Minister visits Ethnic Youth drop in centre

Dr Brian Gibbons has visited Swansea’s Ethnic Youth Support Team (EYST) drop-in centre to see how the centre is helping young people in the area and improving community relations.

The centre won ITV People’s Millions regional telephone vote in 2008 enabling it to refurbish and upgrade its original centre with its ‘Urban Fix Up’ project.

Young ethnic minority people worked on the refurbishment as trainees to which allowed them to develop basic construction skills while contributing to the community.

The youth centre is now able to serve more young people from diverse backgrounds and run new projects such as the ‘Positive Street Project’ which will receive £150,000 of Welsh Assembly Government funding over the next 3 years.

The project will work with young Muslims to:

  • prevent crime and drug misuse;
  • prevent violent extremism and radicalisation;
  • promote the positive understanding of Islam; and
  • address multi-cultural identity issues.

The Minister said:

“I have been very impressed with the new drop-in centre and with the way the young people here are benefiting from the new facilities and opportunities it can offer.

“In the current economic climate, many communities in Wales are facing challenges such as poverty, deprivation, concerns about housing and increased competition for employment and for public services.

“Linked to this there may also be increased fears and misconceptions around the impact of increased economic migration.

“As part of the Assembly Government’s ongoing commitment to promote a fair and just society and to support cohesion we are developing the All Wales Community Cohesion Strategy which sets out how we support people to get along together, to live alongside each other harmoniously.

“It is about looking at the common values that join everyone together and the EYST’s work is an excellent example of how we can achieve this by working together.”

Rocio Cifuentes, Director of the EYST, said:

“We are delighted that the Minister has taken the time to visit our centre. Now, more than ever, young people need positive role models and positive activities to enable them to feel a valued part of society.

“Thanks to this support from the Welsh Assembly Government we can now expand our provision to young people in Swansea and help make it a better and safer place.”


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