Outstanding Community Project winner "Food Freeway"
Youth workers from throughout Rhondda Cynon Taf have been recognised for their tireless work and dedication at this year’s Youth Work Wales Excellence Awards launched by the Welsh Government.
Individuals and projects across Wales were awarded for their outstanding contributions to youth work including specialist projects to promote and support culture and support for the health and wellbeing of young people.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Services for Young People scooped two top awards for their innovative projects which have a positive impact on young people throughout the County Borough.
The Council’s youth website Wicid.tv which is aimed at 11-25 year olds, was awarded the Outstanding Contribution To Developing New Skills Award while the social enterprise Food Freeway won the prestigious Outstanding Community Project Title.
This year’s awards were presented by Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens and took place at the SWALEC stadium in Cardiff. The Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert, who is a qualified youth worker was also at the event to make presentations.
Cllr Eudine Hanagan, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council said, “The awards are a celebration of youth work across Wales and is an opportunity for outstanding workers and projects to showcase their work and the effects their work has had on young people.
“Rhondda Cynon Taf certainly has that in abundance and I am always proud of our young people who never fail to amaze me in what they can achieve.”
The first of the winners was Wicid.tv, Rhondda Cynon Taff’s youth website which is designed and created by young people for young people. Wicid.tv is a platform for young people to showcase their creative talents in all new media, including creative writing, photography, art, filming and reviewing developing their employability skills and supporting them to re-engage with education, training and employment.
The website team has engaged with thousands of young people throughout Rhondda Cynon Taf since its inception, by undertaking workshops in schools, through a range of youth events, online and through regular editorial meetings.
Many young people involved in the project display significant barriers to learning, achievement and attainment and the website is there to offer a platform to showcase and develop their creative talents as well as support them to develop resilience and key skills such as communication, literacy, confidence and self esteem.
Outstanding Community Project winner “Food Freeway” is an entrepreneurship project comprising of a large mobile catering training facility, which was funded by Welsh Government and developed and designed by a group of young people from Rhondda Cynon Taf as a social enterprise.
This project now incorporates over 50 young people who are responsible for arranging bookings to attend events, and also take the Food Freeway to local community settings to encourage other young people to develop their independent living and social enterprise development skills.
Before getting involved with the project the young people were de-motivated and had low aspirations for their future, often feeling that they were unable to access the wide range of education opportunities that were available.
Through active engagement and advocacy, the young people began to feel much more confident in their future, and raised their aspirations by exploring the opportunities available to become involved in setting up small businesses and the wide range of opportunities available by becoming self employed.
For further information on Services for Young People in Rhondda Cynon Taf or to get involved with Wicid or the Food Freeway Project just visit www.wicid.tv or call 01443 744000.