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Eleven teams of young people from Wales selected as National

Finalists of UK-wide money management competition

Teams reach National Final of the Money for Life Challenge, a money management competition run by Lloyds Banking Group, with Colleges Wales and Youth Cymru.

Eleven teams of young people from Wales are celebrating today after reaching the Wales National Final of Lloyds Banking Group’s Money for Life Challenge, a national competition to inspire better money management skills in local communities across the UK supported by CollegesWales and Youth Cymru.

The teams have been selected from 80 entries from across Wales to reach the final of the Money for Life Challenge at the Doctor Who Experience at Porth Teigr, Cardiff on 28 April 2015.

Five of the teams will present their money management projects to a panel of high-profile judges, hoping to be crowned the Money for Life Challenge: Wales Winner 2015.

The five teams are:

D.O.S.H – (Defining Our Spending Habits)
Acorn Learning Solutions

Team addressed issues experienced by students going on to attend university, and supplied knowledge to offer new students moving from further to higher education information to build the foundation to make informed decisions on their spending habits.

Be In Th’ Know With Ya Dough
Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone

Project addressed the need for young people in Blaenau Gwent to save money. Team highlighted saving money is particularly important where young people have to live on a very low income. They looked into this by teaching money saving tips to help their peers and also persuaded several local businesses to offer discounts, special offers or freebies to local youngsters.

Radiate – Families Project
Charter Housing, Newport

Team worked to design and build a mobile app themed around energy efficiency to help young families see how they can save money by adopting more energy efficient lifestyle habits. The team conducted four face to face sessions with an app developer to bring their ideas to life and worked with local families to measure its impact.

Bridgend College

C-Bank looked at how to help young people in Bridgend save money by encouraging them to shop in local charity shops. The team worked with the Tenovus Cancer Care charity in Bridgend to conduct a donation drive to inspire more young people to donate to charity shops and conducted promotions in the local area to encourage more teenagers and young adults to shop in them.

Gym Value for Money
Coleg Gwent, Crosskeys

Project looked into the cost of using gyms and sought to compare the price of college gyms to private and local authority alternatives. They produced leaflets and posters, which were handed out across the college campus and used email and intranet to promote information on the differences in cost. The team aimed to both promote ways to save money and the importance of keeping fit.

Alongside the five teams that will present their projects on stage, six further teams will be in the running for the People’s Prize, which is voted for by attendees at the National Final. They are:

  • Beauty Therapy Community from Coleg Gwent
  • Upcycling Splott from Global Love Trust
  • Sassy Savings from Youth Cymru
  • Saving before Leaving from NPTC Group
  • Young Carers from YMCA
  • Young Pension Payers from ISA Training

The groups undertook their projects over a three month period having been awarded a £500 grant from Money for Life to put their ideas into action.

The winner of the Wales national final will win £1,000 to donate to the charity of their choice.

Rachel Dodge, Project Manager for Money for Life in Wales, said: “Money management skills are vital to our everyday lives and we are delighted that so many teams from Wales have taken part in the Money for Life Challenge this year. We are pleased to announce the eleven national finalists who will be at this year’s Wales National Final. Each team has devised a truly innovative project to help their community. I wish them the very best of luck.”

David Rowsell, Head of the Money for Life Programme at Lloyds Banking Group said: “The Money for Life Challenge helps young people create a money management project to benefit their local community and enables them to develop the skills they need to manage their own money more effectively too. Money for Life is one of the core programmes at the heart of Lloyds Banking Group’s aim to help Britain prosper.

“I have been hugely impressed by the innovation and enthusiasm of all the teams who have taken part in the Challenge this year. It has been a tricky decision for our judges to decide which groups will make it to our national finals. I wish all teams the very best of luck.”

The winner of the Wales final will head to the Money for Life Challenge UK Grand Final at the London Film Museum in London’s Covent Garden on 28 May, where they’ll compete against teams from England, Northern Ireland and Scotland to claim the title of UK Winners of the Money for Life Challenge 2015. The teams have the chance to win £3,000 to donate to a charity of their choice.

