Community support

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000

Description

The Devon Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (DFYFC) are in the process of setting up a Rural Hub for Devon to support the farming and rural communities. It will provide hot desking, meeting spaces and the opportunity to share information between rural organisations, and thereby encouraging co-operation and collaboration between them.

The pooling of resources will avoid duplication of effort; put vulnerable rural people in touch with other appropriate organisations and agencies; and meet the needs of their client groups more effectively and efficiently.

We are now seeking funding to provide equipment (ICT hardware and software) and furnishings for the new Devon YFC Office in the building.

DFYFC purchased a property at Cheriton Bishop in Mid Devon using cash reserves and donations from YFC Clubs and friends of YFC late in 2014. Since then they have set about raising funds to convert the building into a Rural Hub. The joint aims being provide support to those individuals who live in rural Devon and the organisations that support them as well as being an Asset Base for DFYFC providing valuable funds to run the organisation going forward.

The Ground Floor space includes the DYFC office, a large reception area with 'hot desk' computer facilities, two large meeting rooms with kitchen and toilets. On the First Floor there will be four rooms to be either let out or used for meetings / consultations.

The process was instigated when decisions were taken by Devon County Council and Bicton Agricultural College to phase out their funding of DFYFC. There was a strategic review with the aim of developing a sustainable business model for the future. The proposal from the review has provided DFYFC with the opportunity to develop a joined up network for likeminded organisations. As a part of this it was identified that the existing DFYFC Centre in Exeter was too small to generate significant income and the existing lease with the City Council was coming to an end.

Established in 1921, Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFCs) give young people in the countryside aged 10 to 26 years personal and social development opportunities within rural communities. DFYFC has 38 clubs (624 in England and Wales) with just over 1600 members and its role is to provide vital infrastructure support to the YFC’s and those volunteers that run them. The DFYFC outcomes are:
• That volunteers are confident, skilled and knowledgeable in running their Clubs and activities;
• Clubs network and collaborate for mutual benefit;
• Clubs provide an effective programme of activities in a local setting;
• YFC members are enabled to influence relevant rural and agricultural policy making.

A key attribute of YFC’s is that young club members run them giving them valuable life skills and experience. This personal development is widely recognised by employers and it means that clubs do those things that are fun and important for their members.

We have testimonies (available on request) from a large range of organisations who have expressed support for the Rural Hub these include, Agencies, Private Companies, Agricultural Colleges, Farming related organisations, and the Voluntary, Community and Faith Sector.

The Farm Community Network stated in a letter of support that "dedicated office space will allow us to work more efficiently and provide us with a base where we can meet clients in confidence, as often they prefer to meet somewhere neutral away from their home. We would also use the premises for volunteer meetings and training."

A joint survey of YFC members by the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs and Farm Community Network has resulted in a new collaborative piece of work (Rural+) between the two organisations nationally. The findings were that issues affecting young people today included: stress, succession, job opportunities, body image and affordable housing.

Devon Federation of Young Farmers Clubs

Location: Cheriton Bishop

This project is about providing support for YFC’s in Devon enabling young people to run their own Clubs giving them valuable life skills and experience. This personal development is recognised by employers and means that clubs do those things that are fun and important for their members.
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