Youth Work Bulletin: Now available!

April 2023



A word from our Board Chair

Sharon Lovell


Welcome to the latest edition of the Youth Work Wales Bulletin. It’s starting to feel more like spring, and I do hope this message finds you well. 


This edition of the bulletin focuses on the cost of living crisis. You’ll find further information, support and tools in this edition that can help our youth work sector during these challenging times.

I hope you will already be aware that the Minister for Education and Welsh Language recently announced further support for the youth work sector. I welcome this additional support and hope that it will take some pressure off an already stretched sector and protect current services as we advance the recommendations in “Time to Deliver” to sustain youth work in Wales.


I’m pleased to let you know that all Implementation Participation Groups (IPGs) have now met for the first time. Further details on their membership and terms of reference will be shared in the next issue.

You can find out more about what was discussed at the Youth Work Strategy Implementation Board’s meeting in February by looking at the latest minutes. You’ll see that we were joined by the co-chairs from the Young Person’s Committee, which is being co-ordinated on behalf of the Welsh Government by EYST, Llamau and Urdd Gobaith Cymru.

I look forward to continuing working closely with you all this year to make sure youth work services thrive for young people in Wales.

Young Person’s Voice

Inspiring Question Time event led by Gwent Regional Youth Forum

Gwent Youth Question Time is hosted by young people from the Gwent Regional Youth Forum together with the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent. It gives young people the opportunity to ask questions of a panel of professionals who specialise in a range of issues that young people have said are important to them.

Gwent Regional Youth Forum

Young people from the Gwent Regional Youth Forum met with the Police and Crime Commissioner several times to plan the event. They all had different roles to play at the event with the Gwent Police Cadets welcoming and supporting people, Chloe Simmonds and Ellie Pickering managing the roaming microphones, Mia Stinton and Bethany Pomroy leading on social media, Laura Preston from Ysgol Gymraeg Gwynllyw providing Welsh language support and Rhianna Lewis taking on the challenging role of Chair for the evening.

Rhianna is a member of Blaenau Gwent Youth Forum, Gwent Regional Youth Forum and is the UK Youth Parliament member for Blaenau Gwent. She is studying politics at college and is passionate about supporting children and young people have their voices heard.

Rhianna explained, “being a UK Youth Parliament member has helped me to grow in confidence as I have had the opportunity to debate and lead on topics that are important to me and other children and young people. Chairing the Youth Question Time event was really good experience, as well as fulfilling my passion to allow children and young people to engage and debate about topics that matter to them.

“The event this year was really good. It took place on 15 March at Coleg Gwent with over 100 young people attending, which was brilliant. Chairing was exciting and nerve-wracking – definitely nerve-wracking when I saw how many people were arriving! I had a chance to meet the panel members before the event started and they were really welcoming - they went out of their way to make sure I felt comfortable.”

We were only taking questions from young people, and the panel was Jeff Cuthbert, Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Rocio Cifuentes, Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Pam Kelly, Chief Constable of Gwent Police, and Dr Jane Dickson, Sexual and Reproductive Health Consultant, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board. I thought there was a good variety of questions. It was clear that lots of young people have concerns about cost of living issues, climate change, anti-social behaviour and vaping. There was also the issue of sexual health and specifically the idea that information provided through schools needs to be modernised, which was important.”

Several organisations attended too, to listen to the views of the young people and to provide information and support. These included, Fearless, Gwent N-gage Drugs and Alcohol Support, The Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Gwent Police Cadets, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and Empire Fighting Chance, a local boxing group that is funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to offer diversionary activities for young people in Gwent. 

The event was a huge success. Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert said: “Youth Question Time is driven and delivered by young people. The decisions we take as representatives of public services have a direct impact on their lives and it is only right that they have the opportunity to hold us to account.

“This was our fifth event, and I continue to be impressed with the level of detail and breadth of questions asked by young people, the event has become an important platform for young people to have their voices heard.”

To find out more about your local Police and Crime Commissioner and their role visit Association of Police and Crime Commissioners:

Special Focus: Cost of living crisis

Cost of living crisis – how is the sector responding?

For all organisations in Wales, the cost of living crisis means that costs are rising – for premises, utility bills, activities and service provision.

In spite of these challenges, Local Authority youth work services across Wales and voluntary sector organisations are continuing to find new and innovative ways to support young people, whether through redesigned services or expanding provision.

The two examples below highlight how approaches to service provision have adapted to ensure that young people in Wales continue to receive the type of support they need.

Foothold Cymru

Foothold Cymru – supporting young people experiencing food poverty

Foothold Cymru is a social justice charity that addresses both the causes and consequences of poverty and inequality. Many of its projects and services have a long history of supporting young peoples needs and making a lasting change in the community.

Kelly Tomlinson, Project Manager at Foothold Cymru, explained how their team had made changes in response to seeing first-hand how the cost of living crisis has been having a negative impact on young people.

