A combine harvester emblazoned with more than 200 children’s drawings of rainbows supporting the NHS is trailblazing across East Anglia this harvest.
First-generation farmers Thomas and Sophie Clayton said the artwork on the new, rainbow-clad Claas Lexion 750TT combine was finished just a day ahead of harvest work starting this month.
“We wanted to do something special for the amazing work that our incredible NHS workers are doing to protect and save lives during the Covid-19 crisis,” said mother-of-two Mrs Clayton.
“We’re also raising money for heroes who don’t wear capes – they wear personal protective equipment (PPE) instead.”
The farmers, from Greenheath, Suffolk, said they had been inundated with rainbow drawings sent to them from children across the UK and Ireland since they made the request in May.
The drawings, which include the children’s names and ages, were sent to Claas, which scanned and created the vinyl collage to decorate the machine for free.
The combine will be used as part of the couple’s farm contracting business to harvest crops in Suffolk, Norfolk and parts of Cambridgeshire.
“There will be a legacy, as combines last for decades,” said Mrs Clayton. “We want it go on and on for future generations and for people to think about the significance of the rainbow drawings – the symbol that has become synonymous with the NHS during the pandemic.”
Fundraising for NHS
The couple have set up an online fundraising page for donations to the NHS, which has so far raised almost £900.
They have also pledged to donate £1 for every acre the machine cuts this summer. Some neighbouring farmers have vowed to follow suit.
“We are really proud of both the NHS and all farmers who have been working around the clock to feed the nation during the crisis,” said Mrs Clayton. “The combine represents an amalgamation of the network of people we are supporting.”
The drawings will shortly be returned to the couple who will hold a random draw with four prizes donated by Claas to be sent to lucky winners, including a remote control toy combine.
To donate to the cause, visit the Combine Rainbow Appeal Just Giving page.
To share your 2020 harvest photos and videos visit our Harvest Gallery page.
Farmers Weekly is getting behind the #FeedtheNation campaign to back UK farmers working flat out to produce safe, affordable and reliable food to feed the nation this harvest.
With our partners, we are raising public awareness of this campaign by highlighting the actions farmers are taking to get food to consumers.