National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

The fundraisers

Written by Aylesbury YFC

Lauren Cyster (or Lozza/Loz to those who knew her) was a beautiful, fiery red-head (see pic, below right), who lived life to the absolute fullest and taught everyone she met how to take enjoyment from everything you do. She was looked up to by many for her sheer joy and openness towards everything life threw at her.

Lozza was just 26 when she passed away in June last year following a short battle with cancer – and was still an active Aylesbury YFC member. Losing Lauren was truly heart breaking for her friends, family, colleagues and anyone who had come to know Lauren in her short time with us. We have all struggled to come to terms with how quickly a person can be taken from you by such a cruel disease, and it was for this reason, that we set out on our fundraising mission.

An ex-Aylesbury Senior YFC member, Hazel Wright, who is still involved with many YFC events, first came up with the idea that she would like to do 26 events in one year to raise money for Cancer Research UK – an event to mark each year of Lozza’s life. A number of us joined Hazel with her mission, with an initial target to raise between £8,000 - £10,000 for charity.

We have done everything from kayaking for miles around London’s canals – a challenge that brought laughter, soggy tops and aching arms – to marathons and walks. Bingo nights, coffee mornings, quizzes and supper clubs have all added to our target.

Christmas was, of course, a difficult time, but ex-Buckingham YFC Chairman Emma Clarke, owns a florist (Signature Flowers, Bicester) and made some beautiful Christmas Wreaths in shades of purple – Lauren's favourite colour – and orange to represent Lozza’s vibrant ginger hair. She donated £10 from every wreath sold to our cause, which raised an additional £200.

As well as a Race for Life and cycling challenges, we also climbed Mount Snowdon and took a lock of Lozza’s hair with us all the way to the summit – the views were truly spectacular.

Over the course of the 25 events leading up to the last, we raised a total 

of £32,705.63 which was all donated to Cancer Research UK – the money raised and the kindness and generosity of everybody that helped was completely overwhelming and we are all so grateful.

During our fundraising, we received the news that Lozza’s Cancer had started in her pancreas, before spreading to her lungs. This news spurred us on to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer UK as well as CRUK, to fund more research into a form of cancer which is less widely known about in the hope that it might prevent just one other person from being in Lozza’s situation.  With this in mind, we decided that 100% of the profits from event 26, a memorial ball, would all be donated to Pancreatic Cancer UK.

The Memorial Ball was the last of our events, and a huge amount of time and effort went into the event, with all young farmers, old, current and new coming together and roping in favours to pull the ball together. It was attended by 480 people who all came prepared to give as much as they could towards our cause.  The event included an auction, which was hosted brilliantly by ex-young farmer from neighbouring club Princes Risborough and ex County Chair, Daniel Slade. Prizes were donated from many and included signed cricket gloves and a shirt from Alastair Cook.

Along with a silent auction and a good YFC friend chopping his long hair off to raise £1,700, we also received a video from BBC Radio 1’s Scott Mills to congratulate and thank us for the work we have put in to raise money for charity, a surprise organised by Brenda, Lozza’s mum.

The final total from the Memorial Ball was £16,760.00, all of which was donated to Pancreatic Cancer UK – making our overall total 

The events of the last 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. We have all been so grateful for the support and love of the YFC community and thank each and every person for their love, care and support.

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.

Please visit our JustGiving page for Pancreatic Cancer UK, if reading our story makes anyone feel that they would like to donate to our cause, we are so grateful for every penny.

Thanks, Team Loz X

Events in detail:

1. 22 July 2019 – High Wycombe, 5k

2. 11 August 2018, London Moo Canoes

Kayaking six and a half miles around London’s canals – a challenge which brought laughter, soggy tops and aching arms. The four girls above were joined by Amanda Parker and Sarah Blacklock for this challenge

3. 23 August 2018, Bingo, Whitchurch

Kindly hosted by The White Swan in Whitchurch, which raised almost £3,000, and the meat for the dinner provided was kindly donated by ex-young farmer and butcher, Jamie Leggett.

4. September: Cycling.

Current young farmer, Alyss Austin, who is stepping into the role of Chair for Aylesbury YFC this year, cycled 300 miles over the month of September to do her bit for the fundraising.

5. 8 September 2018, Bucks After Party

Every year, Aylesbury Young Farmers host the after party for Bucks County Show.  In 2018, all money raised from this was donated to the cause, rather than splitting between a charity and the club.