For more information on the Money for Life Challenge, please go to, or on Facebook at and on Twitter at


For more information contact: Donna McGrory / Joe Ogden at Four Communications on 020 3697 4307 /

Or, James Birch, Lloyds Banking Group, / 02073562239

Notes to Editors

About Money for Life

Money for Life is Lloyds Banking Group’s award-winning personal money management programme, targeted at young people and adults in further education, training and community organisations. Lloyds Banking Group has invested £10 million in the programme from 2010 to 2015.

The Money for Life Qualifications provide accredited, fully-funded training to enable community support workers across the UK to embed personal money management skills at a local level. This train-the-trainer approach ensures a sustainable impact in local communities and organisations

The Money for Life Challenge is a national competition that provides £500 grants to empower teams of 16 to 24 year olds in further education, training and community organisations to run a money management project in their community.

The 2014/15 Money for Life Challenge will be delivered with our partners CollegesWales, Youth Cymru, National Skills Academy for Financial Services, UK Youth, Young Scot and NOW Group. Our partners are instrumental in the delivery and co-ordination of the Challenge.

Money for Life was awarded a Big Tick and was shortlisted in Business in the Community’s Building Stronger Communities Award 2014.

In Remembrance

Dennis Frost











Dennis G Frost, died Tuesday 16th December 2014, aged 89.

Dennis was the General Secretary for Youth Cymru from 1953 to 1987 (previously known as the Welsh Association of Youth Clubs, until 2003)

He still played a role within Youth Cymru until 2013, by donating his time in running the book appeal.

Dennis was a well-loved member of staff who put a lot of love and passion into his work. He will be sorely missed by everyone.

We thank Dennis for all his years as our General Secretary and all of the time he gave to this charity and to the young people.

We send our condolences to his wife and family

History of Youth Cymru

The Welsh Association of Youth Clubs was one of the major voluntary youth organisations in Wales.

Mr Donald Davies, Chairman (centre) with recipients of the Junior Group Leader Certificate. Swansea-A.G.M., 1957.

Mr Donald Davies, Chairman (centre) with recipients of the Junior Group Leader Certificate. Swansea-A.G.M., 1957.


Roger Kingdom (Chairman) and Ann-Calvin-Thomas (Secretary) of the South Wales Members’ Council in conversation with the President, Lord Snowdon.

Roger Kingdom (Chairman) and Ann-Calvin-Thomas (Secretary) of the South Wales Members’ Council in conversation with the President, Lord Snowdon.

Commencing as a girls’ club, organisation, it owes is existence to the initiative of voluntary leaders who formed a number of independent local federations with the object of seeking mutual support.

The Ocean National Colliery Company played a leading role in forming boys’ clubs and girls’ clubs in the Rhondda, Garw and Monmouthshire Valleys, collectively comprising the Ocean National Federation. But elsewhere too, particularly in the “non-special areas,” it was the clubs themselves which formed their own federations with a view to seeking co-operation, discussing common problems, exchanging ideas, arranging, inter-clubs visits and providing services to their mutual advantage.

Two years after the formation of the Cardiff Federation, a meeting was convened by the National Council of Girls’ Clubs. This was held on the 25th of January 1936, at 33 Park Place, Cardiff, mainly as the result of a grant received from the Jubilee Trust by the National Council of Girls’ Clubs for work in the ‘special areas’. Representatives of federations and settlements were invited to attend this important meeting to consider the formation of a South Wales Association of Girls’ Clubs.

In addition to representatives from the federations, a number of other girls’ organisations were present at this historic meeting, but the records do not indicate whether they attended in order to secure membership, or merely to support.

In attendance:

Local Federations

Cardiff & District

Ocean National


South Wales Coalfields

Educational Settlements





Maes-yr-Haf, Rhondda.

Other Youth Organisations

The Girls’ Friendly Society

The Y.W.C.A

Urdd Gobaith Cymru’

South Wales Council of Boys’ Clubs

South Wales Council of Social Services


1934-Cardiff Federation Formed

1936-South Wales Council Formed

1942-North Wales Council Formed

1943-Welsh Divisional Committee Formed

1954-Re-Organisation in South Wales

1964-Merger of the three constituent bodies

1970-1976-Many more statutory youth clubs sought membership.

