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Trust Brings Classroom and Countryside Closer

North East, Dunbartonshire, Lothians, Borders and Fife all benefit from inaugural NFUS Centenary Trust awards

The inaugural awards from NFU Scotland’s Centenary Trust will push forward work in informing Scotland’s next generation of consumers about where their food comes from.

The NFUS Centenary Trustees have agreed to fund six projects – totalling more than £30,000 – each of which will build on the tremendous work existing organisations are doing in educating and informing Scottish children about farming and food.

The largest award will go to the Royal Northern Countryside Initiative (RNCI) to allow it to replace its hugely popular Country Classroom on Wheels (CCOW).  The existing CCOW has been seen by thousands of children at schools in the North East.  It is fully booked to visit schools again this May and June and is due for replacement or refurbishment.  

The other five awards have gone to the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) which assists schools in teaching Scottish schoolchildren about the issues surrounding food, farming and the countryside.  RHET supports farm and classroom visits, resource packs for schools, activities and attendance at the Highland Show.  The awards will benefit RHET groups working in Dunbartonshire, Lothians, Borders and Fife.

NFU Scotland President Nigel Miller, who chairs the Centenary Trust, said:
“It is fantastic that thanks to the generosity of our members, we have the opportunity to help those who are doing sterling work in promoting the food and farming industries to Scotland’s schoolchildren.

“The Scottish public has a growing appreciation of the work that goes into producing fresh, tasty food and looking after our iconic countryside.  Getting the next generation of consumers onto farms – or taking the countryside into the classroom – shows Scottish schoolchildren that we have a fantastic story to tell.

“That is reaping benefits in our food and drink sector and also playing a part in the number of people leaving school and looking to start a career in farming, food or land-based industries.  By supporting these projects, we are pro-actively looking at the future of our industry.”

RNCI Chairman Billy Stewart, who farms at Bomakelloch, Drummuir said:

“The RNCI committee is absolutely delighted that NFU Scotland has decided to support our application for a new CCOW from its Centenary fund.   Our present trailer is in much need of upgrade or replacement and we have been planning this for a few years.  This award could not have come at a better time.

“Thousands of children visit the CCOW each year and it is always very popular, especially when visiting urban schools.  Such visits are only possible due to the work of our volunteers and it will be great for them to have a new trailer to take on the road to keep up the good work of showing children where their food comes from.”

Notes to Editors

  • To mark its first 100 years, NFU Scotland has established a Centenary Trust.  The Trust will be funded by the centenary events that take place throughout 2013 and via a voluntary contribution from each member.
     
  • In its first year, the Trust will support three objectives

-    To get as many children as possible to learn more about where their food comes from and visit a farm in 2013.  
-    To educate farmers, employees and their children on health and safety in the countryside with a special emphasis on children’s safety.   
-    To assist in bringing forward a meaningful apprentice programme that supports farmers and their employees.  We want to see the next generation of Scottish farmers getting a start in the industry.

  • The first six awards have been granted:  They are:

-    In the North East, Royal Northern Countryside Initiative (RNCI) is to receive a £17,500 contribution to a new “Country Classroom On Wheels” or CCOW.  A much-needed replacement to the previous one that regularly visited over 100 schools a year in Aberdeenshire and Moray, reaching almost 5,000 school pupils.

-    All Five applications from The Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) were approved.

RHET Dumbarton requested £6800 to help pay for a mobile resource trailer with a fibreglass “milkable” cow. In the past they have had to borrow one. This solution means they can be more flexible when asked to visit schools and shows.   

RHET Lothian’s request was for £3000 to fund a Food and Farming Day in Central Edinburgh as part of RHET week in November. The funding will help with the marquee and display costs.   

RHET Borders requested £536 for the Crucial Crew initiative. An annual educational safety event targeting every p7 pupil on the importance of safety in the countryside.

There were two applications from RHET Fife totalling £2,650 for day visits by pupils from different schools to two farms in May and June. Both events are very well organised and structured to tie in with the Scottish Governments new curriculum for excellence.

  • A photograph of RNCI’s exisiting Countryside Classroom on Wheels (CCOW) is available on request
     
  • The Trustees are now ready to accept requests from interested parties with the next closing date for application being 15th June. Full details on the Trust, including how to apply can be found at www.nfus.org.uk or by calling Colin Gordon: 0131 472 4011

Ends

Date Published:

News Article No.: 67/13


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