Kings Award for Voluntary Service

Nov 14, 2023  •  General

King’s Award for Voluntary Service Awarded to Cumbria YFC

The Cumbria Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (Cumbria YFC) are honoured and delighted to be included in the first cohort of voluntary organisations to receive the King’s Award for Voluntary Service 2023 for the outstanding work of their volunteers. The Award is the equivalent of the MBE and is the highest accolade that a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

William Longmire, County Chair of Cumbria YFC said “We couldn’t be more proud of this award and of our volunteers. For Cumbria YFC to be recognised in this way is an incredible achievement and means so much to us all. The commitment and enthusiasm of our volunteers is what makes Cumbria YFC so special and we are grateful for their dedication and support which has helped us achieve so much as an organisation.”

Founded in 1937, Cumbria YFC had two main principles; to help those working in agriculture to develop the skills to represent themselves and their industry and to help combat the loneliness of rural life. These principles still ring true today and it is only through the commitment and hard work of hundreds of volunteers over the last 86 years that Cumbria YFC has been able to develop and thrive.

Young Farmers in 2023 can take part in a whole host of competitions including public speaking, debating, performing arts, traditional rural skills such as hedging and walling, sports, stock judging, fence erecting, field days, cookery and floral art to name but a few. A democratic organisation, members are encouraged to take on officer positions and to mentor younger members within their clubs. The young farmers are prolific fundraisers, raising almost £400,000 over the last 12 years for both local and national charities. Members also take part in the annual Club Community Challenge, carrying out good works in their local communities.

Cumbria YFC Chief Officer, Joanne Mills said “Our members today do not all work in farming or agriculture, but our young farmers do all have an interest in rural affairs and are passionate about their local communities and their county. Our volunteers are the people who mentor and support our members, helping them to develop and grow into confident and resilient adults who will go on to play a major part in the future of Cumbria.”

Alex Sibbald, Cumbria YFC County President said “Cumbria YFC is unique in voluntary group terms, our members are also often our volunteers, taking on officer positions and mentoring younger members. Once out of age, members become our next generation of volunteers, giving back to the organisation that has given them so much. Our volunteers are the life blood of Cumbria YFC and we are so pleased that they have been recognised for all the work that they do for us”

Cumbria YFC is one of 262 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. Their work, along with others from across the UK highlights all the ways fantastic volunteers are contributing to their local communities and working to make life better for those around them.

The King’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee and, following his accession, His Majesty The King emphasised his desire to continue the Award. Recipients are announced annually on 14th November, The King’s Birthday. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse and include volunteer groups from across the UK, such as a social support network for disabled adults in Banffshire; a charity using a refurbished pool as a community hub in south Wales; volunteer doctors providing pre-hospital care across rural Cumbria and a village renewal organisation promoting sustainability, equality and social inclusion in County Antrim.

Representatives of Cumbria YFC will receive the award crystal and certificate from Mr Alex Scott, Lord-Lieutenant of Cumbria. In addition, two volunteers from Cumbria YFC will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May or June 2024, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.

Kings Award for Voluntary Service