Miss Warren, the Organising Secretary, of the National Secretary of the National Council of Girls’ Clubs addressed the meeting. She stated that the  Council of Girls’ Clubs in South Wales would provide an essential link between the federations and the National Council and make it possible for combined schemes to be offered, such as holidays, camps and training courses. Additionally, services could be provided for scattered clubs in areas where no federations, as well as the provision of opportunities for women in South Wales to undertake leadership training offered by the National Council.

The birth of this new organisation was not an easy one, and the Celtic trait of being concerned for local identity emerged, when the representative of the Pontypool Settlement stated that she was not in favour of forming a South Wales body, as her organisation, was perfectly capable of co-ordinating the work of local cubs.

In reply, the chairman pointed out that an Association would provide clubs with more scope for development, and prevent settlements from adopting a small minded attitude!

Originally, the major source of income was a proportion of the annual grant received by the National Council of Girls’ Clubs from the Jubilee Trust for work in the ‘special areas’ to be replaced later by a similar arrangement for the disposal of HQ grant received from the Ministry of Education. This initial financial support, apart from a small sum retained for administration, which was passed on to individual girls’ clubs.

Summer School

In 1954, Mr Edward (‘Ted’) Higgins, brought a new dimension to club work in the form of a ‘Summer School’ which he organised for club members and their families. For the next eighteen years, the Harlech Summer School became the focal point for all activities.

A feature of The Harlech Summer Schools in 1958 and 1959 was the production of what quickly became known as “The Chronicles”.

Composed daily in Biblical language by Islwyn Jones and Owen Picton, their production was eagerly anticipated, as were the evening “readings” in the great hall.

Junior Summer School

1973 In 1972, it was noticed with some concern, that an increasing number of young people under fourteen years of age were now attending affiliated clubs, and in an endeavour to provide for this age group, the first Junior Summer School was planned and directed by Mr. Peter John, West Wales Regional Officer at Coleg Trefeca, Breconshire, when forty junior members thoroughly enjoyed a week’s programme of arts and crafts, music, drama and pony trekking.

In 1973, the second summer school was held at the same venue. The high sprits and the infectious enthusiasm of the youngsters was not only shared during this memorable week, but taken back to their own clubs, and it was noticeable that the clubs involved reflected this influence in their programme of activities.

Megan Wigley Jones

Megan Jones was one of our amazing volunteers at The Big Music Project. The 21 year old from Pontyclun snapped away at artists, stalls and the venue throughout the day. Megan first became interested in photography at University where she studied Media Production. Throughout her time at University she collaborated with other courses and began photographing for them. It became her favourite part of her degree and soon discovered that she could do more with her new favourite hobby. Megan didn’t have any professional experience until she volunteered at The Big Music Project; however now she can say that she has photographed the likes of Plan B, Becky Hill and Rydian Roberts.



I asked Megan what she took away from the event she explained that;


I was really excited to be part of the day but I was also really nervous about it. There is so much going on behind the scenes of the music industry that I didn’t know about, but now I have more of an idea. Everyone around had a really positive attitude and told us don’t give up. It was an excellent day.


What did you feel the highlight was for you?


For me it was listening to Becky Hill’s Q&A. Her set was quite short with only 3 or 4 songs which I was SO gutted about as I could’ve watched her all day but regardless, she did it justice! I stood there with my trusty camera at the very front, snapping away and singing along to all the songs!



If you could change anything what would it be?

Next time I would definitely sign on to the workshops. They looked really good and gave some excellent advice to people who wanted to go into the field


Megan would love a career in the music industry, not necessarily centre stage, but behind the scenes, perhaps working on the stage management and lighting or becoming such an amazing photographer those big name artists will be calling her to come to their gigs. Megan is also a blogger, and a pretty great one at that! This is definitely something to check out, learn how to make toffee apples and a little more about her experience at The Big Music Project!


We wish Megan all the best and one day we will be seeing her incredible photography in the celebrity magazines!


