First Minister visits Tonypandy project ‘Valley Kids’

To celebrate Youth Work Week 2024, the Cabinet Secretary for Education Lynne Neagle and First Minister Vaughan Gething visited Tonypandy project, Valleys Kids.

Youth Work Week, which begins today (Monday 24 June), is an opportunity to exhibit and celebrate the impact youth work has across Wales. This year’s theme, “Why Youth Work?”, focuses on its value and importance.

Youth work offers a rich variety of educational, inclusive, and empowering opportunities for young people aged 11 to 25. These experiences, delivered by the voluntary and maintained sector, encourage young people to use their voice and contribute to decisions that affect them.

Valleys Kids is a charity in Rhondda Cynon Valley which supports more than 120 young people each week through a range of programmes. They provide opportunities to socialise, access help and the opportunity to volunteer in a range of projects.

By supporting young people and encouraging them to be active within the community, the youth groups aim to develop the confidence and ambitions of their members, allowing them to reach their full potential.

Education Secretary Lynne Neagle said: “Youth Work Week gives us a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and recognise the importance of youth work and my visit with Valleys Kids has shown me just how valuable it is.

“I am proud of the opportunities that Valleys Kids has given to these young people. Through their hard work, they have empowered young people to recognise their own abilities and enabled them to believe in themselves and what they can achieve.

“Youth work places the voices of young people at its very core, and I want to take this opportunity to thank youth workers across Wales for their dedication in supporting our young people.”

Valleys Kids CEO, Elise Stewart said: “Valleys Kids works with and supports young people across our communities to enable them to realise their potential. Having the opportunity to engage in our youth work programmes young people are better able to transition into adulthood with confidence and belief in their own abilities.

“Young People are our future and youth work offers the positive, transformative chances our communities need. Youth work is a key preventative service to which every young person has an entitlement …and it works!”

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