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Club of the Month: May 2024

Club of the Month: May 2024


Faringdon Seniors YFC, Oxfordshire

Number of members:

45 (ranging in age from 16-28). Many of us help out the junior club too.

Where we meet:

Various locations – we try to mix it up every week as we do farm walks and activities outside. We also meet with Faringdon Junior YFC once a month.

Social media profiles:

Instagram and Facebook

Recent activities we have held:

We have been busy preparing for the Rally and everyone gets involved in that. We make it enjoyable, and everyone wants to work hard for it.

We enter everything and it seems to pay off as we won the Rally for the sixth year in a row!

We work closely with the county and attend county events too.

Next week we have a celebratory party following on from our win at the Rally.

Competitions we enjoy:

We practise a lot for the Tug of War – both our men’s and ladies’ teams made it to the national final last year.

We also enjoy Stockjudgng – lots of us are working with cattle every day. About 50% of the club are farming but most of our members are connected to the industry in some way – whether that’s through family or careers.

We also have a lot of members who enjoy arts and crafts – so we take part in Floral Art, Cookery and Cube Exhibits too!

Entering all the competitions at Rally is a good way to win overall – you get some points even if you come last in a competition category, so it’s always worth giving everything a go.

Our work in the community:

We choose our charities at the start of the year and we hold an annual sell-out ball that involves all clubs in the county. We raise about £2,000 through that for our chosen charities.

We organise a few other fundraisers throughout the year too and support Fireworks night and have stands at the local shows. We also offer support to Faringdon Rotary Club when they need us.

This year we decided to try a larger fundraiser and took on the Ridgeway Relay Challenge to raise money for our chosen charities.

Why we are Club of the Month:

We have raised around £23,000 in aid of three charities that are close to the club’s heart.

Brighter Future – in memory of Aubrey Cole (local dairy farmer and club supporter), many of his grandchildren completed the walk.

Prospect Hospice – in member of Tom Bolter, a local dairy farmer, former chair of Farindon YFC and huge supporter of the club.

Thames Valley Air Ambulance – for saving the life of Tom Huxtable, a Faringdon YFC member, when he was involved in a near fatal farm accident.

As the charities meant so much to us, we wanted to do more than just splitting the usual County Ball revenue three ways. So, at the end of last month, 20 of us walked non-stop for 48 hours to cover 87 miles from Luton to near Swindon for the Ridgeway Relay Challenge.

We gave each walker a target to raise at least £250 to take part, and then set a competition to see who could raise the most money. Two people raised £3k each.

We split into two teams of 10 and each team completed three legs of eight hours. It was a gruelling mission in persistent rain. The one dry part of the walk we managed was in the dark and unfortunately it was across one of the most scenic parts of the route!

By the third leg of the walk, the blisters had started. I have never seen people who work in farming, who spend all day on their feet, with blisters as bad. I was sent a video from the other team to see one member biting on a towel to stem the pain while they sorted his blisters! We learnt a lot about each other on the trip.

I think if we hadn’t raised as much money, we might have quit! But we had an amazing support team cheering us on. Each time we finished a leg, they were there to greet us with a cooked meal.

The fundraiser was so much bigger than the club, it involved the whole community.

We’re very grateful for every penny raised. And to Tesco for the donation of blister plasters!

Submitted by Club Chair Jack Saunders

The judges' comments

We were impressed by the shear team effort it must have taken Faringdon Senior YFC to raise more than £20k for charity. It was clear these charities meant a lot to the club and everyone put in the effort to make it happen. We also loved the way the club made good use of social media to promote their fundraiser and to raise a lot of money as well as a lot of positive publicity for YFC – even gaining an article in the Farmers Guardian. Most of all we loved the community spirit and the fact it brought everyone together. Well done Faringdon!