Youth Work Bulletin: Now available!

December 2021



A word from our Board Chair

Keith edited

Keith’s Voice

I’m writing this having just returned from filming for this year’s Youth Work Excellence Awards. We filmed in the Temple of Peace in Cardiff and it was a rare and very welcome opportunity to meet with some colleagues face to face. Just one small example of the context for this year’s awards.

As you read this, you may have already watched the ceremony online but, just in case, the full virtual ceremony is available to watch here and you can also read about each of the brilliant finalists on the web page.

The Awards are all about celebrating youth work in Wales. It provides an opportunity to showcase all the great things that happen for young people through youth work approaches. Everyone who is shortlisted has something to celebrate and the winners deserve all the recognition they get.

The last 18 months have been unprecedented. It’s been a period that has demanded new and creative approaches to engaging with young people and ensuring we continue to meet their needs. In these demanding times we have seen the value of youth work being recognised more and more and as many of you will be aware we are all looking forward to the Minister’s response to the Interim Youth Work Board report. There will be more on that in the next Bulletin.

What is very clear is that the challenges we have all been facing have highlighted just how invaluable youth work is to young people in Wales. I am hugely grateful for the effort that you all make to support them.

So, thanks to all of you - thank you to everyone who contributes to the wellbeing of young people. I’m hoping that 2022 will be a good year for youth work in Wales with a programme of work that can build on your achievements.

Young Person’s Voice

What is it like to judge the Youth Work Excellence Awards?

This year there were four judging panels tasked with shortlisting finalists and choosing winners for the Youth Work Excellence Awards. Each panel included an independent lead judge, plus at least one representative from the voluntary and statutory sectors and a young person’s representative.

Volunteering Matters

Rhys Baldwin from Volunteering Matters in Torfaen was one of the young people who volunteered to take part. He explains what it was like…

“I think the awards show all that’s best about youth work, so when the call came out for volunteers to be a judge, I felt it would be a good thing to be part of.

Rhys Baldwin YP Voice

It’s the second time I’ve been a judge - it’s really interesting to see all the projects and what they have done in order to be nominated.   

I joined a judging panel of five of us, with Deb Austin, Programme Manager from Together for Children and Young People (T4CYP) as our Independent Lead. Usually, a panel is allocated a few categories, but we just had one, ‘Outstanding contribution to youth work during the pandemic’. This was because there were so many nominations. We were given the forms a few weeks before our meeting and asked to shortlist our top five or six – that was a bit of a challenge because so many of them were brilliant and there was quite a lot to read too!

Our judging panel meeting was on Teams. We started off by listing our top nominations and comparing them. The hardest bit about this was that we sometimes had different opinions on certain projects. It was difficult to pick clear winners as we all had such different ideas.  However, the first-place choice was a pretty unanimous decision. 

What I learned was that really when you have a lot of good projects to compare, a lot of the decision comes down to how well the information on the forms meets all the criteria and how well it is written, which can be a shame especially when the project seems good but the information is not there. There was a lot of discussion about ‘evidence’ provided too. So those who scored the best had given lot of evidence and included lots of examples from young people about what a difference the project or person had made to them.

Overall, it was amazing to see what had been going on, especially throughout COVID.  I would highly recommend people have a go at judging - it’s an eye-opening experience. I would love to take part again next year if I am able to.  It’s great to see what’s going on, not only in your community, but in the whole of Wales."

Special Focus – Celebrating Achievements

10+ Years of Advocating for Children and Young People

Meic logo updated

Meic, the national information, advice and advocacy helpline for children and young people in Wales, is celebrating over 10 years of service by launching a new animated video for children and young people to understand the services that the helpline can offer them.

Meic actually passed the 10 year landmark at the height of the Covid pandemic. However, although the team worked hard during this time to increase website and social media output to help inform and explain all the new rules and changes to young people, as well as responding to contacts, it didn’t feel like the right time to be marking such a milestone. In fact, celebrating ‘loudly’, in such difficult times still hasn’t seemed aprpopriate, so instead the achievement has been marked with a new video, quietly reflecting on how Meic has helped throughout the years.

The new video was drawn by Lleucu Willams, a young illustrator from Bro Ffestiniog. It follows the journey of a young person, from when he first encounters Meic and contacts them for help. In the video Meic is shown as a tree, strong and stable and always there to lean on. The film follows the young person’s life, from the times when he needs advocacy, advice and information to when he returns at the end to share the tree (Meic) with his own child. Find out more about Meic’s 10+ years here.


Meic 10-year statistics

In 10 years Meic has had more than 56,500 contacts from the children and young people of Wales. The most popular forms of contacting us have been by phone (40%), online chat (37%), and text messaging (22%). The busiest days are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday.

The top five issues since Meic began have been:

  • Relationships other than family
  • Mental health
  • Family relationships
  • Rights and citizenship
  • Physical health

If you would like further information about the Meic service contact

Launching the End Youth Homelessness Cymru (EYHC) Roadmap

End Youth Homelessness Cymru (EYHC) is a coalition determined to end youth homelessness through building a national movement to create the systematic and cultural change necessary to prevent and end youth homelessness.

EYHC’s Roadmap will be ‘launched’ at an event in the Senedd in the New Year. It represents a collaborative approach to ending youth homelessness, building on the preventative approaches identified over the last three years and the hundreds of conversations that have taken place with young people and with colleagues from a number of sectors and international partners.

The Roadmap draws together what we know and what we should do about it, enabling expert, youth-informed and evidenced recommendations to end youth homelessness to be developed.

