The Urdd is the largest national voluntary youth organisation in Wales and offers opportunities for young people to gain experiences and skills to enable them to make a positive contribution to their communities. All of the Urdd's 11+ provision supports and enables young people to thrive in the Welsh language, by offering a huge range of opportunities that facilitate their personal, social and educational development and where young people can enjoy themselves and feel safe and valued. However, with the pandemic preventing face-to-face services, there was a genuine risk that youth provision would not be available in Welsh.
The Urdd's response was to transform its offer for the digital world, creating a diverse and inclusive provision in Welsh with 37,769 individuals engaging across a range of activities. Examples included: 'Y Sgwrs’ (The Conversation) – a weekly youth club led by young people inviting partners to run sessions. ‘Cefn Llwyfan’ (Backstage) – a programme for 14-25 year-olds focusing on different aspects of the arts. ‘Yr Awr Fawr’ (The Big Hour) – an opportunity for young people who are 11+ to take part in activities together in a safe environment over Zoom. Music Industry Sessions, jointly run with Maes B and Clwb Ifor Bach (16-25), to provide creative courses in the world of music, film and design. Eisteddfod T – the first ever digital Eisteddfod. A national and international platform was provided for people to show what was possible through the Urdd and in Welsh, which has helped broaden horizons, removing the barriers around location and has opened more doors to Welsh-medium youth provision.
The judging panel commended the team’s ability to rise to the challenges they faced, highlighting the exceptional and innovative practice in Welsh language youth work which is now set to become a permanent part of the Urdd's ‘hybrid’ youth work offer.