Following the news that Wales YFC has been unsuccessful in its recent bid for a renewal of its core funding, Kirsty Williams and Roger Williams, AM and MP for Brecon and Radnorshire have called on the First Minister to ensure that the impact that this loss of funding will have on the future of the Young Farmer’s Movement in Wales is fully assessed.
Wales YFC is the largest rural youth organisation in Wales with current membership standing at just under 6000 10 – 26 year olds, operating across 157 YFC Clubs throughout rural Wales. The programme enables young people to develop new skills and gain invaluable training in a range of different areas.
Despite its longstanding success and support over a number of years through a Welsh Government administered grant from the National Voluntary Youth Organisations (NVYO), Wales YFC were recently informed that their latest bid for continued funding was unsuccessful and that funding would cease from April 2015, with the next window for applications not opening until 2018.
Kirsty Williams, AM for Brecon and Radnorshire, said:
“The YFC is a huge part of rural life. The financial challenges will have a large impact on the YFC’s ability to continue to offer the vast array of services and events it currently does. The Welsh Government say they are supportive of what the YFC do, but it is clear that statutory provision of local government cannot reach rural communities like the YFC can.
“The YFC is largely run by volunteers, it only requires a relatively small amount of central support. I hope the Welsh Labour Government have since realised how important this issue is for rural communities and will look at it more closely than they have previously. I will continue to work closely with the YFC to see how they can secure the funding for their future through other means.”
Roger Williams, AM for Brecon and Radnorshire, added:
“The contribution of Young Farmers Clubs to nurturing both leadership and self-confidence is second to none and the Welsh Government needs to make a full assessment of the impact that this dramatic loss of funding will have on the Young Farmer’s Movement in Wales.”
Councillor Andrew Bufton, President of Brecknock Federation of Young Farmers Clubs commented:
“As the largest rural youth organisation in Wales, Wales Young Farmers benefits young people throughout the country. It is also unique in the sense that it is a movement truly run by young people for young people. It would be extremely disappointing if we were to see the organisation lose its core funding and its sterling work undermined.”