ScoutsCymru appoint two new Deputy Chief Commissioners

By Raspberry Jim,


ScoutsCymru has appointed two new Deputy Chief Commissioners to help drive the movement forward in Wales.

Joseph Murphy and Daniel Lyons have been appointed to support the development of ScoutsCymru and the implementation of a new strategy that focuses on giving young people in Wales skills for life.

The new Deputy Chief Commissioners will be working as part of Team Cymru, a dedicated panel responsible for the management of Scouting in Wales.  

Under the leadership of Chief Commissioner Rhian Moore, the duo will support in leading and managing the 6,500 volunteers in Wales who run the 300 groups across the country.

Joseph Murphy, 35, from Cardiff, is a Senior Business Manager for digital innovation company Simply Do Ideas and co-founder of Global Choices at the University of South Wales, a series of high-profile public talks, and TEDxNeathPortTalbot. As an experienced leader and growth expert, Joseph joins ScoutsCymru with a wealth of business experience, which he hopes to use to grow and diversify the ScoutsCymru membership and volunteer base.

On his appointment, he said:

“Scouting sets challenging expectations of its members, and these are values that I share, particularly trust, loyalty and courage. I want to invest in organisations that nurture these values holistically and for the long term.

“I’m a proud Welshman with an outward looking perspective. I have benefited from a robust education system, excellent employment opportunities and a supportive community and I’m now in a position to give back so that others may benefit too.

“In business, with people, for projects and programmes, growth is my passion. Through personal drive and professional expertise, I hope to support the growth of ScoutsCymru and in turn, grow as a person also.”

Daniel Lyons, 31, from Newport, brings over 15 years’ experience in leading and innovating impactful projects for children and young people in the statutory and charity sectors on an all Wales level. After volunteering for St Johns Cymru since the age of nine, he joined the organisation as its National Youth Development Manager in 2011 where he is responsible for developing and leading the National Youth Team, Programmes and Senior Regional Youth Officers. He plans to use experience in volunteering, alongside his experience of developing and delivering diverse, impactful young people and community centred programmes, to add value to ScoutsCymru. He said:

“Having worked in the youth work sector for a long time, I’ve witnessed the positive impact that Scouting has on young people, adult volunteers and communities across Wales. The leaders and staff are all an inspiration, full of passion and ideas and fully committed to delivering the highest standards.

“I was excited by the latest strategy and felt I had the skills and experience that could help make it a reality.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to help lead and support ScoutsCymru in growing Scouting in Wales. The active and meaningful participation of young people and the commitment and skills of our leaders are key in delivering an inclusive and growing offer.

“I’m keen to ensure that we have systems, plans and support that enable our young people and leaders to deliver on the full potential of Scouting.”

Rhian Moore, Chief Commissioner for Wales, said:

“We are at a critical time for Scouting in Wales and we have an amazing opportunity to do things differently so we can support even more young people and help them to develop skills that will set them up for life.

“We are thrilled to welcome two new experienced and enthusiastic individuals to Team Cymru. Both Joseph and Daniel come from two different professional backgrounds but have a common goal of supporting young people and creating a Wales-wide inclusive Scouting movement. Together they will be a great asset to ScoutsCymru, and we are extremely excited for the future.”

ScoutsCymru gives over 14,000 young people in Wales the opportunity to enjoy fun and adventure while developing the skills they need to succeed, now and in the future. Open to all young people in Wales regardless of faith, gender, sexual orientation, race or social background, the movement encourages its members to do more, learn more and be more.

New conference strives to improve mental health and wellbeing in Wales

By Raspberry Jim,


Healthcare professionals from across Wales will come together in Cardiff in October to attend the Together for Mental Health 2019 conference organised by GovConnect, which aims to improve mental health and wellbeing in Wales through partnership working.

With the overall cost of mental health issues in Wales estimated at £7.2 billion a year, the conference will consider the progress of Together for Mental Health – the Welsh Government’s cross portfolio strategic response to mental health – and examine options for future improvements and innovations.

Following a keynote address from Ken Skates AM, whose policy interests include mental health, the conference’s packed agenda includes speeches, case studies and panel debates with specialists including Sara Moseley from Mind Cymru, Dr Kate Chamberlain, Chief Executive, Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, and Hazel Powell, Nursing Officer for Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, Welsh Government.

Dr Kate Chamberlain, Chief Executive of Healthcare Inspectorate Wales said:

“Supporting positive mental health and wellbeing is of importance for all of us. I am looking forward to taking part in day of discussion on how we can improve and transform services so that they can meet people’s needs.”

