Following the news that Wales YFC has been unsuccessful in its recent bid for a renewal of its core funding, William Powell AM has today called on the First Minister to ensure that the impact that this loss of funding will have on the future of the Young Farmers' 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.
Speaking in the Chamber this afternoon, William Powell, Shadow Minister for Environment & Rural Affairs stated:
“Volunteers contribute hugely to the work of each club, with on average 8 volunteers working 6 hours a week. This equates to an incredible 485,472 volunteer hours per year.
“The YFC’s loss of some £700,000 of core funding over three years – from the NVYO fund - threatens to undermine the YFC’s work at a national level, in supporting the County Federations right across Wales. 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 Farmers' Movement in Wales.”
Jane Dodds, Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate in Montgomeryshire said:
“The Welsh Liberal Democrats are wholeheartedly against the decision to cut funding for the Young Farmer’s Movement.
“I am pleased that Kirsty Williams and William Powell have been leading on this issue in the National Assembly. The Welsh Lib Dems will continue to fight these cuts.”
Mark Williams, Chair of FUW in Montgomeryshire and previous YFC member, commented:
“As the largest rural youth organisation in Wales, Wales YFC benefits young people in rural communities 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.”