An opportunity for Henry Plumb Foundation Mentors and Graduates to meet and share their experiences was taken up by more than 100 participants at a recent event at the House of Lords. Hosted by Baroness Hazel Byford, the event saw many of the 45 graduates who have received awards since the Foundations’ inception in 2013 take the opportunity of sharing their experiences and making new contacts.
Lord Plumb was keen to have a day that brought everyone together “I wanted to help young people realise that they are not on their own and that making contacts and developing their networks is hugely important to realising their ambitions. I am enormously grateful for the support of the Mentors who give their time and expertise and am delighted that so many took the opportunity to attend”. Philip Wynn, Chairman of Mentors was on hand to conduct interviews with 2 graduates- Chris Manley and Emma Graves, providing an insight into their awards and their ambitions. Chris Manley, currently poultry buyer for Sainsbury and NYFC Chairman has used his grant to attend the Worshipful Company of Farmers’ Challenge of Rural Leadership Course whilst Emma has taken on a new farm tenancy with her husband Ben and used the Foundations help to refurbish buildings and improve stock fencing. Both identified their mentors, Jane King and Peter Baughen respectively as providing huge inspiration and guidance.
Closing the event John Alliston, Chairman of Trustees emphasised the progress the Foundation has made, “We have found huge demand amongst young entrepreneurs for the type of support the Foundation can offer. Our industry needs a constant flow of energy and new ideas and is undoubtedly capable of attracting such people. Few have a clear entry point and this is where the Foundation has really proved itself – it’s not a big grant but the value of the Mentor relationship is invaluable. For anyone wanting to give something back to the industry or to learn more we would be delighted to hear from you”.