A MAJOR cash boost from the National Lottery will help a farm safety charity push its training programme into the future - by deploying virtual reality technology.

The Farm Safety Foundation - also known as Yellow Wellies - was awarded £10,000 through the National Lottery Community Fund.

The charity was set up be NFU Mutual to help raise awareness for safety issues on farms.

It offers Introduction to Farm Safety training for agricultural students and young farmers, and has provided this education for 10,000 people since 2015.

The charity's programme for 2020 will include virtual reality (VR) technology to offer new forms of farm safety training.

Genea Lynch, Digital Director of Captivate Reality, a start-up focused on tech such as augmented and virtual reality, said: "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."

Stephanie Berkeley, Manager of the Farm Safety Foundation, said: "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."