Skip to main content








Minutes and actions from December’s meeting

  1. Minutes



Estyn’s role in supporting youth work (Gareth Kiff)



WG Update



Keith’s update



SPG Update including:

  • Young Persons Committee update
  • Welsh Language Pilot
  1. Young Person’s Committee Implementation Plan


Next all SPGs meeting - Feb

  1. Interconnection Plan


Roadmap to the final report and beyond

  1. Email details
  2. CWVYS feedback 


International youth work

(Howard Williamson)



Experience of the Wales Youth Agency

(Howard Williamson)










  • 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)
  • Efa Gruffudd Jones (EGJ): Chief Executive of the National Centre for Learning Welsh
  • Simon Stewart (SS): Dean of Faculty of Social and Life Sciences at Wrexham Glyndwr University
  • Jo Sims (JS): Youth Service Manager for  Blaenau Gwent
  • Dusty Kennedy (DK): Director of Trauma Recovery Model Academy

Welsh Government (WG):

  • Declan Burns (DB): Youth Work Strategy 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


  • Gareth Kiff (GK): Estyn
  • Howard Williamson (HW): University of South Wales


Eleri Thomas, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent.

Minutes and Action Points from last meeting

The Board agreed the minutes from the last meeting.

KT updated the Board on his work around the Ministerial play review. He advised that Play Wales welcomed the Board’s report and KT looks forward to the future work on this area and to identify the cross overs between the two policy areas.

Estyn: Gareth Kiff

Gareth welcomed the Board report and the references to the work that Estyn has undertaken around youth work to date. He highlighted that they welcome the opportunity to engage more with the sector and that they are starting to build detailed intelligence about what is happening. Gareth advised Estyn are holding a stakeholder forum on 8 March 2021 and intend to continue to work closely with the sector through the development of any future inspection framework for youth work.

The Board welcomed Gareth’s engagement and the way in which Estyn are engaging with the youth work sector. The Initial Board report (recommendation 7) discusses the need to establish an innovation and outcomes framework for youth work in Wales.

Welsh Government update

GRC updated the Board on staffing in the Youth Engagement Branch. She highlighted that the Welsh Government continued to have discussions around Erasmus + and the impact the loss of this programme would have on young people and their opportunities. She also advised that the team have received requests to further consider the Covid 19 guidance, and the team will do so to ensure opportunities are not missed.

Keith Towler update

KT advised he had met with Sara Faye after Christmas to give her an update following the Board report. He advised that CWYVS had run a hustings event that was well attended and valuable, and that many of the politicians that had attended had read the Board’s report and commented on it. KT also advised he has recently met with Jane Hutt from a youth justice perspective to discuss enhanced case management and proposals for the secure estate. The Youth Justice Blueprint has a focus on prevention which was also of interest in a youth work perspective.

SPG update

SL updated that the outcome of the tender for the Young Person’s Committee was due to close on the 8 Feb, and there had been good levels of interest so far. The Board discussed if they would join the Committee when they meet and it was agreed that they could each take a turn so the young people get to know them. Additionally it was agreed that the Committee could start by looking at what a young person’s rights approach to youth work would look like. SL advised she was meeting with the Urdd to discuss progress on the 3 Feb.

SL asked if the Youth Work Charter needs to now be put to bed and it was suggested that whilst there were no issues with the sentiments of the previous charter, and they have been subsumed elsewhere, it was felt that if a new Charter was deemed necessary this could be developed by young people.

EGJ asked for an update on the Welsh Language Pilot discussions and DL advised she would get back to her by the 1st Feb.

Next all SPG meeting

DB ran through the interconnection plan which was welcomed by the Board. They advised where there could be updates to the plan along with some linkage between the Board report recommendations and the SPG plans. The format for the next SPG meeting was agreed.

Roadmap to the final report

KT advised that feedback on the report to date has been helpful. He advised he would like an author for the final report to work with Board. DL agreed to investigate procuring this service and develop a specification for the work.

The Board agreed they wanted another full or two half days to discuss the next steps with the report and actions. WG to pull together some meeting dates.

International Youth Work: Howard Williamson

HW gave an overview of the work he does on an international basis highlighting the importance of the benefits the opportunities of international work/Erasmus + provided for young people. He noted the drive to connect youth work to employment and a strong focus on connections and mental health.

Former Wales Youth Agency: Howard Williamson

As part of the Board’s work to consider a future national Board or Body they asked HW to provide an overview of his time with the Wales Youth Agency. HW provided detail of how it was set up, and the key purpose of the Agency. HW provided an overview of what had worked, and where things had been less successful. SL asked if the Agency was young person led and HW advised that some of their terms and conditions were developed by a young person’s forum, however he advised clarity about the involvement of young people in any future body. He noted there are differences between a young person’s voice needing to be heard, and the strategic work on youth work matters – with the two not necessarily being the same.

KT thanked HW for his time.

Next meeting

The next meeting of the Board will be on 30 March 2021 at 09:00 am on Microsoft Teams.