Thursday, 2 August 2018

Twinning Youth Exchange 2018


As well as being a exhausting, it has been up to now a very successful week! Despite the initial rain and the German's flight being delayed, we all arrived safely and started introductions.  We play many games to learn everyone's name and nationalities, and before long we were speaking as well established friends.

The first day kicked off with lots of language activities and team building games, and the afternoon was dedicated to Welsh culture.  We went to Cardiff Bay and had a tour of the Senedd before arriving at the Civic Offices in Barry to have the official welcome by the Vale Mayor, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Learning & Culture.  We went to Barry Island for chippy and then visited the Barry Male Voice Choir - "Delilah" has now become the anthem of the trip!

On Tuesday we started preparing for our big art mural and collecting ideas for the project.  We settled on a design that included landmarks from the Vale, Fecamp, Mouscron & Rheinfelden and wanted to include the colours of the flags.  Young people and the graffiti artists from The Hold Up will now start working on this project.  In the afternoon we went on a small DofE walk to show of the countryside in the Vale of Glamorgan and it's natural beauty!

Wednesday followed with some graffiti work, DJ-ing, beat boxing and street dancing.  It gave us the opportunity to try new things and improve our skills. In the afternoon we visited St Fagans Museum and went on the high ropes at Coed Lan.  We were able to show off our Welsh heritage and after the museum we went for a very British carvery.  Nobody had heard of a carvery before but they all enjoyed it!

Even though we are only half way through the Twinning Youth Exchange, we foresee this week being a tremendous success!! There are no issues with language and everyone is getting along and making friends!  We have put a lot of effort into welcoming our Twinning friends and can't wait for the rest of the week!

On we go!
Continuons!
Los Gehts!

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Timebanking in the Vale


On the 16th of July we had our monthly meeting.  To begin with we met Mark Ellis, the Community Investment and Involvement Officer for the Council.  We took part in a workshop to learn more about the Vale Homes timebanking scheme, a scheme which rewards council tenants for volunteering in their community.  The scheme provides lots of opportunities for people of all ages to volunteer, develop skills and build confidence.  It rewards volunteers with timebanking credits, a credit looks like paper money and can be used to participate in activities across the Vale and the UK for free!! Some examples include painting balling in Cowbridge, watching a Barry Town United football game, Coconuts play centre and even Madam Tussauds in London.  Hopefully the scheme will be open to all people in the Vale in the future and it's something we definitely think more young people should get involved in and be rewarded for all the volunteering they do!

We also had a guest from Cardiff City Kicks Foundation, Zac.  Zac is hoping to set up a similar youth cabinet style project for his organisation.  Zac would like to bring together young people from the Premier Kicks programmes across South Wales, including Barry & Llantwit Major.  The idea is young people would have the chance to share any issues they're facing in their local communities, be involved in designing programmes, recruiting new staff and getting involved in the funding processes of the organisation.  We were able to give Zac lots of tips and advice on setting up a new group - we hope we were helpful!

Monday, 18 June 2018

Our first official meeting

We had our first official meeting as the Youth Cabinet 2018-19.  For our first meeting we had a busy agenda because we had to decide what work we would continue with in our new term of office and explore some potential new ideas.

We were all very eager to get started and have come up with some new ideas such as deciding to digitalise our meetings in order to cut down on paper use.  We discussed current issues affecting young people and would like to work towards increasing opportunities for young people to be trained in First Aid and improve our communication with schools.  We would also like to work towards a qualification as a group.  

Some members will also be attending the Unity Gender Equality Youth Conference in Cardiff this week and we look forward sharing what we learn with you.  


Friday, 1 June 2018

Youth Cabinet Induction Day


On Friday 1st June we met for the first time as a new Youth Cabinet and took part in an induction day to get to know each other; learn more about the role of the youth cabinet; difference decision-makers in the Vale of Glamorgan; and the structure of the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

We also met with Alun Cairns MP and talked about his role as Member of Parliament and Secretary of State for Wales.  We discussed lots of issues such as Brexit, Votes at 16 and the electrification of the rail network in Wales.  We also met Councillor Bob Penrose, Cabinet Member for Learning & Skills in the Vale of Glamorgan to learn more about his portfolio.  I think we will be working quite closely in the future.

