Our History

Published 17/05/2021   |   Last Updated 18/08/2022   |   Reading Time minutes

Our story

When the Senedd was established in 1999, a dedicated Education and Youth Engagement Service was created, giving children and young people in Wales an opportunity to learn and engage in the work of  Senedd.

Since then the Senedd’s Education and Youth Engagement team has worked with tens of thousands of children and young people across Wales, sharing information and engaging young people in the work of the Senedd.

Discover. Debate. Decide.

By now the original debating chamber used by Members of the Senedd (1999-2007) is home to the Senedd’s education centre, Siambr Hywel. Here, groups can learn about the Senedd’s work, debate issues and find out how they can get involved and contribute to decisions made by Members of the Senedd

The Education and Youth Engagement team also offer activities and opportunities to discuss the work of the Senedd and political issues in schools colleges as well as groups and clubs outside the education environment, across Wales. 

Showing commitment – signing the Youth Engagement Charter

To make sure young people in Wales can express their opinions and are listened to, the Senedd signed up to a Youth Engagement Charter in 2014. The Charter sets out the Senedd’s commitment to make sure it listens to, respects and acts on what young people from across Wales say.

The Charter included a commitment to make it easier for young people to find out about the Senedd and what it does, to take part in debates and to find out how their contributions make a difference.


Making a change – a Youth Parliament for Wales

Since the Senedd made its commitment, many young people and professionals (backed by the Campaign for a Children and Young People’s Assembly for Wales) told Senedd Cymru they would like to establish a Welsh Youth Parliament.

Members of the Senedd agreed.

In October 2016, Members of the Senedd voted to set up a dedicated youth parliament for Wales

The Senedd consulted over 5,000 young people across Wales to help decide what the Welsh Youth Parliament’s aim, membership, and work should be.

The First Welsh Youth Parliament was elected in December 2018, and spent the next two years working with each other, Members of the Senedd, and young people across Wales to raise awareness of issues and call for change, in particular on the three issues the Members of the first Welsh Youth Parliament chose to prioritise:

  1. Life Skills in the Curriculum
  2. Emotional and Mental Health Support
  3. Littering and Plastic Waste

The next chapter has begun

The next 60 Welsh Youth Parliament Members for 2021-23 have been elected! They met for the first time in January and in February 2022, the 60 new members presented their first speeches in the first full Plenary meeting. They were pretty inspiring. Check them out at: senedd.tv

The new WYP Members have also chosen their 3 key topics which are:

  • The Climate and the Environment
  • Education and the School Curriculum and
  • Our Mental Health and Wellbeing 

The next few months will see the Members starting to work on these topics on behalf of the young people of Wales.