Northstone Materials Limited, a leading provider of construction materials, and Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster (YFCU), Northern Ireland's largest rural youth organisation are proud to announce a partnership which will benefit rural youth and families throughout the province. This collaboration continues the pursuit of farm safety, mental health awareness, and employment opportunities in rural Northern Ireland.
Left to right: Paul Hawkes, NSM Area Sales Manager, Gillian McKeown, YFCU CEO, Stuart Mills, YFCU President, Tuesday Pollock, NSM People & Development Manager & Jonathan Gault, NSM Area Sales Manager.
As two organisations deeply committed to the welfare of rural communities, Northstone Materials Limited and the YFCU have come together with a shared vision to create safer, healthier, and more resilient farming environments. This partnership aims to address the pressing challenges faced by young farmers and their families, especially in the realms of farm safety, mental health, and overall wellbeing.
YFCU encourages education, fun, and friendship through a range of activities that include agriculture, arts, and sports. With over 3,400 members aged between 12 and 30 years old, the YFCU provides opportunities for young people to develop practical skills, make new friends, and contribute to their local communities.
Northstone Materials Limited will work closely with YFCU to support their farm safety mentor programs, which sees members trained by the Farm Safety Foundation to enable them to deliver interactive and informative talks to clubs and local community groups. The objective is to help change attitudes and behaviours, reduce accidents and promote safer farming practices across Northern Ireland.
Recognising the mental health challenges that farmers and rural dwellers often encounter, the partnership will establish awareness for resources for the YFSeesYou programme. This initiative is designed to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and ensure farmers have access to the help they need. The programme allows YFCU members to be trained and offer mental health talks to other clubs offering support and guidance on how to seek help in difficult times.
As one of NI’s largest employers in construction, Northstone are proud to put their name beside the YFCU Rural Job Finder – an online platform to help promote employment and personal development opportunities with a focus on rural areas.
Jonathan Gault, Area Sales Manager of Northstone Materials Limited, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, saying, "We believe in the importance of giving back to the communities that support us. This continued partnership is a testament to our commitment to farm safety, education and the wellbeing of farmers in Northern Ireland. We are excited to work hand-in-hand with the Young Farmers Clubs’ of Ulster to make a positive difference."
YFCU President, Stuart Mills, added, "Farmers face unique challenges, and we're thrilled to continue our partnership with Northstone Materials Limited to continue to raise awareness, support and educate our members through personal development, farm safety and their own health and wellbeing. By combining our expertise and resources, we can create a safer, more resilient farming community where mental health is a priority."
Both organisations are excited about the positive impact this partnership will have on the lives of members of YFCU, their families and people in rural communities throughout Northern Ireland. This partnership represents a promising step towards a brighter, more connected future for the YFCU members and the wider Northern Ireland agricultural community. As both organisations embark on this journey together, they are committed to fostering growth, empowerment, and lasting change.
Left to right: Paul Hawkes, NSM Area Sales Manager, Stuart Mills, YFCU President & Jonathan Gault, NSM Area Sales Manager