ILEP Advisory Board Chair announcement

Yesterday we got the news about the appointment of a new chair for the Advisory Board overseeing the International Learning Exchange Programme. Today we are happy to be able to share with you that the new chair will be familiar to many in the youth sector, as the person who announced the ILEP on behalf of the Welsh Government back in the spring, former Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, Kirsty Williams.

We hope that Kirsty’s familiarity with and support of the youth sector in Wales will mean youth work is championed throughout the development of this programme.

Here you can find an announcement from Kirsty’s successor, Jeremy Miles MS; 

If you have any thoughts you would like the former Minister and Chair of the Advisory Board to be aware of, please do share them with Helen, as she sits on that Advisory Board on behalf of CWVYS and the members network;

The Advisory Board will be meeting next Monday 25th of October, and CWVYS members can expect any key developments from that meeting to be shared in our international newsletter for November.

You may also be aware that there is an open consultation on the development of the Youth and Schools strand of the programme for you all to have your input;

New project to map and evaluate the voluntary youth work sector for Wales

News published by the University of South Wales Centre for Criminology:

Dr Jenny Maher has been successful in obtaining ESF funding through the KESS programme for a Masters by Research student to work on Mapping and Evaluating the Voluntary Youth Work Sector for Wales in collaboration with The Council for Wales of Voluntary Youth Services (CWVYS).

The project, which runs from October 2021 to September 2022, addresses one of the core data limitations for the voluntary youth work sector in Wales by mapping and evaluating the sector. This is crucial as funding for youth services has been critically hit during austerity and delivery reduced and altered during the COVID-19 pandemic, while serious crimes and harms impacting youth (such as County Lines, ACES, homelessness, mental health, unemployment) have increased.

Dr Maher said: “Youth work formally and informally tackles many social harms, provides young people with opportunities and supports them through significant developments in their lives, and enables them to build positive relationships, skills and social capital. The Welsh voluntary youth work sector works with approximately 250,000 young people aged 11-25 years, with roughly 30,000 volunteers and 3,000 paid staff. Voluntary youth services provide essential support to young people and their communities’ health and wellbeing in Wales”

This empirical research will consolidate and build upon existing partner (CWVYS) projects, to deliver an intellectual audit of current voluntary youth work provision. This audit will address the intellectual challenges of: evaluating and mapping the Welsh voluntary youth work sector; identifying the gaps in provision; highlighting the value of the voluntary sector in tackling contemporary issues impacting young people; and supporting the development of a national youth information service.

This research is the basis upon which CWVYS will deliver an ‘intelligent audit’ of its member organisations and the wider voluntary youth work sector in Wales as part of the overall CWVYS work plan agreed with Welsh Government.

Paul Glaze, Chief Executive of CWVYS said: “We are very much looking forward to working on this KESS project, which will be a vital area of research for the voluntary youth work sector, providing a detailed perspective on youth work evaluation across Wales. We are absolutely delighted to welcome someone of Lizzy’s calibre to the team, are indebted to Dr Maher and Professor Williamson’s support and can’t wait to get going!”

Elizabeth Bacon, Masters by Research student

After graduating two years ago with a Criminology undergraduate degree from Birmingham City University, Lizzy went on to work for Sussex Police as an Early Intervention Youth Coordinator, running an early intervention project for young people in Sussex. As part of this role, she worked closely with families and young people as well as community organisations to provide the best possible service for young people who are starting to come to police attention.

From speaking to young people and their families, Lizzy has a keen understanding of the key drivers of youth criminal and harmful behaviour and the value of youth work in enhancing both young people’s lives and that of their families and communities. She is looking forward to enhancing understanding of and driving best practice in voluntary youth work to influence positive changes to the sector and the lives of young people.

Dr Jennifer Maher, supervisor

Dr Jenny Maher has extensive experience of undertaking collaborative research and knowledge transfer with external partners through funded research with the UN, European Commission, European Parliament, Scottish Government, DEFRA,  South Wales Police and the RSPCA, and invitations to give evidence and speak at conferences (e.g. EFRA Parliament Committee and Croatian Presidency of the Council of European Union and Eurogroup for Animals). Since 2003, she has conducted empirical research and published widely on youth criminality and victimisation, with a specific focus on youth violence.

