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A sustainable future: youth work’s contribution to Welsh Government’s ‘Wellbeing of Future Generations’ policy and ‘Successful Futures’ review

Author: Jamie Jones-Mead

The Welsh Government Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015  and the recommendations from Donaldson’s Successful Futures review gives youth work in Wales a refreshed opportunity to prove its value and create for itself a sustainable future.

This article explores the contribution youth work can make to these Welsh Government policy agendas.

Jamie Jones-Mead was awarded a bursary from Youthworkwales to complete this article.

Jamie is a professionally qualified youth and community worker.  He has 15 years’ experience as a youth worker and has worked in a number of settings in Wales, the UK and globally. 

These include in statutory youth services, with young disabled people, young offenders, young cancer patients and significant experience in the third sector.  As well as being an experienced practitioner, Jamie has a particular interest in health and wellbeing, having spearheaded and managed ASH Wales' youth tobacco and smoking programmes, and is currently working in a public health setting.

Scouting in Wales

Author: Professor David Loades

Brief account of the development of Scouting in Wales.

Second Report on Training of Part-Time Youth Leaders and Assistants

Author: Department of Education and Science, HMSO 1966

Second Report on Training of Part Time Youth Leaders and Assistants Report of the Review Committee of the Youth Service Development Council December 1965 

Service by Youth

Author: Department of Education and Science, HMSO 1966
Service by Youth Report of a committee of the Youth Service Development Council December 1965

Session plan – self esteem and friendship

Author: Violeta Rasmussen, Volunteer, Boys and Girls Clubs of Wales 2018
Session to enhance Self-Esteem and Strengthen Friendship and to create a sense of belonging in the Youth Club among the young people, the volunteers and youth workers in order to create a sense of community. This is a 30/40 minutes session that is aimed at making the Young People feel comfortable in their group, to boost their confidence and enhance their self-esteem. It is suitable for 11-25 year olds.

The session is made of 4 activities with different purposes:
1. to break the ice with all the members of the group
2. to reflect individually through creativity
3. to play and strengthen bonds through competition
4. to release emotions, boost empathy and cooperation using artistic skills.

The session is very relaxing, and meant to be carried out in a calm atmosphere, where emotions and creativity will flow.

Impact: will be developing a sense of belonging with the group, to strengthen the relationships with the other members, to develop empathy, positive thoughts and enhance one's own confidence and self-esteem.

Materials: Colours, papers, pens and pencils will be enough!

My top tips:
1. To explain the aim of the session in the beginning and to make a proper final discussion in the end, allowing each young person to reflect on what they've learned and expressing their thoughts.
2. Take your time to do the activities, if you see that you are running out of time just do what you can and try to extend the session another time. Let the young people enjoy and interact with the time they need. Each group is different, adapt the activities and timings depending on the group you have.
3. At the end of the session, find a space in the room where you can hang the pictures of the Hands and the Affection Portraits. This way the Young People will see the result of their work and they will have a positive feeling every time they see their drawings.

Session plan – Stress discussion

Author: Caerphilly Youth Service 2018
This activity encourages young people to consider stress factors and develop/share some positive coping strategies for themselves or others.

Shared Planning for Better Outcomes

Author: Welsh Assembly Government 2007

Welsh Government Planning Guidance and Regulations for Local Authorities and their Partners on Children and Young People‘s Plans. Welsh Assembly Government Circular No: 31/2007
Date of issue: September 2007

Shared Purpose – Shared Delivery: Guidance on integrating Partnerships and Plans

Author: Welsh Government 2012

Guidance on integrating Partnerships and Plans.

The Welsh Government considers that a single integrated plan should be used to meet the statutory duties in relation to the development of plans and strategies required under the following legislation:

  • Local Government (Wales) Measure 2009 (Part 2: Ss 37-46) – Community strategies;
  • Children Act 2004 (Part 3: S26) – Children and Young People’s Plan (which include plans required in accordance with section 2 of the Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010 and Part 1 of the Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010);
  • National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006 (Part 3: S40) – Health, Social Care and Well-being Strategies; and
  • Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (Part 1: S6) – Strategies for the reduction of crime and disorder, strategies for combating the misuse of drugs, alcohol and other substances, and strategies for the reduction of re-offending.
  • Children & Families (Wales) Measure 2010 sections 11 & 12 – the duties in respect of local authorities to assess for sufficient play opportunities and to promote and facilitate participation by children in decisions of the authority which might affect them, and to publish and keep up to date information about its arrangements.

Social Exclusion – The Role of Poor Basic Skills

Author: Basic Skills Agency

Test of speech by representative of the Basic Skills Agency on the role poor basic skills play in the social exclusion of young people.

Social Inclusion and the Youth Service in Wales: a submission to the House of Commons Committee on Welsh Affairs

Author: Wales Youth Agency 2000