April Monthly Meetup – Young People!

April Monthly Meetup – Young People!


4theRegion Monthly Meetup – Young People!

Creative Monthly Meetup

What are the opportunities for young people in South West Wales?

This discussion emphasised the importance of engaging young people in South West Wales and ensuring their active participation within their communities. There was a strong focus on involving them directly in decision-making, and ensuring that young people are well-informed about available opportunities, from apprenticeships to outdoor learning to life coaching!

Hear from numerous regional organisations about their projects and initiatives for and with young people.  As usual, collaboration across different sectors is essential to create more inclusive opportunities and make young people feel valued, connected and supported to thrive in South West Wales.

Full Meeting Recording

Meeting Highlights & Notes

Colleagues from across our region share their updates and announcements as part of a co-created celebration of the array of opportunities for young people in South West Wales!

James Dovey from the Battle Arcade Project, Llanelli – Engages young people in building arcade machines and learning to use CNC machines, exposing them to new technologies and ways of working.

Zubs Iftikhar from YMCA, Swansea – Offers a comprehensive range of projects supporting young people: 5-day open access Youth Service drop-in; LGBTQ youth group available on Tuesdays; YTalent music project; Young Carers Service for individuals up to age 25 – and so much more.  Keen to work with local organisations to support young people.  If anyone would like any further information please get in touch Zubs@ymcaswansea.org.uk

Ffion from Working Options – Recently expanded into Wales, focusing on employability and life skills for ages 12-19.  Provides industry insights and skill sessions, emphasising transferable skills.  https://workingoptions.org.uk/  ffion@workingoptions.org.uk ! Please feel free to reach out as we begin to expand into Wales to inspire and support the next generation.

Ruth Robinson from SCVS – For those that are working with volunteers aged 14-25 in Swansea we have a Youth Bank Grant available. This up to £1,000 to support youth led ideas. For more information Ii can be contacted at ruth_robinson@scvs.org.uk

Alex from Pembrokeshire County Council Business Support Team – Organising a 2-day boot camp for young people’s business start-ups, covering branding, marketing, and social media for individuals aged 16 and above.

Ruth from Selva Coaching – A new social enterprise aimed at coaching young people in their 20s on identity, life goals, and core values.  If you have a person in their 20s in your life who is feeling lost and not sure what to do next please send them my direction as I can offer them some free 1:1 coaching as part of my pilot project.

James Morgan from Swansea Arena – Developing new projects including setting up a music tech academy to offer students real-world, hands-on experience.  The creative sector is growing, and the arena wants to platform and promote local musicians and artists.  jamesmorgan@theambassadors.com

Keith Harries from Coleg Sir Gar – Currently offering free numeracy training for people aged 19+ through the Mulyiply project. Details are available on the college website.

Tom Moses, CWBR Youth, PLANED – Highlighted the importance of showcasing positive things to young people and discussed how to amplify these initiatives.  Focuses on connecting young people with town councils and has been successful in integrating them into decision-making processes.  Announced a new project bid for a regional project to connect young people with elective representatives and community project leaders to enhance youth voice.  Looking for collaborators for this initiative. To share the learnings from the Cwbr Youth project – online event Tuesday 23rd 7pm tom.moses@planed.org.uk

Rhys Harries from Inspiring Skills – Skills Competition Wales, which provides vocational competitions for young people to showcase their skills.  Winners get the opportunity to progress to UK and World Skills competitions.  Emphasises nurturing mindset skills as well as vocational skills, with support from colleges.

Claire Reid, Gower College Swansea – Fantastic opportunities being shared here. It would be great to collaborate to support our 4,500 full time and 10,000 part time learners across the Swansea area and beyond. As Enterprise Champion I am passionate in supporting students across all learning areas and at all levels of study. Please do get in touch. claire.reid@gowercollegeswansea.ac.uk

Will Evans, founder of Will’s Petting Farm, Swansea – Will is a young entrepreneur;  Excited about working with schools and children to show the lifecycle of a chick, helping connect children with nature and animal care.  will@willspettingfarm.co.uk

Sue Poole from Young Dragons – Focused on promoting opportunities in the construction sector across the region, to primary age children, with special attention to introducing careers to females in construction.  Collaborates with various construction companies through the City Deal, Cyfle, and Raven Delta Group.  www.young-dragons.co.uk

Andrew Veevers from Mosaic Professional Development – Discusses the gap between teaching and professional development, promoting experiential learning as a new way to engage with professional development.  CMI highlighted that 82% of managers lack formal training; his approach is proactive in helping people develop necessary skills.