The Covid-19 response has shown how quickly positions can change and the Roadmap ensures that the knowledge accumulated through EYHC’s campaign is ready to be used, both to inform strategy development, and as a tool for Local Authorities to identify potential gaps in their service provision.  


Within Wales: Providing positive wellbeing and mental health support to care experienced young people

The NYAS Cymru Newid Project, led by Project Coordinator, Johanne Jones and supported by Project Worker, Shelby Morris, was nominated in the category ‘outstanding contribution to youth work during the pandemic’ in this year’s Youth Work Excellence Awards for its commitment to working with young people on mental health and wellbeing. Daljit Morris, Operations Manager at NYAS Cymru, explains the project and the team’s achievements to date.  


What is the project all about?

“The risks of poor mental health faced by care-experienced children and young people are significantly greater than their peers. NYAS Cymru set up the Newid Project to help to address this issue, with a particular focus on providing support for young people who have accessed mental health services and require help during the transition to a lower level of support.”

What does it involve and what difference does it make?

“The project involves setting up peer-­led youth support provision and developing and providing information for parents/carers. For those who have pre-existing mental health conditions, and those who have found the pandemic and resulting social restrictions difficult to deal with, Newid offers that extra level of support with activities, tools and techniques to help improve wellbeing and mental health. Johanne and the Newid team focus on finding out what works for the individual, signposting to services and promoting access for young people to participate in peer activities.

Virtual daily drop-­in support clinics were set up for children, young people, parents and carers. Evidence from our advocacy intervention informed us that leaving CAMHS, even in ‘normal’ times, can create further stress, anxiety and a lack of consistency for young people - sometimes resulting in the most tragic of consequences.

As for outcomes, since the pandemic began, NYAS Cymru has worked with thousands of children and young people, protecting their rights and ensuring their voices are heard. The Newid project has played an important part throughout.

We know that the Covid-19 pandemic both created and intensified mental health concerns and young people we know have reported significantly increased feelings of anxiety and low mood. Our Newid Project has continued to support young people during these exceptionally challenging circumstances.”

How do we find out more?

NYAS Cymru (National Youth Advocacy Service Wales) is a leading children’s rights charity that supports and empowers care­ experienced children and young people across Wales through the provision of services such as advocacy, independent visiting, mentoring, youth participation and mental health support. Find out more about us here.  For youth work practitioners seeking information or wishing to make a referral, please contact:

Around the World


WCIA is committed to ensuring opportunities for international volunteering remain available to young people in Wales, despite the numerous current challenges.

Group volunteering projects for international exchanges are planned for 2022. For further information, please contact 

WCIA is currently delighted to share an opportunity for a young person from Wales between 18 - 30 years old to be considered for a fully funded ESC placement in Estonia based in the Ukrainian Culture Centre in Tallinn. Find out more here.


Quality Mark Update

Quality Mark Youth Work Good Practice Case Studies

The Education Workforce Council (EWC) has launched its Quality Mark - Examples of Good Practice webpage. The page features several case studies from organisations accredited with the Quality Mark for Youth Work in Wales, each providing real-world examples of how organisations across Wales are working to deliver the best outcomes for young people.

Quality mark

Have you heard?

Welsh Youth Parliament Elections - New Members Announced

The list of Welsh Youth Parliament Members for the second Welsh Youth Parliament are now live on the Welsh Youth Parliament website Welsh Youth Parliament (

Welsh Youth Parliament

Vaccination doses – 16 and 17 year olds

The Welsh Government recently published new advice recommending second vaccination does for 16 and 17 year olds. You can read the full statement here.


Internet Watch Foundation

Children and young people in Wales will receive additional support to protect them from a rise in online threats as the Welsh Government becomes the first government to join child protection charity the Internet Watch Foundation as members. For more info click here.

TikTok videos - support from Professionals Online Safety Helpline

The recent viral trend of targeting teachers and practitioners working with young people on social media platforms is causing a great deal of concern across Wales. Help and advice on dealing with this issue is available here.


Young Person’s Guarantee

On 16 November 2021, Vaughan Gething MS made an oral statement in the Senedd regarding the Young Person’s Guarantee. Read it here and please share with young people in your settings.


The Urdd’s commitment to disadvantaged children and young people

The Urdd has declared a commitment to supporting children and young people from low-income households by offering a year’s membership for £1, instead of £10. Find out more here.


National Occupational Standards (NOS) now available in your Professional Learning Passport (PLP)

The PLP is an online resource that enables you to record and reflect on your professional learning, or research topics of interest to you. It also provides you with the tools to interact with the National Occupational Standards (NOS), relate your experiences to the standards, and self-assess your confidence with them.

Third Sector Resilience Fund

As lockdown restrictions ease in Wales, the new phase of the Third Sector Resilience Fund (TSRF) will provide ‘survive’ and ‘thrive’ grant funding for voluntary organisations that are facing existing and new challenges as they deal with the ongoing effects of COVID-19. Find out more at

Education Workforce Council (EWC) Upcoming events

The EWC is hosting a number of events relevant for youth workers over the coming months. Visit the EWC’s event pages for the full event line-up.

Mapping the provision of financial education for children and young people – please take part!

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) has launched a project to build an up-to-date picture of work taking place across Wales to improve children and young people’s money skills. If you fund or deliver a financial education intervention for young people, please take part by completing the financial education provision mapping survey by 17th December.

Educators Wales

Educators Wales

Are you looking to take your next career steps in education? Or maybe you’re an organisation looking to post a job, qualification, or professional learning opportunity? Educators Wales can help -and its free of charge. To find out more, visit the Educators Wales website.


Meic GIF

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