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Time Item Papers


Minutes and Actions

  1. Minutes of 14 July

Update from Keith Towler



Update from Welsh Government


14:10 Discussion with Principal Youth Officer Group members
  1. PYOG letter regarding the proposed IYWB report
14:40 Report publication arrangements  

National Youth Work Conference (14 Oct): Board members involvement


Board’s successor arrangements and the future of Strategy Participation Groups

15:15 Strategy Participation Group updates  
15:45 Next All Strategy Participation Group event (12 Oct)  
15:55 Any other business  
16:00 Close  




  • Keith Towler (KT): Interim Youth Work Board Chair
  • Sharon Lovell (SL): Executive Director for the National Youth Advocacy Service and Vice Chair, Council for Wales of Voluntary Youth Services (CWVYS)
  • Eleri Thomas (ET): Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Gwent
  • Simon Stewart (SS): Dean of Faculty of Social and Life Sciences at Wrexham Glyndwr University
  • Dusty Kennedy (DK): Trauma Recovery Model Academy
  • Efa Gruffudd Jones (EGJ): Chief Executive of the National Centre for Learning Welsh

Welsh Government (WG):

  • Hayley Jones (HJ): Senior Youth Work Manager
  • Gemma Roche-Clarke (GRC): Head of Youth Engagement Team
  • Dareth Edwards (DE): Youth Work Policy Manager
  • Donna Lemin (DL): Senior Youth Work Strategy Manager


  • David Williams (DW): Torfaen Youth Service
  • Tim Opie (TO): Welsh Local Government Association
  • James Healan (JH): Cardiff Youth Service
  • Paul O’Neil (PO): Caerphilly Youth Service
  • Bedwyr Harris (BH): RCT Youth Service
  • Ellie Parker (EP): CWVYS


  • Dusty Kennedy: TRM Consultation Ltd
  • Joanne Sims: Blaenau Gwent Youth Service

Welcome and minutes

The Minutes of the last meeting were agreed as a true record. There were no matters arising.

Updates from Keith

KT provided an update from his meeting with the Minister for Education and Welsh language. He has also met with Owain Lloyd the new Director of Education. Both meetings were very positive. He advised that both appeared serious about the sector and the work of the Board. They advised they are grateful to the Board for the work that they have done so far and would welcome further dialogue.

KT outlined some concerns raised in the Accessible and Inclusive SPG around the provision of services for women and girls and the transgender community. It was noted that that there is

ET highlighted that she is aware that there is substantial activity currently taking place on this from both sides. There are oppositions to the LGTBQ+ plan in that women’s positions and safe spaces are being compromised by trans women, including refuges, toilets etc.

Action: KT will consider the information provided and respond if needed.

KT also advised he has spoken to Estyn who indicated that they are hoping to pilot a youth work component as part of their inspections.

Updates from Welsh Government

GRC provided an update. The report Board’s report will be published on 16 September 2021. The Minister for Education and Welsh Language will issue a Written Statement and brief video shortly after.

GRC advised that additional funding has been made available for emotional mental health and wellbeing. The funding will be made available through the Youth Support Grant, and require a workplans detailing how they will work collaboratively with the voluntary sector to develop the additional provision.

Youth Engagement and Progression Framework is being updated. The consultation went out earlier in the year and responses have now been published and the development in response to the feedback is being taken on board.

We have a new Deputy Director for Support for Learners, Hannah Wharf.

DL advised that the National Voluntary Youth Organisation (NVYO) grant current round was due to end in March 2022 and work on a new round was already underway, which would include consideration of how we can help support youth work to become more inclusive and diverse.

GRC highlighted that she will be leaving on Friday to have a baby. The Board wished her well and thanked her for all the work she has done and that it has been a pleasure working with her.

Publication of the Board’s final report

HJ advised that the Board’s final report will be published on 16 September at 9.30am. She provided links to the young person versions and tools, and she advised that there will also be a video clip that will be linked to the Welsh Government you tube site and linked to other social media. Additionally

Additionally HJ advised that there was a publicity plan being produced by Ellie Parker in CWVYS. She also confirmed that the Young Persons Committee is aware of the date of publication, and also that they had been consulted as part of the development of the tools.