Conference sponsor Ludlow Street Healthcare, a specialist provider of care for adults with complex mental health problems in Wales, is hoping the conference will provide an opportunity for everyone to share their experiences of delivering against the Welsh mental health strategy and vision for future mental health provision.

Dr Andrew Hider, Clinical Director at Ludlow Street Healthcare said:

“We are proud to be the main sponsor of this significant conference.

“If we are going to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the people of Wales, a collaborative approach is essential. This conference is important as it is bringing together senior leaders from many of the key organisations and stakeholders around mental health and well-being in Wales.

“Mental health impacts on so many people, at so many levels and in so many spheres. Addressing this growing problem in a cohesive way requires involvement from a broad-range of organisations so it is crucial to bring everyone together to create and communicate a shared vision. I’m looking forward to the day and planning what we can achieve together in Wales.”

Hazel Powell, Nursing Officer for Mental Health & Learning Disability at Welsh Government, who is one of the guest speakers said:

“I am looking forward to joining the discussions and hearing about some of the innovative approaches being taken forward to improving mental health and well-being in Wales.”

Together for Mental Health 2019 will take place on October 16th in the Radisson Blu, Cardiff.

To find out more about the conference please visit https://togetherformentalhealth.co.uk

Workers balloting for strike action following “unfair” treatment at Burtons Biscuits’

By Raspberry Jim,


Workers at the Burton Biscuits factory in Cwmbran are balloting for strike action in light of a dispute over the use of Agency workers following a long running dispute over the “unfair” calculation of holiday allowances and holiday pay. 

The bakery, well-known for making the world famous Jammie Dodgers and Wagon Wheels, has been baking biscuits in the UK since 1935 and opened its Llantarnam factory in 1939.

The factory, which has been running at its Llantarnam site for over 80 years has recently come under fire from the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union for the “unfair” treatment of its workers by bringing in agency workers, despite what they state has been a long standing verbal agreement to the contrary, and for paying “unreasonable” holiday allowances and pay.

John James, Organising Regional Secretary for Number 2 Region of the Bakers Food & Allied Workers Union, has been leading negotiations on behalf of the union along with the local union branch committee.

Mr James says:

“Burtons Biscuits introduced a flexible working contract to its workers some seven or eight years ago. This consisted of placing employees on a 16-hour contract which allowed the company to flex the employee up to 39 hours per week and to change their shift pattern on a weekly basis.

“The union has been stating that the way in which the company paid holiday pay was wrong and unfair and after many years of the company denying this, we finally got to challenge them.

“We have established that the company have not treated the flexi contract employees fairly, over holidays and holiday pay.

“We are currently in the process of taking the company to the employment tribunal.”

Seemingly as a result of this issue Burtons Biscuits have informed the union that they would now be using agency workers at its Llantarnam factory, which has caused “great upset” among the staff as they feel that this is “undermining them” and it would lead to lower wages in the long run.

Mr James explains:

“They called us to a meeting and informed us that they have spoken to various agencies and intend introducing agency staff at Burtons.

“This goes against a long held verbal agreement that this would not happen.

“As a result, we have now raised a collective grievance and notified the company that we are balloting for industrial action.

“If agency staff come on site, union members will walk off site.”

Clive Thomas, Managing Partner of local law firm Watkins & Gunn, who have represented the Bakers Food & Allied Workers Union for over 30 years, said:

“Our clients, the Bakers Union, are balloting for strike action, with our legal support.

“They have always strongly objected to agency workers being introduced to the site. They believe that, as well as the health and safety issues this can create, workers deserve decent jobs and full rights at work. 

“A flexi -contract has been in place for eight years which is not fit for purpose. Rather than beach their long held agreement not to introduce agency workers, Burtons Biscuits should work with the union to amend the current contract so that it will operate fairly and then be in a position to offer proper jobs to new workers at the bakery going forwards.”

With offices in Cardiff, Newport and Pontypool, Watkins & Gunn is an experienced trade union law firm representing unions including The Bakers Food & Allied Workers Union and the Community Union 

Law firm donates over £45,000 to 12 local charities

By Carys Bryant,


Award winning South Wales law firm, Watkins & Gunn, has been giving back to the local community by donating over £45,000 to 12 different local charities. 

Through ‘Watkins & Give’, the firm’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm, it has so far surprised 10 charities with a mystery donation. There are 2 further mystery donations to go over the coming weeks as part of its ’12 days of Giving’ initiative.

