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Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and Welsh Language

First published:
24 October 2022
Last updated:

Further to my announcement on 9 June of the appointment of Sharon Lovell MBE as the Chair of the new Youth Work Strategy Implementation Board, I am delighted to confirm that, following a light touch public appointments process led by Sharon, the candidates who have been successful in securing roles on the Board are:

Dr Simon Stewart Dean of the Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Wrexham Glyndwr University

Joanne Sims Service Manager – Young People and Partnerships, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council)

Lowri Jones Chief Officer, Menter Iaith Sir Caerffili

Sian Elen Tomos Chief Executive Officer, GISDA

Shahinoor Alom Shumon Communications and Community Liaison Officer, John Griffiths MS

David Williams Youth Service Manager, Torfaen County Borough Council

Kelly Harris Business Development and Participation Lead, Brook Young People

Marco Gil-Cervantes Chief Executive, ProMo-Cymru

Deb Austin National Lead, Together for Children and Young People

The Youth Work Strategy Implementation Board will be instrumental in taking forward the recommendations contained within the Interim Youth Work Board’s report, Time to deliver for young people in Wales: Achieving a sustainable delivery model for youth work in Wales. Collectively, these board members bring a range of skills and knowledge that will be invaluable as we develop proposals for change. Each member also brings a wealth of lived experience so that we can be confident that we build a diverse youth work service that is accessible and inclusive for all our young people.

We received a strong field of applications, and I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to apply. The quality of the applications is testament to the high calibre of the workforce and the dedication and enthusiasm the sector and the wider community share to making a difference to young people’s lives. 

The Board will work closely with young people throughout its tenure to ensure that the voices of young people are central to its work, aligning with my commitment to place children’s rights front and centre of all our reforms. The co-chairs of the Young Persons Committee will join Board meetings to directly represent the views of the wider committee and there will be additional, targeted engagement with wider cohorts of young people.   

An early priority of the Board will be the development of a work plan which will set out the priorities for the next three years. This will build on steps that are already underway, including an imminent funding review which will explore the efficacy of current funding arrangements, consideration of the legislative basis for youth work and the additional funding that has recently been issued to the sector to support our efforts to create more Welsh language provision and a wider and more diverse youth work offer. The Board will also discuss how to engage the wider youth work sector in its work, including the future role of the Strategy Partnership Groups, which were vital in supporting the work of the Interim Board. 

Youth work is one of our most powerful tools for supporting young people to achieve their potential and live rewarding lives. I look forward to working with the Board as we take this next step in realising our aims of achieving a sustainable youth work service that enriches the lives of all young people in Wales.