Discussion with representatives from the Principal Youth Officer (PYO) Group

KT highlighted that the Board have received a letter from the PYO Group highlighting some areas they would welcome further discussion on. KT invited the group to talk through their comments.

DW highlighted that they were raising the issues by way of helping to develop the conversation and inform thinking going forward. They asked for some additional clarification in some areas such as the difference between youth work engagement and more general youth services. The PYO Group also provided their thoughts on the recommendation around legislation needs.

As there was limited time to address all the points the group made during the meeting, KT agreed to pick this up with them directly following on from the meeting.

Action: HJ to arrange a further meeting date for KT and David Williams to further the discussion.

Successor arrangements with the Board and future of SPG’s

GRC highlighted that the Minister intended for his Written Statement to reflect that there won’t be a gap in the work of the Board as a new board/body is put in place. She raised the potential for the work of the Board to continue until the new structure is in place. The Board indicated broadly they were in favour of this approach but would also like the Young Persons Committee to remain in place for the duration, along for there to also be consideration of additional representation from across the sector on the Board.

Strategy Participation Groups (SPG) Updates

In line with the agreement for the Board’s work to continue, it was agreed that the SPG’s will also continue to support the consideration of the recommendations and implementation of any accepted recommendations

KT updated that both the Valued and Understood and the Accessible and Inclusive SPG’s meetings have been postponed until the Board report has been published. However a definition of equality and diversity has been developed by the Accessible and Inclusive SPG and will be circulated to all SPG members. He further advised that work was ongoing to develop the Youth Work Conference on 14 October, and the Marketing Group have been engaged with this work.

It was agreed that as changes are made to put in place a new Board or Body it needed to be clear that there is an expectation that any Board members could be required to chair and lead the SPG meetings. Additionally membership should be reviewed to ensure diversity. KT agreed that all SPG workplans would all need to be considered and potentially updated in line with the recommendations from the Board report and they must all dovetail to ensure a cohesive body of work.

EGJ advised that the Welsh Language group, have welcomed additional members.

DL advised that that the Young Persons Committee will need to be evaluated to see how effective it has been and if there are lessons learnt. She noted that young people who were originally on the SPG groups are not always able to attend and this is one area that will need further consideration.

DL highlighted that as part of the work for the Workforce Development SPG, she will be meeting with ETS shortly for an update on the mapping work and on the Leadership and Management course. She will provide an update for the Board after that discussion.

National Youth Work Conference

Conference confirmed for Thursday 14 October 2021. Ellie Parker talked through the draft agenda for the conference and invited the Board to take part in a joint panel with the Young Persons Committee, which they were pleased to agree. The board asked if sessions could be run around equality and diversity and also on a rights based approach.

Action: EP to consider the additional workshops.

The Board also discussed the potential for additional mini conferences or focused discussion events to take place in the future around the implementation of the recommendations. It was agreed this could be beneficial.

Joint SPG event 12 October

The Board discussed the timing of the SPG event with the conference due to take place on the 14 October. They also discussed the benefits of holding the event once the Minister has decided which recommendations he will agree. It was agree to postpone the event to early 2022 to enable further consideration of the groups workplans.

KT advised he would write to the SPG’s to update on the next all SPG meeting.

Action: KT to write to all SPG’s.

KT advised that Nick Hudd had put forward a suggestion around use of an innovation tool platform. Nick has been in discussions with SS and the Board were interested in finding out more about this for the new SPG event.

Action: HJ to let Nick know this will be picked up in January.

Any other business

ET asked that we links to the whole school approach work are undertaken. DL advised we are regular contact with our counterparts on this work.

SL advised that she attends the Welsh Government group on poverty. During discussions it was noted that some young people have indicated they didn’t feel they could attend youth services as the stigma of being poor was preventing them attending if there is a cost to attend, and not being able to afford to use the tuck shop or pay for some of the activities. SL asked that consideration of this issue needed to be undertaken as part of the recommendation around inclusion.