Covid-19 has put a halt on many SAYFC events that were scheduled to take place throughout the year, however it hasn’t stopped the Ayrshire Association of Young Farmers Clubs celebrating its 75th anniversary in style.

The district launched their ‘75 in 75 Challenge’ on June 1, with the hope of encouraging both past and present members to get involved and help raise funds for their 75th anniversary charities by taking part in an activity based around the numbers 7.5 or 75.

From cycling 7.5 km to drinking a pint of milk for 75 days and even climbing the Cairn Table 10 times in 75 days – Ayrshire members have done it all!

The challenge lasted 75 days, ending on August 14, with three Ayrshire charities benefitting from the districts fundraising efforts, including the Ayrshire Hospice, RHET Ayrshire and Arran and the Hansel Foundation.

Ayrshire district chairman, Donald Erskine, commented: “We’re so proud to have reached our 75th anniversary and had some exciting plans to celebrate this with members past and present but sadly due to the current pandemic, our plans have had to be put on hold.

“However, we really wanted to do something to celebrate our 75th year whilst raising some money for our chosen charities.”

Robyn Watt, the current district secretary added: “It is a huge privilege for myself and Donald to be the 75th year chairman and secretary – something we will cherish for the rest of our lives.

“When the current situation postponed most of our plans into what will be the 76th year, we had to do something to keep the spirit alive!

"The Challenge was something every past and present member could get involved in as they could choose to do whatever they liked! It makes me extremely proud of the district to witness everyone getting involved and raising money for three amazing local charities.”

The challenge hasn’t only encouraged members to raise money for a good cause, but also to ensure that during the pandemic, both past and present members are kept active and stay upbeat.

“When lockdown first started, I was stumped when it came to finding a way to stay busy and the Ayrshire 75 in 75 Challenge has been the perfect opportunity for me to not only keep busy but also to stay active and push myself,” said Jane Strawhorn, current district assistant secretary.

“I have been walking, running, or jogging for 7.5km per day and although it hasn’t been easy, I’ve found it incredibly worthwhile.”

Rachel Templeton, current Mauchline YFC secretary, added: “During lockdown I was doing a lot of walking so when the AAYFC 75 in 75 Challenge came up, this was the perfect opportunity for me to push myself to do a bit extra while raising money for some great charities.”

With the aim of raising at least £750 over the 10 week period, the district have managed to fundraise an outstanding total of £2405, which will be split between the three charities.

“Although it’s not quite the event that we had planned to celebrate 75 years, it’s been really good to get past and present members working together to raise money for three fantastic charities,” commented Katie Burns, past district secretary, current West Region chairman and national vice-chairman.

"In these strange times, it’s good to have something to concentrate on and an aim to work towards.”

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