With offices in Cardiff, Newport and Pontypool, the firm (with input from the staff) chose 12 local charities – Alzheimer’s Society, City Hospice, Kidney Wales, MIND, Richmond House (Diabetic Centre), Shelter Cymru, Sparkle, Tenovus, The Silverlining Brain Injury  Charity, The Wallich, Wooden Spoon the Children’s Charity of Rugby and Wales Air Ambulance – to receive donations ranging from £2,500 to £5,000.

Staff at the firm have been visiting the charities over the past month taking balloons filled with confetti and a golden ticket to reveal the mystery donation amount.

Natalie Corten, the solicitor at Watkins & Gunn who is championing the charity donations, said: 

“We wanted a different and fun way of making the donations, instead of just handing over the standard large sized cheque. 

“We came up with the idea of going to each of the charities with an extra-large confetti filled balloon containing a surprise golden ticket (think Willy Wonka!) with the amount of the donation written on it 

“As there are 12 charities in total, we have named the project ’12 days of Giving’

“We asked those of our staff with a particular affiliation to the charity concerned to go along to the presentation. We then asked someone from the charity to pop the balloon and read the amount written on the golden ticket to reveal the size of the donation.”

“We chose not to disclose the amount of the donation in advance so that we can capture the moment of surprise!

“This is my first ‘project’ for the firm, and it has been one that I have thoroughly enjoyed. As they say, it is “always nice to be nice”!

Through its ‘Watkins & Give’ initiative, the firm is committed to supporting the local community by fundraising, volunteering, attending charity events and giving pro bono legal advice.

Watkins & Gunn offer a wide range of legal services including Accident Claims, Medical Negligence, Wills and Probate, Employment and HR services, Education Law, Public Law, Business Law, Divorce and Family Law, Childcare Law, Criminal Law, Road Traffic Law and Property.

Pupil coding numbers at Sony UK Technology Centre estimated to hit record high

By Raspberry Jim,


The number of Welsh schoolchildren taking part in coding workshops at Sony UK Technology Centre has soared in the last year, according to latest figures from the manufacturing giant to coincide with National Coding Week.

In July, the Pencoed-based manufacturing facility, which produces thousands of high-specification broadcast cameras for worldwide distribution, celebrated welcoming 4,159 students through its doors. The team in Pencoed have now revealed that so far this year 1,268 pupils have taken part in their coding -specific workshops, with an estimated 1,688 to participate in total by the end of 2019.

Numbers have soared since the programme’s inception in 2017 where just 548 pupils took part. 

Thanks to the success of its Digital Competency Programme, Sony UK TEC launched its specialist ‘Learn 2 Code’ Workshops in 2017.

This tailored one day workshop, led by a qualified coding instructor, encourages children to use their creativity across a variety of digital platforms in a bid to boost STEM learning.

The factory, which produces the industry-leading Raspberry Pi computer, has spoken out about the importance of coding to mark National Coding Week from September 16th.

Director of professional services Gerald Kelly said incorporating coding into early education was absolutely vital for enhancing the future employment prospects of tomorrow’s workers, but also for the Welsh economy as a whole.

He said: “With the increasing development of and dependence on technology in all industries, we need the innovators of the future to be equipped with the skills to match. Coding introduces the pupils to various programming languages including Scratch and Python, an invaluable language that is used universally in the technology industry.

“In this digitally driven age it is fundamental that the next generation are able to recognise and utilise coding technology and use this not just for the betterment of their careers, but also to enhance the development of the Welsh economy.

“Part of our commitment to the local community is to inspire the next generation of engineers, entrepreneurs and creative talent and our coding workshops are one way of doing this.” 

Steven Lewis, a fully qualified coding instructor who runs the coding workshops at Sony UK TEC said:

“I’ve found the workshops give the children an insight into their own creativity by using a variety of platforms to teach STEM skills outside of the classroom environment.

“It’s fantastic to see the excitement and thrill that the children experience when they go from their first beeps to a complete soundtrack using Sonic Pi in only a few minutes, or when they ask if they can add another component to their circuit ‘to see what happens.

I bumped into a parent whose child attended one of the first Raspberry Pi coding days and found out that her daughter is now studying Computer Science GCSE. This is the kind of impact we want to see.”

Sony UK TEC also partners with regional rugby side Ospreys to deliver a Schools Programme for children from the authorities of Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot and Bridgend.

Thomas Matthews, whose role in the Sony Wales Academy in Pencoed focuses on ensuring the educational programmes run smoothly, has also been learning coding in order to deliver new Ospreys Coding Workshops to schools across the region.

