The YFCU European Rally Team 2019 – (Back L-R) Andrew Ritchie, Ballywalter YFC, Robert Smyth, Randalstown YFC, and Jake Cunningham, Trillick YFC (Front L-R) Andrew Patton, Newtownards YFC & YFCU Vice President, and Zita McNaugher, YFCU President
Members from the Young Farmer’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU) recently travelled to England to take part in the European Rally 2019.
Organised by Rural Youth Europe, the annual Rally brings young people together from European countries who engage in farming, or live in rural areas. The theme for this year’s Rally was Sharing and Caring in a Democratic and Inclusive European Community.’
The week-long Rally primarily focused on learning how to recognise signs of mental illness and developing competencies in how to deal with different situations to ensure healthy rural communities for the future.
Representing the YFCU on the YFCU European Rally Team were; Andrew Patton, Newtownards YFC & YFCU Vice President; Andrew Ritchie, Ballywalter YFC; Jake Cunningham, Trillick YFC; Robert Smyth, Randalstown YFC; along with Team Leader Zita McNaugher, YFCU President.
Zita McNaugher, YFCU President commented:
“We had a lot of positive engagement during the week through various workshops, activities and discussions on rural issues, particularly mental health awareness and the stigmas surrounding this issue. Obviously a very hard-hitting topic, we shared ideas of how to raise awareness of mental health support within our clubs and the wider rural community.
“We also visited a number of different farms, including an organic farm, kid farm, dairy farm with robots, a cherry farm, and a farm set up to support autistic young adults.
“A highlight of the week was the international buffet, it was a great opportunity for our team to showcase produce from Northern Ireland, including Tayto crisps, potato bread, Dromona cheese, fifteens, fudge, yellow man, sukies, Jaw Box gin, Bushmills, and not forgetting brown lemonade. We also got a chance to sample foods from the other countries; we particularly enjoyed the Welsh cheese and Slovenian beverages.
I’d like to thank Danske Bank for their continued sponsorship of the YFCU, especially in relation to sponsoring the Rally Team, enabling us to be represented at the event this year.”