Education and Welsh Language Minister Jeremy Miles has announced extra financial support for youth work organisations.
The Welsh Government has expanded its support to help youth work organisations respond to an increased demand in services, higher operational costs and a shift in the support needed by young people as a result of the cost of living crisis.
Youth work organisations help young people live rewarding lives, providing places and relationships within which they can enjoy themselves, feel secure, supported and valued. For many vulnerable young people, these organisations offer safe places with trusted adults to listen. The unique opportunities offered by youth work can support young people through significant developments in their lives and develop their knowledge and skills.
18 organisations across Wales, including Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of Wales, Young Farmers Clubs Wales, Rhyl Youth and Newport MIND, will receive more than £1 million in extra funding through the Strategic Voluntary Youth Work Organisation Grant for 2023-25, bringing the total allocated since the grant began in April 2022 to more than £2.9 million. The Welsh Government will provide over £13m of direct funding to support youth work services this year – over three times the equivalent sum in 2018.
The Council for Wales Voluntary Youth Services (CWVYS) will receive an extra £180,000 to enable them to pilot a Voluntary Youth Work Organisation Support Scheme, providing small grants of up to £7,500 per organisation to protect the services they offer to young people in their communities.
GISDA is an organisation supporting vulnerable young people in north Wales. They provide care leaver Vex with accommodation. Vex is supported by a keyworker and a personal adviser to develop their independent living skills, manage their tenancy, and attend college. They also benefit from the Welsh Government’s basic income pilot. Support from a youth work organisation has helped Vex enjoy taking part in the performing arts, appearing on Welsh language soap opera Rownd a Rownd. Vex will also play a lead role in a production by GISDA and youth theatre group Frân Wen.
On Tuesday, a Youth Work Wales event took place to celebrate Youth Work Week and show the action being taken by the sector.
The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, said: “Youth work plays a vital role in providing young people with safe environments where they supported to reach their full potential. The cost of living crisis means that youth work services are needed now more than ever. I am pleased to be able to provide this funding to organisations that have the power to change young people’s lives.”
Minister for Social Justice and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt said: “The life chances of looked after children should not be determined by the circumstances of their childhood. It is fantastic to hear how our basic income pilot is allowing young people like Vex the opportunity to establish their independence and reach their full potential.”