National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

18 February 2014

Young Farmers’ Clubs across England and Wales have raised more than £25,000 in forage and cash donations to help flood-hit famers in Somerset and are now promising to help clean up the county when water levels drop.

Eager to support the farming community, Young Farmers have been hosting fundraising events, organising forage aid collections and offering support on the ground in Somerset.

NFYFC is working closely with Somerset Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (FYFC) and other agencies to develop a coordinated plan for any offers of help from YFCs in cleaning up the county. The Federation is also encouraging clubs to offer support to any of their local communities across England and Wales that were affected by the floods.

Working together

Clubs quickly got together to help when they heard how flooded farmers urgently needed forage, hay, straw and bedding. Somerset FYFC have helped move cattle, fill sandbags and are now actively fundraising to help their local communities as well as supporting clean up plans.

A major YFC forage aid operation in Essex, saw members taking donations from local farms and collecting around 400 tons of forage to send to Somerset.

County Vice Chairman Ed Ford’s farm in Brentwood became the collection point for the forage donations and members from across the county aged between 16 and 26 grafted to ensure lorries were loaded and sent out. Ed, who started the collection, said it was an emotional moment when he saw the donations leave his farm for Somerset.

“It has been an incredible few weeks, where the farming community has shown real generosity and support during this crisis. It has been amazing to be a part of that and Young Farmers’ Clubs have really pulled together to show our support.

“I felt very proud to see all of the lorries leave the farm on Sunday. A huge thank you to everyone who has donated or helped out.”

Essex is not the only county to get behind the crisis as clubs and counties across England and Wales have started up similar schemes. Shropshire FYFC have just delivered 110 tons of forage from over 50 farmers.

Ben Sanders, Chairman of Ludlow YFC, said: “I am pleased to see the amount of support Young Farmers' Clubs across our county have given, by providing what they can spare to the flooded farmers. I am also delighted Ludlow is part of this national effort."

How YFCs gave their support:

  • Clubs in Somerset helped move cattle from flooded farms, filled sandbags and have been collecting donations and helping to coordinate deliveries. They are also actively fundraising and supporting a clean up effort
  • North Somerset YFC collected over 125 bales (five loads) of hay, silage and straw donated by local farmers and delivered them to Sedgemoor market with the help of Alvis Contracting and Chris Burr Contracting
  • Wormleighton YFC in Warwickshire pulled together two loads of forage and have offered support for the clean up mission
  • Eden Valley YFC in Cumbria have taken pledges of forage from farmers in the local area to transport to Somerset
  • Staffordshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (FYFC) launched a campaign with the Staffordshire NFU and Staffordshire and Birmingham Agricultural Society
  • Hertfordshire FYFC collected donations from local farmers 
  • Hampshire FYFC collected around 45 tonnes of forage and members Chris Gray and Richard Morgan drove 97 miles to Somerset to deliver it.
  • Shropshire FYFC collected 110 tonnes of forage from 50 farmers
  • Suffolk FYFC collected forage, hay, straw and feed and delivered them to Somerset
  • Members of Boroughbridge Young Farmers Club went on a 530-mile round trip to deliver 37 bales of straw to Somerset
  • Corringham YFC in Lincolnshire made donations to deliver to Somerset – including animal feed, clothing for the farmers and £500 in cash to buy further supplies
  • Tim Sedgewick of Ricknall Grange Farm, Henry Hutchinson of Red Gap Farm and Ben Layfield of Holland Hall Farm joined forces and asked for help from local farmers and hauliers throughout County Durham and North Yorkshire
  • Cawthorne YFC collected hay and silage before it was delivered 225 miles on a tractor and trailer
  • Llysfran YFC in Pembrokeshire have raised £800 to support farmers in Somerset
  • Bridgend YFC hosted a Valentine’s dance to fundraise for the cause and Hope Valley YFC donated £350 from its Valentine’s disco
  • Cornwall clubs are actively fundraising and are looking to donate to the Addington fund
  • Bedfordshire FYFC are asking farmers and companies in the region to make donations
  • Glamorgan YFC is hosting a Somerset Flood Relief fundraiser this month with NFU Glamorgan and Severn Group YFC are also hosting a disco this week to raise funds. 
  • Culm Valley YFC in Devon will be also be donating £1 from every entry fee to the Club's Tight & Bright Disco next week and are encouraging as many people as possible to come
  • Doncaster YFC is donating all proceeds from its race night and dinner dance to forage aid
  • Cambridgeshire's FYFC Chairman Luke Abblitt and former chairman Jon Eayrs gathered donations.
  • Honiton YFC raised £4,500 at the performance of its production Gogglebox and through an Auction of Promises. Half of the money is being donated to Somerset with the other half to Diabetes UK
  • Vale of Evesham YFC held a skittles and Supper night and raised £870 for people affected by floods in Somerset.
  • NFYFC Council and staff collected nearly £400 during the February Council meeting to donate to people affected by the Somerset floods.

Many clubs have also already agreed to help out with a national clean up operation and are still collecting forage as it will be needed for a long time to come.

NFYFC’s National Chairman of Council Claire Worden said: “It’s inspiring to see the next generation of farmers pulling together to support the industry. It is devastating to see the impact the floods have had on people’s livelihoods, especially in Somerset.

“Our clubs are uniting to show their support and we hope to help organise a national ‘clean up’ mission once the water levels have eventually receded.”

Any clubs or counties interested in helping out with the clean up mission should contact the NFYFC team. There will be more information about this to follow soon as it has to be carefully coordinated so look out on Twitter and Facebook for announcements.

If your club or county is also taking part in a fundraising activity or forage aid collections, please email the communications team.



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