Youth Work Bulletin: Now available!

March 2022



A word from our Board Chair

Keith edited

Keith’s Voice

Exposure to what is going on in the world can be a hugely positive thing, it can help us learn and encourage us to do things that make a difference. However, with what is happening in Ukraine, it can be difficult to feel positive about anything at all.

Children and young people here in Wales will naturally have questions about war and its impact - and it is really important to listen to what young people are saying and feeling, and to answer their questions as best we can.

The article ‘Standing with Ukraine’ (below) provides links to the websites for Welsh Centre for International Affairs, and Meic Cymru, which include some excellent advice and resources. Meic Cymru, for example, includes specific articles on explaining the explaining the russia-ukraine war and  dealing with distressing things in the news, which may be helpful in supporting conversations with your young people.

This will be my last message to you as Chair of the Interim Youth Work Board. Despite ongoing challenges with Covid and its impact on our communities, as the restrictions imposed on us all by the pandemic lift at the end of this month, we can begin to look towards a positive time for youth work in Wales.

The Minister responded very positively to the recommendations outlined by the Interim Youth Work Board and the recruitment process is underway to find the Chair for the new Youth Work Implementation Board. The Chair is likely to be appointed in April and the new board members recruited in early summer.

There will be a lot of work ahead as the Board continues to work in a collaborative way with young people and the youth work sector. All the recommendations made are important of course, but establishing a young people led governance structure for youth work, strengthening the legislation, establishing a national body and undertaking an evidence-based funding review will set the foundation for everything that will follow. The Minister has announced £11.4m of new funding over the next three years to implement the recommendations.

It has been an absolute pleasure to chair the Interim Board over the last few years. The youth work sector in Wales has so many strengths and it has been a delight to work with all of you as you continue to make a positive difference for young people in Wales. I know that you will support the new chair and Implementation Board. If they enjoy the kind of support you have given me and the Interim Board they will be very fortunate indeed.

Thanks for all your support and hard work. We wouldn’t be where we are as a sector if you had not stepped up to collaborate on the formation of a sustainable delivery model for youth work in Wales. I shall watch your progress with interest … good luck everyone!

Young Person’s Voice

The ongoing challenges arising from the pandemic, as well as concerns about wider current affairs continues to have a significant impact on young people’s lives and wellbeing. Crystal Forbes, aged 15, explains how the Seren Group, set up by Conwy Youth Service last year, has helped her to cope with some of these challenges.

“During covid when we didn’t have school and were not able to see our friends, we first had door-step visits and wellbeing walks to make sure that we kept in touch. Sometimes we met under a gazebo outside to take part in activities that were fun - and this is where our idea for the Seren Group began. As members, we chose its name and now it’s expanded to include young people from many different areas of Conwy.

Crystal Forbes

We can meet every Thursday and there have been lots of activities organised, as well as an Independent Living Skills course that is all about learning useful skills such as cooking for yourself, keeping safe, being healthy and learning to budget and manage money.

I think all the practical and social activities have really helped me and the others to have fun, but also to be organised, to deal with pressures and become less stressed – especially because we are all learning together and have lots of support.

The group has been really important because it has taught us what we can do ourselves, and has also helped us to find out where to get different kinds of help and advice.”

Special Focus

Better Listening, Better Outcomes

Deb Austin

Deb Austin, Programme Lead, for Together for Children and Young People (T4CYP), recently coordinated an event involving young people, T4CYP, the Children’s Commissioner for Wales and NHS Wales Health Collaborative Regional Partnership Boards.

The joint ‘Listening Event’ aimed to provide an opportunity for Children and Young people to challenge regional partnership board representatives on their progress in implementing No Wrong Door and NYTH/NEST. 

These are planning tools for Regional Partnership Boards that aim to ensure a 'whole system' approach for developing mental health, well-being and support services for children, young people, parents, carers and their wider families across Wales.  

The session was extended to include children and young people representatives beyond the lead organisations and participants from Promo Cymru, Youth Work and CWVYS, as well as being very well attended by Regional Partnership Boards.

Deb Austin article

Reflecting on the outcomes, Deb highlighted, “some really important priorities were identified by the young people taking part. These included the need to support young people who are waiting to see professionals in the mental health field. They also included the need for more choices and options about how to access support, for example looking at other ways of communicating because many young people do not like the phone, and would prefer to be contacted by text for example. Another priority was the need to look at whether we have appropriate support for 18-25 year-olds who are no longer supported by CAMHS but may not yet be comfortable accessing adult services.”

