National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

23 December 2018

What do you do when your Club only has four members left? Re-build it of course! Well, that’s what Bridgnorth YFC in Shropshire did and they’re celebrating a bumper Christmas with a membership of 36! After two nights carol singing with tractors decorated in tinsel they raised nearly £1,000 for Prostate Cancer UK. We caught up with Secretary Rebecca Joynt to find out how they got their YFC back in action

1. What made you want to keep going?

We are the oldest club in the county and that swayed a lot of people to stay loyal rather than joining another club

2. How did you grow the club?

There’s a core group of five committee members that are taking a lot of the responsibility. In 2017-18, we had 29 members and won the accolade of being the club that had grown the most, however a lot of them didn’t re-join this year. Our president has done a wonderful job of getting in touch with lots of friends and they have dragged their kids along! Roughly half of our members are juniors. We have really promoted the club events online, with roadsigns and in the paper and have found a new venue.

3. How are you aiming to keep members on board this year?

We’ve really pushed and asked members what activities they want to encourage them to come back. We make a monthly programme and publish it in advance. We also guided two junior teams to enter the county Speaking and Reading competitions – putting on rehearsals so they felt confident and they won the Reading! And their parents were really impressed with the atmosphere/encouragement with other clubs on the day so they’re keen to push their children to do more. The parents have been the key to success with our juniors.

4. Where do you meet?

We now meet at the town’s livestock market. The idea came as the county meetings are held at the Shrewsbury market. Three of our members work at Bridgnorth market so it was easy to get permission and they’re keen to be seen to be supporting the club. We meet 7.30pm on Mondays (but not always at the market). General meetings are the first Monday of the month and we aim to run two nights a month ourselves. We try to combine activities with other clubs to host a few events in a month.

5. How important is the club to the local community?

Shropshire is such a close community of YFC, past and present members. It means you can go to other events and nearly always see a friendly face.

6. What do you recommend other clubs do that are struggling for members?

Stick at it! It’s about getting the right people on the committee with enthusiasm for it. Also definitely worth finding connections with previous generations.

7. What have you learnt from the experience?

Personally, I’ve made lots of connections within the county YFC and have been amazed at the support people are willing to give if you ask for it.

For more advice on growing and running a successful YFC, get advice from NFYFC's handbook The Source. 


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