Staffordshire YFC is taking part in a national Give it Some YFC Welly Relay to help raise funds to help to continue to deliver a much-needed service to young people in the rural communities within the County.
The County Federations’ funding was affected during the last membership year following the cancellation of all its spring and summer fundraising events. Despite continuing to deliver services to members in a virtual manner, including a two Virtual Rallys and a Virtual County Show, the impact of the pandemic is being felt, with only 33% of members re-joined for the current membership year.
Staffordshire YFC have decided to start fundraising, with the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (NFYFC) campaign which has been running since October 2020. After two false starts trying to get involved in this fundraising campaign, due to the lockdowns at the time, Staffordshire YFC’s members are now keen to get involved, with the virtual Welly landing in the county on 1st April from Herefordshire YFC. Staffordshire YFC Clubs are then being challenged with covering 35 miles each and the county as a whole is planning to cover a total of 500 miles. YFC Supporters, past members and sponsors are all encouraged to get involved and clock up some miles too. All clubs who get involved in the campaign with their members, will all receive an equal share of the funds raised, which will also be split with the County Federation.
NFYFC President and world-renowned rugby referee Nigel Owens said: “Young Farmers’ Clubs are incredibly important in rural areas – helping young people make social connections, learn new skills and support their rural communities. We must do all we can to ensure this vital youth service can continue and I’m encouraging every YFC to back their County Federation and Give it Some YFC Welly!”
Members in Staffordshire have decided to cover the miles by any form which does not involve an engine, so will be walking, running, biking, horse riding and possibly even kayaking in order to reach their goal. A running total will be kept by County Chairlady, Amy Boothby who will be striding out on the first walk heading from the YFC Centre on the County Showground into Weston and Sandon to cover the first six miles of the challenge.
Amy said “I am very excited to be kickstarting our 500-mile challenge during the month of April to raise some much-needed funds for Staffordshire YFC and the clubs within. The last 12 months has been difficult for everyone, so it is reassuring to be able to launch the #giveitsomeyfcwelly challenge which I think will be a great opportunity to bring our members together again. It also encourages everyone to exercise in the fresh air to them to help with their mental wellbeing, which in YFC we all know is so important.”
Staffordshire YFC has been faced with a situation that has not happened since the Foot & Mouth outbreak in 2001 when clubs were again unable to meet face to face. The federation recovered from this period and are determined to do the same again following Covid 19. Each club (Abbotsholme, Ashley, Chase, Cheadle, Eccleshall, Leek, Lichfield, Stone, Uttoxeter and Waterhouses) usually meet on a weekly basis to bring their members together to take part in competitions, talks, fundraising events, learn new skills and training, mental wellbeing sessions, socials and so much more. Despite members enthusiasm during the pandemic, Clubs and the County face great challenges in the coming months, as much needed fundraising events are currently on hold and looking unlikely for any clubs or the County Federation to be able to hold anything during this membership year.
Staffordshire YFC Clubs and County hopes to continue to provide the vital services which enable YFC members to have somewhere to go, learn new skills and make like-minded friends for life for the current members and future generations. Anyone interested in supporting Staffordshire YFC and their Give it some YFC Welly campaign can visit the JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/fundraising/staffordshire-yfc