Eden Valley young farmer Amy Swinbank has been voted committee member of the year 2020 by the National Federation of YFCs.
Amy was chairperson of Eden Valley YFC for 2019–20 and played a crucial role in keeping the club united and running throughout lockdown earlier this year.
In an interview with national federation chairman Dewi Parry, Amy said: “I am absolutely overwhelmed and shocked to have won the award — it is a huge honour.
“There has been a lot going on and it’s not been an easy year. I could not have done it without the club members and other officials alongside me.”
During lockdown, Amy concentrated on ensuring the club’s members were still involved and had opportunities to remain active.
“Rural isolation is a huge issue and we didn’t want that to become worse during lockdown so we organised competitions, quizzes and virtual stockjudging that our members could become involved in,” said Amy.
She formed a link with a local mental health group, A Safe Place, and worked with it to create a video on mental health for club members.
She has also stayed in regular contact with other members through phone calls and video chats.
Earlier in the year, Amy, along with other club members, was instrumental in organising the Eden Valley YFC 24-hour spinathon, which took place in Kirkby Thore village hall in February.
The club raised more than £5,000 for three charities, which they were extremely proud of.
Speaking about what makes a good club chairperson, Amy said it was a matter of being approachable and welcoming.
Encouraging new and junior members was very important, as they were the future of the club.
As if guiding her club through a pandemic was not enough to keep her busy, Amy was this year’s editor of the Cumbria YFC Year Book, alongside fellow Eden Valley member Imogen Johnston.