23 April 2010
Saddle sore but in good spirits, Young Farmers' Clubs members from across England and Wales arrived to a warm welcome and glorious sunshine in Torquay for the start of the rural youth organisation's annual convention on Friday.
Tired but happy, members from a host of clubs had peddaled and paddled their way by land and water raising thousands of cash for their chosen charities.
Yorkshire YFC's amphibious craft made from recycled junk managed to make the journey to the beautiful bay in Torquay having set off from Huddersfield on Tuesday. The team had covered the 340-mile journey in a home-made contraption cobbled together out of bike frames and kayaks making use of canals along the way.
The trip will have raised more than £2,000 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
Members of Worcestershire YFC took turns riding two quad bikes from John O'Groats to Land's End, then back to Torquay, travelling 999 miles to raise £10,000 for Acorns Children's Hospice in Worcester and Diabetes UK.
They completed the final mile of their 1,000-mile target with a quick whizz around the car park at the Riviera International Centre.
Lancashire YFC completed their journey from Blackpool Tower ahead of schedule after a journey of 400 miles that will see £3,000 donated to the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI).
RABI will also benefit from the efforts of the four members of Kent YFC who cycled 300 miles.
Antony Morris covered 170 miles from Herefordshire to Torquay on a modified ride-on mower to raise cash for his local air ambulance service. Rebuilt to be road legal, Antony's machine achieved a top speed of 35 miles an hour and raised a few laughs from motorists on the way.
"It was a bit uncomfortable, but a lot of fun, he said.
Cornwall YFC also made the journey by bike and peddaled £5,000 into the coffers of Cornwall Hospice Care as a result.
23 April 2010
NFYFC president Lionel Hill MBE has been sticking the boot in for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution - wading around in a pair of customised wellies and relieving YFC members of their cash for the charity as they arrived at the annual convention.
Lionel and representatives of the farming charity were kept busy handing out badges and filling green buckets with cash in a bid to hit the target of £100,000 set by NFYFC chairwoman Helen Roberts, who has chosen RABI as her charity for the year.
The charity, which helps members of the agricultural community in need, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.
23 April 2010
Young Farmers' Clubs members came to the rescue when a Torbay Youth Service minibus carrying local pupils got stranded on top of a low wall near the bowling green on Friday afternoon.
NFYFC national president Lionel Hill MBE lent his weight to the rescue mission, helping as passing YFC members pitched in to lift the minbus off the wall and back on to the road.
22 April 2010
The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) will be holding a one-minute’s silence during its annual general meeting in Torquay on Sunday 25 April as a mark of respect to those members of the farming community who have lost their lives in accidents at work.
The tribute is part of the NFYFC’s efforts to help reduce the number of deaths and accidents in the agricultural industry by backing the HSE’s Make the Promise campaign which is being championed by NFYFC vice chairman James Chapman, who lost his arm in a farming-related accident.
Promise knots are being given out to Young Farmers’ Clubs members from across England and Wales who are travelling to Torquay over the weekend for the NFYFC’s AGM and annual convention at the Riviera International Centre as a reminder to pledge to come home safe from the fields to their families.
According to the HSE, working in agriculture remains one of the most dangerous ways to make a living. It accounts for around one in five work-related deaths every year, although only 1.5 per cent of the working population is employed in the sector.
Across Great Britain, 38 workers lost their lives in farming-related incidents between January and November 2009 and HSE figures for 2008/09 show that 589 people were seriously injured in farming accidents.
Nearly 15,000 farmers have already signed up to the campaign, and James Chapman, is calling on all 25,000 YFC members to support the campaign.
“The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs has proudly made the promise to come home safe. Encouraging farmers to work safely has always been one of our key priorities.
“I know only too well what can happen when safety isn’t put first. A few years ago, I lost my left arm when it was caught in an unguarded PTO shaft. It only happened because I, like many farmers, was working under pressure trying to get a job done as quickly as possible.
“Today I regularly speak to young farmers, using my experience positively as a warning of how important it is that they take the time to consider their safety and what can happen if they don’t," says James.
22 April 2010
Del Boy would be proud! Three members of Bakewell YFC will be trundling down from Derbyshire to Torquay in three Reliant Robins painted in tractor colours in a bid to raise cash for Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance.
The three-wheelers have been painted in the colours of John Deere, New Holland and a Valtra tractor, by Richard Eley, Carl Bradbury and Karl Mycock, so should be easy enough to spot on the way to the annual convention.
They hope to make their 271-mile trip in around seven hours, and will be stopping in towns and villages along the way to try to boost the £450 in cash they have already raised.
"It has never been done in Reliant Robins before so we thought it would raise a laugh and raise some cash for the air ambulance, which is a vital service in rural areas. We have CB radio to stay in convoy on the way, but there isn't a lot of room in these cars so it's not exactly comfortable," said Richard Eley.
21 April 2010
And they’re off! Young Farmers’ Club members from across England and Wales have begun making their way to the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs annual convention and AGM being held in Torquay from 23-25 April.
Clubs attending the event are using the journey to Torquay to raise thousands of pounds for charity on the way, many of them rising to the challenge issued by NFYFC chairwoman Helen Roberts for the organisation to raise £100,000 for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI), which is marking its 150th anniversary this year.
The four Kent YFC cyclists who set out on their 300-mile journey aiming to raise £2,000 for RABI, have already passed that figure and will now exceed £3,000 by the time their journey is over.
Lancashire YFC’s team of ten cyclists (pictured above) have also waved farewell to Blackpool Tower and are confident of doubling the money they have already raised by the time they reach Torquay. Other clubs are raising cash travelling on quad bikes and home-made amphibious vehicles.
Many other fundraising efforts are being undertaken and NFYFC president Lionel Hill MBE will be wading in with a sponsored wellie-wearing effort, also for RABI.
Among highlights of this year’s convention is the NFYFC Agriculture and Rural Affairs Forum, on Saturday 24 April, which will debate future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform, affordable rural housing and securing successful farming futures with representatives from Defra, the European Commission and a panel of other industry experts.
Event sponsors include Mole Valley Farmers, Torbay Cab Company, HOPS Labour Solutions, Farmers Guardian, Robert Wiseman Dairies and Defra, and the convention will contribute an estimated £1.5million to the local economy of Torquay.
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