Ian Howells from ACO Training – Offers apprenticeships in Business Admin and Accounting to young people.

Jessica Davies – DVLA – Runs DVLA’s Employability Skills programme, offering free skills sessions within Swansea, NPT, and Llanelli.  Facilitates mock interviews and provides CV tips (general and Civil Service-specific), also demystifying the Civil Service to make it more accessible to those without degrees.

Lucy Cummings from PLANED – Acts as a catalyst for care-focused micro-enterprises in Carmarthenshire.  Provides one-to-one support for setting up and expanding micro-enterprises in the care sector.  Also facilitates a network group for social workers and health board staff.

Saadia Abubaker, founder of Saadia Speaks – Runs a youth empowerment platform aimed at inspiring, uplifting, and empowering young people, especially those from minority ethnic backgrounds.  https://www.saadiaspeaks.com/

Tasmin Lee Peckham from Educ8 Training Group – Offers apprenticeships through the Welsh Government, working directly with employers to recruit apprentices from school and provide accredited qualifications.  Apprenticeships fully funded in Wales for both existing and new staff – TasminP@educ8training.co.uk

Geraint Turner, Swansea MAD – There are a series of webinars and workshops with young people in May-June being run by youth organisations across Wales.

Ashley Davies from Canolfan Gwili – New venue available for all kinds of events, centremanager@llanedi.org.uk

Caroline from Swansea College of Art (UWTSD) – Graduate Summer Show is on Friday 17th May 6-9pm Alex and Dynevor Campus. Please come and join us to celebrate the wonderful creative students we have.

Lynette Anthony, Cyfle Building Skills – Shared Apprenticeships and Work Experience in Construction.  www.cyflebuilding.co.uk   lynette.anthony@colegsirgar.ac.uk 

Final Notes

  • In the chat, participants asked whether there has been any thought to have a regional conference around young people – all the organisations that work with them coming together and showcasing success stories.
  • If any of these new connections turn into collaborations then please reach out to us at 4theRegion and let us know – these are good news stories that we would love to share!  lydia@4theregion.org.uk 
  • Participants are encouraged to promote and apply FGA ways of working and goals across their projects.
  • Open invitation for collaboration among partners on various initiatives to further enhance opportunities for young people in the region.

Coming Up in May 2024:

Measuring a Wellbeing Economy in Wales

Measuring a Wellbeing Economy in Wales

Wellbeing Economy Wales is embarking on a volunteer-led project to create the Wales Wellbeing Economy Index – a visualisation of relevant and meaningful data that frames the wellbeing economy in a way that everyone can understand.  It’s part of a wider mission to broaden the understanding of (and engagement in) the idea of wellbeing economics in Wales. 

The intention is to create a set of indicators that measure and track the progress of the wellbeing economy at a local, constituency or regional level; and which is updated regularly, eg quarterly, so that it is useful and relatable for people.

At tonight’s monthly discussion forum, Stephen Priestnall from Wellbeing Economy Wales provided an introductory overview to the project, which is in its very early stages.  The team is inviting input, insight and involvement from the wider community across Wales – anyone who shares an interest in measuring, tracking and visualising “wellbeing economics” at a local or regional level, or who might have datasets or expertise to contribute.  Opening the project up for early feedback and reflection is part of WEW’s commitment to co-production and partnership working, and the team was incredibly grateful to all those who took an interest in the work and contributed their thoughts.

The current proposal is to seek data that measures five components of a wellbeing economy:

# Sustainable Private GDP
# Economic Cooperation
# Social & cultural wellbeing
# Environmental Wellbeing
# Value of public services provided

Participants queried who the measurements were intended for, and whether they would be useful, meaningful or engaging at a local or oganisational level, to inform decision-making or the focusing of changemaking work at the level of local communities.  The discussion also explored the difference between measuring “wellbeing” (like, for example, mental and physical wellbeing, which is perhaps subjective, qualitative, and hard to measure) versus measuring “wellbeing economics” – which is something we are all seeking to define and understand more clearly here in Wales!

