The granddaughter of a farmer who died in a tragic accident whilst herding cattle has raised £1,600 in his memory.
Chloe McIlwaine, a member of Gleno Young Farmers’ Club, has presented the sum to the Farm Safety Foundation, a charity which helps to raise awareness of farm safety and reduce the number of injuries and fatalities.
The sum was raised by Chloe and a relay team from Gleno YFC through sponsorship for their participation in the Belfast Marathon.
Twenty-year-old Chloe, a student teacher, at Larne Grammar School, approached the Farm Safety Foundation following the death of her grandfather Usher McIlwaine, three years ago.
Chloe, from Ballynure, says: “Granda was herding the cows on a quad, and when he turned out onto the road he was hit, and killed, by a car. Unfortunately there are very few of us in the farming community who haven’t been affected to some extent by a farming injury and I decided I wanted to do something useful to highlight the dangers on farms.
“I contacted Stephanie at the Farm Safety Foundation as this is what they were set up to do. My target was £1,000, but we have raised over £1,600 with more donations to come.
“I’m the first person to raise money for the charity and it is reassuring to know that this money will be spent right here in Northern Ireland raising awareness among young farmers of the importance of thinking twice and staying safe on the farm.”
Stephanie Berkeley, Farm Safety Campaign specialist for the Farm Safety Foundation, added: “We are so grateful to Chloe and the relay team from Gleno Valley YFC and we are excited about working with YFCU to bring educational programmes to Northern Ireland’s young farmers, ensuring we are encouraging the next generation to challenge poor or unsafe practices on their own farms as well as through peer pressure.
“We have been impressed with the work of YFCU and clubs like Gleno Valley to enhance the skill sets of young people in the agricultural industries and with their commitment to farm safety. We will be working with YFCU president Roberta Simmons, vice president Brooks Allen and all the team to bring the message to the 60 Young Farmers’ Clubs across the province in the hope that together we can make a difference and change attitudes to health and safety in the farming community.”
For more information on the Farm Safety Foundation please visit: www.yellowwellies.org