WeMindTheGap was honoured to address the Welsh Affairs Committee in the House of Commons on Wednesday 6th March, focusing on the factors driving young people to leave Wales and proposing strategies to encourage them to stay.

Alongside representatives from The Princes’s Trust Cymru, our WeBelong Gappies Chloe and Carolina were privileged to represent the young people of North Wales, sharing their lived experiences and insights.

Chaired by Stephen Crabb, the committee of 7 MPs, engaged in a fruitful dialogue with Chloe and Carolina on various critical topics including employment, education opportunities, support for young entrepreneurs, and the barriers hindering these opportunities.

Chloe and Carolina eloquently expressed how WeMindTheGap’s WeGrow employability programme has empowered them with invaluable skills and experiences, emphasising the ongoing support provided by the WeBelong alumni programme.

When asked by the Committee about desired changes, they advocated for improved mental health services for isolated young people and more affordable housing to retain young people in Wales.

Post-session, we participated in discussions as the Committee questioned Walter Ma, founder of GlobalWelsh, and Robyn Lovelock, Growth Deal Programme Manager Uchelgais Gogledd Cymru | Ambition North Wales, exploring collaborative opportunities.

The Committee commended Chloe and Carolina for their clear, honest and articulate responses, recognising their significant role in influencing policy recommendations at both UK and Welsh government levels.

Chloe commented: “I had an incredible experience in London meeting the Welsh Affairs Committee alongside WeMindTheGap. It was truly rewarding to share my lived experiences with the committee and emphasise the urgent need for diverse job opportunities and improved transport links, especially in rural communities. Additionally, meeting with The Princes Trust young people provided valuable insights into their great work. I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity and experience it with Sian and Carolina from WeMindTheGap”

Carolina added: “Getting to visit London for the first time and representing Wales in Parliament was an absolutely amazing experience and I’m so thankful for having been invited. It was enlightening to learn more about how the UK political system works and I really feel like I got to contribute to something important. I hope our discussion helps MPs understand the struggles of young people in Wales and encourages them to implement meaningful changes.”

We are immensely proud of Chloe and Carolina for sharing their experiences, shaping policy discussions, and representing WeMindTheGap on such a prominent platform.

The invite to address the Welsh Affairs Committee in the House of Commons was a result of the select committee viewing WeMindTheGap’s new Welsh website, made possible by The National Lottery Community Fund Wales People and Places Award. We are incredibly grateful to the The National Lottery Community Fund Wales for helping us to provide information, resources, and services in Welsh, making WeMindTheGap even more accessible across Wales.

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