Rural Support joins forces with the YFCU
Last Saturday saw a group of members from the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster coming together to take part in a training workshop facilitated by Veronica Morris, chief executive of Rural Support.
The session, which took place at the Dunadry Hotel, focused on mental health awareness as part of the YFSeesYou Ambassadors Programme.
The programme which commenced in 2021 is a joint initiative which sees YFCU Ambassadors trained by Rural Support working across the organisation’s clubs to raise awareness of mental and emotional health and to improve the resilience of its members.
Conscious of the need to find ways to reach younger members of the farming family, Rural Support and the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster conducted research on mental health awareness with YFCU members in November 2020. Based on the results, which showed mental health scores of members being below the average for young people of the same age across Northern Ireland, Rural Support devised a programme with YFCU to train a number of mental Health Ambassadors to support its 3000 members under its YFSeesU Programme. The Programme includes a variety of activities and workshops designed to improve members’ mental health scores.
Veronica Morris, chief executive, commented: “Rural Support were delighted to facilitate this training today aimed at increasing the confidence of YFCU Mental Health Ambassadors in raising awareness of mental and emotional health to its members. A fantastic group of enthusiastic and motivated young people who were engaged, open and willing to be vulnerable together. Nine new ambassadors have joined the existing team of eight and one thing is certain - the future of our rural communities is safe and sound with these young decision makers leading the way.”
Linzi Stewart, YFCU mental health committee chairperson, commented: “YFCU are delighted to join with Rural Support to help address the subject of mental health and wellbeing among our members.
"As the biggest rural youth organisation in Northern Ireland, we understand the impact that a programme like this can deliver to our members and I would encourage all clubs to avail of the training. To book a YFSeesYou workshop please contact Ruth Megahey at YFCU headquarters to arrange for an Ambassador to visit your club.”
To learn more about Rural Support’s programmes and workshops visit their website www.ruralsupport.org.uk or contact the Farm Support Unit via their free confidential support line 0800 138 1678, which is available 9am – 9pm, Monday to Friday for more guidance and assistance.