All outcomes from the session were recorded by a visual illustrator, and importantly a follow up feedback session was held with the Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing. This provided the same young people with an opportunity to feed their thoughts back to the Minister following the session.

The image gives a snapshot of some key discussion areas, with full details of all questions and answers available here: Listening event with young people - NHS Wales Health Collaborative

Within Wales: Standing with Ukraine

Amidst extreme concern about the invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing war, young people in Wales may naturally be feeling anxious, upset and angry about what is happening. It is impossible to know what will happen next but is important to understand what led to the invasion and what people around the world are doing to help those affected by war. Providing opportunities to talk, share concerns and directing our young people to reliable information sources is really important. And there are plenty of resources that can help with these conversations.

The Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA) Welsh Centre for International Affairs ( includes information on its website with links to a range of excellent resources. There are news sites providing access to advice for young people upset by the news, including CBBC Newsround and FFeil; and Meic ( is the helpline service for children and young people up to the age of 25 in Wales. 

Within Wales: Refugees from Afghanistan find hope and homes in Wales

With the Russia-Ukraine conflict raging, Europe is now tackling a refugee crisis of a scale not seen since the Second World War. Yet just a short time ago in Wales the Urdd was focused on a different crisis, supporting Afghan refugees airlifted to Britain as the Taliban took back control.

Afghanistan refugees

This pioneering work led by the Urdd last summer has been praised as an example of best practice provision for those seeking sanctuary the UK today. A Channel 4 film here looks at how the Urdd implemented an innovative, unique approach. The Cardiff residential centre became an emergency accommodation for refugees (110 individuals, 42 adults and 68 children and young people) successfully providing them with a safe, supportive and friendly environment. For more information click here.

Within Wales: Children and Young People’s Coat Grant

In February 2022, Ceredigion Youth Service teamed up with the Physical Activity and Play Team at Ceredigion County Council to launch the ‘Coat Grant’.

Coat Grant

The scheme is partly funded by the All Wales Play Opportunities Grant (for children under 11) and by a contribution from Ceredigion’s Youth Support Grant (for young people aged 11 to 25). The scheme hopes to benefit up to 450 children and young people by providing warm coats to those in need. Current figures show that 32.4% of households in Ceredigion live in poverty and 30.8% of children in Ceredigion receive Free School Meals.

Ceredigion’s ‘Tackling Hardship Strategy 2020-22’ also highlights the impact of the pandemic on its citizens and the Children and Young People’s Coat Grant has been developed in response to local need.

Families are facing increased financial debt, reduced household income and an increase in demand for food parcels. Following discussions with Ceredigion Youth Council, it was decided that a simple scheme such as the coat grant could benefit hundreds of children and young people – providing a basic essential, but making a significant impact. The scheme is straightforward to access and the process is discreet –  to ensure that the application for support is not a barrier to young people. The impact and effectiveness of the scheme will be evaluated in April 2022 and will inform similar future provision. For more information, please contact

Around the World

European Youth information Day – 17 April

On 17 April, ERYICA - The European Youth Information and Counselling Agency celebrates European Youth information Day (EYID). Wales has membership via Welsh Government and organisations across Wales are eligible to participate in ERYICA projects. EYID will highlight the crucial role that youth information services play in providing information to young people. Why not get involved? #EYID2022


New International Learning Exchange Programme for Wales

In February 2022, Wales launched its exciting, new international learning exchange programme – called Taith, which is Welsh for ‘journey’.


The programme will enable people in Wales to study, train, volunteer and work all over the world, while allowing organisations in Wales to invite international partners and learners to do the same here in Wales. Why not take a look at what will be available? Youth - Overview - Taith

Sign up for the latest news about Taith

You can now sign up here to receive the latest news about the Taith international learning exchange programme. The team is also running events to provide advice and support for organisations looking to apply. For info about events in March and April, contact

taith cropped

Why quality is vital to international learning

In the latest Education Workforce Council (EWC) blog, Howard Williamson, Professor of European Youth Policy at the University of South Wales, provides insight into international youth work and how we must focus on quality now that the doors of international exchanges are reopening.

