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Hailsham Young Farmers

How we run our club in a Pandemic!

No amount of club and county training ever prepared us for having to run a club during a global pandemic.  So, on March 16th when we got the message from National FYFC that all meetings must cease immediately, we were all very taken back to say the least.

Trying to run an agricultural, outdoor based club without physically meeting posed a challenge for us.  Will out club survive this?  How do we stay connected with members?  Can we continue to do activities that fit with our programmes?  Well, we had 3 steps to keep Hailsham YFC alive.

We started by making sure our regular meeting time, Wednesdays at 7.30pm, was replaced with something.  We came up with doing a weekly quiz where all the points are added up each week and at the end of lock down the winner receives prize.  This was step one; keeping our members engaged.  The next thing we had to think about was how to replace the social aspect of our meetings.  We realised very quickly the weekly banter and laughter was a big aspect of all our lives, which we mainly gained from socialising as friends outside of YFC.  So, like many other groups, we created a Zoom account to video chat every Friday (we called this The Isolation Inn!).  The laughter and the banter was back and so was our morale, meaning step 2; keeping our members connected had worked.  Finally, we had to look at what our members needed to feel included.  Luckily, Sussex YFC stepped in with the Sussex YFC Isolation Challenge Trophy!  A series of challenges set to keep our members busy and have a few little projects to keep them going.  This included baking, crafts, photography and more.  We even took part in virtual dairy stock judging!  Hailsham had almost 80 entries to the challenge trophy, the photos show some of our most creative entries we had.  So, step 3; keeping our members included and occupied was a success.

Throughout all this, everyone at Hailsham YFC have realised how important it is to check in on one another.  Making sure your active and quiet member and friends are doing alright and taking part might have a big impact for them.  Mental Health in and outside of farming is a topic that isn't talked about enough, and it's important to end the stigma surrounding it.  To feel included and have a sense of belonging is very important at all times.  So always remember to check in on your friends and loved ones, even when there isn't a pandemic!

Are you aged 16 - 26 and have an interest in agriculture, the outdoors and farming?  Then why not join Hailsham Young Farmers!  We meet every Wednesday at 7.30pm and do activities from stock judging and farm tours to ghost walks and pole dancing.  You don't have to be a farmer to be a Young Farmer!

Contact us through our email hailshamyfc@gmail.com or contact our Secretary Lucy on 07808 084077.  Follow us on Social Media!  Facebook - Hailsham Young Farmers or Instagram - @hailshamyfc"