National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

04 November 2019

Hundreds of YFC members in Cumbria are more aware of the effects of drugs and alcohol abuse after taking part in the first year of a three-year funded awareness programme.

Cumbria FYFC was awarded a £10,000 grant from The Cumbria Community Foundation to run a Drugs and Alcohol Awareness Programme, supported by The Well Communities – a charity that helps people recovering from addiction.

The County Federation worked with The Well Communities to tailor the sessions to be suited to young people living and working in rural areas of the County. The sessions were also open to members’ parents, YFC Club Leaders and members of the YFC advisory committees.

Each of this year’s sessions, which were attended by nearly 300 YFC members, included personal stories from those in recovery as well as insights into the effects of drugs and alcohol abuse, addiction and the consequences.

YFC members also learned why people abuse drugs and alcohol, the physical and mental impact of misusing substances and how to cope with peer pressure.

Amy Swinbank, Chairman of Eden Valley YFC, attended the most recent session in Carlisle with 100 YFC members, and says she hopes to use the information during a YFC session in the future.

“The Drugs and Alcohol awareness session provided an opportunity to gain an understanding of the physical and mental effects of drugs and alcohol and how to deal with peer pressure," said Amy.

“It was great to hear emotive first-hand experiences and be able to ask questions. I hope that we will be able to use the session at a club meeting in the future, to increase the awareness of drug and alcohol abuse."

The Well Communities received Big Lottery funding through the Cumbria Youth Alliance and Cumbria County Council to support their work delivering the sessions and CEO Dave Higham said the project had been a success.

“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have worked with the management team and the Young Farmers, helping to make their community a safe place in which they can achieve their full potential.

“The Young Farmers really engaged and were moved by the impact that alcohol and drugs can have on peoples’ lives and also how easily it is to fall into the traps of addiction due to peer pressure or problems with mental health or low self-esteem. We are really looking forward to working with the Young Farmers next year, as they are an amazing group of young people.”

More sessions are planned in Cumbria over the next two years. 

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