LGBTQ month

LGBTQ+ history and information

For many around the world, February was a month to celebrate LGBTQ+ history. Meic ( joined the celebrations by looking at different aspects of LGBTQ+ in its latest campaign, providing some great information and resources here.

Quality Mark for Youth Work in Wales

Cardiff Youth Service, Cwmbran Centre for Young People, Duke of Edinburgh Wales, Merthyr Tydfil Youth Service, Swansea YMCA, Torfaen Youth Service, and the Urdd are the latest organisations to have their bronze award of the Quality Mark for Youth Work (QMYW) in Wales renewed. Congratulations to you all!

To further support the QMYW accreditation process, the Education Workforce Council (EWC) is looking for new peer assessors. The role is rewarding, motivational and offers an excellent continuing professional development opportunity. To find out more and to apply, visit the website.

quality mark

Have you heard?

Young Peacemakers Awards

The Welsh Centre for International Affairs, Size of Wales and CWVYS are working with the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod to celebrate children and young people who have contributed to peace, climate justice and equality in their school, youth group, local community or in the wider world.  The closing date for award submissions is 10 June. Find out more here.

The Welsh Government Young Person’s Mental Health Toolkit is here!

In February The Welsh Government launched its mental health toolkit for 11 to 25-year-olds. It provides information and relevant links to a wide range of online resources, including self-help websites, apps, and helplines that support your mental health and wellbeing.

Consultation: Proposals to add to the categories of those required to register with the Education Workforce Council whilst delivering youth work services

On March 1st,the Minister for Education and Welsh Language opened a consultation to seek views on amending the registration categories the Education Workforce Council (EWC) must regulate. Make sure your views count - have your say before 24 May here.

Boosting young people’s financial wellbeing

Many young people aged 16 or over are unaware that Government put a Child Trust Fund aside for them at birth. This could be worth £1000 or more when they reach 18 years of age. The Share Foundation is helping thousands of young people aged 16 or over to find their Child Trust Fund. Get your young people to take a look!

Upcoming events from the EWC

The Education Workforce Council (EWC) is continuing its series of events with a one-hour special on 27 April hosted by Ronald E. Dahl entitled ‘Insights into the adolescent brain: implications for health, education, and social policy’. Visit the EWC’s event pages to register your free space.


Supporting your professional development

The Professional Learning Passport (PLP) enables you to record and reflect on your professional learning and research topics of interest to you.

It features templates to support you in reflecting on what you’ve learnt, tools to interact with the National Occupational Standards (NOS) and free access to  EBSCO, a comprehensive research database of academic books, e-journals and magazine subscriptions to support your continuing professional learning.

Protecting Cardiff’s young people from crime

The Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) has announced five hyperlocal areas in England and Wales (either a single council ward or a neighbourhood) where they will support local communities to spend up to £1 million to protect children from crime. Grangetown and Butetown in Cardiff has been chosen as one of the five areas. Read more here about how to get involved.


Jobs Growth Wales Plus - here to help our young people thrive!

If you know of a 16-18 year old that could benefit from support to get a job or decide on their career path, #JobsGrowthWalesPlus could be for them. Take a look here.

Prince's Trust

Unlocking Skills for Work with The Prince’s Trust in Wales

From 29 March -7 April (4 sessions) The Prince’s Trust is running its online Women into Work programme, aimed at young women aged 16-30. To find out more please contact, or or call 0800 842 842.

Prince's Trust

The Children and Young People’s Plan

The Welsh Government has published the Children and Young People’s Plan that outlines its ambition to make Wales a wonderful place to grow up, live and work. Please ensure the young people you work alongside are aware of the Plan, its aims and its priorities for the current Senedd term.

Youth Engagement and Progression Framework

Strengthening the Youth Engagement and Progression Framework is a Programme for Government commitment. Following consultation in 2021, work is underway to provide updated guidance on the Framework. The guidance will show how supporting young people’s emotional mental health and wellbeing helps underpin the delivery of the Framework.

Youth Work Week 2022 – 23 to 30 June!

Our theme for Youth Work Week 2022 is 5 Ways to Wellbeing – connect; be active; take notice; keep learning; give. We’re looking for five activities to promote nationally – to encourage people to get involved. Can you suggest an activity that would be good to share? If so, please contact Thank you!

Meic GIF

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