NFU Supporting Devon’s Young Farmers At A Critical Time
The Federation of Devon Young Farmers has welcomed a three-year sponsorship package from Britain’s leading rural insurer NFU Mutual, enabling it to continue delivering vital support, services and a social lifeline to its young members.
At a time when feelings of isolation may be heightened due to the COVID-19 restrictions, young people living in rural communities are taking comfort from their strong network of 38 clubs spanning the entire county. Many clubs have taken their meetings online and are running evening Zoom quizzes to keep friends in contact.
NFU Mutual’s extension of funding for another three years to 2023 marks a continued commitment to the next generation of farmers and rural workers in Devon.
Since they were established in the 1920s, the Young Farmers’ Clubs have provided opportunities for members aged between 10 and 26 years old to socialise and learn life skills through a range of programmes, such as public speaking, debating, vehicle maintenance and professional qualifications. On completion of a Skills for Life project, members receive a YFC Certificate of Achievement, often helping to enhance CVs and improve job prospects.
Young Farmers A Priority For NFU Mutual
Gareth Hutchings, County Chairman of Devon YFC, said:
“Many of our members are really missing the social side of Young Farmers and, although they’re keeping busy with work and volunteering in their communities – delivering food and prescriptions to the elderly and vulnerable – it’s so important to meet-up with friends and share experiences and challenges. Some of the sponsorship money is already going to developing a new Devon YFC website, and Dan Grist, our Events Administrator, is making sure our social media channels are full of interesting and engaging information to keep members updated and feeling part of the Devon YFC family. Thanks to the continued support from NFU Mutual, we’re able to progress a number of club and community initiatives to support our young members, their families and the wider rural population in Devon.”
Roz Hills, South West Regional Manager at NFU Mutual, said:
“Supporting the next generation of farmers and rural businesses has always been a priority for NFU Mutual; they are not only the future of our industry but are an integral part of agriculture already. In the current climate, perhaps more than ever, the support, services and social events that Devon Young Farmers provides for its members are vital in developing young people, supporting their mental health and connecting communities. Devon Young Farmers should also be commended for their pioneering work on farm safety, looking after both the physical and mental wellbeing of young farmers. Many clubs are supporting and arranging initiatives to help during the COVID-19 pandemic too, playing a vital role supporting Devon’s farming and wider rural communities.”
Headquartered in Cheriton Bishop and run by a committee of member volunteers, DYFC also offer travel opportunities, from club and county exchanges to cultural tours and challenges abroad. Additionally, each club organises a range of other activities including working on local environmental initiatives, fundraising for charities, drama and musical productions, and trying new sports.