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.

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.

Vision, Mission and Five Functions


  • A Wales where all young people are empowered by innovative, vibrant and sustainable voluntary youth work services. 


  • To represent, support and give a collective voice to its membership of voluntary youth work organisations across Wales. CWVYS leads on collaboration and partnerships on behalf of the voluntary youth work sector in Wales.

Five key functions of CWVYS

National representation and strategic leadership for the voluntary youth work sector

(including facilitation, policy development, advocacy, shaping and influencing, strategic communications, raising the profile of voluntary youth work services within Wales and internationally; supporting the sector to include young people in all planning and delivery of best practice youth work)

Collaboration and partnership working

(including facilitation of partnerships, promoting diversity and inclusion within   Wales and internationally)

Knowledge exchange champions

(including funding information and support, policy information, resources, opportunities and events)

Celebrate, measure and recognise the social, economic and cultural impact of the voluntary youth work sector in Wales

(including promotion of best youth work practice, quality assurance, workforce development/training/accreditation, data collection, research and evaluation)

Membership benefits, opportunities and developments

(support for, and a commitment to growing a diverse, vibrant, values-based Membership of organisations across Wales, including Regional representation)


CWVYS engages with a large number of 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, Training Agency Group, Youth Work Board and the EWC.


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 make 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

CWVYS comprises representatives of Member organisations and an honorary Chair.

CWVYS Structure July 2023

Representatives of national and local/regional organisations plus honorary Officers, elected annually, make up the CWVYS Executive Committee, the governing body of CWVYS.

Executive Committee 2023/24

Eluned Parrott (Chair)
Stephanie Price (Vice-Chair)
Rich Flowerdew (Vice-Chair)
Marco Gil-Cervantes (Honorary Treasurer)

Beverley Martin
Daljit Kaur Morris
Joanne Phillis
Grant Poiner
Rhiannon Sheen de Jesus
Lee Tiratira
Carlie Torlop
Geraint Turner
Gareth Williams

CWVYS Presidents Group

Anna McMorrin (President)
Vice Presidents:
Duncan Cantlay
Joff Carroll OBE
Alice Gray
Ann Griffith
Louise Cook
John Heffernan
Jayne Kendall
Dr Jenny Maher
Keith Towler
Dr Lisa Whittaker
Hannah Williams
Prof Howard Williamson CVO CBE FRSA FHEA
Gemma Woolfe

To support specific areas CWVYS operates the following sub groups of the Executive Committee:

  • Officers Group
  • Workforce Development Group
  • CWVYS Business Group

The CWVYS public-facing complaints policy and procedure can be found here; CWVYS Complaints policy and procedure