morgan, Wentwood YFC, Gwent

During lockdown Alastair recognised the importance of the YFC community and wanted to do something that could re-connect members of his club and county again. Knowing that the impact of isolation during a lockdown would be felt even more profoundly in rural areas, he decided to launch a weekly Facebook live quiz. 

YFC members, their families and supporters of the organisation would tune in week after week to take part in Alastair’s quizzes, where his charisma and enthusiasm would keep everyone entertained and united throughout the lonely lockdown. Viewers could engage in the quiz by commenting throughout the live video and at some points more than 100 households were watching the quiz, with many more watching the replay afterwards.  

The quizzes really helped to remind everyone that they were all in it together and provided an ‘event’ for members and their families. He also involved YFC members in helping to write the quiz questions each week – giving others a challenge and a sense of achievement too when their quiz was read out. 

Alastair is credited with ensuring the survival of Wentwood YFC over the last 18 months and has made the transition back to face-to-face meetings much easier. It also helped to promote YFC in a positive light during difficult times when people were unable to meet. 

This proactive and simple idea has helped to keep clubs in Gwent together during the pandemic – and created a sense of community at a time when it could have felt like there was none.  It is thanks to Alastair’s humour, dedication and creativity that the quizzes continued to be an ongoing success. 

FINALISTS: 

Mared Rees, Penparc YFC, Ceredigion 

As pandemic restrictions continued throughout the winter, Mared Rees never stopped supporting the vulnerable in her community. Her commitment to doing vulnerable people’s weekly grocery shopping and collecting their prescriptions has never wavered and she has become a reliable helper.

Her achievements were recognised in local press and a photo of her shopping appeared in the Farmers Guardian on the Wales YFC website and the Ceredigion County Federation website too. Local MP Ben Lake also acknowledged the work that Mared was involved in. 

Despite having a busy home life supporting work on her family’s farm, Mared has always found time to support others in the community. At the start of the pandemic, she offered help alongside her sister, but continued to keep volunteering even when her sister needed to step back.

Mared is described as ‘kind and caring’ and someone who has protected the vulnerable during the pandemic.

Jessica Rose, Tuxford YFC, Nottinghamshire

Raising spirits and funds was the motivation behind an innovative fundraising idea from Jessica Rose during the pandemic. As Notts Charity Chair, Jessica created a scarecrow challenge to raise money for NHS Charities Together and unite YFC members with the local community. Her aim was to help everyone feel together during lockdown, even though they were apart, and to encourage donations to an important cause. 

The challenge was to create a scarecrow that represented a key worker and then to nominate someone else to do the same and donate to NHS Charities Together. The idea quickly caught on and in Jessica’s village alone there were 30 scarecrows on display – despite only four YFC members living there! 

Scarecrows quickly started popping up all over the County, cheering up key workers and thanking them for their hard work. Some people planned their daily exercise routes around the scarecrow sites to ensure they caught a glimpse of the displays and an impressive £1,782.50 was raised for the NHS. 

Jessica worked together with her co-Chair Kirsty Annabelle on the project and together they spread the word around the local area and advertised the idea via social media. Jessica also promoted the idea on BBC Radio Nottingham and Radio Newark – talking live on the radio for the first time – and she received positive press coverage in local publications and support from national farming press. 

The scarecrows also made it into an online gallery as they caught the attention of a professional photographer.  

Jessica’s challenge helped to bring a community together during exceptionally challenging times and resulted in a great donation to charity too.

Jade Haughan, Wigton YFC, Cumbria

Jade’s can-do attitude and caring nature made her the ideal addition to the ‘Kirkbride Army’ – a support group set up during the pandemic. She gave much-needed help to the Wigton support group and used her YFC skills to best effect. 

Jade was responsible for organising a Teddy Bear Trail – an activity to encourage people to display a teddy bear or pictures of bears in their windows so that children could look out for them on their daily walk.  

She also supported three vulnerable people in the village, ensuring they had all they needed throughout the lockdown. As well as the physical support, Jade also provided a reassuring connection for vulnerable people who were feeling isolated and alone during uncertain times. The individuals involved have expressed their gratitude for all that Jade did for them and she was also awarded one of Cumberland Building Society’s 100 Thank Yous. The award was recognised in the local press and Jade also promote the Kirkbride Army on local radio. 

Jade epitomises what being a YFC member is all about and she is always willing to go the extra mile to help others. She is described as being ‘instrumental’ in getting people involved in supporting others and pulling the community together when it needed it most. 



 

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