Youth Cymru’s position statement – Helen Mary Jones.
Helen Mary Jones was Chief Executive Officer of Youth Cymru from 2011-September 2017.
We are saddened and disappointed by recent comments made by Helen Mary Jones on social media regarding trans people, the change of her position and involvement in the ‘Woman’s Place UK’ event.
The board, staff and members of Youth Cymru do not share the views offered by the former Chief Executive, and we wish to confirm that Helen Mary Jones is no longer an employee of Youth Cymru, or associated with the organisation.
Youth Cymru works with young people in a way which recognises and respects them and their individual experiences. We encourage and enable them to reach their full potential.
Since 2014, Youth Cymru has delivered the Trans*Form Cymru project, supporting trans and non-binary young people to take action on their passions, concerns and aspirations. We also actively encourage organisations to develop and strengthen trans-inclusive policy and practice, through information, guidance and training. The project was recognised as an outstanding project at the Welsh Government Youth Work Excellence Awards (2016).
The Trans*Form project was established in response to trans young people telling us about the challenges, discrimination and exclusion they faced in their daily lives.
73% of trans pupils in Wales are bullied in school. Three in four trans young people (77 per cent) have deliberately harmed themselves at some point. More than two in five trans young people (45 per cent) have attempted to take their own life (Stonewall 2017).
Proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act (the law which governs how trans people can get their gender legally recognised) has meant that there has been a large amount of media attention focused on trans people. In many cases, this media coverage has been inaccurate, misleading and harmful. Despite trans young people being the experts on their own identities and experiences, they have all too often been denied a voice.
Youth Cymru in championing young people’s choices welcomes the upcoming consultation on the Gender Recognition Act and the opportunities it provides. We will support young people to respond to the consultation when it is launched.
Youth Cymru are committed to ensuring that all young people can live their lives free from harassment, bullying and discrimination and are proud to continue the work of Trans*Form project in 2018 and beyond.
If you have any further questions or queries, then please contact Emma Chivers, (Chair of Youth Cymru) on 07886 710277.