National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

18 November 2019

For the first time in its history, the Went Valley district Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) winter rally didn’t go ahead. Instead, members donned waterproofs and shifted over 60 tonnes of rubbish to help the flood-stricken residents of Fishlake.

Lewis Marshall, chairman of the Went Valley district of young farmers, which is made up of clubs in Doncaster, Pontefract and Selby, said the suffering of local residents had made it impossible to continue with the day of competitions and fun.

“What we’ve got is plenty of vehicles and trailers and strong young people,” explained Lewis, whose mum cooked breakfast for the helpers in Sykehouse Village Hall - which had already been booked for the cancelled rally.

“We aren’t the biggest of clubs but there were about 35 of us and we split into groups, going around collecting rubbish to fill multiple 14-ton skips and 15-ton bin lorries.

“We’d all seen the pictures on the news but until you are actually there in real-life you have no idea of the devastation. There were fridges in fields, cars in ditches. It was very humbling to feel we’d made a difference. Facebook has been full of residents thanking us and the council has gone from being wary of us arriving to so grateful for all that we got done and the money we will have saved them.”

The young farmers’ efforts were featured on local ITV television news programme Calendar. Several businesses made donations of cleaning equipment, food and drinks, including workwear company Arco which gave full protective equipment kits of body suits, goggles and gloves.

Georgina Fort, chairman of Yorkshire FYFC, added her praise:

“We were all devastated to see on the news the damage the rainfall has done to South Yorkshire,” she said. “Farming has been hit hard by the weather once again.

“In true farming spirit the area is pulling together and it is tremendous to see that YFC members put others first and cancelled plans for their winter rally and got together to help those that needed help.”

Young farmers won national praise earlier in the year when they helped with the clear-up after the floods in the Yorkshire Dales. 


04 November 2019

Hundreds of YFC members in Cumbria are more aware of the effects of drugs and alcohol abuse after taking part in the first year of a three-year funded awareness programme.

Cumbria FYFC was awarded a £10,000 grant from The Cumbria Community Foundation to run a Drugs and Alcohol Awareness Programme, supported by The Well Communities – a charity that helps people recovering from addiction.

The County Federation worked with The Well Communities to tailor the sessions to be suited to young people living and working in rural areas of the County. The sessions were also open to members’ parents, YFC Club Leaders and members of the YFC advisory committees.

Each of this year’s sessions, which were attended by nearly 300 YFC members, included personal stories from those in recovery as well as insights into the effects of drugs and alcohol abuse, addiction and the consequences.

YFC members also learned why people abuse drugs and alcohol, the physical and mental impact of misusing substances and how to cope with peer pressure.

Amy Swinbank, Chairman of Eden Valley YFC, attended the most recent session in Carlisle with 100 YFC members, and says she hopes to use the information during a YFC session in the future.

“The Drugs and Alcohol awareness session provided an opportunity to gain an understanding of the physical and mental effects of drugs and alcohol and how to deal with peer pressure," said Amy.

“It was great to hear emotive first-hand experiences and be able to ask questions. I hope that we will be able to use the session at a club meeting in the future, to increase the awareness of drug and alcohol abuse."

The Well Communities received Big Lottery funding through the Cumbria Youth Alliance and Cumbria County Council to support their work delivering the sessions and CEO Dave Higham said the project had been a success.

“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have worked with the management team and the Young Farmers, helping to make their community a safe place in which they can achieve their full potential.

“The Young Farmers really engaged and were moved by the impact that alcohol and drugs can have on peoples’ lives and also how easily it is to fall into the traps of addiction due to peer pressure or problems with mental health or low self-esteem. We are really looking forward to working with the Young Farmers next year, as they are an amazing group of young people.”

More sessions are planned in Cumbria over the next two years. 


Social


Designed by Kevyn Williams