National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

Coronavirus guidance for YFC members

Last updated: 14.05.21

NFYFC has collated this information to help YFC members concerned about the impact of Coronavirus on their club activities. Keeping the YFC community safe is our priority and we will be updating this information regularly as the situation develops.

All the latest updates and advice are available on the Government website here.

County offices, County Chairs, NFYFC Council and County management teams are also being regularly updated with more detailed and specific information through weekly Covid-19 briefings from NFYFC. Please speak to your County office if you would like access to this more detailed information. 

YFC Club and County meetings and events

Advice for YFCs in England 

From 17 May, the youth sector readiness level will be moving to YELLOW for all of England and the Government is easing restrictions on outdoor gatherings. The National Youth Agency (NYA) guidance can be read here.

For Under 18s.   

Since 12 April, there has been no limit to the size of the group that can meet (indoors and outdoors) but it must be a manageable size so that those planning and managing the activity can maintain Covid-secure plans and to ensure social distancing can continue to be observed.  Supervisors and leaders must be in the appropriate ratios.

We encourage club committees to plan Covid-secure activities for small groups for activities for under 18s. NFYFC recommends that groups of around 30 YFC members with four or five supervisors/leaders is a manageable number.

For 18s and over (or mixed groups of over and under 18s). 

The rule of six applies for indoor activity.

Support groups (as defined in the Covid-secure guide previously published) of up to 30 vulnerable young people are permitted.

General gathering limits will be eased by Government from 17 May. Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 30 people (but indoor gatherings remain limited to six people or two households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).

The next phase of the Government’s plan will not be before 21 June, and we will publish more information on this page nearer that date.

>>NFYFC's updated Covid-Secure for YFCs in England guidelines can be downloaded here.   

What can YFCs in England do?

For those YFCs with all members under the age of 18, in England, Covid-secure activities can be planned and take place indoors and outdoors and there is no limit on the number of participants. Supervisors and leaders must be in the appropriate ratios.

For YFCs of a mixed age or with all members 18 years of age or over.

Support for vulnerable people continues in Support Groups. The group size has increased to 30 people. Supervisors and leaders must be in the appropriate ratios.  There are specific rules about support for vulnerable people and these have been included in the Covid-secure YFC guidance published earlier this year.

OR

NFYFC advises that clubs can now use the Government advice and may gather in groups of up to 30 people for Covid-secure outdoor activities.  (The rule of six applies for indoor gatherings, probably until 21 June 2021) 

Advice for YFCs in Wales

The Welsh Government has announced its plans for easing the level of lockdown in Wales.  From 17 May Wales is moving to Alert Level 2.

In Wales from 27 March outdoor activities can be run for the development and well-being of children and young people -– sports clubs and youth groups are allowed.

From 17 May:

  • Organised activities can take place indoors for a maximum of 30 people.  Activities should be Covid-secure, and supervisors and leaders must be in the appropriate ratios.
  • Organised activities can take place outdoors for a maximum of 50 people.  Activities should be Covid-secure, and supervisors and leaders must be in the appropriate ratios.

What can YFCs in Wales do?

Covid secure activities can be planned and take place indoors for up to 30 people and outdoors for up to 50 people.  Supervisors and leaders must be in the appropriate ratios.

Current guidance for youth work services in Wales is available here.

>>NFYFC's updated Covid-Secure for YFCs in Wales guidelines can be downloaded here.  

All YFCs

We encourage all YFCs to consider a programme of outdoor activities whilst continuing with some online programming, using resources and support from the YFC at Home section of the website.   

Give it Some YFC Welly Relay 

Many clubs and counties are taking part in the Give it Some YFC Welly Relay to try and raise much-needed funds for their county federations. We still encourage everyone to get involved but you will need to ensure activities are Covid-secure and follow the age related restrictions in England. Think of alternative ways to cover the mileage for your county if you are over 18, by, for example, asking each member to walk a number of miles in their back garden or round their farm, if appropriate, or doing the walk with up to five people from different households while maintaining social distancing.   

You can donate to your county and the campaign here.  

Supporting your community – YFC Rural Support

All YFCs in England and Wales can continue to assist community groups with their Covid-19 response.  It is likely that some people will again require assistance as they shield or take extra care to protect themselves.  

We are aware many YFC clubs have been supporting their local communities during the pandemic. As clubs start to meet and plan activities, we would encourage you to look at Covid-19 Mutual Aid for ways to support existing local groups too and ensure you follow social distancing guidelines.You can find out more about Covid19 Mutual Aid UK here and find a group near to you. 

If you’re taking part in a local community support group – with or without your YFC – you could be part of the Farming Help database that is supporting the farming community during the Covid-19 outbreak. The Helpline (03000 111 999), operated by FCN, is open 7am - 11pm every day of the year.

FCN is also helping the farming community to build personal and business resilience during this challenging time. Its FarmWell website and FarmWell Wales website provides a wealth of information and guidance around topics such as Brexit, Covid-19, mental health, faith and spirituality and much more. 

YFC Competitions 

The competitions programme for 2020-21 is subject to changes in line with Government guidelines and restrictions. NFYFC is working with County Federations to advise on any adaptations that need to be made. It is hoped the national finals will be held in 2021 but back up plans have been made should these need to be held virtually due to any ongoing Government restrictions. 

A new competitions programme has been issued, which you can view here.

There is an extension to the age ranges that can compete during this membership year. It means that in 2020-21 YFC members who are aged 27 or under on 1 September will still be able to compete. Clubs and counties are asked to check the ages that can compete in sports though, as insurance restrictions will still remain. An extension to the competing age has also been approved for the 2021-22 membership year also.  

Please refer to the Competitions pages for regular updates on any changes to the competitions programme. 

NFYFC Council and Steering Group Meetings

Members of all five steering groups have been holding regular meetings online to discuss and guide the programme of work at NFYFC during these uncertain times. The February Council meeting and elections were held online via Zoom. 

Mental health

We understand the impact social distancing restrictions are having on YFC members – especially as so many already live in isolated areas and rely on their weekly club meetings to socialise with others.

To help YFC members look after their mental wellbeing during these uncertain times, NFYFC has created Take Time resources, sponsored by Tama. There are seven steps to follow with practical advice and tips on helping you to take time away from the pressures you may be under. All of these resources are available online here

NFYFC has also relaunched the Rural+ training module for clubs, which has been developed with The Farming Community Network and The DPJ Foundation. The course is now available for YFCs to deliver online through a YFC Trainer. Please contact your County to make arrangements. Find out more about Rural+ here

If you feel that you are having a mental health crisis, emergency or breakdown, you need to seek immediate expert advice and assessment. You can call your GP, ring the Samaritans on 116 123 or the Farming Help number on 03000 111 999. You can also follow the links under the ‘Urgent Help’ section here. 

The NHS also suggests viewing the Every Mind Matters website if you are having to self-isolate and are feeling lonely. 

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