The voluntary youth work sector in Wales
The voluntary youth work sector in Wales is estimated to involve more than 250,000 young people and at least 30,000 adult volunteers. WCVA estimates that there are at least 2,554 voluntary groups specifically involved with young people or 7% of all voluntary groups in Wales (WCVA Third Sector Statistical Resource, 2016).
The voluntary youth sector is playing an exceptionally important role in supporting the development, well-being, self-esteem, employment skills and life skills of young people.
CWVYS is the representative body for the voluntary youth sector in Wales. It is an independent charitable body that promotes quality youth work and represents the interests of its membership and the wider sector.
‘To educate and help young persons to develop their physical, mental, cultural and spiritual capacities that they may grow to full maturity as individuals and members of society by facilitating mutual support and co-operation among voluntary youth organisations, the Youth Service and other related agencies in Wales.’
Current objectives include:
- To promote quality youth work with young people in the voluntary youth work sector.
- To support implementation of the National Youth Work Strategy for Wales by assisting the voluntary youth work sector, including CWVYS members, to engage with the Strategy.
- To support the ethos of Extending Entitlement: supporting young people in Wales and to work in partnership with other organisations to enable young people to realise their full potential.
- To represent the voluntary youth work sector at a Wales level with the Welsh Government in relation to youth work, youth policy, evaluation and research and youth participation in decision-making.
- To collaborate with the maintained youth service in Wales and to plan for a stronger independent and integrated voice for the youth work sector in Wales.
Through its regional structures and regional officers, statutory membership of Children & Young Peoples’ Partnerships (CYPPs) and roles such as co-chairing Youth Work Alliance Wales strategic forum and chairing the cross sector Youth Work in Wales Review Group; CWVYS works in partnership with the local authorities and promotes an integrated approach to provision for young people and youth workers. CWVYS is also an active member of the 5 Nations Group, the Third Sector Partnership Council, Third Sector/Ministerial Groups and a range of national and UK bodies and projects.
CWVYS currently (November 2016) has 90 member organisations ranging from national bodies with many constituent youth groups to more locally or regionally-based organisations.
CWVYS gains considerable strength and resources from its membership. It works for and with the voluntary youth sector as a whole, the Welsh Government, the local authorities in Wales and the Welsh Local Government Association.
CWVYS works collaboratively with a wide range of partner agencies, including the Welsh Government, Local Authority youth services, Welsh Local Government Association, Education & Training Standards (ETS) Wales and Training Agency Group. Together with CWVYS, these bodies formed Youth Work Alliance Wales in 2013
CWVYS was set up originally in 1974 by the Standing Conference in Wales of Voluntary Youth Organisations, which was established in 1947. It was core funded by the Welsh Office and had its own offices and staff until 1992 when the Wales Youth Agency (WYA) was established.
CWVYS’s work programme was then undertaken by the WYA through a service level agreement. In 2001, after devolution, CWVYS embarked on a review of its strategic plans for the future, in response to the changing policy environment in Wales.
After negotiations with the then Youth Policy Team of the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG), it was decided to core fund CWVYS to employ a Chief Executive making it more independent, whilst still relying on the WYA for office space and administration. With the closure of the WYA at the end of 2005, CWVYS is now totally independent once more with its own office and administration staff in Cardiff Bay
Structure and Governance
The Council for Wales of Voluntary Youth Services is composed of two representatives of each member organisation and an honorary chairman. Ten representatives of national organisations and ten local voluntary organisations plus honorary officers, elected annually, make up the Executive Committee, the governing body of CWVYS
Executive Committee 2016/17
Keith Towler (Chair)
Rocio Cifuentes (Vice chair)
Marco Gil-Cervantes (Honorary Treasurer)
Joff Carroll OBE
Lt-Col Stephen Hughes
Helen Mary Jones
To support specific areas CWVYS operates the following sub groups of the Executive Committee:
- Officers Group
- Training Committee