National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

19 April 2021

With restrictions easing and clubs able to meet again, Chair of Louth YFC Callum Forsyth shares his experiences of leading a club over the last few months and meeting again after lockdown.

Q. What have been the challenges for your committee during lockdown?     

A. We have found it challenging keeping everyone engaged with the club and ensuring the members still feel they are getting value out of being part of YFC. We are desperate to keep the club alive and exciting for our members so that the club has a stable future. We currently have 23 members (which is around half what the club had last year).

Q. What did you do to help your members feel engaged during lockdown?     

A. We kept our virtual programme as full as possible, giving all our members the chance to socialise. We have had various talks, farm visits, lambing live, as well as the general quizzes, bingo etc – but all from our lockdown armchairs.

Q. What have you learned from the experience?                                       

A. As a club we have learnt that face-to-face socialising was a big part of the way we ran the club and having to adapt to a virtual programme hasn’t suited all of our members.

Hopefully with the changes to come – and the push to have Covid secure face-to-face  meetings – we can bring members back. None of us like change but it has been great to see the YFC spirit still carrying on when we have been able to have our weekly Zoom meetings or activities.

Q. What have been the challenges now you are starting to host Covid-secure meetings? 

A. Our struggle coming out of lockdown and working with the new restrictions for face-to-face meetings is ensuring everyone can get involved. We are a large club, with members aged mostly over 18 (only five members are currently under 18), so having to put the ‘rule of 6’ in place is difficult for us.

But we’re not letting this hold us back and we are thinking outside of the box to keep things moving forward. We are giving fence erecting training for groups of six and going to the golf range by allocating times for smaller groups.

Q. What tips would you give to other clubs that are considering hosting Covid-secure meetings?     

The main thing is to ensure our members are safe – simply following the guidelines allows us to do this. There is plenty we can still do even under the current restrictions and I’m hopeful it won’t be that long until we can get the club fully back together. Let’s just keep reminding people what a great community and support network Young Farmers can be. 

If you would like to share your story about running your YFC during lockdown and beyond please email NFYFC.  

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