Maerdy Youth Forum was established in January 2015 and meets at and is managed by Canolfan Maerdy in Tairgwaith. However, it is an independently constituted group and has over 150 registered members aged between 11 and 18. The forum meets weekly on Wednesday evenings between 6.30 and 9pm, Thursday evenings between 5.30 and 8pm and Saturday mornings. As well as coming together to discuss and ‘have a voice’ on various matters affecting them, the group also enjoy lots of fun activities, including playing table-top games – eg table-tennis, pool, table-top football along with cooking, arts and crafts sessions. They also have a tuck shop, and in the lighter evenings, use is made of the outside space by helping maintain Canolfan Maerdy’s community garden, having barbecues and playing various ball games.
The forum also benefit’s from participating in YMCA Swansea’s ‘Identity Project’ who funded a residential trip to an activity centre in Brecon and who visit from time to time and run music workshops with members. Similarly, we work with Whitehead Ross who also provide residential activities, Neath Port Talbot County Council’s PASS team who help to provide sporting activities, Y Banwen who are helping us to promote young volunteering in the community, University of Wales Trinity St David who provide students to gain youth work experience with us and a myriad of other organisations who come along and give talks, demonstrations and provide advice.