National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

28 June 2021

A project focused on improving the mental wellbeing of YFC members was just one of the achievements that helped Ruth Cooper from Cumbria win the Junior Member of the Year 2021 title.

It was the first time that Ruth had made it through to the national final of the competition, despite competing at numerous Area rounds in the past. She attributes this year’s success to the range of YFC activities she has been involved in during the pandemic.

Not only was Ruth Chair of the Youth Forum last year – the steering group set up to represent younger members’ views – but she also led the group’s work on a mental wellbeing campaign called Take Time, and presented at the British Youth Council.

“I know I was lucky to be able to still get involved in so much YFC work in such a big way during the pandemic,” said Ruth who wants to train as a mental health nurse from September. “Mental wellbeing is very important to me and YFC is so great for combatting rural isolation and bringing people together in a positive way.”

After so many attempts at Area rounds, Ruth was delighted to be in the final.

“I was beaming to even be at the interview. I gave it my all and the judges were really nice. There are only so many interview questions you can get so because I have done it so many times, I was well rehearsed and able to share what I have done over the last year,” said Ruth who watched the results announcement at home on the family’s mixed farm with her mum.

“It was absolutely incredible to win,” added Ruth. “I cried, especially after so many set backs at Area rounds. To get to national was an achievement but to win was the cherry on top of the cake.”

The judges Stephen Jarvis and Helen Williams were impressed with all the competitors in the final.

Stephen said: “A big well done to all the members who competed, the standard was particularly high. We have seen lots of enthusiastic members and they were all extremely passionate about the organisation, so it has been a pleasure to judge the competition.” 

Ruth's top tips

• Don’t put lots of words on your presentation slides, use images instead to enhance what you are saying

• Keep something back from your synopsis for the interview. It’s good to surprise the judges with some new information about yourself rather than just repeating everything that’s in the synopsis. 


 


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