We are looking forward to our first meeting as a newly elected youth cabinet in June to start planning thinking our term of office and what we want to work on.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Meet the new Youth Cabinet 2018-19

At last night's Vale Youth Forum meeting, members voted for the new Youth Cabinet.  The new Youth Cabinet will be in post until September 2019. The new Youth Cabinet members are:

  • Daley Chapman, aged 17: representing Barry Comp & current Deputy Youth Mayor  
  • Sana Malik, aged 15: representing Bryn Hafren
  • Jules Trahearn-O'Brien, aged 16: representing Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg 
  • Ben Lloyd, aged 16: representing Cowbridge Comp
  • Nikita Harrhy, aged 15: representing St Cyres
  • Ushenka Rajapakse, aged 15: representing Cowbridge Comp
  • Isaac Cramb, aged 12: representing St Richard Gwyn 





Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Au Revoir

On Monday night we had our final meeting of the elected Youth Cabinet 2017-18.  On Monday 30th April, all members of the Vale Youth Forum will have the chance to stand to become a Youth Cabinet member.  The next term of office will run from May 2018 until September 2019.  There are 7 Youth Cabinet positions available. 

At our last meeting we met with the Vale Cabinet for our termly meeting and we were able to update them on the work we have been involved in.  This included telling them about our recent meetings which have included raising young people's concerns about the Welsh Bacc, Pupil Funding and the proposed changes to the Youth Service.  We have also sent several letters to decision-makers explaining our views on these topics.   

We also shared with them our proposal to introduce new work experience placements within the Council for young people in Yr10 - Yr13.  They liked our idea and we will now be working with the officer in charge to try and make this happen.  

Finally we spent some time reviewing and evaluating the running of the Youth Cabinet and our term of office to make sure we can provide any advice and support to future Youth Cabinet members. 

Our final session will be on Friday to celebrate our term of office and say goodbye to several members who will be off to university in September.  

Monday, 19 March 2018

Our penultimate meeting


Two guest speakers attended our meeting. First to speak was Dr Vince Browne, the new Executive Headteacher at the new mixed school in Barry. He discussed the lack of funding for Vale schools. It has become a well known fact that pupils in the Vale receive the lowest amount of money per head from Welsh Government in the whole of Wales, and it has been this way for over five years. 

We questioned Dr Browne on the formula used to calculate funding, and he tells us that the data being used is from the early nineties, and that the formula itself has not been reviewed for almost twenty years. Other than the size of catchment areas, Welsh Government have not released a lot of information on how funding is calculated for different local authorities in Wales. Dr Browne continued by saying that in order to keep schools performances up, the council is having to give funding boosts to education by cutting other services. The low funding has a chain effect on many other services, the one most relevant to us being the Youth Service. 

Our second guest speaker was Rhys Jones, a Senior Youth Manager of the Vale Youth Service. He came to talk to us about the proposed changes to the Youth Service. There are to be many less part time jobs in the service, but the creation of several new full time posts. In addition, Llantwit Youth Centre is to be sold off to save money and because it needs a lot of money spent on it to make it more suitable for young people.  The Youth Service is still going to provide youth provision in the area but it would be run differently.  A group has been set up trying to save the youth provision too. 

Despite the commitment to keep the Youth Cabinet and Youth Action Groups as they are, and to press on with the youth exchange in summer, there is still a cloud of uncertainty above the Youth Service’s future and the way youth provisions will be run. The Youth Mayor & Vice Chair of the Vale Youth Forum will be attending the Learning and Culture Scrutiny Committee next Monday (26th March) where the youth service restructure will be on the agenda, and they will be asking questions on behalf of young people in the Vale. 

Other than these hot topics, we approved the draft plan of the work experience menu. We have ideas on the types of placements that we would like the Council to offer young people in Key Stage 4 & 5.  We now need to communicate this to the Council's relevent department. 

This was our penultimate youth cabinet meeting. The next meeting in April will be the last joint meeting with the Cabinet and the last meeting of our term of office. We agreed to hold the Youth Cabinet elections in late April by holding an extraordinary Vale Youth Forum meeting. This will get the new Youth Cabinet together before exams. We are continuing to press that individuals may make a video, pamphlets, give a speech or canvass in any other creative manner to enable a diversity of people to stand for election.