He said: “The Ospreys coding sessions are such a great way to deliver interactive learning to pupils across the region and I’m really pleased I can be a part of it. Learning to code has been a fantastic experience and enabled to me learn a new skill and it will be extremely beneficial for pupils opening up future career paths that they may not have known existed. I’m really looking forward to seeing the success of this new scheme.”

Traveline Cymru keep students on the move

By Raspberry Jim,


As university students gear up for this year’s university Freshers fairs and festivities, Traveline Cymru is touring Welsh universities to help keep students up to date on travel discounts. 

This month, the public transport information service will make its way around universities in Wales to help new students get to grips with their surroundings in new towns and cities. 

The Traveline Cymru team will be making appearances at over 20 colleges and universities across Wales throughout September; including Bangor, Cardiff, Aberystwyth and Swansea. 

As new students adjust to life in new surroundings, they will have access to bespoke travel services such as myunijourney and mytravelpass. 

Filled with transport information and essential travel tips, myunijourney is a helpful online guide which includes a journey planner from their local campus, bus stop information and student ticketing.  

Traveline will also be promoting mytravelpass- a discounted bus travel scheme entitling young people aged 16-21 to at least a third off bus fare prices anywhere in Wales.

Jo Foxall, Managing Director of Traveline Cymru said:

“Starting university is one of the most exciting and stressful times of a young person’s life.  It can be incredibly daunting to be away from home, especially in an unfamiliar town or city.  

“We want to encourage students, both new and existing, to make the most out of the public transport services in their area, and we’re on hand to help them discover what options are available to them as they start to get their bearings. 

“We’ll be attending universities across the country over the next few weeks, which is the perfect time for students to come and chat to us and find out all about initiatives such as myunijourney and mytravelpass.” 

“For many students, it’s about knowing what transport options are available to them, and Traveline are there to help them find the information they need.” 

myunijourney information is available at www.myunijourney.traveline.cymru and mytravelpass at https://mytravelpass.gov.wales/en/

Miskin nurse shortlisted for Wales-wide award

By Raspberry Jim,


A nurse from Miskin working at a specialist hospital in Cardiff for adults with learning disabilities, challenging behaviour and/or mental illness is “over the moon” to have been shortlisted in prestigious Wales-wide Awards, which celebrate excellence across the Wales care sector.

Claire Wilson, Clinical Lead at Pinetree Hospital in Rumney, has been shortlisted in the Nurse of the Year category at the Wales Care Awards.

Mrs Wilson from Miskin outside Cowbridge, has been working at Pinetree Hospital since 2012 and progressed from Unit Manager to Clinical Lead within the last two years.

She was nominated for the Award as she has excelled within her role over the last two years and made hugely beneficial changes to the running of the hospital.

She has proved to be invaluable in the daily running of Pinetree Hospital, overseeing all the nursing, medication, first aid, training, and clinical standards monitoring which has helped the hospital to achieve the highest QAIT ratings.

She has fundamentally overhauled the hospital and set new standards of excellence in practice. She has been crucial in implementing robust clinical practices, training both nurses and doctors, and updating the recording of medication to create a more effective and efficient system.

Located close to Cardiff city centre, Pinetree is a specialist Learning Disability facility which provides individually tailored assessment and treatment for adults with learning disabilities, challenging behaviour and mental illness in need of intensive treatment, therapy and active rehabilitation within a safe and therapeutic environment.

The “highly prestigious” annual Wales Care Awards attracts 450 delegates from the care sector and recognises “commitment to the industry”. This year the awards will take place at City Hall, Cardiff, on Friday 18th October.

On being shortlisted, Mrs Wilson said:

“After starting as a Unit Manager at Pinetree Hospital in 2012 and becoming Clinical Lead it has been a privilege to work alongside wonderful members of staff and patients.

“Pinetree Hospital is a very important place to me, and the welfare of our patients is always at the forefront of my mind.

“I am delighted to be considered for the Wales Care Awards and hope that being shortlisted will raise the profile of Pinetree Hospital as an exceptional care facility.

“We reflect the Ludlow Street Healthcare belief that all those entrusted to our care are capable of progress and development and that positive change can be achieved for all.  

“We recognise how important quality of life is to a person’s recovery and we have worked hard as a team to create an environment which promotes rehabilitation and community integration.

“I’m looking forward to the Awards and am keeping everything crossed for a successful night.”

David Lawrence, CEO, of Ludlow Street Healthcare said:

“We are very proud of the work Claire has done at Pinetree Hospital and of what she has achieved in such a short amount of time.