Check out her amazing blog here:

And here is her twitter:



The Big Music Project- Russell Jones

Russell is a 22 year old inspiring singer who attended The Big Music Project. Russell from Pontypool, South Wales took to Youth Cymru’s Glanfa Stage and showed us what an incredible performer he is. He sang “fly me to the moon” “I wish you love” and “L.O.V.E.” Old songs for a young man I hear you say, I thought so to, but Russell’s favourite genre is Jazz. He loves the old classics and does not want the genre to die out, his aim is to keep it alive and show young people that this music is classic and should never be left out of your playlist! Russell loves to entertain and to put his own spin on songs; he also worked incredibly hard to get the crowd involved in his performance which we saw at The Big Music Project! He sang and dedicated songs to people in the audience and you could see that they really enjoyed it, but also were blushing with embarrassment at the same time!


The Big Music Project helped Russell to meet new friends that he has kept in close contact with. Luckily for Russell he also met someone who was very interested in him and has asked Russell to perform at a few of his shows.

When I spoke to Russell after the event I asked him what was next for his music career.

“I am fully booked up until Christmas and have an event coming up in Exeter on 15th November for the Harry Cunningham Charity that helps sick babies and increasing awareness of Vasa Previa. It’s a massive event with celebrities like Kym Marsh, BGT’s twist and pulse, and reality starts from Made in Chelsea and The Only Way Is Essex. So I am really looking forward to it.”


I also asked him how he thought The Big Music Project went and what his favourite part of the day was.


“I felt the day went excellently, my highlight was listening to Plan B talking about how he got into music and watching Becky Hill perform and meeting everyone at Youth Cymru and performing for them-it was amazing!”



Russell began singing in care homes for the elderly when he was 17, this started to give him confidence, and the more he preformed the more confident he became. Russell started singing at gigs and even joined Only Boys Aloud. His gigs became bigger and he started to meet people that had a big influence on his career. Russell has preformed in music videos with big names like; The Saturdays, Ellie Goulding, Mary J Blige and Conor Maynard. Russell’s talent has helped charities such as, St David’s, CLIC Sargent, Macmillan and Dyslexia Wales to raise over £200,000. It has also led him to Essex, to perform at the opening of Amy Child’s Salon and Gemma Collins plus size women shop. Russell now plans to keep going in the music career and hopes that next year he will be talking to young people about he got into music.
Well done Russell! We are looking forward to seeing more of you in the future! Good luck!

