National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

Heart of YFC finalists

Thank you to everyone who entered or nominated someone for the Heart of YFC Award 2021, sponsored by Eternit UK. The five finalists for this category have been chosen by NFYFC President Nigel Owens, Board of Management Chair Delme Harries and NFYFC’s Chair of Membership and Marketing Sarah Emmott. But the winner was chosen by the YFC community through an online vote. 

More than 1,600 votes were cast by the YFC community to choose their Heart of YFC Award winner. 

WINNER: Hazel Stansfield, Clitheroe YFC, Lancashire

From small beginnings helping with refreshments to now chair of her club and vice chair of the county – Hazel has come a long way in her six years as a member of YFC.

As well as the strong support she gives in Lancashire, Hazel also supports the national Federation by representing her county at NFYFC Council meetings and Northern Area meetings. During the pandemic Hazel has taken on even more responsibility at a county level while the Federation has been without a County Organiser and has closely supported her County Chair to keep things running smoothly.

She has managed to do all this while running Clitheroe YFC – and even increased the club’s membership during a challenging year. Hosting engaging virtual meetings, fun competitions and encouraging members to get involved with county, area and national competitions too has all helped boost the numbers.

No stranger to competing, Hazel is a former Senior Member of the Year winner at county level and has recently taken part in the county’s Debating team that competed in the Northern Area, alongside stockjudging and other field day contests.

Hazel’s focus is on her club and she strives to make it the best in the county. The club’s success during the last year is attributed to Hazel’s dedication to YFC.

Abigail Williams, Usk YFC, Gwent

In the midst of a pandemic and at the same time as becoming a new mum, Abigail took on a campaign to change NFYFC’s constitution to raise the membership upper age limit to 28 from 26 years of age.

As County Chair, she is all too aware of the struggle clubs face – especially during the pandemic – with recruiting new members and the ongoing pressure on younger members to fulfil committee roles. She convinced members across England and Wales that the upper age limit would ease the burden on younger members, encourage them to remain part of the Federation for longer and also increase the number of members joining YFC again after university.

Her presentation to Council and her subsequent campaign ahead of the Annual General Meeting, resulted in an almost unanimous vote to change the upper age limit to 28. Her achievements in making a change at a national level have inspired members of her small club in Gwent and demonstrated how all voices in the Federation are valued.

Listening to others’ opinions is a skill that Abigail is praised highly for as she works hard to bring committees and members together to create a positive community.

After being actively involved in the organisation for more than 13 years, and holding various club roles, she also has a bulging trophy cabinet from entering most competitions.

Abigail is dedicated to her club and county and passionate about YFC and the many opportunities it offers. She ensures members of all ages get involved and take advantage of the wide-range of activities available and the benefits they can bring.  

Polly Baines, Lichfield YFC, Staffordshire

YFC isn’t just a club to Polly, it’s a lifestyle according to those who know her.  She loves to be involved and gets stuck into as many YFC activities as possible – and she’s constantly willing to help. You can always find Polly in the thick of the action – throwing herself in to support others when needed (such as making up the numbers on sports teams, even when she admits it’s a sport she doesn’t usually play). She regularly promotes the opportunities YFC offers and encourages others to give it a go too.

Over the 14 years Polly has been involved in YFC, she has taken on numerous roles at club and county level. She’s currently Secretary for the West Midlands Area and the Chair of NFYFC’s Personal Development Steering Group.

Despite taking on these much wider roles, Polly is still dedicated to her club and recently helped grow its membership again from two to 15 members – following the impact of the pandemic.

She also supports the county as much as she can by attending meetings (virtual and face-to-face) and as a YFC Trainer delivers Curve training to clubs. She recently completed the updated Rural+ training and has been actively involved in pilot sessions to help fine tune its delivery.

Polly has helped influence projects and ideas – including charity fundraisers that have helped raise thousands for good causes, such as an Alice in Wonderland-themed dinner dance for 550 people. She even folded napkins into rabbits to support the overall theme!

Where Polly truly excels is involving others, incorporating people’s views and thanking those who help make things happen. In Polly’s world there is no ‘I’ in team and YFC is how she ticks! 

Vicky Harrison, Stamfordham YFC, Northumberland

As someone who enjoys competing with YFC, Vicky has channelled her experience and enthusiasm into encouraging others to catch the competitions bug too. During the 11 years she has been a YFC member, Vicky has taken part in most county competitions and has represented Northumberland nationally in netball and choir.

Vicky is passionate about the competitions programme and understands the skills members can gain from competing. When junior members of the club recently wanted to compete in the Drama competition, Vicky stepped up to write and produce a production which helped improve their confidence,

It’s no surprise then that Vicky served as Competitions Secretary for Northumberland and is now part of NFYFC’s Competitions Steering Group.

Vicky has held many roles in her club – including Chair – and has also been involved in various county committees too. Most recently she took on the role of secretary for Northumberland’s Area Weekend, where she assisted in organising a virtual event due to Covid restrictions. She even went on to win the Area’s Senior Member of the Year competition.

Vicky hasn’t forgotten her roots though and continues to support her club as a senior member, guiding office bearers tactically when needed. She turns up for weekly meetings, where she is described as a positive role model to younger members, as she demonstrates what can be achieved through YFC.

Vicky wants the best for the future of YFC and works extremely hard to help it achieve. 

William Longmire, Lowick YFC, Cumbria

William’s can-do attitude and innovative ideas have made him a popular and active member of his club and county. His enthusiasm is described as “infectious” and he’s credited with always coming up with a new challenge that’s bigger and better than the last.

Over the 10 years Will has been involved in YFC, he has held various club and county positions and is currently the Northern Area Stockman Chair, for which he is organising both a virtual and in-person Stockman of the Year competition to cover all eventualities. 

A keen competitor he has entered many competitions and last year won the Northern Area’s Senior Member of the Year competition. His public speaking skills have been highly praised and he enjoys passing on his experience to help train the junior members of the club. 

He is a big supporter of the local community too and has helped support vaccination centres alongside his county during the pandemic. William is also a keen fundraiser and enjoys thinking up creative ideas to raise funds. His most recent was a highly publicised sky dive where he raised money for The Calvert Trust and the Southern District and he’s already planning his next charity event.

William is confident at bringing all levels of people involved in the organisation along with his ideas – from the club advisory to county officials and his passion for YFC is evident in all that he does for the Federation.   


Designed by Kevyn Williams