Extreme challenges for Convention!
When tragedy strikes, Young Farmers’ Clubs are renowned for pulling together and helping in anyway they can. So it’s no surprise then that more than 100 Young Farmers are saddling up to cycle or walk a combined total of nearly 1000 miles to get to Convention this year – all in aid of raising money for causes close to their hearts.
In Essex FYFC, 15 members are aiming to raise £4,000 for the Mary Baron Suite in Colchester in support of a fellow member who has been diagnosed with cancer. The team plans to cycle the 270 miles to Blackpool over four days.
Challenge organiser Sara Skinner said: “The reason why we are doing this is for one particular Essex Young Farmer member that has been a huge part of YFC over the last few years. He is a member that you can always count on to help and he is always willing to take part. He has done a lot for Essex Young Farmers so now I think it’s time we gave him something back. Last year he was diagnosed with a rare case of cancer. However the Mary Baron Suite has helped him and his family through his journey and made their lives just that little easier.”
In Norton and Gaulby YFC, in Leicestershire, there are 10 YFC members planning to cycle 162 miles to Blackpool via Stoke on Trent and Warrington to raise money for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance.
It’s a cause that means a lot to challenge organiser Charlotte Stanbridge after her brother was killed in a farm accident.
“Ten years ago I tragically lost my brother in an accident on the farm and so this year we were determined to take on a challenge to raise as much money for the charity who attended the scene on the day,” said Charlotte.
Over in Whitchurch YFC, there are 13 energetic members planning to cycle 100 miles in one day from Whitchurch rugby club to the Blackpool Tower all in aid of The Brain Tumour Charity and Severn Hospice.
The fundraiser is particularly poignant for Whitchurch members after the club lost John Hollins last year, a former member who also sat on their advisory team.
“John was a huge ambassador for Whitchurch, someone who helped us endlessly over the years to make the club what it is today. It is therefore their privilege to be riding with John in their memory,” explained member Rachel Cooper.
One of Whitchurch YFC’s members has chosen to ride for the Severn Hospice who cared for her grandmother and provided invaluable support to her family. Severn Hospice gives specialist care and support free of charge to families (across Shropshire and Mid Wales) who have a family member living with an incurable illness.
Seven members of Ecclehsall YFC will cycle 100 miles to Blackpool in support of fellow club member Dan Moseley who was seriously injured in a trampoline accident earlier this year. The club is hoping to raise £1,000 to help with his rehabilitation.
On the Club’s Justgiving page, they have written: “Dan has been a member of Eccleshall Young Farmers for over four years. He has turned his hand to every challenge from performing on the stage, being a jump rope extraordinaire, sliding along a greasy pole and participating in numerous public speaking competitions.
“Unfortunately Dan was involved in a trampoline accident which has left him with some serious injures. For those of you who know Dan, you will know that he is a true fighter and has not let this get him down. We need your support to help Dan get the rehabilitation he needs to get him back where he belongs.”
In Pembrokeshire, the County Chair Non Thorne has set a challenge for 17 members to cycle 250 miles for Prostate Cymru, Wales Air Ambulance and Pembrokeshire FYFC.
Non said: “I was fortunate to be elected Pembrokeshire FYFC chairman in September 2017 and wanted a challenge that would bring our members together, involve trying something new (in YFC style) and of course involved raising money for charity, something the young farmers are a 'dab hand' at.”
And last but by no means least is Cornwall FYFC who never fail to take part in a Convention fundraiser - or ‘WotNot’ as it is known in their County. This year 45 members will be walking 100 miles, including the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail as part of Chairman Ed’s Expedition.
The team will trek for five and a half days from the east to the west coast, and incorporate the Hadrian's Wall National Trail, going from Tynemouth to Bowness on Solway – with an average of 20 miles per day.
Cornwall are raising money for the County as well as for the Cornwall Birth and Baby (BABA) Appeal, which are funding the refurbishment of the maternity wing in Treliske hospital, Truro.
“We will be sleeping on village hall floors along the way. We’re keen to meet up with any YFC's along the wall route,” said Ed Harris, Cornwall FYFC’s County Chairman.