“This cost of living crisis is affecting everybody, but it’s having a massive impact on the young people we are working with. We have responded in various ways to try support and help where we can.

Food poverty is such a challenge at the moment. We run cooking classes, so we have been helping young people in our classes to cook bigger portions so these can be taken home to feed the family or can be given out via our Community Food Store.  We’re also running a Slow Cooker Scheme, where young people and their families come to a demonstration session and loan a Slow Cooker for three months, along with a recipe book full of healthy, low-cost meals.  

Our Warm Hub is open twice a week and as well as providing a warm space, there’s been plenty of freshly cooked soup and bread. Young people and their families are making use of this provision, but we’re also seeing other members of the community, who we might not usually expect.”

The Foothold Cymru team is aware of the need to support its volunteers too, including those who run its Community Food Store. These volunteers are provided with a free bag of food each week as a ‘thank you’ for their volunteering which has supported them financially.   Young people are involved here too, helping to pack packing bags for the food delivery scheme ‘Y Fasged Siopa’.

Other initiatives include a Community Fridge, Clothing and School Uniform ‘banks’, a Tool Lending Library and a Scrap Store… all aiming to support what young people in West Wales need, right now.

For more information, see Home | Foothold Cymru

Swansea MAD – supporting digital inclusion (and so much more!)

Swansea MAD provides inclusive safe spaces for young people to access advocacy, creative arts, digital inclusion, education, employability support, training, campaigning activities and projects to promote fairness and belonging.

Swansea MAD

Its venue in central Swansea offers a wide range of services and activities, which are always in high demand. However, according to Rachel Benson, Fundraising and Sustainability Director, the team is also seeing an increased need for the ‘basics’, such as free hot food and drinks, toiletries and period products which it provides.

Rachel also highlights “the cost of living crisis is affecting young people’s digital access. At Swansea MAD we provide SIM cards, digital devices and data, access to the internet and digital workshops and support. Charging points are also available for young people to charge their phones and devices.”

For more information about Swansea MAD, please visit

Welsh Government Youth Work News

Funding review

Youth Work Funding Review 

In response to the recommendations in the final report of the former Interim Youth Work Board, a review of the funding available to the youth work sector in Wales is now underway. The review is needed to help us better understand how all aspects of funding for youth work including how decisions are made and to potentially identify if we could be doing things differently to enable consistency of opportunity for all young people.

Next steps

The review is being undertaken on behalf of the Welsh Government by a consortium of Higher Education Institutions, consisting of Cardiff Metropolitan University, University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Wrexham Glyndŵr University. A steering group, including members of the Interim Board, the new Youth Work Strategy Implementation Board, the WLGA, ETS, EWC and representatives of the voluntary and maintained sectors, is in place to inform and shape the remit and progress of this review.

There are three stages to the review.

  1. Stage one focuses on piloting approaches to gathering the information needed to ensure that we are asking the right questions, and are able to complete the full review across Wales robustly. It will take place in four pilot areas: Newport, Powys, Swansea and Wrexham, and will involve both voluntary and statutory services and organisations. A wide range of organisations will be included to ensure a good mix of services are taken into account. This first stage is expected to be complete by April 2023, and an initial report will be published in May. This stage will inform stages two and three of this work.
  2. Stage two will broaden the review to all areas of Wales.
  3. Stage three will undertake a cost-benefit analysis, if stage one indicates that sufficient information will be available to do so.

The full review, should we be able to undertake all three stages, is due to be completed by March 2024. Updates will be shared with the sector as we learn from the research.


More free financial awareness training in Wales

Dangos, the free online financial awareness training project in Wales, has been renewed for a third year by Welsh Government.  This year, in addition to its basic and intermediate courses, Dangos is extending its offer to include dedicated sessions providing support for children and young people.

These will fit alongside the existing intermediate sessions and provide detailed and focussed information. E-Learning courses are also available.

Dangos, has also launched a free online forum that includes news updates on financial support in Wales, a place to discuss issues and to access the latest Dangos information packs and other resources. New monthly webinars are also taking place. These are recorded and can be accessed at any time on the Dangos forum.

Individual session places can be booked at and in-house sessions for teams can be arranged by emailing The Dangos forum is at

Within Wales

Exploring the Links – Playwork and Youth Work


Youth Workers in Wales work with young people aged 11 to 25, playworkers work mainly with school age children. Yet for many teenagers, play is still the primary way that they explore and learn about the world around them.


Play Wales is hosting a webinar on the 18 April 2023 that explores what playworkers and youth workers can learn from each other. The event is aimed at: playworkers, youth workers, playwork and youth work managers, employers and trainers, community development workers, and anyone interested in working with teenagers. Click here for more information, or to register. 


DigiCymru - Free Digital Help for the Third Sector in Wales

ProMo-Cymru is offering short, one-to-one support sessions, free to third-sector organisations in Wales. The DigiCymru service is provided as part of their new Third Sector Digital Support project funded through The National Lottery Community Fund.

