Young farmers around the country have been working hard to support the elderly and most vulnerable in their community in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Volunteers from Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFC) have been delivering food, medicine and other essential supplies, as well as picking up the phone and speaking to people in self-isolation.
The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) has encouraged its members to help where they can (see the NFYFC website), and the response has been inspiring.
Worksop YFC organised food parcels to be delivered to the most vulnerable in Blyth, Nottinghamshire, after the local shop was broken into.
Speaking to Farmers Weekly, Georgia Betts said: “We usually meet in Blyth so when we heard about the break-in we thought there was nothing better than organising food parcels for vulnerable people in that area.”
The club organised a fundraising campaign and members then bought, packaged and delivered essential items to people’s doorsteps in the village.
Georgia, 20, added: “It makes me feel really proud of our club, at times like this when everyone pulls together to be positive in such a negative situation.
“Some people have contacted us via Facebook just to say thank you for what we have done, and that they were quite touched by it, which makes everything worth it.”
Probus YFC has been delivering supplies and topping up electric and gas cards for the elderly in Truro and St Austell (see main image).
Sam Oatey, 21, helped spread the message online, in local newspapers and leaflets that his club was ready to help however it could.
He said: “As young farmers it very much showcases our value at a time when the situation is so serious. There needs to be people that are healthy and are able to help those who need it.
“As an organisation with such a wide spread of members across the whole UK, I think we are the perfect people to be able to do that.”
He also made a video to explain how members were helping.
In Wales, Sennybridge YFC handed out leaflets in the village and tweeted to offer their support.
Do you, or anyone you know require our help?
— Sennybridge YFC (@sennybridge_yfc) March 18, 2020
Elin Havard said a lot of people who are isolated were enjoying the chance to have a chat.
“Calls have been coming in from lots of elderly people. There was one who was ever so grateful about me getting their prescription, it meant the world to them and for me it was no real extra work.”
One supermarket was working to put customers in touch with the farmers’ club, after hearing about all the work they were doing to help.
Elin said: “We have done 10 jobs so far and a lot of people will need consistent help for as long as this all goes on.
“Young farmers across the country have been so ready and eager to do anything we can to help. It’s really reminded me of the value of YFCs.”
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 during the coronavirus crisis.
With our partners, we are raising public awareness of this campaign by highlighting the actions farmers are taking to get food to consumers.