Tragedy sparks YFC’s monumental fundraising efforts

Throughout National Young Farmers’ Week (30 September-4 October), we’re featuring inspirational Young Farmers’ Club (YFC) members who have seen huge benefits from being part of the movement. Today, we’re focusing on a Buckinghamshire club’s epic fundraising efforts.

Lauren Cyster was a beautiful, fiery redhead, who lived life to the full and taught everyone she met how to find joy in all things. The Aylesbury YFC member, known to her friends as “Lozza” was looked up to by many, thanks to her unfailingly cheerful attitude to life.

In June 2018, she died after a short battle with cancer, aged 26. Losing Lauren was devastating for her family and friends, but it spurred her fellow club members to take on a monumental fundraising mission.

Former Aylesbury YFC member Hazel Wright, first came up with the idea of running a series of 26 events in one year to raise money for Cancer Research UK and Pancreatic Cancer UK – an event to mark each year of Lozza’s life.

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In pursuit of their target, club members have kayaked for miles around London’s canals, ran marathons, climbed Mount Snowdon, held bingo nights, quizzes and supper clubs and, finally, hosted a memorial ball.

Over the course of all 26 events, Aylesbury YFC have raised almost £50,000, far surpassing their original £10,000 aim.

Young farmers of past and present came together to organise the ball, which was attended by 480 people and raised a whopping £16,760.

“The events of the past 15 months have brought everyone in our club together, whether it is a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen or a friendly face to reminisce the many memories with,” says Kate Howlett, Aylesbury YFC chairman.

“It is never easy to lose someone close to you, particularly at such a young age, but it really does highlight what an important part of your life YFC becomes, and without our club, I am not sure how we would have got through this.

“The strength, courage and love shown by the young farming community has been unbelievable, and shows how special and how loved our Lozza truly was.”