DigiCymru can offer all kinds of digital help. Contact the service to tell them about any digital challenges or issues that you're having. You'll be able to pick a timeslot, and your digital expert will be in touch to organise an initial one-to-one with you. It can range from understanding what digital tools are available and how they can help you; supporting you to build and use your own tools; showing you how you can build things yourself; or supporting you with technical troubleshooting. Why not have a look?

Find out more or  Book your slot

Diary Marker for Youth Work Managers!

Dates are now available for the Youth Work Leadership and Management Programme. If you are responsible for leading or managing the youth work functions of your organisation, or a substantial part of them, then this course could be for you.

It’s an excellent opportunity to enhance skills and confidence to lead youth work services effectively at a time of significant complexity and change in Wales. The programme is co-ordinated by ETS Wales and supported by WLGA, CWVYS, the Wales Principal Youth Officers Group, TAG Cymru (Youth Work training providers at HE and FE level), National Academy for Educational Leadership in Wales.

Here is an overview of the next programme:

Induction [online]: 6 June 12pm

Module 1 Leading modern Youth Work: 13-14 June [Wrexham]

Module 2 Leading and managing the delivery of high-quality Youth Work: 12-13 July [Wrexham]

Module 3 Leading and managing Youth Work across the whole system 13-14 September [Wrexham]

Please note, apart from the induction, modules will be delivered face-to-face, in North Wales.

*The Youth Work Leadership and Management Programme has recently been endorsed by the National Academy for Educational Leadership Wales.

Details of the application process will be publicised in due course but if you would like further information, please contact



To find out more about the National Academy for Educational Leadership Wales events 2023, please follow this link Events - National Leadership Wales (

Around the World

Upcoming ERYICA training activities — ERYICA

The European Youth Information and Counselling Agency (ERYICA) is an independent European organisation, composed of national and regional youth information co-ordination bodies and networks. The Welsh Government’s Youth Engagement Branch pays for ERYICA membership for Wales, which means opportunities are open to youth workers, mangers, volunteers etc. in the voluntary and statutory sectors in Wales.

eryca main logo

ERYICA organises free virtual events and webinars. This year, the European Year of Skills 2023 puts skills development centre stage and there are several training opportunities available for Youth Work practitioners.

For more information, contact: Angelina Pereira Gonçalves - Member Service Coordinator or visit the ERYICA website.

Acting on poverty

Acting on Poverty | Youth Scotland

Youth Scotland’s recent report demonstrates how its programmes directly impact communities most affected by poverty and makes a tangible difference to the lives of young people and their families. The report highlights how the youth work sector continues to provide crucial support for young people, families and communities that are struggling during the ongoing cost of living crisis. For more info or to download the report, see:

Acting on Poverty | Youth Scotland

Impact of Community-Based Universal Youth Work In Scotland | Youth Scotland

Quality Mark for Youth Work in Wales

Congratulations to Neath Port Talbot Youth Services on getting their Silver Quality Mark, and to Valleys Kids on getting their Bronze Quality Mark recently. Good luck to Princes Trust Cymru as they welcome assessors for their Bronze Quality Mark.


The EWC held a development day for QMYW assessors in February. The day was filled with opportunities for our current cohort of assessors to develop their skills and share good practice. If you are interested in becoming an assessor, visit the website.

How does quality youth work and its impact help with the implementation of the Youth Work Strategy for Wales?

Chair of the Youth Work Strategy Implementation Board, Sharon Lovell has written a blog about how quality youth work can support and transform the lives of young people. You can read the blog on the EWC’s website, along with a range of other blogs on education and professional issues.

Have You Heard?

EW logo

Professional learning with Educators Wales


If you’re looking to develop your career, Educators Wales can help. The team are available to provide information, advice, and guidance to assist in furthering your career.

Whether you’re looking for a new job, exploring professional learning opportunities, or need information on qualifications, get in touch with the team today, or visit the Educators Wales website.

Wales Young Peacemakers Awards 2023 recently launched!

Would you like children / young people you work with to be recognised for their contribution to peace, sustainability and equality at an international event in Wales? If so, encourage them to enter for this year’s Young Peacemakers Awards 2023. You can find a fuller description of the categories, and the terms and conditions for the Awards here, as well as an application form. 

vibe youth

Vibe Youth Advisory Panel is seeking new members!


Swansea-based Vibe Youth is looking for young people (aged 11-25) to join its advisory panel. This is an exciting opportunity to make a real difference and help shape the way Vibe Youth works. For more info about Vibe Youth please click here, or contact directly. 


Need advice on talking to young people about money?

If you find yourself talking about money with young people, we’d like to hear from you! Money and Pensions Service want to do all they can to support you and others in similar roles. To help, please complete this short (5 min) survey

Meic GIF

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