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Torfaen Youth Service Hwb
Torfaen Youth Service Hwb
  • Category: Participation, Partnership Working, Universal Youth Work

Quality Mark Logo All 3 Levels

Organisation: Torfaen Youth Service

Provision: Torfaen Youth Service Hwb Torfaen Partnership

Contact: David Williams




Aim. Through collaborative working with the best of the statutory and third sector to provide youth work opportunities for young people in an isolated and economically deprived area of Torfaen.

Our stakeholders, Young people are central to the planning and development of the project and each aspect of the project has groups of young people volunteering, steering and planning the provision. This includes:

Open Access youth club – young people design the delivery programme, design the session criteria and set parameters such as junior and senior night. Young people design summer and holiday programmes. Young people contribute to the needs of the community.

They also contribute to the development of projects and provision, such as:


  • Senior members and young people apprentices help shape bids and work programmes that have resulted in training providers offering bespoke programmes to young people.
  • Specific youth groups for care experiencing young people,
  • A youth ambassador programme to encourage volunteers to celebrate the world heritage site in which they live.
  • Young people designed and applied for funding for a creative photography mental health project.
  • Young people have led and designed a programme (in partnership with ABUHB) to support young people with diabetes from child to adult service.
  • Young people initiated and led (in partnership with Greggs) a food share programme supporting families in financial hardship.

Torfaen has one of the largest population of care experience young people in Wales, in response to this a looked after Children's group (care busters) was established in consultation with young people, providing a range of support and activities.

Participative and Empowering – a number of young people who began as attendees of youth provision went on to become senior members, then apprentices and are now employed fulltime by both the youth service and the Hwb, all of whom are working towards of have a young work degree. Many of these young people are now leading provision within the area and through the project. The Youth Ambassador group influence the national world heritage sector as a leading example of how to engage young people in world heritage sites.

Expressive and Inclusive – the range of service available cater for a wide range of community needs. Post 16 employment support, young parents project, open access provision, mental health sports and wellbeing programmes, support for young people with disabilities etc. All are possible because of the flexibility in responding to needs as a result of the statutory and third sector partnership.

Educative – the partnership offering a range of educative experiences through exchange project to other world heritage sites, social and independence skill development through post 16 work, youth club, volunteering opportunities, The provision also hosts school based work for young people to develop a range of emotional social skills in youth work settings with qualified youth workers.

The project arose through a need identified by young people as a result of living in an isolated community. As such Torfaen Youth Service partnered with Hwb Torfaen to make the most of the physical resources the youth service had (building, vehicles etc.) and the flexible capacity of the Hwb to access other resources, (bids, national projects etc.) As such youth work activities, were in some cases combined, in others coordinated and rather then young people needing to overcome barriers associated with isolation, provision and resources were brought to them.

Through ongoing evaluation and participation, which is central to all activity, young people have continually identified and designed programmes that have result in £500k worth of resources in the last five years going into youth work activities and resources.

Through the COVID pandemic young people struggling with isolation and the lack of youth club facilities co-designed a programme to develop their photography skills through getting outdoors and capturing the nature and beauty around them. Through this youth workers could support their emotional and mental health issues.

Recently young people identified the need to a safe space, well-resourced and accepting being a priority and as such £200k worth of funding has been secured to renovate the youth centre, This was only possible due to the unique nature of the partnership.

Young people have benefited through this partnership in a number of ways.

Personally – young people aged 11-25 have had increased access to professional youth workers to support them with a range of personal matters. Young people have had a safe open access space to develop friendship, meet new young people and develop their sense of the world and moral/ethical stance on a range of factors. Young people have been able to access specific support in relation to their personal circumstance such as support with training and employment, volunteering and career progression, support to address financial barriers.

Socially – young people have contributed to community wide initiatives to encourage intergenerational work, address negative stereotypes of young people and take part if activities that promote their environment. Young people have been on residential experiences, tried new group activities and developed their social skills.

Educationally – young people accessing the provision are able to develop a range of skills from basic life skills within a young club setting like cooking a meal through to degree level placement and supervisory support and ongoing CPD as employed members of staff.

Community - young people have promoted the world heritage site status of the community by become trained, youth ambassadors. Young people contribute, sit on and present at community councils and community working groups, young people design and lead activities yearly at event such as World Heritage Day and have developed links with local care homes to encourage intergenerational work.

Staff – employment opportunities for staff have been offered through the project. Staff have been able to work on multiagency partnership projects through the provision. Staff have been able to develop bid writing skills, leadership skills and project management skills through the project.

Volunteers – similar that that of staff and including, opportunities to develop their knowledge of youth work, the variety and difference in the sector and the strengths each bring. Opportunity to be involved in local provision through Hwb and also Torfaen wide provision through the youth service and partners.

Young people’s individual needs, barriers and expectations are sort through ongoing relationship building, consultation and community connections. As such needs and barriers can be identified and programmes of support offered to assist with engagement into youth activities. Where relevant bespoke support has been developed for young people, transition support and inclusive provision has been developed as well as support into open access services.

Financial barriers have been addressed through accessing funding and good use of shared resources. Use of the Welsh language is promoted through Welsh speaking youth workers being involved in the delivery of services.

Social and economic and barriers have been reduced by providing access to transport, working in partnership with training providers to bring service to young people in the area and opportunities to participate in new activities has increased.

The partnership is now a centrally and grant funded aspect of service delivery for both the Youth Service and the Hwb. Training programmes are shared, health and safety duties are shared, as are line management and supervision of staff across the provision is shared. The Hwb successful applied to manage a larger community centre in the south of Torfaen and as such there is a wider pool of resources and expertise to ensure the continuation of services for young people in the area.

Social media pages FB/Insta/Twitter

@torfaenyouth https://twitter.com/torfaenyouth
@HwbTorfaen https://twitter.com/hwbtorfaen