New lease of life for Melton Young Farmers Club

Members of Melton Mowbray Young Farmers Club EMN-171221-122023001
Members of Melton Mowbray Young Farmers Club EMN-171221-122023001
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There was a time not so long ago when dwindling numbers left Melton Mowbray Young Farmers Club in danger of folding.

Those dark days back in June 2016 saw as few as six youngsters attending meetings, with many of them having to be cancelled due to a lack of interest.

Members of Melton Mowbray Young Farmers Club EMN-171221-122012001

Members of Melton Mowbray Young Farmers Club EMN-171221-122012001

But today the club is revitalised with more than 30 young people meeting regularly and enjoying a full programme of activities and volunteering experiences.

Charlotte Lovegrove, co-secretary at the club and a former leader, said: “There was a real danger of the club folding.

“It was sad because the club has been going for more than 80 years and it is one of the oldest in Leicestershire.

“We just didn’t have enough people to fill the various roles in the club but it has all changed now and we are really thriving.”

Melton Mowbray YFC ladies' tug of war team pulled their way to a podium spot EMN-171221-121959001

Melton Mowbray YFC ladies' tug of war team pulled their way to a podium spot EMN-171221-121959001

Things changed when some of the girls put together a strong tug of war team which reached the national finals and raised the profile of the club.

A change in the leadership roles helped boost recruitment, as did a very busy annual barbecue at The Crown and Plough at Long Clawson.

The upshot was that membership grew more than five-fold from the difficult days for the club to a point now where more than 30 members meet.

Charlotte said: “Our members don’t have to be from a farming background.

“Some are horsey people or come from farming families but we also have people who live in the town who don’t have that lifestyle.

“We do take members from 10 but our youngest currently is 14 and we can have members aged up to 26.

“The split between boys and girls is roughly 50/50 and we have a range of ages.”

Among the social activities this year have been visits to Rutland Water Aqua Park, blacksmith’s forges, tours of farms and a fitness boot camp.

Members have also had the chance to get up close to insects, experience a talk on falconry and have a go at making sloe gin.

The club provides marshals for local events, euch as the fun run at Belvoir Castle and enter teams in public speaking contests, enjoying plenty of success last year.

Meetings are every Tuesday at Scalford Village Hall and new members are welcome.

Charlotte added: “I would say to young people in the Melton area to just give it a go.

“It’s a really nice social group to belong to.

“We have a vast age range and everyone who comes along finds there is something to interest them.”

Anyone interested can contact chairman Emma Haywood on 07530 325789 or the other co-secretary Leah Niamh on 07791 877359.

The club is holding a Winter Warmer event on January 23 at Scalford Village Hall.

Tickets, to include bingo, food and a drink, cost £10 with the first game starting at 7pm. All are welcome.