6. 15 September 2018, 5k Mud Run, Oxford
7. 22 September, Shine London Half and full Marathon Walk

Sarah Blacklock, an ex-Aylesbury YFC Vice Chair, also completed the full marathon Shine Walk in seven hours and eight minutes, absolutely smashing her 10-hour target.

8. 29 September 2018, 10k Windsor Run

9. 6 October 2018, Michtemas Ball raffle
10. 7 October 2018, Half marathon

A group of five girls also ran the Oxford Half Marathon in October 2018 – a gruelling 13.1 miles around Oxford, each of us raising hundreds of pounds for the cause.

11. 18 November 2018, Coffee morning 
12. 14 December 2018, Whist Drive (particularly popular with our older generation of ex-young farmers)

13. December: Christmas wreaths

Ex-Buckingham YFC Chairman Emma Clarke, owns a florist (Signature Flowers, Bicester) and made some beautiful Christmas Wreaths to sell.

14. 19 January 2019 Laura’s Big Fat Quiz of the Year

15. 17 February 2019 Hardwick XStream Run

16. 11 March 2019, Aylesbury Dinner Dance

17. 30 March 2019 Race Night

18. 13 April 2019, Supper Club

Current member, Livi Spurrell, who works in the food industry, hosted a Supper Club, creating a delicious Greek Feast and raising over £450.00. Jamie Legget once again kindly donated 10kg lamb shoulder for the main course.

19. 20 April 2019, Windsor 25k Walk

Lauren’s father Gary Cyster completed a 25km walk in Windsor

20. 28 April 2019, London Marathon

Hazel Wright was the only person in the group to be selected to run the Virgin Money London Marathon for Cancer Research UK, raising over £3,000 and completing in an incredible time of just four hours 33 minutes.

21. 12 May, 5k Waddesdon Race for Life

Hazel, Zoe Little, Kate Howlett and Hannah Alexander took part in the five-kilometre race in Wycombe.

22. 19 May 2019, Fence Judging, Waddesdon sponsored ride

23. 1 June 2019, Rally Bledlow

24. 8 June 2019, Pretty Mudder, 5k

25. Climbing Mount Snowdon

We also climbed Mount Snowdon as one of our events and took a lock of Lauren’s hair with us, all the way to the summit – the views were truly spectacular.

26. Memorial Ball

The event included an auction which was hosted brilliantly by ex-young farmer from neighbouring club Princes Risborough and ex County Chair, Daniel Slade. Prizes were donated from many and included signed cricket gloves and shirt from Alastair Cook, tickets to the Goodwood Festival of Speed and a passenger ride in a Collin McRae Subaru around the Goodwood Forest Rally Stage, donated by Martyn Spurrell, the father of Livi Spurrell, one of the original group who set out on the fundraising. Paul Thawley, Lauren’s boss at Elite Physio where she worked as a physiotherapist, kindly donated a special edition Olympics painting.

There was a silent auction too which included hay bales, donated by Jack McIntosh, a current young farmer, and a day’s shooting, kindly donated by the Lacey’s who are also a young farming family, as well as a raffle which included a number of prizes, which were all kindly donated. Another of the events at the ball was to cut the hair of Ray Atkins, a figure who helps out the Young Farmers massively with everything from rally prep to assisting with equipment for parties and events and currently holds a position on our advisory committee. He is renowned for his long hair, and kindly agreed to let Lauren’s mum chop it off at the ball to raise money - this alone raised over £1,700.00. The final total from the Memorial Ball was £16,760.00, all of which was donated to Pancreatic Cancer UK. We also received a video from BBC Radio 1’s Scott Mills to congratulate and thank us for the work we have put in to raise money for charity, a surprise organised by Brenda, Lauren’s mum.

The names of the core group of Young Farmers who took part in the fundraising are as follows:

Amanda Parker (ex-club and county chairman and keen young farmer), Kate Howlett (current chair of Aylesbury YFC), Hannah Alexander (Ex chair and current vice of ASYFC), Charlotte Bateman Wager, Sarah Blacklock (ex-vice chair of ASYFC), Hazel Wright, Zoe Little and Livi Spurrell – all of whom are current or ex young farmers, having held various roles on committee, and are still heavily involved with the organisation. 



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