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Small Grants scheme enhances Welsh-medium Youth Work in Ceredigion

Over 1,000 young people in Ceredigion have benefitted from Welsh Government’s Small Grants Scheme, which is aimed at enhancing Welsh-Medium Youth Work opportunities for young people aged between 11 and 25.

In September 2021, the Wales Interim Youth Work Board’s final report made 14 recommendations to enhance and improve the Youth Work Offer in Wales. As part of this work, Local Authorities in Wales have received additional funding from the Welsh Government through the Youth Support Grant in support of Recommendation 12, which outlines that the Welsh Government should increase the availability of youth work services through the medium of Welsh.

For the second year running, in August 2023, voluntary youth groups and organisations in Ceredigion were invited to apply for up to £20,000 funding through a Small Grants Scheme, to spend on suitable youth work activity to develop additional Welsh-medium youth work projects to help meet identified gaps in provision for 2023-24. The Small Grants Scheme encouraged groups and organisations to consider a variety of youth work provision, including evening clubs, sport provision, youth work in schools, and opportunities to volunteer through the medium of Welsh. The funding could also be used to identify, develop and provide opportunities to encourage use of Welsh among staff and volunteers and increase their confidence in using Welsh within the setting.

As part of the application process, 11 bids were received, totalling almost £85,000, demonstrating a commitment to offer high-quality Welsh Language youth work provision in local communities. Following deliberations by the awarding panel, six applications were successful in being awarded a total of £20,000 to support projects and activities aimed at enhancing Welsh-Medium youth work opportunities for young people aged between 11 and 25 in Ceredigion.

A recent evaluation of the Small Grants Scheme in 2023-24 highlighted that over 1,000 young people accessed youth work provision through the medium of Welsh through use of this funding. Opportunities included craft, music, dance, theatre, digital youth work, script writing, poetry, outdoor education, school-based clubs, events and more.

Lleucu Meinir from Plethu in Llandysul said: “The Grant gave young people in the Llandysul area the opportunity to have hands-on, real experiences with different professional artists in the world of theatre. For example, young people in the area had the chance to work with the performer Eddie Ladd, set designer Steffan Mathias, body painter Raphaelle Fieldhouse and the technician Siôn DOM Williams. You have to travel far from the Llandysul area to enjoy theatrical experiences. Holding these opportunities on young people’s doorsteps inspired some who would never have considered being a part of the theatre world to throw themselves into the experience.”

Councillor Wyn Thomas, Ceredigion’s Cabinet Member for Lifelong Learning and Skills, said: “Ceredigion’s Small Grants Scheme funded by Welsh Government’s Youth Support Grant has created incredible opportunities for young people in Ceredigion. Through this initiative, their aspirations can be supported, while also promoting use of Welsh language and culture. The grant aims to empower Ceredigion’s young people, and build a brighter future for our communities.”