Leading award for young farmers’clubs

SAYFC representatives receive the award
SAYFC representatives receive the award

A campaign run by the Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs (SAYFC) has won a top award.

Its ‘Are Ewe Okay?’ initiative achieved the ‘Farming Hero’ accolade at the British Farming Awards, held last Thursday at the National Conference Centre in Birmingham.

SAYFC began the campaign on mental well-being in May, 2016, at the Ayr Show on the first day of mental health awareness week.

It encouraged rural youth to listen, talk and share their experiences of mental and emotional health.

The Farming Hero award recognises ‘a group who strive to make a positive difference to the lives of people during times of uncertainty or adversity’.

Campaign manager Joanna Foubister said: “It is a phenomenal honour to win the Farmers Guardian Farming Hero award and to be recognised for the ‘Are Ewe Okay?’ campaign.

“We know one in four people in Scotland will suffer from poor mental health so we predominately launched the campaign for our members.

“But, through this fantastic opportunity and exposure from this award, it will enable us to reach a greater audience and ultimately spreading awareness of the cause is one of our key objectives. It is truly appreciated.”

SAYFC chief executive Penny Montgomerie said: “We had noticed an ever prominent number of cases within our members, therefore it was an issue we felt we had to address.”

Are Ewe OK? was intended to run for a year, with facts and figures highlighted to audiences on social media, as well as through the organisation’s website.

It is now in its second year with the plan to continue its development.

More than 700 farmers and industry professionals attended last week’s ceremony when 14 awards were presented.

The evening was organised by Briefing Media, parent company of Farmers Guardian, Dairy Farmer and Arable Farming and supported by Morrisons.