Staffordshire Young Farmers County Chairman, Richard Mottershead has launched his county-wide campaign this week, entitled, #oatcakeontour! The campaign involves a Giant 4 ft round Oatcake (made from wood), which will “tour” around the 11 YFC Clubs in the county, starting with a launch on Saturday 10th March at the federation’s Annual Dinner Dance to his home club, Ashley YFC. The Oatcake will then travel from club to club with the purpose to the campaign being that whilst the Oatcake is “on tour,” members will raise funds for the worthwhile charity, YoungMinds, the UK’s leading charity championing the wellbeing and mental health of young people. The finish line of the #oatcakeontour, will be a Charity Beer Festival complete with live music, food and entertainment where all proceeds from the event will also be donated to YoungMinds. This will be held at The Staffordshire YFC Centre, based at the County Showground, Stafford on Saturday 30th June from 2pm until midnight.
Richard explains his reasons behind the idea of fundraising “I was watching a program on the television about Mental Health and was shocked to learn that 75% of deaths under the age of 35 was due to suicide. Farming is a lonely and proud profession and people are sometimes isolated and find it difficult to confide in their families. I decided that during my year as County Chairman of Staffordshire Young Farmers Club, which is part of the largest rural youth organisation in the UK, I would raise money for YoungMinds. In doing so, making more young people aware that there is help, support and compassion at the end of the phone.”
All clubs will be taking up this challenge and meeting with their members in the coming weeks to organise what their unique fundraising idea will be. It may be as simple as a car wash or quiz night, or more challenging such as transporting the Oatcake via a sponsored walk from Club to Club.
The Oatcake will make special appearances at the federation’s Annual Rally on 12th May where Uttoxeter JNFU will be passing it onto Ridware YFC and also at the Staffordshire County Show at the end of May where it will arrive with Lichfield YFC and leave with Chase YFC.
Championing positive mental health is one of the campaigns which the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs encourage YFC counties to do. Their campaign, Rural Plus, provides information and tools to encourage YFC to become a strong support network for rural young people who may experience rural isolation and mental health issues. An evening is available for all clubs to hold, which aims to raise awareness of mental health and rural isolation issues that young people may face living in rural areas and where to turn for support.
For more up to date information and finer details on the Oatcake route, please go to the Staffordshire YFC’s website www.staffsyoungfarmers.org.uk. To get involved in sponsoring the Beer Festival, book a Rural Plus Curve Evening or to become more involved in Staffordshire YFC, please contact Julia Taylor, County Organiser on 01785 248645.