Watch the recording – click here to view the full discussion via Zoom

Stephanie Howarth, Chief Statistician at the Welsh Government, also spoke at the meeting, and provided an overview of how Wellbeing is already being measured and tracked in Wales, through Wales’ Wellbeing Indicator Framework – a set of 46 indicators mapped to the seven wellbeing goals of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act.  Steph explained that the indicators in Wales were intended to “measure progress towards the Wales we want”, and to be:

# Short & Manageable;
# Coherent and fit well with other indicators;
# A measure for the whole of Wales;
# Resonant with the public

Making data meaningful for the public is agreed as the key challenge, and one of the ways Wales has sought to achieve this is through naming it’s indicators in ways that make sense to people – for example statistics relating simply to “healthy babies” rather than more technical definitions.  Stephanie’s team are currently inviting feedback and insight as part of an ongoing consultation about the Wellbeing Indicator Framework, asking what possible gaps there might be, and how the data could be made more useful.  Take a look at the blog to submit your comments:


One key reflection from tonight’s discussion was the importance of localised data, and the ability for communities and local decision-makers to be able to access and “drill down” on data for their local places.  There was a strong consensus in favour of interactive, filterable datasets that are accessible for ordinary people, and Steph agreed that this is an area worth investigating.  Stephen affirmed that the WEW project will seek to use and distribute its data on an open data platform, so that anyone can engage with it.  The aspiration is that the data be useable at a local level, so that we can interact and drill down, bringing communities together to discuss what the data means to them; what its implications are, and what it tells about needs, strengths and challenges.

There were a number of valuable contributions from colleagues across Wales, shining a light of different aspects of the question of measuring wellbeing.  Jonathan Richards, with colleagues, has done a lot of work around measuring the value of public services, and also reflected on some very useful work happening elsewhere, including in Birmingham

At Bronllys Well Being Park, colleagues have designed a comprehensive wellbeing survey, for which they are keen to partner and seek funding – looking at wellbeing through a psychometric lens.  And Barry Farrell noted that their survey work has identified 97 important indicators of well-being in 8 dimensions: Employment & Income, Housing & Environment, Food & Nutrition, Transport, Energy, Leisure, Community, and Physical & Mental Health.

Ellie Harwood, from the Child Poverty Action Group and the Anti-Poverty Coalition said that they have collected a lot of data on child poverty, but that is has been a challenge to get people to use the data they produce.  Her insight was that data becomes most meaningful and actionable when it is provided at a local level, for example by ward – where it feels real and tangible. 

Meanwhile, David Llewellyn from the NHS in Wales advised that they are creating a local wellbeing index intended to stimulate and provoke enhanced community discussions, “such that we can support and co-produce with communities to support wellbeing. It’s still in development but we would be very happy to learn from others”.  

The meeting also reflected on WHY measuring and tracking wellbeing data feels IMPORTANT, and what our ultimate purpose should be as we seek to create and distribute new KPIs.  We heard powerful insights about the importance of good data for determining what is required for change and how to improve things, as well as the power of data to inform community conversations and drive innovation. 

All too often, data is used retrospectively to prove that something has worked and secure future funding – but perhaps our core focus should be on finding and distributing data that inspires us to action – that motivates and empowers us on an individual level, to play our part in making change.  As Vicki Moller commented, “Data has to mean something to locals and lead to action… or so what!?”

What we measure, as a society, also reflects what we value – and perhaps in seeking to find effective measures for the wellbeing of people and the planet we will be able to more strongly advocate for those shared values, and change the culture of society in that direction.  Seeking alternatives to narrow economic evaluations like GVA and GDP is important work if we are to change what we really value, and what we invest in, as a society.  And “wellbeing economics” perhaps provides a new way for Wales to define our own agenda, distinct from those in Westminster, and to build on the achievement of Wellbeing of Future Generations Act and take it forward to better implementation and delivery.

Wellbeing Economy Wales is a volunteer-led organisation, part of the global Wellbeing Economy Alliance, working to make the vision of a “wellbeing economy” more visible, more credible and more meaningful, here in Wales.  As a founding member, 4theRegion helps to host the monthly Wellbeing Economy Discussion Forum on the second Thursday of each month.

Register via Eventbrite for upcoming events or contact dawn@4theregion.org.uk for info.