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Olivia Williams: Pontypool Youth Project

Olivia Williams isn't just a Youth Worker; she's a bridge builder, connecting young people in Torfaen with opportunities and inclusivity. Her dedication to inclusivity, sees her working with a variety of different groups including home-educated youth who might otherwise feel isolated. “She gives me a voice when I feel like I'm suffocating. She is like this with everyone and the clubs I go to everyone gets on, everyone is different but accepted.” was a testimony given. 

Olivia understands the barriers that can hold young people back, from social anxieties to financial limitations and mental health challenges. But instead of letting these barriers define them, she creates pathways to overcome them. Through engaging activities, she unlocks doors to experiences many wouldn't otherwise have access to. With Olivia's support, Lucy-Marie, who lives with Tourette's, has found the confidence to be herself, build connections, and overcome limitations. "She sees me and just me," Lucy-Marie shares, highlighting Olivia's ability to connect with each young person on an individual level.

The judging panel recognised Olivia's exceptional approach, commending her commitment to all Five Pillars of Youth Work. They were particularly impressed by her dedication to inclusivity, her ability to empower young people to find their voices, and her belief in their potential.