“She has impacted every aspect of care throughout the hospital, with her expertise not only enhancing the daily needs of our service users but supporting the development of her colleagues and staff too.

“The Wales Care Awards are a celebration of excellence across the Wales care sector and Claire has truly set the standard for service provision in every respect and we as an organisation have thrived thanks to her innovative and determined attitude.”

Local cameras for local derby – Sony UK TEC make history with Bridgend’s first televised football match

By Raspberry Jim,


Pencoed-based Sony UK Technology Centre (TEC) helped make history recently when it manufactured professional broadcasting equipment for Bridgend’s first live broadcast football match.

The much-anticipated derby match between Penybont FC and Barry Town Utd took place last weekend and was attended by a group of seven Sony UK TEC team players who were able to see the state-of-the-art cameras in action.

The game coverage was provided by Sony UK TEC customers, NEP Cymru, and was shown live on S4C via satellite link on Friday night.

The game marked the first time that Penybont FC has played in the Welsh Premier League following an undefeated league campaign season.

The team unfortunately suffered a 2-1 defeat, but nevertheless the match was historic for both the club, the town, and Sony UK TEC.

The manufacturing giant is an avid supporter and sponsor of the club, with the Managing Director of the facility, Steve Dalton OBE, having previously sat on the board. As such, manufacturing the camera equipment for this broadcast milestone was a significant moment in their partnership.

Rob Wilson, Director of Sony UK TEC, said:

“We are extremely proud that the top-quality cameras produced in our facility here in Pencoed were used for the first broadcast of a Bridgend local derby.

“We are committed to producing quality products that place us at the forefront of manufacturing innovation and excellence globally. We are proud of our team and how they have evolved to deliver high end professional cameras, therefore being a part of this historical moment for the local community was a fantastic accolade for Sony UK TEC.”

Alan Whitely, Member of the Board at Penybont FC, said:

“Although we are disappointed that we lost the fixture, it was a huge moment for us to have a match televised live. We are incredibly proud of all our players and staff who have worked tirelessly to get us to this point.”

Anthony Davies, also Member of the Board at Penybont FC, added:

“We would also like to thank Sony UK TEC for its continued support. Along with Steve Dalton’s role on the board in the past, the business has made a real difference to the club with their sponsorship over the years. Being a part of this history has created a special memory for the club that will stay with both the players and staff for a lifetime.”

Sony UK TEC is a socially aware business that seeks to minimise its impact on the environment, supports its local community through charity work and sponsorship, and has the welfare of its staff at the heart of its operation.

Its sponsorship of Penybont FC is one of several ways it supports the local community through supporting local community projects, NHS and healthcare charities, children’s charities, educational projects, sports clubs, local schools and local cultural projects.

Garrison Barclay welcome new tenants WRU and Bay Shipping to Cardiff Edge Business Park

By Raspberry Jim,


Expanding property development and investment company Garrison Barclay Estates has welcomed the Welsh Rugby Union and Bay Shipping into its newly refurbished offices at Cardiff Edge Business Park.

The Cardiff-based firm, founded by Andrew McCarthy, purchased the 27-acre site in March 2018.

Previous owners GE Healthcare retain 111,000 sq. ft under a 10-year lease agreement, with Garrison Barclay Estates bringing to market the remaining 70,000 sq. ft of vacant buildings.

Over the last year, Garrison Barclay Estates has invested in creating modern, high-specification office suites and top of the range laboratory space.

The Welsh Rugby Union has relocated from its previous base at the Principality Stadium to a brand new 1,000 sq. ft office. Similarly, Bay Shipping has moved from Cardiff Bay to a new 1,550 sq. ft office on a new five-year lease.

Both tenants will benefit from newly refurbished offices that have been completely re-decorated with new flooring, wiring, air conditioning, toilet and shower facilities.

Chris Terry, Associate Director of Office Agency at Cushman & Wakefield, who represented the landlord commented:

“Following the recent acquisition of Cardiff Edge Business Park, Garrison Barclay Estates has speculatively completed comprehensive refurbishment works to provide tenants high quality office accommodation set within a secure landscaped environment with generous car parking less than a minutes’ drive from Coryton roundabout, J32 of the M4 Motorway.  

“Upon viewing the refurbished offices, Bay Shipping and the WRU were keen to immediately agree terms to secure the office suites. The lettings clearly demonstrate the continued demand from office occupiers seeking high specification office accommodation in close proximity to the M4 motorway and only 10 minutes’ drive from Cardiff city centre.

