National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

Coronavirus guidance for YFC members

Last updated: 26.06.2020

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

New guidance about easing lockdown restrictions was announced by the Prime Minister on 23 June 2020, which comes into effect in England on 4 July 2020. We have updated information for clubs and counties in line with the government guidance. 

Guidance for YFC in England and Wales

In England the rule that allows a group of up to six people from multiple households to meet outdoors remains in place. Additionally in England, two households of any size will be allowed to meet indoors or outdoors from 4 July. In Wales, only two households are allowed to meet at one time and outdoors only. Please see advice below for clubs in England and Wales. 

Advice for YFCs in England 

NFYFC has reviewed the government's proposed changes for England and believes:

  • unfortunately it is still not possible for YFC organised club activities to resume. A group of six people will mean excluding some or most of the club membership. 
  • small groups of friends can socialise together – but that the activity must not be a YFC organised club activity.
  • at this stage in the easement of lockdown, the club committee (charity trustees) cannot organise an event that brings responsibility and accountability to the YFC club. The charity trustees must continue with their key responsibilities preventing harm to YFC members, finances or reputation. 
  • care must be taken by friendship groups in YFC not to make plans that could be viewed as a club activity to protect the club officers and the reputation of the club.

Advice for YFCs in Wales:

NFYFC has reviewed the Welsh government's guidance for Wales and believes:

  • unfortunately it is still not possible for YFC organised club activities to resume in Wales as only two households are currently allowed to meet outdoors.
  • as lockdowns ease, the club committee (charity trustees) cannot organise an event that brings responsibility and accountability to the YFC club. The charity trustees must continue with their key responsibilities preventing harm to YFC members, finances or reputation. 
  • care must be taken by friendship groups in YFC not to make plans that could be viewed as a club activity to protect the club officers and the reputation of the club.

Despite any changes to the guidance for both England and Wales, social distancing should still be maintained and many restrictions still apply. 

Support for re-opening YFCs from NFYFC for in England & Wales

We know how keen everyone is to resume meeting with their YFC clubs again and we are monitoring the government updates closely. In the meantime, NFYFC is preparing guidance, checklists and templates that will assist YFC clubs to resume activities in a Covid-secure way as soon as the government advice will allow this.

We will be publish the advice and supporting information/templates on NFYFC's website and circulate it to all county federations as soon as possible once the government advice allows. We will be asking all county federation to share this information with every YFC club too.  

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. 

NFYFC is also supporting YFC members to enjoy YFC at Home through activities and challenges. Find out more about YFC at Home.    

Supporting your community – YFC Rural Support

We are aware many YFC clubs have set up support networks and services in their local community. We would encourage all YFCs to now support a Covid-19 Mutual Aid group operating in your area to help with the urgent delivery of food parcels and supplies. If your club is taking part in supporting the local community, please ensure you are following 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.

The five Farming Help charities – Addington Fund, Farming Community Network (FCN), Forage Aid, Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I), and RSABI, supported by the Prince's Countryside Fund - have set up Farming Help to support the farming community during the current Coronavirus (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  provides a wealth of information and guidance around topics such as Brexit, Covid-19, mental health, faith and spirituality and much more. FarmWell Wales has recently been created through a joint collaboration between various government bodies and rural support charities including the Welsh Government, FCN, Farming Connect, the DPJ Foundation, Tir Dewi, The Addington Fund, Mind Cymru, Mind Monmouthshire and R.A.B.I.

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.

The Drama competition will not be re-run in 2021 though, as it is hoped that the final of this can still be held in August, depending on Covid-19 restrictions at the time. Instead the 2021 Performing Arts competition will be Pantomime, as these shows attract a bigger audience and can be more profitable for clubs and counties. 

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. 

Annual General Meeting

NFYFC has postponed its Annual General Meeting which was due to be held on 26 April at Stoneleigh Park. A new date will be arranged as soon as it is possible to do so, following Government guidelines.

NFYFC Council and Steering Group Meetings

The June Council meeting is no longer being held and Council members have been informed and will be provided with a report in lieu of the meeting. 

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.  

NFYFC events

All of NFYFC's events and activities are currently on hold until government guidance changes.

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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