Following considerable work undertaken by a scrutiny working group of councillors set up to review youth services in Gwynedd, the Council has committed to working closely with its partners to improving the provision on offer for young people.
The Scrutiny Working Group set out a wide-ranging review of youth services throughout the county and found that Gwynedd has dedicated youth workers, with the number of young people taking part in youth organisations amongst the highest in Wales. However, the review also found that there was a lack of members past the age of 16, that there were difficulties in reaching the most needy groups, as well as youth organisations duplicating and competing against each other.
Councillor Sian Gwenllian, Chair of the Gwynedd Council Youth Services Improvement Working Group said:
“What we want to see is a network of youth groups across Gwynedd that are co-ordinated effectively, maintained directly by the Council’s Youth Service and its partners, which deliver opportunities that appeal directly to our young people.
“That is why the Council has now adopted the 21-point recommendations presented by the Scrutiny Working Group which will give a clear strategic direction for youth services in the county. Having acted on the views and opinions of Gwynedd’s young people, the challenge now will be to reach out to them and ensure that we provide them with the opportunities and activities that they want.”
As part of improvements, the Council is already in the process of establishing the Gwynedd Youth Bus which will visit communities throughout the county. The aim of the initiative is to expand the service offered to Gwynedd’s young people, by developing facilities and resources for young people of all ages between 11 and 25, young parents and young people who are hard to reach. The Gwynedd Youth Bus will be launched in the coming weeks.
Councillor Roy Owen, who leads on Youth Services for Gwynedd Council added:
“Gwynedd can boast some of the most committed and enthusiastic youth workers in the country. That’s why we are committed to giving them the appropriate support and direction so that they can help to deliver the best opportunities for Gwynedd’s children and young people.
“Our aim for the future will be to deliver a wide-range of enjoyable opportunities and experiences for Gwynedd’s young people.”
The review undertaken by one of Gwynedd Council’s Scrutiny Working Groups looked at a variety of youth organisations which provide opportunities for children and young people in Gwynedd, from the Council’s youth clubs to secondary school age and older by Urdd Gobaith Cymru, Young Farmers Clubs, the Scouts, Guides and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.