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  • Sharon Lovell (SL) (Chair)
  • Simon Stewart (SSt)
  • David Williams (DW)
  • Joanne Sims (JS)
  • Lowri Jones (LJ)
  • Sian Elen Tomos (ST)
  • Marco Gil-Cervantes (MG)
  • Deb Austin (DA)
  • Dyfan Evans, Head of Youth Engagement Branch, Welsh Government (WG) (DE)
  • Dareth Edwards, Senior Youth Work Strategy Manager, Welsh Government (DaE)
  • Victoria Allen, Youth Work Strategy Manager, Welsh Government (VA)
  • Kirsty Harrington, Youth Work Policy Manager, Welsh Government (KHa)
  • Umaira Chaudhary, Youth Work Information Officer, Welsh Government (UC)
  • Gethin Jones, Senior Youth Work Strategy Manager, Welsh Government (GJ)
  • Tom Kitschker, Support for Learners Team Support Officer (TK)


  • Shahinoor Alom (SA)
  • Donna Robins, Senior Youth Work Strategy Manager, Welsh Government (DR)

Conflicts of interest

None declared.

15 June 2023 meeting: minutes and action points

Progress on actions from the meeting held on 15 June 2023 was reviewed.

SL noted this was the first Board meeting to take place since the resignation of Kelly Harris. Board members and officials thanked Kelly for her invaluable contribution to the work of the Board. David Williams will now become Chair of the Young People are Thriving Implementation Participation Group.

Strengthening the legislative basis for youth work

DaE and GJ provided a summary of the work undertaken to date with the support of the Board’s legislation task and finish group, and outlined the proposed next steps which are currently being considered by the Minister for Education and Welsh Language.

An overview of how the sector and wider stakeholders will be engaged was also provided.

Action Point 1: DaE to share the presentation on the stakeholder engagement plan with Board members.

Implementation Plan

VA and DE provided an update on the Implementation Plan. It will act as a road map for the sector and wider stakeholders, setting out key actions for developing the Interim Board’s recommendations up to autumn 2024. The plan draws on the contents of more detailed workplans developed by each of the Board’s five thematic Implementation Participation Groups.

Board members discussed proposals for progressing the Interim Board’s recommendation relating to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, stressing the importance of drawing on the expertise of the broad range of organisations already active in this area and hearing direct testimony from young people about the barriers to accessing youth work.

Action Point 2: DE to circulate to Board members a summary of activities taken forward by local authorities as a result of the additional funding to strengthen Equality, Diversity and Inclusion within their services. Details will also be shared of wider local authority equality and diversity plans.

Board members discussed the importance of using existing networks in future plans to engage with young people. DW reported that this is a key priority for the Young People are Thriving IPG, with work about to take place to map existing structures across Wales.

Members referenced the importance of meeting young people in their own spaces, for example online or through outreach projects, to ensure a diverse range of voices are captured and that it remains important to continue to tap into expertise across the sector to reach young people.

DE referenced the participation pilots currently underway as a method to test the effectiveness of various approaches to engaging with young people.

Action Point 3: VA to share a summary of progress made to date on these pilot projects, as well as other relevant evidence gathered by Welsh Government from young people, with Board members.


DE provided an update on budget allocations and invited the board to contact him with any questions.

Research and evidence

SSt shared details of evidence-based primary prevention models utilised elsewhere internationally, and how a similar approach could potentially be adopted in Wales.

Action Point 4: SSt to share further details with officials and Board members. Board members were invited to send comments directly to SSt.

Webinar schedule

A draft schedule for the proposed Implementation Participation Group webinars was shared with the Board. There will be five webinars taking place virtually from December 2023 to June 2024.

Action Point 5: IPG Chairs to work with officials to firm up dates, content and audience for each of the webinars.

Innovation Framework

A summary of the two work streams to support innovation within youth work in Wales was shared with the Board; Estyn’s proposed standalone inspection framework for Youth Work and the Quality Mark for Youth Work in Wales.

Action Point 6: DR to work with Estyn and EWC to develop an outline of the alignment between the Quality Mark and the Estyn Inspection Framework. 

Any other business (AOB)

DE noted that the report on the first phase of the independent funding review was published in September 2023. The second phase of the work will expand the study to all areas of Wales, whilst the third phase will aim to develop a Cost-Benefit Analysis of youth work in Wales.

Board members discussed sharing their learning with the sector on their first year in their role supporting the Youth Work Strategy Implementation Board as part of their updates to the sector. Board members were also eager to engage with other key stakeholders, including the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, and the Welsh Language Commissioner, during the next phase of this work to help ensure discussions were as impactful as possible.

Action Point 7: SL to invite the Children’s Commissioner for Wales or a representative from her office to a future Board meeting.

Date of next meeting: 30 November 2023