Farm Safety Foundation receives National Lottery boost to improve and innovate award-winning education programme

We have even more cause to celebrate this holiday season as we have been given an early Christmas present in the form of £10,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.

Since 2015, we have been delivering our unique Introduction to Farm Safety training to over 10,000 agricultural students and young farmers at 41 different land-based colleges and universities throughout the UK and through the Young Farmers Clubs network and thanks to National Lottery funding, this impactful education programme will be given a major tech refresh for the new decade…

Our 2020 education programme will introduce ground-breaking technology in the shape of Virtual Reality (VR) which will allow us to continue to pioneer unique, innovative & engaging farm safety training for agricultural students.

Vocational training will really begin to feel the impact of virtual and augmented reality over the next few years and we are delighted to be pioneering this for the next generation of farmers. The ability to experience any training in 360 is invaluable and memorable – so to deliver training that may actually save lives and limbs in the future makes it even more important. Imagine future farmers viewing a working farm and its real risks from all angles without leaving the classroom… We are very privileged to have this opportunity to influence the next generation of farmers and start to nudge better behaviours in an industry with the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK. This is something we take very seriously.

We are a small team but we have BIG ambitions and we can not do this alone. We work with partners and the industry all year long to engage, educate and communicate strong and relatable farm safety messages and this new project has been no different. Education is the key to driving good behaviours in the industry and we wanted to challenge the assumption that Health and Safety training is boring and make the session more active for those participating. Thanks to our funder NFU Mutual and this contribution from The National Lottery Community Fund we are able to do this.

According to Genea Lynch, Digital Director of Warwickshire-based Captivate Reality, a start-up business specialising in emerging technologies like augmented and virtual reality, mixed reality and multi-touch; “It’s been fantastic for Captivate Reality to work with the Farm Safety Foundation to deliver their new Virtual Reality training. VR progresses training seminars to the next level, offering safe and immersive learning environments, reducing costly logistics to far reached locations or hazardous surroundings. We look forward to continuing and developing this exciting project further.”

We know that young people learn in different ways and we believe in championing alternative learning methods and the value of life skills, as a way of engaging young farmers and equipping them for their chosen career. For a generation raised on interactive technologies, we really believe that bringing VR into learning can help encourage active engagement and contribute to delivering our key farm safety messages.

Dates are available NOW for the 2020 programme so if you work or attend a land-based college or university and you want to secure a date, please contact ASAP as dates are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

stephanie_berkeley_zl4u2oa9Farm Safety Foundation receives National Lottery boost to improve and innovate award-winning education programme