The Charity was founded in approximately 1920, orginally as the Welsh Association of Youth Clubs. During the years since, it has played a fundamental and leading role in developing and supporting both the voluntary and statutory youth service in Wales. We continue to play this leading role linking grass roots delivery with strategic operations. The name Youth Cymru was adopted in 1995 when as well as having a charitable status we became a ltd. company. In this comtemporary context, our role is to research, identify and respond to the needs of young people, and those working with them; developing and delivering progammes and projects that contribute to young peoples’ development, potential and participation in broad and diverse youth work and youth support contexts. We do this pan Wales using our strong network of both organisational and individual membership, which enables our projects and programmes a national context and application. Youth Cymru works in both a statutory and voluntary environment, as well as in partnership with private and public organisations; striving to best enhance the life experiences and opportunities of all young people across Wales.
Core to our mission is our belief that youth work can change young people’s lives for the better. We do this in part by promoting the widest possible range of experiences and activities to young people, working directly with them and through our member organisations. Members work in every local authority area in Wales (in voluntary and statutory settings), concentrated in the most deprived communities. We work in partnership with similar youth organisations across the UK and Ireland; our partnership with Youth Scotland, UK Youth, Youth Action Northern Ireland and Youth Work Ireland forms our Five Nations Partnership with whom we have an agreed Concordat, which provides us with a framework for delivery on priorities agreed by this British Irish Strategic Partnership. These relationships enable us to develop strong links with major corporate partners, including Starbucks, Lloyds, Barclays and UPS, bringing valuable additional resources into youth work in Wales. Youth Cymru is also an active member of the European Confederation of Youth Clubs allowing us to develop relationships with our European partners and work to ensure youth work in Wales is understood and recognised at a European level.
Youth Cymru seeks to support and enable young people in becoming effective citizens through appropriate educational and developmental activities. We place youth participation at the heart of what we do and facilitate the involvement of young people in decision making at all levels, both within our organisation and in other youth organisations and the communities in which they live. In all activities Youth Cymru promotes equality of opportunity and has due regard for the Principles and Purposes of Youth Work in Wales as enshrined in our history as a leading national Welsh youth organsiation. We adhere to the UN Convention on Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011, the Children and Young People’s National Participation Standards, and ensure our work is aligned with the aims and purposes of youth work as set out in the National Youth Work Strategy for Wales 2019.