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Urdd opens first-of-its-kind Environmental and Wellbeing Residential Centre

Between sea and mountain in north Pembrokeshire, Wales’s largest youth organisation, Urdd Gobaith Cymru is celebrating the opening of its fourth Residential Centre.

The first of its kind in Wales, Pentre Ifan Environmental and Wellbeing Residential Centre will prioritise the environment, the emotional wellbeing of young people and the Welsh language in one magical residential experience.

Digital detox retreat

Pentre Ifan Residential Centre will be a digital detox retreat for 8,000 youngsters annually, and a place for them to prioritise their wellbeing, connect with the environment, and experience a more sustainable lifestyle. The idea behind the development came following a consultation with Urdd members, which highlighted their need for a “retreat” that supported the health and wellbeing of young people as well as the environment.

The activities at Pentre Ifan will range from bushcraft to forest bathing, sustainable fashion, yoga and mindfulness, stargazing, myths and legends by the fire, nature and food growing sessions to name but a few. The Centre offers en-suite and glamping accommodation, solar-powered catering and bathroom facilities, herb garden, outdoor kitchen, and wellbeing areas.

Local students from Ysgol Bro Preseli were invited to the opening, along with Climate Change Minister, Julie James MS, and Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles MS.

Siân Lewis (Urdd Gobaith Cymru), Jeremy Milles AS, Julie James AS

Jeremy Miles said: “I’m pleased to officially open this unique project. The Urdd has done brilliant work listening to and creating a centre that focuses on the environment, young people’s wellbeing, and the Welsh language. Our Curriculum for Wales is all about listening to pupils and learning in a way that engages them. The climate and nature emergency, as well as wellbeing, are central to the Curriculum and form part of every learner’s education. I’m delighted that Pentre Ifan will help learners connect with and respect nature, support their mental and physical health and develop healthy relationships with technology.”

Siân Lewis, Urdd Gobaith Cymru Chief Executive, said: “One of the secrets of the Urdd’s success is the fact it listens to its members and encompasses so many aspects of their lives. Developing Pentre Ifan is proof of that, as it is based on the vision of our young people.

“The Urdd is committed to connecting young people with nature and empowering them to protect the environment and Pentre Ifan will enable us to continue to have a positive impact on future generations’ emotional wellbeing and mental health. This is another step forward in the organisation’s development project for its residential centres, enabling us to promote outdoor learning and wellbeing while supporting the Curriculum for Wales.”

The investment is the result of a combined grant from the Welsh Government, the Garfield Weston Foundation and The Prince of Wales Charitable Fund.