Youth Work Bulletin: Now available!

March 2021



A word from our Board Chair

Keith Towler

Keith’s Voice

At a time when everyone is beginning to anticipate an easing of restrictions and revised guidance for youth work services we are also of course about to go into the pre-election period. This edition of the Bulletin focuses on young people and the democratic process as 16 and 17 year olds get to vote for the first time in a Senedd election.

It is great to see so many hustings events being organised, some specifically for young people, with others where young people are participating and asking questions of political party candidates. I’m hoping that most young people will have already registered to vote. If you are supporting a young person who still needs to register please use this link

Youth work services are as busy as ever across Wales so I wanted to use this opportunity to say how much the Interim Youth Work Board values the contribution that youth workers, youth support workers and volunteers are making during the pandemic.

While some of the youth work workforce has been affected by furlough for many there has been absolutely no let up in demand. Youth work practitioners have continued to support some of the most vulnerable young people throughout the pandemic.

Youth work is a life-saver for some and it makes so many positive things happen for young people. I’m hearing that fatigue and feelings of not being valued is demotivating and that when you are dealing, day in day out, with young people who are suffering trauma and facing uncertainty it impacts on practitioner morale and well-being.

It’s important to recognise and support our youth work staff and volunteers. We can do so by recognising the Covid-19 youth work contribution and by putting effort into supporting the well-being of our workforce as they face some of the most challenging circumstances they are ever likely to face during their youth work careers.

With thanks to Helen at CWVYS and all the contributors to this edition.

Young Person’s Voice

This month we have the story of a young woman and how staying engaged with youth work has helped her during lockdown

Image of Young Person

Living independently meant I have been quite lonely for most of 2020. I have a lot of friends who are important to me that I missed during the lockdowns. My family is also important to me and so I’ve missed seeing a lot of people. I have also missed all the volunteering I was doing in my local area with Conwy Youth Service.

I have previously suffered with depression so being on my own a lot was difficult. I spoke to my Youth Worker regularly. He gave me support and motivation when I needed it. We also spoke about ways I could be more active as I didn’t want to leave my flat and was smoking more than normal.

When he told me I had been nominated and successful in winning the Diana Award for my volunteering I was so happy and couldn’t believe I had won. When he rang me to tell me I was speechless and couldn’t actually talk. This also gave me a boost as it showed I have youth workers who believe in me and it also reminded me that I am important and have given a lot to my community and so should feel proud.

It also gave me hope and belief and really boosted my self-esteem. My Youth Service also gave me a plaque which I have in my lounge. Attending the virtual clubs has also helped as I have been able to talk to and see other young people I used to volunteer with. My youth worker told me to stay connected with them, like I do with him.

Special Focus - Democratic Engagement

Raise Your Voice

Raise your Voice images

Raise Your Voice is a partnership project between the Boys and Girls Clubs of Wales, Swansea Music Art Digital and Deryn, funded by the UK Democracy Fund. It aims to raise the voices of young people and improve their understanding of their role in democracy in Wales, including through registering to vote and participating in the upcoming Senedd elections.

A Raise Your Voice site for young people launched on the 19th of March, featuring key information about democracy and the election and digital content created by young people in Wales. Please visit their website to find out more!

As part of the project, funding is available for young people and youth clubs to help raise the voice of young people about democracy in Wales and the Senedd elections.

Young people (aged 16-30) can apply for £500 to create digital content (eg. videos, podcasts, spoken word, blogs) giving their perspectives on democracy in Wales and the election. The digital content will be shared on the Raise Your Voice site and social media.

Youth organisations in Wales can apply for £500 to run an online event or activity which supports young people to learn about and raise their voice on the upcoming Senedd election.

A Raise Your Voice Hustings will take place on Thursday 15th April. For more information about Raise Your Voice, including the funding available for young people and youth organisations, please contact Grant Poiner -

Young people issue UK-wide call for mental health transformation

Our Minds Our Future poster

Young campaigners across the UK marked Children’s Mental Health Week (1-7 February 2021) with a unified call for transformation of the mental health system into one that puts young people’s needs at the centre.  

Supported by charities in each of the four nations of the UK, including Hafal and ProMo-Cymru in Wales, hundreds of young people have come together to outline their vision for what mental health services should look like in their communities as part of the Our Minds Our Future project.

In Wales, Hafal and ProMo-Cymru have gathered the voices of more than 100 young people aged 12–25, expressing their views, wishes and feelings about what they want good quality mental health and wellbeing support to look and feel like. 

Young campaigners call on professionals and decision makers to support and endorse their call to action’.

The young people’s 5 demands for improving mental health and emotional wellbeing support are:  

  1. We want a centralised way for 16–25 year-olds to find and access support 
  2. We want to see services working well together to help us using a holistic approach 
  3. We want to access face-to-face and online settings that are safe, welcoming, and respectful 
  4. We want influencers and decision-makers to listen to us, hear our voice and be accountable to us 
  5. We want to see a Minister with a portfolio for children and young people up to the age of 25  

For more information on Our Minds Our Future (Wales) and how you can get involved available here. 

