Over a 10-week period in the summer, Menter Môn carried out the ‘Llwyddo’n Lleol 2050’ project on behalf of the Arfor project, which offered help and support to young people through highlighting opportunities and work in their areas.
‘Llwyddo’n Lleol 2050’ is being implemented in Anglesey and Gwynedd and aims to support young people who want to lay down their roots in those communities. One of the demographic problems of these areas is the number of young people who decide to leave the area to live and work in cities such as Cardiff and Liverpool. The project demonstrates that it is possible to remain in their communities to work and add value to the area’s unique society and culture.
Elen Hughes is the project officer, who believes that the experience and challenges facing young people vary from person to person,
“One mistake that we tend to make is to generalise too much. It must be remembered that everyone is different, living different lives, from diverse backgrounds. The challenges we face as people are naturally very different and varied.”However, the work has shown that a lack of confidence can affect young people’s decisions to take risks in the business world, with individuals noting that entrepreneurship is not something that is familiar to them. ‘Llwyddo’n Lleol 2050’ is keen to support young people in challenging times, to explore all the possibilities for a future in their communities.
Fourteen people took part in the project, with each launching their new initiatives. Individuals’ businesses ranged from a sheep’s milk company to one that creates swimwear, thus showing ingenuity and enthusiasm among the young people. The project officer also believes that honesty was one of the strengths of the project while working with the young people.
“It emerged that the frank conversations have been eye-opening, recognising and normalising the overall failure, challenges and difficulties of life. Hearing and learning about other failures in an atmosphere without criticism, succeeded in raising and building the confidence of these entrepreneurs in their plans, but also as real people”
Looking to the future 9 of the 14 young people have signed up to an extended scheme with ‘Llwyddo’n Lleol 2050’, which offers individuals a salary of one day a week. This ensures time and financial support in order to continue with their plans, which will undoubtedly be of great value to the communities of Anglesey and Gwynedd in the future. It is hoped that the project will take risks and challenge the routine by trying to realise their wishes.They also hope to work with Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion in the future, to replicate the work there. The presence of local young people is vital to communities, and is vital to the continuation of the Welsh language and the social economic development of these areas.
The project has certainly succeeded in inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs, but many questions have also been raised, such as why young people leave these areas. How important is a career? What are the priorities of the next generation? What can we do to help? If you want to be part of this discussion, please get in touch.