Dear Members

It’s obviously a hugely concerning time for you all, the issues you are currently facing and those yet to occur. The focus at the moment is how to try and navigate a best way forward whilst supporting you as best we can in these circumstances.

The general view from those with whom I have spoken is mixed: individual organisations will need to make their own decisions as to whether they will continue for a specific period of time or simply close. Some will carry on for as long as possible because they offer specialist services.

As such, there is no ‘one size fits all’ advice on provision for the sector as yet. However, we will continue to forward the latest guidance from the WG Education department to everyone by e-mail and social media. I’d suggest that you read and distribute that information to your colleagues and keep looking out for further notices as things develop. In addition, Public Health Wales is issuing daily updates across a range of media.

The unprecedented nature of the situation and how it is changing every hour or so means that there is rapid movement in all advice and guidance. Stay tuned and we’ll aim to get messages out as and when we can.
CWVYS has had to vacate Baltic House and staff are now working from home. Whilst we will still be contactable, this is also having an impact on our own operations, so please bear with us!

I’m aware that local authorities are making independent judgement calls on their youth service provision across all 22 areas. My current information is that most, if not all, have already closed or will start to close their doors very soon.

Online provision is perhaps one part of the overall response, so that young people, can still maintain contact and access to practitioners and vice-versa. Claire Cunliffe (CWVYS Chair) and I met with the Minister for Education on Tuesday to discuss how youth work can support the wider education sector during this crisis.

If any statements arise from this and other meetings, I’ll let everyone know. However, the Minister was very clear on her understanding of youth work and her gratitude toward practitioners in providing such vital services. Our response to that was a very positive one but we also outlined a need for leadership, resource and effective communication.

The CWVYS Executive Committee (Trustee Board) Met remotely yesterday and discussed a wide range of issues. I will update you on those developments shortly.

CWVYS will continue to operate strategically and has signed up to a joint-sector approach with a range of partners, including the Welsh Government, the PYOG and WLGA amongst others.

We will, of course, keep you informed on any relevant developments and further messages.

A brief note on funding: you will probably be aware that WCVA has set up an Emergency Loan Fund? If not, details are here:

For now, keep safe and well.

Best wishes
Paul Glaze, Chief Executive