Suffolk Young Farmers column: We’ll miss you, Charlotte

back row, Charlotte Cobbald and Ele Williamson, front row, Lizzy Broom, Megan Pemberton, Abi Dolan,

back row, Charlotte Cobbald and Ele Williamson, front row, Lizzy Broom, Megan Pemberton, Abi Dolan, otherwise known as the Campout Chatterboxes. - Credit: Archant

August has been a month of immense sadness for the members of Suffolk Young Farmers.

On Monday, August 4, we lost Charlotte Cobbald, of Gipping Valley and Stowmarket Young Farmers, aged just 17.

The tragedy of this has been so difficult for our members to comprehend, and to be taken so young by such a misunderstood and difficult disease such as anorexia has taken the breath away from so many of our members, staff and supporters. Charlotte, for those who never had the privilege of meeting her, was beautiful. Inside and out. A quick witted, hard-working, fun loving young lady who had grown so much in her time in Young Farmers. Charlotte was always first into the action and took enjoyment out of everything she took part in. An outstanding public speaker, speaking with poise and confidence beyond her years. A young lady capable of stock judging against the most seasoned of livestock lotharios. An eye for a prize winning sheep and the ability to show that animal to its best against the best in the business. Fast, competitive but sportsmanlike in all sports we took part in. A friendly, empathetic girl who stood up for what she believed in, always took the time to encourage those younger and less confident than her and a loyal, true and always available friend to those who were the closest to her. Charlotte’s wit and humour will be my long standing memory, the sharpness of wit and her quick responses will be missed and Young Farmers will never be able to replace this. Charlotte shone in everything she took part in and our junior events won’t be the same without her. Her ability to chat for the entire night of the inaugural junior campout (along with close friends from Gipping Valley) astounded us older folk and looking back we will always regret telling them to go to sleep, albeit for less than 2 hours. Her natural beauty when lining up with the other Gipping Valley ladies at the junior ball will always be missing from our events. Her knack of making every silly competition at our ridiculous rally seem like the most natural thing to do in the world and making everyone feel that it was totally normal to be carrying out these crazy activities. All of those things we will never forget. Charlotte was a shining star in the YFC membership. An inspiration for those younger and older than her. A young lady we all wanted to be friends with, someone to aspire to, someone to look at and think “what a star”. We are devastated by this loss and our love goes to her family and friends who must be suffering so horribly. We will remember Charlotte always and Young Farmers are honoured to have been given so much of her time, support and unabounded love.

The Junior Campout this year was obviously tinged with sadness, but Charlotte was with us in the form of a candle, kept alight throughout the event. The juniors present had a fantastic time and we made sure that the fun was non-stop. Izzy, our junior fieldworker, had put on a huge number of activities including “slip and slide”, challenging team games with plank walking, treasure hunts, rounders, tug of war and all of our usual fun filled activities. The evening culminated with a “spooky walk”. Unfortunately for the seniors, the junior members outfoxed us and managed to arrive before the spookers. Luckily, ever ready Izzy, bounded ahead and leapt into a spooky box and managed to leap out giving the unsuspecting juniors the frights of their lives! A fabulous weekend for all of us including the grand total of 4.5 hours sleep. This must be a record! Huge thanks go to Hollow Trees Farm for hosting the event, it was fantastic.

The clubs all start meeting again in the next few weeks so back to action in the office with our huge new turkey competition all sponsored and ready to go, watch this space!