National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

Top Trainer Award

Awarded to the County that delivers the Curve modules to the highest percentage of their membership from Sept 20199-August 2019 and to recognise the excellence in delivery and continued hard work of YFC Trainers.

Winner: Olivia Slack, Derbyshire

When clubs in Derbyshire get a call from YFC Trainer Olivia Slack, they know they will have to make time in their club programme for a training session. Olivia’s direct approach has meant all clubs in Derbyshire (and even some in Nottinghamshire) received Curve training in 2018-19 and her dedication has earned her the Top Trainer Award.

“Myself and the Curve training team work so hard and I’m pleased that we have won it for Derbyshire,” said Olivia who decided to become a trainer after the County’s two existing trainers retired and she saw the Train the Trainer course was being held locally.

Following her training in January 2018, Olivia started off delivering the Dream Teams module to clubs and found once they had received one session, most were keen to add more training to their club programmes.

“I took over the Curve team and I went round all of the programme secretaries before they started the new year and told them all to book me in for a date I would be coming four months later!"

But it was a tragic farm accident in November of the same year that focused Olivia and Derbyshire clubs on taking part in farm safety Curve training. Ashley Holden – a YFC member and the brother of Olivia’s partner – was killed by a falling bale whilst at work. Olivia was determined to ensure that all YFC members in the county were more aware of the dangers on a farm and used her YFC training to deliver the Curve Farm Safety module to clubs.

Olivia also went on to set up Action for Ash, a trust fund that sells high vis merchandise and hopes to offer grants for further training such as tele-handling, PTO cover and first aid.

“We sold high vis workwear for the Air Ambulance when we delivered the farm safety training at club meetings,” said Olivia. “I have seen a lot more members wearing high vis and taking safety advice on board. Members in the north west area of Derbyshire in particular were straight on it with everything. We had a fundraising day and everyone came to that. It’s hit home and they are trying to improve.”

While Olivia’s full-time role as an apprentice butcher doesn’t involve training others, she says her side-line as an After Dinner speaker uses similar skills.

“I do after speaking at charity functions and WI events, so I’m in my element standing up in front of folk,” explained Olivia who has been a YFC member since she was 10 years old and is a member of Pleasley YFC. “It can be a challenge sometimes when you’re training such a wide range of ages but it’s still worth it for skills that people can develop by taking part.”

As an experienced presenter and now a trainer, Olivia had several training tips for others:

1. Always practice a module at home first so you can identify any problems in the delivery and see where it can be adapted to suit your audience. I have changed some of the games and activities before now if I think they won’t work well with the people I know I am training. You know the members in your own area and what will work.

2. Involve special guests – I have used my contacts to bring in outside speakers sometimes who can add something extra to the training.

3. Work together – it has to flow well so know who you’re training with each time, not just hoping someone turns up.

4. I find it’s better to just tell clubs I am turning up to do a Curve module and not actually telling them what the module is so they don’t have preconceived ideas about it. 

Top Trainer AwardNFU Trophy Worshipful Company of Farmers TrophyLionel Hill Trophy Prince of Wales TrophyForage Aid TrophyTug Wilson TrophyYFA TrophyMerrick Burrell Trophy


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