The Welsh Government launched the Quality Mark for Youth Work in Wales in October 2015 to provide a robust, independent, external assessment of the quality and performance of organisations that deliver youth work in Wales.

At the awards ceremony, the Council enjoyed double success. As well as receiving the Quality Mark at the Youth Work Excellence Awards, the Council’s Youth Engagement and Participation Service also won the Outstanding Youth Work Project category, which supports Young People’s Engagement in Formal Education category.

The judges thought the Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun project was an “excellent example of how youth work plays an essential role in securing positive educational outcomes for young people who have disengaged by reintegrating them back into school.”

The nationally-recognised Quality Mark Award identifies a number of Quality Standards against which organisations have to evidence the quality and impact of their work.

This evidence is then externally assessed by trained assessors who have a wide range of experience of youth work in Wales.

During the external assessment, assessors spoke with young people, staff, schools, partner organisations and members of the public to gain a true picture of the quality and range of services provided by the Youth Engagement and Participation Service.

Not only did the Council’s Youth Engagement and Participation Service meet all the standards, the assessors also judged that they had done so with the highest mark in all areas.

Cllr Mark Norris, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, with responsibility for the Youth Engagement and Participation Service, said: “This is a tremendous achievement for the Council and one that is down to the commitment and hard work of staff in the Youth Engagement and Participation Service.

“Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Youth Engagement and Participation Service is committed to supporting young people to achieve their potential and overcome barriers to learning and progression.

“This Award confirms that the Youth Engagement and Participation Service continues to deliver an outstanding quality provision to over 10,000 young people every year. This really is something to celebrate” 

The presentation of the Quality Mark for Youth Work in Wales Bronze Award took place at the 2016 Youth Work Excellence Awards, which were held at Venue Cymru, Llandudno.

The annual ceremony is an opportunity to acknowledge, recognise and celebrate the most outstanding youth workers and youth work projects that took place throughout Wales in 2016.

Two projects from Rhondda Cynon Taf were nominated for Youth Excellence Awards in the categories of Outstanding Youth Work Project, which supports young people engagement with formal education and outstanding arts and media youth work.

Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Youth Engagement and Participation Service Entitlement Support Officer was also shortlisted in the Making a Difference Award.

Young people from Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun and Ferndale Extended Provision attended the ceremony in Llandudno.

Youth Work Week 2016 takes place on June 23-30. A national event to showcase youth work in Wales will take place in Cardiff Bay from noon until 2pm on Tuesday, June 28. 

The event will be an excellent opportunity to showcase the service and the opportunities available for young people.  The public are invited to attend.