Farming News - YFCs ramp up support for rural and farming communities during Covid-19 crisis

YFCs ramp up support for rural and farming communities during Covid-19 crisis

20 Mar 2020
Frontdesk

As the number of Covid-19 cases continues to rise in the UK, NFYFC Chairman Dewi Parry is asking YFCs to support their local rural and farming communities during the crisis through a #YFCRuralSupport initiative.

While clubs and counties have been advised not to hold club meetings for at least the next 12 weeks, YFCs can still help rural and farming communities by working with local food producers and coordinating support through online groups.

Seasonal labour for fruit and vegetable picking is in short supply at the moment due to travel restrictions and NFYFC’s seasonal labour provider HOPS is calling on YFC members to support local growers in their area.

The soft fruits industry will need labour from April onwards and YFC members can contact HOPS if they are able to offer their support during this period and positions will be paid. Find out more information here. 

It’s important to remain in contact with local farmers who are often isolated and could be struggling with staff shortages due to illness.  YFCs can be a source of help in both practical and support situations, as well as spreading positive messages about local food production and availability. 

NFYFC Chairman Dewi Parry said: “YFCs are already launching amazing initiatives to support the older and more vulnerable people in their rural communities. We want more YFCs to do this and also to ensure that our farming sector gets the support it needs during this crisis too.

“YFC members can offer their support by encouraging people to buy local produce as well as supporting the farmers who are producing it. We are going to need more British people to help pick fruits and vegetables in the coming months and YFC members living in areas close to these farms could offer their services during this difficult time for the country – and indeed the world.”

YFC RURAL SUPPORT DURING COVID-19

1. Local food for local people

Work with local producers (farm shops, farmers, local shops and small producers) to find out if you can help distribute emergency food parcels to those in self-isolation or those who are finding it difficult to find what they need in the shops at the moment.

2. Make contact

Organise leaflet drops (so you can reach those most vulnerable who may not be online) to let people know your YFC is able to support by fetching shopping, picking up prescriptions, walking the dog or just popping round to check on someone who lives alone.

3. Social communities

Use your online knowledge to set up a WhatsApp or Facebook (or similar) group for your local community so people can  provide requests for help. It’s a great way for everyone to feel connected if self-isolation is imposed. Always offer support for those that are not familiar with online platforms and only share accurate information from official sources.

4. Support for farmers

Remember that many farms will be feeling the effects of the crisis too. YFCs can be a source of help in both practical and support situations, as well as spreading positive messages about local food production and availability.  Seasonal labour will also be in short supply and YFC members can contact HOPS to help with picking and packing fruit and vegetables in your local area.There are paid positions available. See more information on how to apply here.

For more information about Covid-19 and the advice for YFCs, please see here.