Youth Work Week in Wales is an annual event to recognise the importance of youth work in helping young people play an active role in their communities and support them with their personal, social and educational development.
But the Welsh Government’s commitment to youth work and youth services goes beyond one week of celebrations with funding more than doubling to over £10 million this year.
This goes towards helping to ensure young people can access these vital services at any time, no matter where they live, and includes £2.5m to support young people’s mental health and wellbeing, and a further £3.7 million to help prevent youth homelessness.
Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, will be joining youth work organisations in the Senedd tomorrow for a Youth Work Week showcase event celebrating the impact youth work has across Wales and to publish the new Youth Work Strategy.
The strategy, founded on young people’s voices and developed in collaboration with key partners within the voluntary sector, statutory services, Education Training Standards, Education Workforce Council, and Estyn, sets out a vision for the future of youth work in Wales with 5 key aims ensuring that:
- Young people are thriving
- Youth work is accessible and inclusive
- Voluntary and paid youth professional youth work staff are supported throughout their careers to improve their practice
- Youth work is valued and understood
- We have a sustainable model for youth work delivery in Wales.
Reaffirming her commitment to achieving these aims, Kirsty Williams said:
“I want Wales to be a country where young people thrive, with access to opportunities and experiences, in both Welsh and English, which provides enjoyment and enriches their personal development.
“I look forward to publishing our new Youth Work Strategy on behalf of our young people and partnerships from within the sector. It outlines clearly the positive future we want for youth work in Wales.”
Rachel Benson, Equality, Inclusion and Programmes Manager at Youth Cymru, said:
“Youth Cymru are delighted to be part of this year’s Youth Work Week. This is a valuable opportunity to raise the profile of youth work, celebrate its impact and to come together to share best practice.
“Young people from Youth Cymru and our member organisations had the opportunity to shape and inform the new Strategy; they spoke about the importance of youth work being accessible, inclusive and providing safe spaces for young people to develop and thrive. We welcome its publication and the vision it sets out.”
The Youth Work Excellence Awards will take place later in the week on Friday 28th June at Deganwy Quay Hotel in Conwy. This year marks the 25th year of the awards.
First Minister, Mark Drakeford, will be joining young people and youth workers from across Wales at this special ceremony to celebrate the contribution of youth work, and mark the achievements of winners and finalists.
There’ll be a number of other events taking place across Wales to mark Youth Work Week – contact your local authority or local youth work organisation for more information.