National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

29 March 2019

Two YFCs in Kent are celebrating receiving grants from a Charitable Trust that will help them support YFC members.

Weald of Kent YFC and Mount Lodge YFC won the grants from the David Friday Memorial Fund, which was set up by a local egg farming family, and which gives grants to young peoples' groups interested in agriculture within ten miles of the town of Cranbrook. 

Weald of Kent YFC submitted a successful grant application for a training project called Growing Safer Farmers, and have received £2,800 for first aid and food hygiene training and so they can offer bursaries for accredited training, such as telehandling, or chainsaw maintenance and handling. 

Club Chairman James Eckley said: “We’re very happy to be able to encourage safe practice on farms and increase employability of our members using meaningful training. We’re also hoping the project will help us recruit new members.”

The club will spend the grant over two years to enable as many members as possible to access bursaries of up to £200.

Mount Lodge YFC received £5,000 from the fund to build a new polytunnel and to refurbish their current one. The club is based on a care farm and young farmers’ meet on Saturdays and during school holidays to look after the animals and help them grow vegetables and flowers in the tunnel and garden.

Many of the members have learning and physical disabilities and the tunnel offers an area they can participate in horticulture even when the weather conditions are not good. The tunnel is also used as a nursery for ewes and lambs in the spring.

Amy Langdon from Mount Lodge YFC said: “Having more tunnel space will give more members the opportunity to get involved. The polytunnel is a great space for all of our members, from those in mainstream schools to those who are less able. The members prepare the tunnels for growing, plant all of the produce, grow all of their own fruits and vegetables over the warmer periods and then the members are able to harvest their own produce and we will use these in lunches at YFC meets.

“It is great to give the members the chance at growing their own produce, and learning about it on the way. With the space also available for the ewes and lambs this gives our young farmers the chance to have hands on experience with the lambing period and they get to learn about the routine tasks involved with this.”

The grant from the David Friday Memorial Fund was made available through the Kent Community Foundation but there are lots of similar funds around the country that clubs can apply to.

Kent County President Claire Eckley said : “There are 41 Community Foundations across the UK, giving out £98m with an average grant of £4,121 – which means they are a great port of call for Clubs and Counties for core funding and projects.

“Our Federation ran Fundraising training to increase the capacity of clubs in Kent to raise more money. It was not run by anyone from YFC, so it brought plenty of new ideas to clubs, like applying for grants.”

Application advice 

The clubs provided the following tips on applying for a grant: 

  • When filling in your form, don’t forget you’re telling people about YFC who might never even have heard of it before.  
  • Remember you’re in competition with others – so make sure you highlight the benefits it will bring to young rural people
  • Find someone who can help with grammar, spelling and making your application really clear and understandable – it might only be read once.
  • Save what you write as a lot of applications have similar questions and you can pick out bits and use them again, especially when you write about your club. 
  • Find out about local organisations that are involved with funding and managing funds.
  • Do lots of online research to find out what funds are available, you’ll be amazed to find funding opportunities on your doorstep that specifically want to fund agricultural projects for young people. 


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