EWC Logo

Select your language


Accreditation banner
Carmarthenshire YSS/Heol Goffa DoE Open Award Group
Carmarthenshire YSS/Heol Goffa DoE Open Award Group
  • Category: Education and Training, Health and Wellbeing

Quality Mark Logo All 3 Levels

Organisation: Carmarthenshire Youth Support Service

Provision: Carmarthenshire YSS/Heol Goffa DoE Open Award Group

Contacts: Sarann West/Dan Rogers



The provision aim is to offer Duke of Edinburgh opportunities and support to young people with ALN and disabilities who find it difficult to access the mainstream open award groups.

Our main priorities are to ensure:

  • We provide a safe environment where young people can develop the skills needed for them to achieve their award/s with their peers.
  • To provide opportunities and experiences that are tailored to meet the needs of the group.

The need for the provision arose from Young people being identified initially through conversations with teachers and parents who had initially completed Bronze, however there were no opportunities at that time for them to progress to Silver.

We involved Young People in a consultation to develop programme content and planning of activities and in drawing down funding with support of youth work staff. Young people also gave presentations in Annual DoE Award Ceremony Evening to over 500 people to further their cause. Through this consultation process young people became empowering young people and able to push their own barriers and limits to achieve things they didn’t think were possible.

Staff tailored their approach to meet the physical, medical, and emotional and communication needs of the group. This enabled the group to grow and develop their confidence and sense of worth and achievement. The staff provided and environment of inclusive practice. Ensuring equal opportunities to protected characteristic young people disadvantaged by their circumstances.

Our approach included the fundamental use of youth work principles and practices e.g., Voluntary engagement, starting at where the young people were at, the young people choosing their own levels of engagement.

COVID meant that the support provided was done so virtually for a period of time. This enabled young people to engage with peers and trusted adults to overcome social isolation as many group members were required to isolate during this time.

The project is flexible and tailored to needs of young people with a new cohort currently coming on board. The provision is constantly evolving as a result to meet needs. We have made adjustments were needed to ensure that all young people were able to complete and benefit from access to the project.

We have learnt how the award is achievable and how the project can be expanded and delivered to more young people with ALN and disabilities.

There are numerable benefits to young people including developed confidence through learning to socialise with their peers in out of school environments supported by youth workers. Young people have been able to develop their confidence enabling them to meet and interact with new people within their local communities and wider afield. The project has provided new opportunities and experiences for young people to be able to access with their peers and friends. The project has helped to break down barriers previously faced in accessing mainstream DoE provision. The experiential learning has transferred to other aspects of their lives including education, personal and social.

The project also highlighted the benefits of undertaking the DoE Award regardless of barriers/issues faced by young people and the flexibility of the award enabled the young people to achieve something beyond their wildest dreams.

Feedback from parents/guardians has been extremely positive and reports of the project enabling young people to be able to cope with lockdown and social isolation. Project breaks down barriers for staff and misconceptions in terms of supporting and enabling a group of ALN and disabled young people.

The projects has raised the profile of the need for youth work intervention for all young people and the benefits that this brings. Has raised the profile of the work of the YSS. The group of young people gave a presentation during the Annual awards ceremony and captivated an audience of over 500 people including local dignitaries and have received extremely positive feedback.

As young people finished school the project has provided invaluable social opportunities for the group to meet with their friends as they all have moved to individual destinations in the next stages of life.

This project has given a range of equal opportunities and access to provision for ALN and disabled young people that wouldn’t ordinarily be available to them. It has also provided a safe space for these young people to interact with their peers and trusted adults.

The Youth work approach has had to be adapted to enable young people with language/speech difficulties to be understood and benefit from intervention.
Young people have been able to demonstrate to others that they’re able to overcome barriers, learn new skills such as BSL, be dedicated to a project over a number of months and in some cases years to complete the highest accolade of the award.

The project has continued and adapted during lockdown to ensure that young people were able to continue to access vital support from youth workers and their peers. The work continues to be supported by the YSS and the school. Funding is an issue of concern and continues to prove on an ad hoc basis.

This year the projects is being offered to a wider reach of young people in the hope that more can benefit from this project.