She previously consulted for the Gang Task and Finish Group for Safer Capital Partnership Cardiff (2011) and Knife Crime Group – Cardiff Youth Partnership (2010), and provided an evaluation of youth weapon use for the Valleys Race Equality Council [Valrec] & South Wales Police (2009). She has also collaborated with the RSPCA to evaluate youth violence against animals and their use in interpersonal violence (2010 & 2017). As Vice President of CWVYS she has provided guidance to the CWVYS executive committee on issues pertaining to youth delinquency and victimisation.

Professor Howard Williamson, co-supervisor

Professor Howard Williamson is Professor of European Youth Policy. His primary research interests are around youth policy, citizenship and social exclusion, and the role of youth work in the personal development and social integration of young people.

Over the past 30 years, he has reviewed youth policies in 21 European countries, written three volumes on ‘supporting young people in Europe’ and edited seven volumes of the History of Youth Work in Europe. He has worked closely on youth issues with the European Commission, Council of Europe, and UN. In Wales, he chaired the Wales Youth Work Partnership in the 1980s and was Vice-Chair of the Wales Youth Agency from 1991-2006. Since 2002, he has been trustee of Grassroots (Cardiff youth project), The European Alpbach Foundation and the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award for young people. His contributions to youth work and policy were recognised in his appointment to CBE in 2002 and CVO in 2017.

If any of our CWVYS members would like to know more, Lizzy will be joining us at the Regional Meetings in November (18th and 19th), if you would like to attend RSVP to

CONSULTATION: International Learning Exchange

There is currently a consultation process open to the Youth sector, for people to feed back to the policy development team for the Welsh International Learning Exchange Programme.

Here is the consultation form;

The deadline to submit a response has been extended to the 28th of October 2021 at 5pm.

It has many questions, but as it says on the consultation page; “anything you are unable to answer, simply leave blank.”

It also notes that “there is no save option with this form. It will take about 30 minutes to complete.”

If you are submitting a response, it might be worth writing your answers in a word document or draft email, anything that allows you to save as you go along, so that if anything fails you will still have your answers!

There is a Stakeholder meeting on the 26th of October if you would like to discuss this with Emily Daly, the Programme Development Manager for Schools and Youth. Contact Emily if you want to attend –

Strategic Voluntary Youth Work Organisation Grant

Here is an important message from the Youth Engagement Branch at the Welsh Government;

The current National Voluntary Youth Organisation (NVYO) grant round is due to end in March 2022, and we are really pleased to say funding for voluntary youth organisations is likely to continue for 2022 onwards, however there will be some changes to the current format.

As part of consideration of how we can help to ensure that good quality youth work experiences are available to all young people in Wales, we need to ensure we consider ways in which we can offer greater levels of inclusion and diversity. We are therefore opening a new application round for 2022-2024 for the Strategic Voluntary Youth Work Organisation Grant.

The Grant will have two elements, the first will be based on the previous NVYO grant and for national organisations who are working across 18+ local authority areas. The second element will be for smaller specialist organisations who are delivering youth work to young people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds or those with protected characteristics.

Please see the guidance and application forms for more information:

Information; Strategic Voluntary Youth Work Organisations Grant scheme 2022-2024 – Information for grant applicants – English Final

Application form; Strategic Voluntary Youth Work Organisations Grant – Application form 2022-2024 – English Final

As in previous grant rounds, no decisions on funding will be made until budget decisions are known later in the year.

Please note, the closing date for applications is Thursday the 11 November 2021.

If you have any queries please contact the team on

One week to go; The National Youth Work Conference 2021

The National Youth Work Conference 2021 is fast approaching, only a week to go!

The full-day virtual conference on 14 October offers a wide range of workshop sessions on issues affecting the youth work sector.

A summary of the programme can be found here; National Youth Work Conference_Programme

At the virtual event you will have the option to select a one-hour workshop and two 30-minute workshops. There is no need to select the workshops in advance – but you will need to register before 14 October to access the event – link below and further instructions on how to book here; 

In addition, there will be keynote speeches from Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Education and Welsh Language and from Keith Towler, Chair of the Interim Youth Work Board for Wales.

There is something for everyone, so don’t miss out!

To book your free place, please click on link:

Vacancy for a Digital Communications Assistant

We would like to draw your attention again to the vacancy for a Digital Communications Assistant.

The person in post will support the work of Ellie Parker, the Marketing and Communications Officer for the Youth Work sector.

Applicants must be bilingual to be considered as it is an essential requirement for the role.

The deadline has been extended. The deadline for applications  has been extended to the 24th of October 2021.

Hours of work: 30 per week

Duration of agreement: October 2021 to 31 March 2022

More details here; Vacancy – Digital Communications Assistant

Contact for an application pack.