“As a further sign of confidence in the product at Cardiff Edge, Cushman & Wakefield has terms agreed with two other occupiers totalling some 11,500 sq. ft which is due to sign imminently. In addition, there is firm interest from a number of other prospective tenants, and we anticipate full occupation of the remaining refurbished offices within the next few months.”

Kevin Parker, Finance Manager at Bay Shipping, said:

“Since its incorporation in 1992, Bay Shipping has always been located in Cardiff Bay.  Over the years the business has grown and is now part of the John Good Group, offering port agency and chartering services. With a specific emphasis on ports in the Bristol Channel including Cardiff, Newport, Swansea and Bristol, it made sense to position ourselves closer to the M4 Motorway to improve accessibility to these ports.

“Having looked at several other premises, we were delighted to stumble across a Cushman & Wakefield advert for the GE Healthcare site, recently purchased by Garrison Barclay Estates.  It was clear the office complex had been refurbished to a high standard with ample parking, good security and other amenities. The office space itself provides a very modern, bright environment with a high-quality finish. The decision to move, therefore, was an easy one and our team is benefiting greatly from a prime location and the overall surroundings.”

With plans to make Cardiff Edge Business Park a hub for life science businesses, current availability at Cardiff Edge Business Park sees 46,000 sq. ft of lab space available, along with 6,500 sq. ft at The Innovation Village and 3,060 sq. ft within the Cromlin East building.

Andrew McCarthy, founder of Garrison Barclay Estates, said:

“We are pleased to welcome our new tenants to Cardiff Edge Business Park. The interest we have had from prospective tenants thus far has been extremely promising. The site is in the perfect location and offers businesses quality office and laboratory space. We are happy to have two large Welsh corporations join us as tenants and look forward to welcoming future tenants.”

ScoutsCymru helps children of prison inmates gain skills for life

By Raspberry Jim,

A pilot scheme launched in Wales sees Scouting take a lead role in the wellbeing of young people with family members in prison.

ScoutsCymru, alongside the family team at G4S, has established a group for young people who visit family members at HMP Parc Prison in Bridgend.

With the aim of giving all young people in Wales skills for life and removing the barriers to participation, the pilot scheme has seen more than 50 young girls and boys from across south Wales take part in activities including first aid, healthy eating, writing and performing a play, team building activities and learning about Scouting in other countries.

Most recently, a milestone for the group was the successful organisation of a series of sessions outside the prison itself that included shelter building, outdoor cooking and fire lighting.

Planning is now in motion for new children to join the group as those with parents who have completed their sentences have left. The group has also been granted use of the prison gym which will allow climbing sessions to be run as well as a sports day which will directly involve the prisoners.

Corin Morgan-Armstrong from HMP Parc Prison’s family unit, which was set up in 2006 to create an environment that encourages repairing, enhancing and maintaining positive relationships with family members left behind following a conviction, said:

“Young people visiting family members at HMP Parc Prison come from diverse communities across South Wales but are united in having a large part of their time devoted to visiting the prison on both weekday evenings and at weekends.

“For this, and many other reasons, they are less likely to participate in Scouting, a movement with the ability to change lives.

“As a team, we are committed to improving the lives of families and reducing reoffending, this is achieved by working with a wide range of outside organisations, such as ScoutsCymru. We’re delighted with how the pilot schemes have run and we’re looking forward to formalising the Group.”

From the initial pilot sessions, it was discovered that there is a genuine need and demand for Scouting within the community of young people visiting family members in prison.

Chris Matthews, Scouting Support Officer at ScoutsCymru, has been involved with the programme since its inception. He said:

“A key part of ScoutsCymru’s vision is to be inclusive and diverse. Every young person deserves the opportunity to take part in Scouting and there has been huge focus on removing barriers to participation, whatever they may be.

“Being involved with this project has been a humbling experience. The young people who have joined the group spend a huge part of their free time being security searched multiple times a week and only seeing their loved ones in a high security facility. It takes a huge toll on them at such a young age.

“Scouting has offered them an outlet to connect with other young people who are going through the exact same thing. They have also been able to spend time with their families taking part in activities and just having fun. It’s been great to see families come together and learn to connect again.”

ScoutsCymru gives over 14,000 young people in Wales the opportunity to enjoy fun and adventure while developing the skills they need to succeed, now and in the future. Open to all young people in Wales regardless of faith, gender, sexual orientation, race or social background, the movement encourages its members to do more, learn more and be more.

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