Two Carmarthenshire Youth Support Service youth work projects have taken part in the finals of the National Youth Work Excellence Awards.
They are “Ser y Byd” Netball Project, a collaboration between Heol Goffa School and Coleshill Day Centre, Llanelli, and the Burns/YSS Project, an eight-week community project providing opportunities for young people to engage in community farm activities.
Ser y Byd was nominated for its role in working with young people who have physical and/or learning disabilities, promoting fitness, team work, self-esteem, independent living skills and a healthy lifestyle. The netball club is unique in Wales.
The project runs on Friday mornings in Llanelli Leisure Centre during term time and school holidays. A number of the participants attend Heol Goffa School which is located in Llanelli, the rest are adults from Coleshill Centre. It has proved so popular that it has had to be split into two groups of 10 taking part on alternative weeks
The Burns/YSS Project, which first ran last autumn, is a volunteering and personal development project for young people not in education, employment or training as a result of personal difficulties.
It is a partnership project between Carmarthenshire Youth Support Service and local employer Burns Pet Food and Nutrition. Burns has local factories, a farm to grow produce, and a community shop and cafe which sells produce from the farm.
It has enabled young people aged 16-25 to go to the farm in small groups to undertake a range of tasks that employees of the farm would do as part of their working role including collecting chickens eggs from the chicken huts and quality checking and stamping them for sale, building bird boxes, and feeding and looking after animals including cows, alpaca and sheep.
Carmarthenshire County Council executive board member for education and children’s services Cllr Glynog Davies said: “Though the projects did not win awards, it was a fantastic opportunity to recognise and celebrate excellent youth work within Carmarthenshire.
“Ser y Byd has done so much to develop the confidence and fitness of the young people taking part and to help them make friends, while the Burns/YSS project has provided valuable work experience and training to help them to develop the confidence and skills to progress into further learning or employment.”