Within Wales - My Youth Work/what Youth Work means to me

Each edition, we’ll shine a light on a different youth work organisation

Conwy CBC

Tell us about your work and the challenges you face

Conwy Youth Service have been delivering youth work during the pandemic but we're trying to think of new and innovative ways that we can work safely. This has at times been difficult as we face new barriers and miss the open access provisions, however we have adapted. We have been able to continue with outreach work and supporting vulnerable young people throughout the different Tiers. Outreach has had its own barriers, including the difficulties of groups congregating, weather and darker nights drawing in. We have been able to build positive relationships with the young people of Conwy and our presence out in the community has helped the young people see we are still here to support them. We will continue to do so and look forward to inviting young people back into our centres.

What’s great about what you do and what difference does it make in your area

The young people across Conwy have access to a Youth Service that has adapted since March 2020. We have been able to establish an outreach programme that allows young people to access their area youth workers across all areas in Conwy. Outreach allows youth workers to continue building their relationships with young people and parents in our local community. We have worked in partnership with local organisations, as well as the local policing teams across Conwy. This was then again supported by our doorstep visits to vulnerable young people during stricter lockdown guidelines. We have had good feedback for our outreach work from young people and other members of the local community

How are you applying your skills

Youth workers in Conwy are adapting constantly and learning new ways to apply our skills to our work. Our outreach work is different to our usual open access provisions, however, we are still building and maintaining relationships with young people. When we are able to continue with provisions as we did prior to March 2020, Conwy Youth Service will remain delivering outreach in some form. We are able to connect with young people who have previously not attended provisions, and grow our numbers of who we deliver to. We have had great feedback from the families we support, who are grateful to see a friendly face from a socially distanced safe space.

Where to find out more

Conwy Youth Service, Conwy County Borough Council Tel: 01492 575100 @GIConwyYS

Have you heard?

Each issue we provide space for individuals and organisations to share information with their peers.

Youth Endowment Fund logo

The Youth Engagement Fund (YEF) is keen to share news about upcoming grant rounds. YEF has launched its prospectus, announcing an investment of up to £20 million to find out what works to support the children and young people at highest risk of becoming involved in violence, read more about how to apply in the prospectus.

Recently CWVYS published a report on the impact of Coronavirus on the voluntary youth sector, following a survey of its Membership. It follows on from a similar survey and report published last summer. You can find the latest report here.

CWVYS logo
St John's Ambulance logo

St John Ambulance Cymru is re-writing it’s curriculum for Cadets aged 11-18, and are looking for support from the Youth Work community. St John Ambulance Cymru wants to put together a strong, well-rounded curriculum that is modern, relevant and engaging. If you want to get involved or want more information email

The Young People’s Advisory Group at NYAS Cymru have launched their manifesto which includes a section on “If they were First Minister for a Day” what they would want to see happen. It’s insightful and NYAS would love to see such a takeover day for care experienced young people in the Senedd. Please read their report entitled “Listen if you Care.”


NYAS logo
Urdd voting campaign

The Votes at 16/17 project is an Urdd Gobaith Cymru campaign that seeks to engage young people with politics ahead of the Parliamentary elections. ‘Ni Bia’r Dewis’ is a virtual conference held on April 15th with sessions on political literacy for youth workers available to any interested group. Further information available here

Workforce Survey logo


The first national education workforce survey developed in collaboration with Welsh Government, the Principal Youth Worker Group, CWVYS and ETS Cymru for EWC registered youth workers and youth support workers is live.Tell us about the issues that really affect you such as workload, well-being, professional learning and the impact of Covid-19.

Click here to access the survey.

Welsh Government's new  Framework on embedding a whole-school approach to emotional and mental well-being is intended to support schools and staff in other education settings to review their own well-being landscape and to develop plans to address their weaknesses and build on their strengths.

Quality Mark Update

The Youth Work Quality continues to go from strength to strength. Congratulations to Boys and Girls Clubs of Wales and Carmarthen Youth Project (DrMz) for their Bronze achievement and well done to Pembrokeshire and Neath Port Talbot for renewing their Bronze award.

Good luck to Nxt Generation, Duke of Edinburgh and St Johns Ambulance with their applications this month.  If your organisation wishes to take part in the Quality Mark, please contact

A date for your diary

Youth Work Week in Wales takes place from 23rd - 30th June. This is an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the impact and diversity of youth work across Wales. We are encouraging young people, youth work organisations, decision makers and other stakeholders to join in the conversation on social media using the hashtags #YouthWorkWales and #GwaithIeuenctidCymru.

Please follow @YWWales and join in the conversation using #YouthWorkWales and #GwaithIeuenctidCymru.

Meic GIF

Be Part of the Youth Work Newsletter

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Please remember to use #YouthWorkWales #GwaithIeuenctidCymru when tweeting to raise the profile of Youth Work in Wales.

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