The Big Music Project Blog

After months of planning and organisation the team at Youth Cymru finally helped to pull off a fantastic day at the Wales Millennium Centre. The Big Music Project, funded by the National Lottery brought together youth organisations and leading partners within the music industry such as BPI and Global. The day consisted of live music from young people, workshops and careers advice from every part of the music industry, from makeup and hair, to lighting design, to managing your own band, this was an opportunity for everyone looking for an interesting career. The Youth Cymru team organised the Glanfa stage based in the public foyer of the Millennium Centre. It was an amazing opportunity for young people with exceptional talent to show off their original songs and their adaptations of cover songs from their favourite artists. Throughout the day we had a mixture of music genre from acoustic and jazz to grime and hip-hop, yet no matter what type of music was on there was always a large crowed not only from the young people at the project, but from the public who were passing. It was a chance for the elderly to witness the grime and hip-hop of today and for the young to witness the older genre of jazz and acoustic blues, it is fair to say that it was an amazing variety of acts that stunned our audience into staying at the millennium for longer than they anticipated. Later in the day, we gave young people who were not part of organisations that youth Cymru had contacted to show off their talents with our open MIC session. They had the chance to sign up at our Youth Cymru stall based in the market place- oh the market place! 1 The market place was set up on the Welsh Millennium Centre Stage- yes the main stage, where musicals such as The Lion King, Les Miserable’s and Wicked have preformed. The view was incredible and it did make you want to break out in song – personally “I dreamed a dream” from Les Miserable came to mind and yes I had a selfie!- anyway back to the market place. It consisted of absolutely every kind of career that makes the music industry work. Hair and make up were dolling up the young people to look beautiful- not that they didn’t already- also, they brought along their special affect make up artist who was giving young people gruesome cuts and scars. Another stall set up was the Brit School, who throughout the day put together an 8 piece band who preformed after two hours of rehearsals- which was hard to believe as they were amazing! They sang tracks by Duffy and Pixie Lott. There were many more amazing stall such as capital and backstage academy. Backstage academy has some very interesting stories about all the concerts they have been a part of such as Robbie Williams The Crown Tour, Take That, Olly Murs and many more! Every stall offered useful and interesting advice for all the young people and inspired them to take the next steps in their career. As for our Youth Cymru stall, we signed up new members and introduced them to ways of helping their community through the money for life grant and the think big O2 grant. 6   Next door to our Market place was the main stage; this was where all the big acts preformed such as Rhydian, PlanB and Becky Hill. Unfortunately Plan B didn’t sing but he did a Q&A time, this was VERY interesting to say the least. Matt, Geriant and Polly were there interviewing the stars on stage, and also took 3 questions from the crowd. Plan B was extremely up front and entirely honest about how he made it into the music industry and what his inspiration was behind his many films and chart topping albums- there was talk of crack and prostitution but we will leave that out for now. Moving on, there was music from Rhydian and Becky Hill along with other bands such as Peasants King and Sion Russell Jones. They were absolutely amazing and the cowed went crazy for them, it was an amazing atmosphere with people singing along and having a little boogie on the floor. 7849 10   Oh yes, did I mention, Rhydian engaged with all the stalls after his amazing set was finished. Here he is with some of our team at the Youth Cymru stall!   Whilst all this was going on, at the other end of the Welsh Millennium Centre were sessions. These sessions were ideal for young people to learn a bit more about the music industy. They sat and listened intently to people within their chosen careers path that had made it to where they were now and how to get involved in the industry. Also there was a pretty cool studio set up where young people practiced mixing with DJ decks and helping others with lyrics there. This gave young people the opportunity to record their own sound. Let’s hope we see some of them make it into the charts!   Overall the day was amazing and the young people seemed to have a fantastic time too! Coming along to The Big Music Project really helped young people get a foot in door and a much more clear understanding about their career choices. So a massive thank you to UK youth, Global, BPI, The National Lottery and of course our volunteers! This day was worth all the planning and organisation that all organisations put into it and it resulted in an unbelievable experience for young people and even for us elders!   2 For more pictures please visit our facebook and twitter account, Like and Follow too!!/YouthCymru?fref=ts

Money for Life Challenge, drop in sessions



Book in to a one to one drop in session now!

Register for your Money For Life Challenge, with only one month left to apply closing date 21st November.

Need help with ideas? Youth Cymru can work with staff , young people or both, to develop ideas and populate your grant.

One to one drop in sessions available at Youth Cymru (click her for map) on

Tuesday 28th October 10-3pm
Tuesday 4th November 10-3pm
Tuesday 11th November 10-3pm
Tuesday 18th November 10-3pm

Please call Mel on 07989757474 to book a slot or discuss further.

Money For Life Challenge, recommendations from Rachel Dodge at Colleges Wales

  • Judging criteria
    This may sound really obvious but it’s amazing how many teams forget about the judging criteria. You can find the criteria on page 16 of the project guide. Use this as a tick-list.
  • Application Form
    Although you will be submitting your application on to the website it would be a good idea to print off a copy of the application form before you go online. This way your team can ensure you’ve got all the information you need before you start.
  • Sell yourself
    The best part of my job is meeting enthusiastic and passionate young people and project sponsors who really want to make a difference in their communities. Try as much as you can to communicate this through your application.
  • Don’t leave it to the last minute
    Even though the deadline isn’t until the 21st November you can submit your application at any time before that. The beauty of the website is that, once you’ve created your account, you can update your application right up until the deadline. Remember to make a note of your log-in details.
  • Ask someone to read it
    Sometimes when you have been working so closely on an application it’s hard to know whether it is good or not. Ask your project sponsor, a friend or family member to have a look. They might be able to advise you on how to make your application shine.
  • Make sure your email address is right
    It’s so easy to make mistakes when you input information online. We use your email address to communicate with you about everything relating to the challenge so we want to ensure we can keep in touch.

Good luck. We can’t wait to hear about your amazing plans to make a difference in your community!