A memorial fund dedicated to a Lancashire journalist has received a generous £50,000 donation as a result of a unique project.
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JCB chairman, Lord Bamford, presented The Louise Hartley Memorial Fund with £50,000 and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) with £24,000, which was raised through the auction of a one-of-a-kind Loadall – built by 68 JCB apprentices.
Long-standing JCB customer Angus Wielkopoliski of Yorkshire Dairy Goats was the highest bidder for the Loadall Agri Pro telescopic handler in an online auction, organised in partnership with the Farmers Guardian, based in Fulwood.
The Louise Hartley Memorial Fund was established in memory of the former Farmers Guardian journalist who lost her life to cancer in 2016 at the age of just 24.
Louise’s parents, dairy farmers Sarah and John Hartley, of Clitheroe, said: “Louise was passionate about farming and the fund was set up in her memory to help young people pursue their ambitions and dreams in the farming world.
“The £50,000 donation will enable the fund to award a significant number of bursaries and help many young people to progress in their farming careers, so we are very grateful to both JCB and Yorkshire Dairy Goats for their kindness and generosity.”
Paul Burrows, chief executive of RABI, added: “Our charity offers financial support to farming people of all ages.
“We have decided to use this generous donation to provide vital assistance to people with mental health problems, an issue which affects many of the families who approach us for support.”
Lord Bamford said: “JCB’s apprentices worked as a team and did a wonderful job manufacturing this unique Loadall. I am not only delighted that one of our long-standing customers has supported the charity auction, but that the £74,000 he paid is helping two such worthwhile charities connected with the farming community, of which we are such a close part.
“We are indebted to the Farmers Guardian for their great support in organising the auction and suggesting the Louise Hartley Memorial Fund and RABI as beneficiaries, and to Yorkshire Dairy Goats for digging deep to buy this unique JCB machine.”